Wow... I didn't expect this much discussion. But I love it.
In my many crossings on Washington State ferries, even in really choppy water, the biggest problem I've seen is sometimes the captain doesn't get the boat perfectly lined up in the slip on arrival, and it hits the pilings on one side which causes the boat to suddenly shift a couple feet to one side or the other. Of course, by this time, all riders are with their bikes, usually ON them with both feet planted on the ground (deck), just in case of that final "lateral adjustment".
As for keeping the front brake on, here's a nifty little device: http://www.cableclamp.com/
When I get my K1200 this weekend, I'll try a couple and report back on which one is the best size to put the squeeze on the front brake lever. And they just came out with the "SeaClamp" that has stainless steel hardware for use out in the elements.
As for sidestands... y'know this is one thing that Harley has done right for years. as soon as the weight of the bike is on the sidestand, it locks in place and isn't going *anywhere*. I've wondered why other manufacturers haven't done something similar.
The sidestand on the GL1500 was horrible. It had practically no overcenter, and if the bike rolled forward just an inch or two the stand would retract. The GL1800 is much better and has quite a bit of overcenter.
My 1972 slashfive had a spring that would retract the sidestand as soon as the weight of the bike was off it. It took quite a while to learn the technique of putting the stand down and leaning the bike onto it in one motion.
And the Moto Guzzi design is even worse. As soon as you put the sidestand down, it kills the engine. Guzzi obviously thinks you need to start and warm up the bike on the centerstand. Of course, this "feature" is easily defeated.