The $80 bolt, New Centre Stand, and Side Stand Bigfoot

After spending hours and hours and multiple methods I finally got a bolt out of the bike that was preventing me from installing the centre stand. The centre stand is a very useful tool when touring to lift up the bike and maintain the chain, change a tire if needed, or to really fill the bike to the absolute hilt with fuel. The bike has a dummy bolt that goes through the underside of the motor to allow the centre stand to bolt on. Well….

Honda’s OEM directions for installation are exploded view diagrams which, frankly, suck the big one. One of the worst installation guides I’ve seen from Honda or any manufacturer for that matter. It’s vague on not specific about where things are supposed to be installed or varies depending on the year of the bike (which apparently even though they still make the bike in Europe stops at 2003, ugh!).

Every one of the pieces of hardware fit perfectly and was a snap to install except this bolt. It was either stripped at the factory, rounded off by the previous owner, or had a combination of being rounded off with a lock washer and lock-tire. Whatever had happened to the rounded bolt in the past it wasn’t coming out of the bike. Here’s where the $80 bucks part comes in. I tried different sockets, new impact wrench sockets, reversing bolt-out sockets, and finally had to resort to using my Dremel to cut the nut off and break it away from the bolt. Countless hours later and several trips to hardware and automotive stores, I was successful. God bless the inventors of the Dremel – a superb life-saving all-round useful tool.

After putzing about the stand took only 15-20 minutes to install (about 6-8 hours of monkeying around to get the bolt out). It works like a charm and is set for the summer ride.

I’ve also had a sinking feeling a few times lately. Literally, a sinking feeling for the bike. At work in the gravel parking lot I have twice come out to find it teetering on the brink of falling over due to the small sidestand foot sinking into the ground and the rotund nature of the Varadero. Well, weight be damned! I found a small cottage industry business in Portugal, yep Portugal, that make a plastic and stainless steel foot for half the price of the big motorcycle accessories manufacturers. The business is Rodaspt and it’s called the Bigfoot. Works like a damn and fits like a glove on the bike. No more potentially disastrous sinking into the ground for my bike.

Now if weekend weather would smarten up, I could actually go on a real day ride without hypothermia. Fingers crossed….