Yamaha’s Lethal Sidestand.

Discussion in 'General Discussion / News / Information' started by Steve Merchant, May 31, 2012.

  1. Steve Merchant

    Steve Merchant Ol'Timer

    Do you own a small Yamaha? Have you ever forgotten to raise the side stand before you set off down the road? Then this could happen to you …

    I am a 60 year old lifetime rider of motorbikes and I have just had my first serious accident. I was not drunk, nor was I speeding or riding dangerously. My ‘mistake’ was to forget the side stand after being pulled over at an army check-point on the way back to Chiang Mai to visit my son. I was about to get off the bike and lowered the side stand but before I switched off the engine I was told I could keep going. I engaged gear and pulled away forgetting the side stand was still down. The road is a major highway with ample width and good surface and long corners following the Ping River. Unfortunately, immediately following the check-point the road is either straight or right hand bend and I had no warning the side stand was down as I accelerated to my cruising speed of 80kph. At the first left hand bend all I heard was a metallic scratching sound as the side stand dug into the road surface and the bike appeared to be going straight as the road swung hard left. Within moments I was heading for a concrete post, curbstone and mountainside with a nasty collision obviously imminent.
    The final result was both bones in my lower left leg being broken twice. I was hospitalized for 30 days with 2 operations and a constant flow of medication to avoid infection. I’ve been told it could be 6 months before I walk on this leg again.
    I have owned the Spark for 16 months and totaled 23,000ks before this accident. It has been serviced regularly by Yamaha garages and is completely standard with no changes ever having been made to the side stand or any other part of the bike. No-one has ever indicated this was something I should take action to avoid and I have always assumed that the side stand would pop up if it took a decent knock. I now know that’s not true. Both the Honda Wave and the Honda Dream owned by my family will do this. Forget the side stand and as the bike corners left the stand digs in, causes a little shake and then slaps up into position. Did Yamaha ever look into this? Why isn’t there a switch that cuts the engine when the stand is down?
    After many years as a committed Yamaha bike owner (I have owned 2 in the past and own 2 now) I am very disappointed with this safety oversight and I am very reluctant to get back on a bike that nearly killed me.
  2. Ian Bungy

    Ian Bungy Ol'Timer

    Hell Sorry to Hear this Steve. I wish You all the Best and a Speedy Recovery! This is a Problem with the Small Scooters, No Switch on the Stands to kill the Engine. I actually had a very similar Experience on a Honda Wave some Years back and would have had a Head on if it wasn't for the oncoming Car taking evasive action! I managed to knock the stand up with My Leg and get around the Corner thankfully! I was Dumbfounded as I had been riding for some time and taking Corners with No problem Prior to the Incident! Afterwards I checked over the Bike and discovered that it appears the Stand Spring had lost some of its Power and the lack of Lubrication had made the Stand Stiff! Combine these two things and the Vibration of that Engine at a Certain RPM and the Stand vibrated till it was fully down by itself!!! One of the Closest Calls of My Life since I started Riding!
    Again All the Best Sir and My thoughts will be with You! I know how easy it can Happen!
  3. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    Ouch !!!

    Sorry for your woes Steve, very unfortunate. Thanks for sharing this, its very good info.

    I now own 2 Hondas (PCX and a Scoopy) and on both bikes the side stand down kills the engine. Not sure if Honda are the only ones doing this on the small bikes.

    Speedy recovery.
  4. Ozjourno

    Ozjourno Ol'Timer

    Every day in Pai, I see many scooters being ridden around town with the stand extended. I have seen two accidents (Both on left hand turns in the centre of town) as a direct result. I would suggest that in Oz, NZ, USA, Canada, the UK etc., local compliance requires that the engine will not start unless the side stand is raised. It is often too easy to blame single vehicle accidents on riders without experience. As your accident unfortunately proves, this is not the case. Perhaps though, your long experience with riding may have saved you from far more serious injuries. I hope your recovery proceeds well.
  5. David Learmonth

    David Learmonth Ol'Timer

    Hope you recover quickly! Would be a good idea if all the small scoots had a side stand cut out. Have forgotten to raise the one on our Honda Wave once or twice but noticed within a few feet of setting off - luckily! Easily done.
  6. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    Sorry to hear about your accident. Get well as soon as possible.
  7. feejer

    feejer Ol'Timer

    Always a good idea to check the side stand safety switch functions before renting a bike as well. I forgot to check the YBR125 I rented from Flamingo in Hanoi and it did not prevent engine start when extended and in gear. I learned this a few days into the ride, luckily very quickly after starting off from a refuel stop. It is surprisingly easy to forget!
  8. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Steve, hope you getting up to 100% again soon.
    Well I have several bikes and makes here at my place and ALL of them after 2-3 washes need Sonax MoS2 spray as them sidestands start to stick because of rust and dirt, not only on the Yamaha's also on the Ninja 250, the CBR250, the DR650,.......not only on scooters but on all bikes. The only difference, the biggies have switches but just a year ago the one on the DR didn't work and I went off with an extended sidestand and nearly ended up in the ditch, shorted out......
    Years ago had a small crash (like a highsider) on my by then Wave125i in Chonburi because of an extended sidestand.
    Only one thing to avoid this, Sonax after every 2nd wash, you'll need this anyway also for all locks.
    Another option would be to attach a little rubber piece cut-out from any thicker old trye, that's positioned on the lower sidestand with some bolt and extends a little more than the stand itself, this will then automatically swing your stand into the up position by friction with the tarmac. Some of my older bikes had this already years ago such as the Bros 400.
    Get well soon, Franz
  9. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Most dirtbikes don't have side stand kill switches, simply because the last thing you want is to hit a big bump and kill your engine.

