Oh yeah, the center stand
Times were tough for Meriden in 1972. I won’t go into the whole story as I’ve heard it, but they made a bunch of mistakes with the launch of the Oil-In-Frame bikes in 1971.
An interesting read on the subject is in Abe Aamidor’s book Shooting Star
, which is kind of heartbreaking but there’s some hard lessons in it.
The center stand was one of the mistakes I corrected on this bike. Like it was, it was more like a pair of stilts and pretty difficult to engage.
My 1962 Thunderbird goes up on its stand like butter, that’s because the center stand is behind the center of gravity and at the right height.
Nothing I can do about the center of gravity but through some research and phone calls I got the proper stand.
It came out after an engineering change, which is part # 83-4941
Mid-1972 production, Triumph changed the frame for the 650 bikes to what’s called the Low Frame.
If you ask me, with a 30” inseam, lowering that seat down to the same height as pre 1971 is all good.
As far as I know, Triumph stayed with the same basic Low Frame throughout the T140 and TR7 years.
But anyway, there was a change of the center stand mounting position with the advent of the low frame.
Even though the frames have the same ground clearance the attach point for the center stand was moved down ¾” and back some amount to try and correct its faulty placement too far forward, thus making it difficult to use.
That change to the mounting point made the bike sit ridiculously high on the center stand with the old 1971 casting.
A very exhaustive thread can be seen here, where the whole thing got figured out
Center Stand Modification | Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
I had no idea center stand talk was so popular. Kind of like an oil thread but less controversial!
That week-long thread got about the same number of views as this one that's 4 months old ;-) @GrandPaulZ
Here’s my theory on what happened:
83-2627: '71-'72 650 High Frame up to CG 50414: 10-1/8" tall to center of pivot bolts
83-4615: '72 650 Low Frame after CG 50414: 10” tall (same casting but they snuck the pivot holes down 1/8” lower to 10”)
83-4941: ’72 650 Low Frame after CG 50414 (retrofit with 1973 stand): 9-3/8" tall
83-4941:'73-’79, T140 and TR7 bikes: 9-3/8" tall
Before and after pictures along with comparison of the stands