You’ve already noticed that motorcycles, unlike automobiles, need additional owner attention and care to keep them running smoothly and, most importantly, safely. And because of that, you’ll need another set of tools in your motorcycle tool box to ensure good performance.
Below is listed the essential tool box basics for simple every day needs.
You’ll need to do simple adjustments such as your drive chain; check and manage tire pressure; test horn operation, signal and headlamp functions. All of these as any good motorcycle rider knows are daily or weekly basic checks. These checks will increase your confidence and have you worrying less when riding – knowing your motorcycle is in tip-top shape. And with a bit more knowledge and confidence you’ll be able to keep your bike in good shape and eventually service it at home if you’re up for it. It’s far easier than you think! Much of the simple maintenance on a motorcycle can be “DIY” – do it yourself while saving you on costs – eventually thousands over the years. But you do need the right tools.
Get Equipped to Handle Basic Daily Needs
If you’re just starting out or you’ve finally decided its time to get equipped to handle the basic daily needs on your motorcycle you’ll likely be tackling jobs that include the following:
- Spring load adjustments
- Chain adjustments
- Tire pressure checks/changes
- Oil checks and top ups
- Cable adjustments
- Fitting accessories such as luggage racks
Without having to spend unnecessary dollars on tools you’ll never use, we’re going to take you through three episodes with the addition of a rebuild /modification module as a bonus; highlighting the tools required specific to the task and mechanical experience you’ll be tackling.
So let’s start at the beginning with Part One:
Tool Box Basics for Daily Use
1. Owners Manual and Service and Repair Manual: budget $50.00 upwards.
Your motorcycle should come with its own operator’s manual/owners’ manual providing you all relevant service and working procedures to care for your motorcycle in best way possible specific to your motorcycle. If you purchased your bike used from a dealership or private source (a good prior owner will have the manual with all relevant service notes) often the book is not available. You can contact the manufacturer to get one or better yet simply opt to purchase the mechanic’s or shop manual. These are pricier but the ultimate bible to your motorcycle total maintenance needs. And as you get more involved and your mechanical ability this will be your most valuable reference tool. (Check sites like Haynes on-line to purchase)
2. Tire Pressure Gauge: Budget: $5. – $80.00 ( MOTORESS SHOP)
Having your own tire pressure gauge is a must. Even when your motorcycle is not in use, tyres can lose pressure. Tank station gauges are seldom accurate. You can imagine, they’ve been abused, thrown around even run over. Always use your own gauge for accuracy after adding air to your motorcycle. Plus with your own gauge because each one measures slightly different, you’ll be consistent.
3. WD 40 Oil Spray: Budget – $5.- $7.00
Love the stuff! You’ll use it everywhere on everything – lubing cables, greasing nuts even great for cleaning rims! Get the new version pictured above with the at long last – ‘you can’t lose it” straw.
4. Allen Key(s) or Hex Key(s): Budget is $10. – $15.00
Whatever motorcycle you own you’ll need a set of these. Motorcycles characteristically use these six-sided screws, bolts, and other fasteners for clean tamper free finishing.
5. Ratchet or Socket Set: Budget – $90.00 up
Avoid buying cheap socket sets. Good quality sets are not expensive. They come in various size kits most importantly you’ll need to ensure it includes a 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19 and 20 mm plus an extra-large 27 or 32mm socket for axle nuts.
6. Screwdrivers: Budget – $40.00 up
You’ll only really need four: two short or stubby ones for working in the narrower spaces, plus one long flat-head and one cross-head.
7. Wrenches & Hook Spanner (or Spanners in UK/EU terms): Budget – $50. – $150.00
Ring wrenches are stronger than open wrenches. Find a combination set that has both – one end is ringed, the other open. Include separately in this category the ‘hook spanner” you‘ll need one of these for adjusting your rear shock when carrying a passenger or extra baggage. Be sure to go for quality here and not the bargain. The investment will last a lifetime
8. Paddock Stand: Budget – $100.00 up
If your motorcycle has a centre stand you won’t need one of these. If not a paddock stand is essential. There are different types depending on whether your bike has a single or double swing arm. It’s best to have swing-arm bobbins fitted to make lifting easier. But some paddock stands have various adjustable lift arms to suit the need of the bike. This you’ll have to check. These are great for fast and easy chain adjustments, rear rim cleaning and when the bike is parked for a long time.
9. Drill: Budget – $40. – $120.00
This is every woman motorcycle rider’s handy tool for home and indeed for motorcycle. You’ll use it when fitting accessories, cleaning rims and if you get to the race track you’ll need it to bore small holes into to screws/bolts to fasten them with race wire.
10. Small Cooking Funnel: Budget – $10.00
These work the best for mess of fuss topping up your oil. Easily cleaned and easy on the budget.
11. Air Pump: Budget: Budget – $15. – $40.00
Many times you’ll need to add or lower tyre pressure at home. Owning a tire pump is the handiest thing. They’re inexpensive and do the trick another must have!
If you have a tool box now, clean it out and remove the junk . If you’re like many, the tool box tends to be a catch-all over the years. You may also want to start fresh and buy a new tool box keeping the household tools separate from the motorcycle tools.
Get rid of the cheap tools but replace them with better quality and you are, as they say – you;’re now – “good to go”!
*Prices above are in Canadian Dollars; are estimates and do not reflect taxes