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My main question is already in the title, but just to make sure it's clear, what I'm asking is, is there any harm done to the bike if you stop it by lowering the side stand.

Also, if anyone can provide a more elaborate answer, is there any difference between stopping the engine by turning the key, lowering the side stand, or using the kill switch? Or, even better, explain how all three of these actions work technically.

In case there are differences based on the bike, I'm asking for a Triumph Tiger 800 from 2011.

  • Great question. My thinking is it will not matter, but @DucatiKiller might have more to say on the issue. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 16 '16 at 10:04
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    There's what's good for the bike, and then there's what is a good habit to pick up. Certain things need to be done "the right way" because of some dangerous edge case that you may not have thought of. I would use the kill switch or key just because it "feels right", and I would normally be in neutral when turning off the bike, but maybe someone else has some better reasoning. – JPhi1618 Mar 16 '16 at 15:11
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    @JPhi1618 Do you have anything in mind when you mention "dangerous edge case"? I can't see the danger of pushing the side stand with the bike fully stopped. If anything, I would think it's safer, since I can keep both the clutch and the front brake pressed when doing this. – Alin Purcaru Mar 16 '16 at 15:15
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    If you use the side-stand as a 'kill switch' it doesn't harm the vehicle. It would be the same thing as using the kill switch from a technical perspective. – DucatiKiller Mar 16 '16 at 15:21
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    Sorry... An example from DIY.StackExchange - Say you want to change a light fixture. The "right" way is to turn off the breaker to the entire circuit, but what that really does is just disconnect the black wire. Well, turning off the light switch to the fixture also just disconnects the black wire. So that's the same thing! So just turn off the switch and you're safe right? Most people would think that is solid logic, but... What if it is a 3-way switch? What if someone connected a black wire to a white wire somewhere else and now the white is actually hot? Etc. – JPhi1618 Mar 16 '16 at 15:27
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I say no.

Not for any real reason. It won't hurt your bike, I will say that.

My unreal reason revolves around habit and possibly, future risk.

I know riders who did that in the past. Then, later, as the comfort level increased, they would coast up to a stop in gear, clutch pulled in and drop their kickstand thus killing the ignition.

If you need to turn a bit while coasting up to the parking space and dip in enough to hit that kickstand on ground, it's quite a wakeup call.

Before the kickstand kill switch was implemented on modern bikes I have taken off with the kickstand down. Several times. It picked up the back of my bike and destroyed a few kickstands. One time I was going about 45mph when I leaned into a left hander and it high-sided me.

So, technically, your good. You can do that. It won't hurt your bike.

IF, you get comfortable coasting and doing it, then you might have an incident.

Not intended to sound paternal even though it does sound paternal.

Cheers, be safe fellow two wheeled pilot!

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    I'd upvote twice if I could.. Seen what can happen with the sidestand down in motion before.. real good way to hurt yourself at anything much over walking speed. – Leliel Mar 17 '16 at 7:15
  • @Leliel Thanks for comment. When I highsided that time I bent my thumb backwards. It was 3rd time it had happened at that point in my life with more to come. thumb touching wrist. No bueno. – DucatiKiller Mar 17 '16 at 20:16
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    Time I saw it happen was actually my instructor when I first learned to ride, took off on a gn125 with the stand down, it dug in on a lefthander at ~15kph. He was lucky to not be hurt, and visibly shaken, though didn't crash. – Leliel Mar 26 '16 at 23:33
  • "Absolutely terrifying" I did this once on my older brothers GT250 which had sticky side stand. I kicked the stand up, pulled out from the gas station and hit the first left hander on the highway at about 60kph with the stand still down. Literally road the bike up on it's side stand through the corner across onto the wrong side of the road then landed it in a ditch. Didn't drop the bike and never told my brother what happened. Side stand kill switches, best invention ever. – Ian Oakes Jul 25 '17 at 12:09

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