Motorcyclists have a way of collecting tools. Most of us started with a small box set that we bought on sale about the time we picked up our first motorcycle. Then, as the two-wheeled obsession grows, so does the tool selection. Although you can get mosts maintenance tasks done with a basic tool set, specialty tools can make the job just a little bit easier. Listed below is a selection of tools that we absolutely love – not that we have them all. (I’m looking at you, bike lift.) Now, we just want to know which of these tools you MOrons couldn’t live without

  • Born to Ride

    Good set of T-Handles will be used in damn near every repair you do on your bike, including oil changes on some bikes *cough Ducati cough*. Other than that, stands are a must. Chain breaker is a mandatory if your bike has a chain. Feeler gauges is another really necessary tool that didn’t make the list. I don’t count tire pressure gauge as a tool since any good air-chuck will have one. Don’t forget the Dead-blow rubber mallet!

    • Evans Brasfield

      I took off the dead blow mallet to make the list 15 items long!

    • RyYYZ

      I didn’t add feeler gauges to my list, because they’re sort of a “specialty” item since the only thing I’ve ever needed them was checking valve clearances. I suppose in the old days I could have used them to set points, too. Might come in handy if I was doing internal engine work, too, I suppose. I’ve always had a couple sets of feeler gauges in my toolbox, though. Also a micrometer, which comes in handy for verifying the sizes of shims.

      • Born to Ride

        Yeah, I’ve had to use mine a bunch, but that’s because I put tens of thousands of miles on air cooled Ducatis that need to be checked a lot.

  • Rocky Stonepebble

    A credit card.

    I used to have a bike lift in my garage/shop that was fully insulated, had a bespoke furnace, 200 amp service, a brand new fridge, BBQ, wifi, phone line, 20′ door at one end to go with the regular door at the other, a mezzanine level, sat dish and a lake view.

    I also had dirty fingernails.

    F**k that. Pay a professional. The job shall be done better and faster. In the long run, money well spent.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      I get my service work done at the KTM or HD dealer while I wait, looking at the new and used bikes and talking to other motorcyclists. Don’t have a garage or too many tools. Just got a stand for my 500 EXC-F to do chain maintenance. Have changed the oil on the Bandit and the 500 EXC-F myself.

    • Johnny Blue

      Some of us enjoy getting their hands dirty. When you’re sitting in front of a computer all day long, working on a bike every now and then keeps the shrink away.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Done it. For years. I’d rather a professional do it. Leaves more time for riding.

        • Johnny Blue

          Arguably it doesn’t leave more time for riding. You need to set an appointment, get the bike there, then go pick it up when it is ready… Lots of wasted time. Depending on how handy you are and with a bit of proper planning, you can get more riding time doing it yourself.
          Then it’s the business aspect of this. A ‘professional’ will always try to do it as fast as he can, so he can work on more bikes and maximize revenue. For this reason they’ll do the minimum required.

          • TC

            And then hope the work is done on time and correctly. I took my FJR to the dealer for the warranty work and it was one excuse after another as to why they didn’t get it done. Finally got them to give me the part and I installed it.

          • Johnny Blue

            That’s another aspect. Especially during the summer months when they’re busier.
            I remember once going with my car to a dealer. After they balanced the wheels it was vibrating so badly from 50mph up. When I looked at the wheels, I saw some HUGE balancing weights… got it to another shop and they did it again and the tires hardly needed any weights. It ran smoothly after that. So much for “professional” work!

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Obviously, your dealer was a dick.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I’ve by and large been riding when I’ve had a minimum of two bikes. And, my university education and my trade ensure that I have multiple thousands of dollars in tools, and am quite handy with them.

            Particularly electronics, plc’s, and electrical work. But, I may assure you, the rebuild of a two-stroke engine was second nature to me.

            So, about more time for riding and appointments? I drop of my bike with an expert that does it with an understanding of my time constraints. Then, I would ride the other bike.

            Also, no matter how “handy” I am, I shall never equal the easy flow of a professional that does this Eight hours a day, five (or six) days a week, and 49 weeks a year.

            One of my countrymen wrote a book called “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.” In it, he discusses specialization of trade and industry. You may better know this as a theory (stolen by) Henry Ford (another Scottish name) used for assembly line production.

