I’m 5′ 10″ with a 31″ inch inside leg and as such the T700 is a tad tall for me. Without lowering it I can ride it just fine but trying to manoeuvre the bike whilst sat on it (especially with rally pegs installed) is all but impossible. With the engine going I can move it forward just fine, of course, but the slightest imbalance and the top heavy T700 is heading towards the ground as you can’t stamp down one side if only the balls of your feet can touch it.. OK, so we need to lower slightly. I dutifully installed the 18mm OEM lowering links and adjusted the forks circa 8-10mm. That worked fine until I decided the seat was made of oak so needed my Grenadier Butt Guard which duly raised the seat height back to stock. Hmm.. OK, replacing the stock seat with the OEM Low Seat helped but I wasn’t quite as confident of controlling this bike in a near fall as I wanted to be.

Right, nothing for it but to bite the bullet and do what I didn’t really want to do: install 40mm lowering links.. (If you do this adjust the forks accordingly circa 18mm from stock height. The forks should raise up 18mm through the yoke. This maintains the bike’s overall geometry and keeps it feeling like stock whilst riding). This felt like sacrilege but it needed to be done. Install complete and the height of the seat was now spot on. (Take note folks, you will shrink as you age. My military papers state at 18 I was 180cm (6 ft). At 29 I re-trained as a commercial pilot. My medical papers state 179cm. I haven’t measured myself lately at 54 and probably don’t want to but I’m guessing 176 or 5′ 10″ is about where I am now. Either way, we shrink and if you’re 24 and laughing at me, I’ll have the last laugh!)

With the Yamaha OEM lowering links installed the bike stood just about OK on the flat. With the 40mm links installed it simply wasn’t going to lean sufficiently at all so the choice was a lowered side stand or reduce the height of the OEM one by cutting out a section and re-welding the aluminium.. During a bit of online research I happened upon the Rally Raid Short side Stand.  The product description read and I quote:

When fitting lowering links, especially 40mm or 50mm lowered, then the motorcycle will not lean over enough when on the OEM side stand, which can cause it to fall over.

Our version allows for the bike to lean over safely with the lowered suspension, and comes complete with a new side stand spring, which is 50% stronger than OEM, and single coil, rather than the weaker twin coil stock spring.

OK, Rally Raid Kickstand installed and off we go. At first it seemed to do the trick. My workshop, where the bike is stored, leans slightly to the left so no worries there. Outside my house it’s flat so no worries there. Then I went into town where the streets have a very slight camber. No go. All my other bikes stood firmly on their side stands in those places but not the T700 with the RR Stand installed. I’d liked to have taken a picture of the very slight camber with the bike in place but on my own that was impossible as the bike would have fallen over. Yesterday I headed up Military Road on the Isle of Wight for a good Sunday blast during some unusually sunny weather which wasn’t forecast. I pulled over to the side of the road which had a very slight left to right camber. Not possible to park the bike and it very nearly caused me to drop the bike, which would have seen myself and the bike sprawled across a main road.

So today I called Rally Raid and spoke to one of their technical guys. He told me that the stand did not work well with the OEM T700 rear spring and that they’d designed it to work with aftermarket springs as “virtually everyone replaces the OEM spring”.. Really? Nowhere in the description on their website does it mention the need to replace the spring for this side stand to work effectively! Again, here is what’s written on their site:

When fitting lowering links, especially 40mm or 50mm lowered, then the motorcycle will not lean over enough when on the OEM side stand, which can cause it to fall over.

Our version allows for the bike to lean over safely with the lowered suspension, and comes complete with a new side stand spring, which is 50% stronger than OEM, and single coil, rather than the weaker twin coil stock spring.

The only workaround for this (short of fitting an expensive aftermarket spring) is to adjust your SAG. You’ll have an adjuster knob pretty much level with the rear of the T700 seat. Turn it clockwise until it locks and then back off a quarter turn. That will adjust your SAG to a place you may or may not not want it but it might stop your bike falling over when parking on normal streets with a little camber.

No. At 40mm lowered the bike is way too upright and liable to fall over to the right. Rally Raid’s description (as of 14/3/22) mentions nothing of the need to replace the spring and the flippancy of the conversation with the tech guy there left a bad taste. I’ll probably skip their products in the future.

UPDATE – 15/03/22 17.00

John Mitchinson, who I’m assuming is the owner of Rally Raid contacted me via FaceBook Messenger and sent me the following message:

Can you call me regarding your post, it is incorrect what you are reporting that I said, I clarified that most riders change their spring to a stiffer one, not that they change the shock, we have sold nearly 1000 operated rear springs for the T7 and many 40 mm lowering links and 20 mm versions without any complaints that our stand is not short enough. I would think the reason it does not lean over enough is more due to the fact you have too much static SAG on the standard shock, as I explained in our telephone call. At no time did I say that most riders change their shock, you must have misunderstood what I was saying. I would appreciate if you would correct your post to reflect that. I would suggest the reason your T7 does not lean over enough with our shorter side stand is due to the fact that, because you have fitted 40mm lowering links, and still retain the OEM shock spring,it has more than the recommended 10%, or 20mm, static sag. This is mainly due to the OEM rear shock being undersprung from stock and then subsequent fitting of the 40mm lowering links causes the spring rate to be even softer, because it moves the rising rate linkage into a softer part of the curve. As we suggest in our lowering link descriptions , and uprated spring section, we suggest adding at least 10% to our recommendations on rider weight to select the correct spring rate. I did discuss all this with you by telephone today, and explained we have sold over 500 uprated springs, which is one of the first T7 owners upgrade on their list, not a complete shock as you have stated. If you choose to write a review, use the correct facts, which I explained this afternoon, I stated we had sold over 500 springs….not shocks.

My response to this message was this:

John, the review was corrected as soon as I saw your post regarding springs/shocks and I remembered that you had indeed mentioned springs. That, however, does not take away from the fact that your short stand is not correctly advertised. When I came across your short stand, I was not looking for lowering links or springs, therefore had any further info regarding the stand been in either of those descriptions, it would have been useless to me (or any other customer) since I wouldn’t have accessed it. What I saw when entering the product page was a description that told me if I had 40mm-50mm lowering links on the bike then this product would solve the side stand issue. Nothing more, nothing less. It did not, therefore it was falsely advertised. It makes not a jot of difference how many stands, springs or anything else have been sold, the description of your short stand was incorrect and the stand does not do what I was told it would do when I forked out £81 to purchase one. How on earth would I know you’d designed the stand to use with uprated or stiffer springs when nothing of the sort was (or is, as of this morning) mentioned in the stand’s product page?

As a customer of Rally Raid I would expect a better (as opposed to bitter) response and not one that blames me for their short-comings. Caveat emptor. And as a final thought.. in a response by John this morning on one of the groups I’m sure I read:

Well, it’s 17.23 and 20 hours after this was posted and the product page has NOT changed.


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