One of the essential ingredients of any home mechanic’s toolbox is a set of combination wrenches in all the common sizes for your bike. After a while, many motorcycle mechanics find they need a stubby set of combination wrenches to get into a tight spot. With that first step down the rabbit hole of wrench variations, they begin a long and interesting journey toward adjusting fasteners that previously were unreachable. Here are some of our favorite styles of combination wrenches for your perusal. And remember, if you happen to buy any of these wrenches MO gets a small infusion of cash to keep the doors open and the motorcycle articles coming.
We ride motorcycles because we like to. It’s the most fun way to get from Point A to Point Wherever. As motorcyclists, we have enough stress to deal with from work, and road hazards. Any little extra way we can relieve stress is welcome. This time of year, some people get all worked up over basketball. Forget your brackets, fill up your cart with some sweet deals on motorcycle gear and accessories that will make your ride a little easier.
Thanksgiving means it’s time for family, football, turkey, and, of course, Black Friday shopping. While you’ve been scarfing down stuffing or watching the Bears down the Lions (spoiler alert!), we looked around and compiled a list of some of the best Black Friday deals for motorcyclists.
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
We all know the cliché: The motorcyclist who is intimately acquainted with all the parts of his motorcycle. His man cave may not have a TV, but it has a bike lift. Then there are the tools, cabinets of them. However, like most truisms, they are only partially based in fact. Yes, there are home mechanics who fit this description perfectly, but there are also tons of riders who never turn a wrench on their bikes. Is the distinction the difference between hobbyists and and dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts? It would be easier if the answer were that simplistic, but the reasons people have for wrenching – or not – on their motorcycles are as varied as the people out riding bikes.
All mechanics, even casual ones, should have a torque wrench – or two. Why? Because if you don’t torque a fastener down tight enough, you risk having it vibrate loose. Go too far when tightening something, and you’ll strip the threads or break the fastener. Torque wrenches come in a couple varieties. The least expensive (and least useful) is a wrench that has two bars. The first is the hand grip and the second is the pointer. As you tighten a bolt you bend the bar with the handle, moving a gauge under the pointer. Don’t waste your money on this type. Not only is it not terribly accurate, but also it requires that you be able to look at the wrench while using it. The tight spaces of motorcycles don’t always allow this to happen.
Now you’re in a pickle! You thought that with just a little more effort the bolt would turn. It did – only the head twisted off in the process. Perhaps, instead, the corners of the bolt are rounded beyond recognition. Or maybe you just stripped the phillips out of the phillips head screw. Regardless, the fastener is damaged beyond repair. What do you do now?
When setting out for a tour, be it extended or just a weekend jaunt, you need to plan for any hurdles you may encounter on the way. The best strategy to increase your odds of being able to continue your ride after a mishap or mechanical issue is to carry a tool kit that includes more than just the basics. While your bike probably came with a factory kit, you’d be foolish to count on it to serve as anything more than a paperweight. Read on to see what tools I think you should carry – at a bare minimum – on your next tour.
Folks who ride motorcycles frequently have a high level of independence. So, when it comes to touring by bike, many choose to go their own way instead of signing up with a company organized tour. While this is particularly common when the ride begins from your home turf, you can also do it when you decide to rent a bike in some remote exotic locale.
One of the most basic maintenance tasks a motorcyclist can do is changing the oil of their bike, and Back in the Bad Old Days™, a shade tree mechanic had no qualms about emptying a pan of used motor oil under a bush behind the garage. Well, now we know better. So, get yourself a good oil catch pan that you can seal up and take to your local oil recycling center (usually an auto parts store). If you don’t do this, you’ll slowly add to the toxic chemicals in the water table.