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topic 61140

Want motorcycle kickstand & centerstand that won't rust

August 6, 2020

Q. Motorcycle stand paint wears off and the bottom scrapes where is pivots on the ground and starts rusting. First I tried taking the stock stand to a metal shop to have copy made in SS, the dimensions were off ever so slightly they don't work as well as stock stands. Next I tried chrome plating them and they would start to rust on the border of where they scrape the ground and creep up only after a few months. My next idea is to try zinc plating or line-x bed liner. Any suggestions to keeping a rust free kickstand? My other ideas are just too complicated like making a skid plate out of UHMW plastic like snow plow scraper blades. The factory paint from Kubota for their backhoe buckets doesn't seem to have this issue, the paint will wear off, but the bucket doesn't start rusting in a blistering fashion like my motorcycle stands.

Steve S. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Syracuse, New York

August 2020

A. Hi Steve. A popular google search term is "Why don't manhole covers rust?", and interested readers might check it out. While the composition and surface finish of some heavy things like manhole covers and earthmover buckets may be somewhat different than your kickstands, which may be slightly helpful towards reducing corrosion, it's largely an illusion born of their exposure to an environment that abrades away the rust but exposes them to oils, combined with their great thickness.

No plating or paint is going to stay intact against constant scraping on gravel and concrete. Your ideas of a stainless steel or other rust-resistant material, or a stainless or thick plastic 'tailpiece' are the only ideas that can work permanently. But if you can accept black rather than shiny, I would guess that salt bath nitriding probably offers the best combination of corrosion and abrasion resistance.

Luck & Regards,

pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
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