            Trust me; no matter how good you are, you are not a patch on the motorcycle mechanic that does this for a living. And, if he does it quickly, so that he may maximize income? Good for him! That is called ‘knowing what one is doing.’

          • therr850

            I have one bike, the tools and knowledge needed and not the money to pay the shop labor. Or the means to get to and from the shop without the bike to ride. I do very much enjoy doing the work and the time doing the work. You apparently don’t but do not look down on those who do.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I do not look down on those that do the work. But, when I have a lump in my armpit, I prefer a fully qualified doctor to fix it. When my RZ is ailing, I take it to Willie Shem Ping in Ajax.

            Also, I have spent thirty years doing the work. I’ve had enough. Time to beat up the credit card, for worry free repairs.

          • therr850

            I am not qualified to work on a lump in my armpit. I and many others do prefer to do our own work. In my case, for the last 45 years. I’ve got brake systems and coolant to flush and bleed and valve clearances to check. Some classic rock on the radio and some otherwise quiet time to enjoy. Happy Holidays sir:}

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Enjoy.

          • Johnny Blue

            I think the lump in your armpit and the worn out clutch on your bike are different issues. Can’t really compare them. But many people suffering from chronic ailments would fare much better by changing their lifestyle and NOT going to a healthcare professional, who’s going to pump them full of drugs, which in the long run are going to make them worse. As with bike mechanics, it really matters which doctor you’re seeing. There are very few great ones.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            FFS … was just a wee joke at the expense of my cancer.

            Yes. Not all bike mechanics are created equal.

            And YES, some folk are too penurious too afford basic repairs done by professionals. And YES, some folk actually enjoy doing bike repairs. And YES, some are able to perform tasks in a timely manner that shall save them time.

            BUT, FFS, I merely shared the opinion of someone who used to enjoy doing the repairs, and who was quite qualified to do ALL OF THE WORK HIMSELF, and just grew tired of the entire fucking routine. My opinion was to say “Fuck it, leave it to the pros.”

            But, you whiny, snivelling twats would not accept that! All I got was a barrage of fucking shit about computers or time or some such crap! FFS, just say you disagree. Give one’s reasons, if one must torture us with such banalities, and leave it be.

            You, John have already stated that there are times when you leave it to a pro. I now do that ALL OF THE FUCKING TIME. And, I know what I am doing and used to have a personal shop set up for it.

            I’m sorry I gave an opinion. Time to make supper, and grab a beer.

          • Johnny Blue

            I’m sorry about you having cancer, It’s a horrible disease with an even worse treatment.
            And we were doing the same, sharing opinions… no need for the strong language…

          • Johnny Blue

            I did not say he does it quickly. I said he minimizes the amount of work done. When I was in Toronto I only had work done by Pro6cycle, or Riders’ choice and suspension work done by John Sharrard at Accelerated Technologies . People who really know bikes and can be trusted to do a great job. But quick it was not in most cases, because they’re also very busy.
            Even at half the speed of someone who does it for a living, I still save time compared to taking it to a shop. Having two bikes definitely helps, but it also means more money spent on maintenance, insurance etc. I had not two, but three bikes at some point.
            As for more time for riding… it gets boring to go to the same places, all the time. I’m riding daily, but commuting to work and back. That’s why I took up dirt and track riding. Street riding does tend to get boring after a while, unless going for a longer trip to see new places.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Was Sharrard in Omemee at the time?

          • Johnny Blue

            I don’t remember the name of the place. It was about 9 years ago. All I remember was going on a dirt road from the main road to his house, when I went to pick up the bike. It was a beautiful place, hidden in the woods, invisible from the road and very easy to miss.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            That was Omemee. At the time, I lived about 20 minutes from there. Think he is still there. If you came from Trawna, and knew what you were doing, you took 401- 35 -Mount Horeb road. Then, off to John’s.

            Also, did you Watch the Neil Young live special last week on-line, or on CTV? That was from the town hall on main street Omemee.

            Sharrad has been there for years.

          • Johnny Blue

            I guess you’re right, but I have no recollection of the location. He was nice enough to come by my place in Toronto and load the bike in his truck. I only went to his place once, to pick it up. Afterwards I’ve only met him at track days.

