Most modern scooters come with both a side stand and a centre stand. The side stand is easily deployed allowing the scooter to lean to the left side. The scooter must be hoisted up onto the center stand. This is not normally difficult as these stands are well designed with a lever at the bottom which, when stepped upon (at least by a person my size) practically parks the scooter on the stand with no further effort. For a small person, this might be a bit harder but, as I say, it is well designed (the harder one lifts, the more force is put on the pedal and they work together). Personally, unless on firm, level ground, I would not trust the side stand on a scooter or any bike whose wheels cannot be locked in place by setting a parking brake or leaving it in gear.
When the side stand is used, most of the weight of the vehicle is still on the wheels and if there is any slope, the scooter can slither downhill, and if it is nose-downhill, the side stand will fold up as it goes, dropping the scooter on the ground. Also, if the ground is at all soft, the side stand may sink in, perhaps quickly, perhaps 20 minutes later. I saw both happen, or nearly happen, several times before I stopped using the side stand altogether. Of course, the center stand can also sink into soft soil but will probably do so evenly on both sides and will not go far before the wheels touch down and stop the sinking process, by which time it will be well anchored.
There is a technique for the center stand that even the smallest guy in the factory can put the biggest bike up:
- Stand a little to the rear of the center stand extention rod
- Put your foot on the extention rod and press down just so the center
- stand touches the ground, no pressure.
- Balance the bike so both sides of the center stand touch the ground >(this is where most new riders make a big mistake, they try to push >while the bike is really on one side and that's way too heavy!)
- Grab the rear rack or under the seat with your right hand
- Stand on your left foot that is on the extention rod
- Pull on the rear rack, it comes easy after a couple of tries.
The scooter will come off of the center stand if pushed forward. The center stand retracts quickly to the rear. This drop from the stand and be a very jarring experience for the scooter and can, over time, cause damage to electrical connections and other metal parts subject to metal fatigue. It is not hard to take the scooter off of the center stand gently by stepping on the stand lever, pushing the scooter forward and gradually releasing pressure on the lever -- letting the scooter come down gently onto its tires.
In summary, use the centre stand as a matter of course. Dealers and mechanics are used to having level firm ground and may recommend the side stand. The world is not uniformly level nor hard. Don't get into the habit of relying on it.
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