Friday, November 21, 2014

The little things in life

The custom made foot extender for our Triumph Bonneville being made
Sometimes the little things in life make all the difference. As motorcycling is a big part of our life, little things can make a big difference here too. A Triumph Bonneville has a pretty short side stand, which means it leans over quite a bit and thus puts a lot of pressure on the side stand foot. The side stand foot is small, too small, so parking it anywhere that isn't rock solid means the side stand will sink into the ground.

We had been using small bits of wood under the side stand to both lift the bike to a more horizontal position and thus limit the weight on the side stand, as well as dividing the weight over a bigger area. It works, it works very well, but does mean we have to get the little piece of board out virtually everywhere we park. The board gets wet and starts to rot, despite being made from marine ply wood and coated in a thick layer of polyurethane laquer.

Triumph is not the only one with the 'side-stand-sinking-in-the-ground' problem. Lots of bikes have it. Which is why there are so called 'foot extenders' on the market for most 'travel bikes'. Not so for a Triumph Bonneville.

While we visited Holan, I asked for a small piece of aluminium as Holan uses that by the metre for their panniers, to replace the rotting and splitting pieces of wood we had used until then. We explained the problem and where we wanted to use it for… Tomasz looked and rattled something in Polish to the workshop foreman, before taking us for lunch! I had assumed he told him to cut some bits of aluminium to size… he hadn't. He had told them to make two custom made foot extenders out of 5mm thick stainless steel! It's a tricky job as both Bonnevilles have a centre stand fitted, which the foot extenders have to clear, and the side stand only just misses the muffler too. 

Holan makes this foot extender for the Yamaha
too, which fits all the XT660 models.
Having used them for a few weeks now, we couldn't be happier! The 5mm extra means the bikes are more upright and the bigger foot means we can park them virtually anywhere. We only use a small plastic side stand board on soft ground or when we expect a lot of rain but apart from that it's just a matter of kicking out the side stand and park the bike! 

They had a big surprise for Mike too. Holan has a foot extender in their catalogue for the XT660R/Z, and when we came back from lunch they had fitted one! The little things in life that make it so much easier. Thanks Tomasz and the rest of the team at Holan!