            I left Canada in 2012… I only read the news from Canada and most of the time I get angry with where the country is headed.
            As for TV, even if could get Canadian content here, I would be unable to watch it. I have not owned a TV in almost a decade. Even before that I watched very little TV. The Agenda with Steve Paikin was my favorite.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            Use a proxy server, and watch online. I suggest Goggle Chrome. Then look through their choices. CBC and TVO are usually okay even for foreign viewers.

            Two chaps named Wolf and Shem Ping have done my bikes for the last three decades. Both are former Yamaha Canada Superbike Team chief maniacs.

            We have probably crossed paths! lol

          • Johnny Blue

            I’ve met once a guy who was working for Yamaha. It was at a track day at Shannonville. I don’t think we introduced ourselves, but I was riding a Yamaha R6 and I asked him something about the bike. I remember him dodging the question for ‘liability reasons’. He was there assisting a kid with Asian features. The kid was already fast and promising.
            Maybe I’ll give CBC and TVO a try one of these days if I’ll have a bit more time during the holidays. Brings back memories. 🙂

          • Rocky Stonepebble
          • Johnny Blue

            Thank you!

  • Matt O

    I use my tire pressure gauge more than any other single tool, at least once a week. The rest depends on the bike. My vfr seems to have a thousand hex key bolts, while my ’79 Honda can pretty much be completely taken apart with a 10mm, 14mm and JIS screwdriver.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      My KTM 1190 Adventure R came with a toolkit which is so comprehensive I have used it for everything, including working on other bikes. On the other hand the toolkit that came with my new KTM 500 EXC-F doesn’t fit anything on the bike. It is called a 4-stroke toolkit but I don’t know what it is good for. I just ordered another 1190 toolkit for the 500 and will add any special tools that are needed.

      • Jon Jones

        Yep, the KTM-supplied tools are high-quality, indeed. Wondering if you were given the wrong kit for your new bike?

        • Sayyed Bashir

          Well it came inside the huge black zippered KTM folder / book you get with a new bike that has your owners manual, accessory catalog, spare key etc. I don’t think it is the wrong kit. It just doesn’t have the general purpose tools you need to take off panels, change the oil, or anything else. I think they just stuck some emergency tools in there but I haven’t figured out what they are used for. The 1190 toolkit got most of the fasteners off but I still had to steal a allen wrench from the Suzuki Bandit toolkit.

  • TC

    You can never have too many tools, unless you are trying to carry them on your bike.

    • Sayyed Bashir

      Yes, that is a big challenge. Don’t be like Ewan and Charley and break the sub-frame on the bike. They carried everything except the kitchen sink.

      • Mary

        Google is paying 97$ per hour,with weekly payouts.You can also avail this.
        On tuesday I got a great New Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $11752 this last four weeks..with-out any doubt it’s the most-comfortable job I have ever done .. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
        !da244d:
        ➽➽
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleNewNetJobsServiceOpportunities/earn/hourly ★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫★★✫★✫:::::!da244lu

        • Jon Jones

          What’s your favorite tool, doll?

      • TC

        …until they moved it all to the chase vehicle.

    • W Donald

      Exactly , the correct amount of tools is X + 1 , mind you motorcycles are the same 🙂

  • W Donald

    I have 3 toolsets , firstly is my fully equipped workshop with almost everything except a tyre changing machine , then I have a toolbox which I take with when we trailer the dirt bikes to riding areas for weekends and lastly is the toolkit on my adventure bike , this is pared down to minimum with whatever is required to repair the bike on trips .
    One thing I learnt is that good quality tools are worth their weight in gold , so Snap On and Beta prevail .

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      Have owned both. My ex-wife kept them! Ever try Hazet? F*****g top quality stuff.

      Still have lots of Snap-On. Also, Xcelite and Channel Lock are great.

      • W Donald

        My ex threw away 2/3 of my racing trophies and took all our camping things including my KTM single sleeper tent , but she didn’t touch the tools , well I used them to make a living so legally she didn’t have a choice .
        Hazet I haven’t seen locally , but bear in mind that I am in Africa

    • Sayyed Bashir

      What about lightweight aluminum tools from Motion Pro?

      • W Donald

        I do have a few Motion Pro special tools , I have never considered the aluminium tools though , would be useful for the touring bike .

