Please note: This review is in two parts.
1. Unboxing, quality, design and finish.
2. Installation and practical use.
I’ve already reviewed two adjustable side stands for the Tenere 700. The Rally Raid and the T-rex Racing. The former was useless with a 40mm lowered bike and the latter did the job, but not perfectly, so I’m really looking forward to seeing if AltRider took on board my previous findings and solved the problem once and for all. About a year ago I had a long conversation via Zoom with Dylan, who heads up operations for AltRider. I’d reviewed their skid plate a few weeks before and Dylan wanted to chat about future collaborations. During that conversation I brought up the subject of adjustable side stands and let him know my thoughts on the current offerings available, their shortcomings and where they could be improved. He promised to take the idea to his design team and true to his word, a new side stand was released a few weeks ago and one was quickly sent to me to review.
AltRider Stand Specs:
- 7 adjustable height settings, including factory height, up to1 inch (2.5 cm) higher than factory, or up to two inches (5 cm) lower than factory
- Adjustable in 0.5 inch (1.25 cm) increments
- Convex foot ensures large and stable contact patch, no matter the terrain or suspension height
- Enlarged foot won’t sink into soft ground
- Comes with upgraded spring
- Available in black finish
I’m covered in chain lube, have a couple of scratches and bruises, but the installation of this side stand is fairly simple. Just follow the instructions in the video below and you really can’t go wrong.
My only caveat to that would be: when attaching the 3 hole OEM stand bracket to the AR stand it’s very easy to put the bracket the wrong way round, so take care to ensure you have the right orientation. After that, when screwing in the bushing bolt, you’ll need to wiggle the bracket into the right place so the bushing carries on through both the bracket and the stand. If you’re not careful the bushing can catch on the side of the stand hole and tighten there, meaning the bushing is not fully inserted. When you turn the stand bracket round you should see the thread of the bushing bolt protruding a round 10mm. If it’s only 3-4mm the bushing has caught. Loosen it and redo with the bracket hole correctly centred. Other than that, the installation is simple enough. Mine took just under an hour to install, all in, but that was partially due to my aftermarket skid plate, which made getting to the left hand bracket bolt with a hex tool a bit more involved.
This second part of the review is going to be fairly short and sweet. Why? Well, the purpose of the review is really to establish one thing: can this side stand handle a T700 that’s been lowered by 40mm. Having already tested the Rally Raid and T-Rex stands, both of those were good for bikes lowered 30mm or less. Both however, stated they could deal with bikes lowered a fair bit more, but in practise, that wasn’t the case. The T-Rex stand came close but still left the bike too upright and if travelling on a ferry (which I do quite often) I would have had grave concerns for the safety of the bike in even slightly choppy seas. Frankly, if I’m going to invest something between £80 and £200+, I need it to work flawlessly and allow me to sip my latte on the upper deck in peace! So, will the AR Stand do what it says it will?
In a word.. YES! If you’re at 40mm lowered you’ll need the stand adjusted to its shortest point. If you’ve done that then this stand will, indeed, put your bike at the correct angle of lean, similar to how it leans from stock. In the above image you can see that the camber of the road slopes up from right to left and yet the bike can still safely park there. That’s what we’re after! OK, there are extreme road cambers where you simply can’t park a bike and you’ll still need to be aware of ground cambers but a side stand can only do so much. What I was looking for was a stand that would give me a stock lean with a 40mm lowered bike and that is what the AR stand delivers and out of the 3 stands tested it’s the ONLY one that delivers it.
Another thing to note is the foot: it’s around 3 times the size of the stock foot and that bodes well for standing on soft ground without the need for a foot extender. The foot is also angled perfectly so every part of it touches the ground. Good stuff!
The only small downside (which will effect a very small number of us at this time) is that the stand will scrape at two points if you have TwinPegs installed. The stand still works perfectly, retracts upwards just fine and the up and down action is in no way hindered, but you will get two small scratches to the AR Stand’s powder coating. Not a big deal for me, personally, especially as the stand is made from aluminium so those scratches will not rust.
Keep in mind that this stand is not just for lowered bikes and can also be extended past the stock height (by 2.5cm) to provide stability for bikes that have been raised instead of lowered.
Finally! After 3 stands and an awful lot of faffing around changing them, AltRider have, at long last, brought a stand to market that can handle a 40mm lowered bike. Of course, it will also handle everything in between stock and 40mm and I would say it might even sort a 45-50mm lowered bike, but without testing that I can’t say for sure. It adjusts in 12.5mm increments so that will allow you to dial in your stand fairly accurately, something particularly welcome if you’re using adjustable lowering links like the AltRider Variable Lowering Links or Soupy’s. The stand is beautifully made, fits together like a tailor made glove and really addresses all the shortfalls of other stands on the market. If you can stretch to $175 USDs for a side stand, then stretch! You won’t regret it.
Update 1 – 28/01/23
This morning I took a very cold ferry over to the mainland for a Bikers Brekkie. This gave me the chance to test this stand during a sea crossing. I can happily report back that the stand gives more than enough lean to enable me to head to the upper deck and grab a coffee without worrying about the bike remaining upright! Lovely!