    I guess the only thing to do is remember to make sure you put your stand up before you ride off.

    Kind of like remembering to fasten the strap on your helmet- I think it's one of those things that just becomes habit.

    I think in the US and probably many other countries that road bikes are required to have a side stand kill switch.

    Here in Thailand... Guess not!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery!
    Tony :happy1:
  10. Rod Page

    Rod Page Ol'Timer

    A speedy recovery; recovering from a broken ankle I know the rehabilitation it can take some time.
    Two Yamahas here in the stable & I'm prone to forget the stand on irregular stops.......Franz now has me squirting the joint & spring regularly.
    A potential danger often overlooked; thanks for the timely reminder.
  11. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I have experience of the side stand droping down because of a broken spring on a 250 Baja in Laos many years ago. As it went down & cut out I was hitting the starter button to keep it going (all to no avail) & not fall off over the edge on the old jungle trail Houei Xai - Luang Namtha.
    Ever since then all the safety gear is disconnected on my AT. It starts in gear with the stand down. I prefer it that way & have not been caught out yet.
  12. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Rod, 3 scenarios, one forgetting the sidestand at all, so the rubber one would help to kick it upwards. Oiling the thing won't put it up but help it snap back once slightly touching the tarmac and at last when they are so rusted and you just kick them while still standing still with the bike, it hardly moves over the turning point without you noticing, comes then down to same like fully extended and that's when you'll bite the dust in your first left turn.
    And while you are busy with the sidestand and MoS2, don't forget to give all locks also a good shot with it, had locks that could be hardly turned, key refused to move it into ignition-on position..........
    Another weekly duty is to get your tyre-pressure checked as I found out that most of the scooters have some cheap local made inner tyres which are leaking from the filler valve on a permanent basis.......I top them up every week with at least 8-10 psi. Can get rid of that nuisance in buying some new insertion valves and change them until you find a tight one. Chock Dee, Franz
  13. Gary D

    Gary D Ol'Timer

    Franz do you use the Sonax oil on your chains as well. I have had problem getting a spray lube so a mechanical shop showed me a can of Sonax that they use on their chains. I have now bought a can, very cheapfrom Big C compared to others but the instructions are in German. Can you translate for us English.

  14. schackster

    schackster Ol'Timer

    Gaz, it probably says "aim and squirt " :think:
  15. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

    Hi Gary, Big-C is usually selling the orange can of SONAX MoS2-Oil spray which is helpful for rusted bolts and any other rusted parts (Similar to WD40), further on very good for oxidised contacts. For chain they sell a smaller can of chainlube from SONAX, easy identifyable as being some black-silvery with a black cap on top, that one's for the chain, sticks well but messes up your rim (dirt & grime build up). I used the MoS2 once to derust roughly one of my chains and it did work and I noticed NO destruction of the rubber rings of it. So could be a quick fix but oil or chain sprays are the better solution. Just cut an empty oil can, put it under your chain, turn the wheel slowly and pour some sticky gearbox oil over it, best there is but messy........

    "SONAX MoS2 Oil is a universal 'creeping' oil and can be used for better lubrication, as contact spray and for rust prevention. It eliminates squealing and creaking noises, lubricates all moving parts and loosens rusted bolts and nuts. It displaces humidity, it prevents leak-currents in electrical circuits and enables ignition contact. It protects blank metal against corrosion, lossens tar, grease, rubber and glue residues. It is free of silicone compounds and not harmful to plastic material." That's a rough translation, hope that helps !
    Rgds, Franz
  16. TonyBKK

    TonyBKK Ol'Timer

    Yeah, Sonx Kettenspary (sp)? in the black can is cheap chain lube, but it flings a lot more than more expensive lubes, so be prepared to clean up the mess if you use that brand.

    Looks a bit like this, but Sonax brand:

    The Orange Sonax is very similar to WD40 and is good for cleaning and penetrating, but is far too light to be used as a chain lube imo.
  17. Franz

    Franz Ol'Timer

  18. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator Staff Member

    I things are improving & you're more mobile. Now I wonder did you get to see Dr Sudhee for a check up at all?
  19. Dougal

    Dougal Ol'Timer

    CRSaddlebags in Chiang Rai sell chain lube spray and will post it to you.
  20. daewoo

    daewoo Ol'Timer

    I remember back when I was working for Telstra, the apprentice and I were having a laugh about the instructions on a can of spray paint that said 'point away from body during use'...

    about 3 minutes later he shot himself in the eye with canary yellow paint :lol:

    WD40 et al, is OK to penetrate and loosen a rusted or siezed chain, but too thin for general lubrication... and I really question whether you should be using any chain that has had to be freed up (beyond an emergency)...


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