  • Jon Jones

    Can’t live without duckbill pliers.

  • Martin Buck

    For years I problems with cross head screws. Especially the stripped variety that the previous owners of my used bikes had failed to remove. I recently discovered the solution, a set of Japan Industry Standard screwdrivers made by Vessel, and available on Amazon. I tried three different sizes of Phillips drivers, which only made the stripped screw head more determined to remain fixed in place. Then the JIS #2 and Voila! Instant and faultless screw removal. Vessel JIS screwdrivers are essential, because Japan does not use Phillips head, they use JIS. Many bike shops don’t even know this. Get yourself a set, you’ll thank me.

    • TC

      There is usually a set of Allen bolts to replace the soft as cheese factory JIS bolts. Sold as a set for the particular engine.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      Every time I’ve pulled a bolt/screw, I’ve replaced it with the highest quality Robertson head or Allen head equivalent.

  • Tire Pressure, T-handles, 6pt Metric Sockets, Safety Wire Pliers.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      Always get 12 point. Also, don’t forget to tell newbies to ensure that tire pressure gauge is a 90° angle gauge.

      • Jeff Kasken

        Stick with the 6 point, less chance to strip the nut or bolt.

        • Rocky Stonepebble

          Tight spots.

          • For race bikes frequent fastener removal and re-torqing make a 6pt a much more precise and sensible option…. also T-handles make finite rotation easy to manage for getting the 6pt socket properly seated over the fastener.

          • But I’m with you on the 90-degree (or even 135-degree-ish) pressure chuck.

          • Rocky Stonepebble

            I have thousands of dollars of hand tools. Sockets both imperial and metric. Six point and twelve. Snap-On, Hazet and the chain brands.

            Most of the readers here do not. Nor, are they running a race team. and I bet for most, any particular fastener on any bike they own is only ever manipulated once by them. That is why I recommend twelve point. For tight situations.

            But, I more than understand your point.

  • TC

    How about a set of torx drivers, and that funny little external torx wrench you will need to remove or adjust the shift lever on a BMW R1200? Also, a 12v air pump and a multimeter.

  • RyYYZ

    High quality screwdrivers and Allen keys/bits in various sizes and lengths.
    High quality combination wrenches.
    High quality socket set – 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2″ drives.
    1/2″ 16″ breaker bar.
    Torque wrenches (low and high range).
    Oil filter socket (need to get one)
    Dead blow hammer.
    Various pliers (linesman’s, side cutters, needle nose, Vise grips, etc).

    The above take care of 95% of the mechanical work I do. Occasionally I will need “special” tools like a set of feeler gauges (did my own valve clearance checks and adjustments on a ZG1000 Concours, ZRX1100, and DL1000 V-Strom), or circlip pliers, but the above are essentials for any kind of mechanical work.

    • TC

      And a high quality curse word dictionary, which will cover about 95% of the work I do.

      • RyYYZ

        No dictionary needed, I have a vast supply of high quality curse words at hand, LOL. @$!%$%$^%$!

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      The only specialty tool I ever required was an armature puller from Yamaha. But, that was to get at the stator of an RZ to rewind it. Now, with my history of RZ ownership, I feel that was twenty dollars well spent. Bonus? My crazy Kenyan pal offered to rewind all nine(?) coils for me! He already had the wire and did it that night … drunk … then a company in Woodbridge dipped it for free (I was a frequent customer).

      As to pliers? Read the packaging; “side cutters” are ‘diagonally cutting’ pliers, and “needle nose” are ‘long nose’ pliers. I recommend Channel Lock brand. Although, Klein makes great linesman pliers and they own Ideal (I think) which makes the best crimpers going. Second best is Sta-Kon.

  • Keith T Robinson

    i said tyre pressure gauge because if you don’t have air in your tyres the rest of the tools aren’t shit.

    • Rocky Stonepebble

      LOL! Every now and then I type “tyre”, and have to go back and correct it.

      Stop it! The others shall tire of this, and go insane.

  • JG

    Not a fair survey. There is more than one tool in that list that are essential to my kit.

  • Buzz

    Cell phone.

  • you might need a few tie zips and a couple of more tools on top of the company’s box

  • IslandTosh

    Survey needs to allow multiple selections…

  • William Merriman

    How about a Tire Plugger?