7 Tools and Tips to Help You Save Money on Your Motorcycle
Motorcycle ownership sometimes comes with the expectation of a certain amount of do-it-yourself maintenance and repair. But, some of that work may require unique tools that you don’t already have in your toolbox. Motorcycle enthusiast Bryan Glynn shares his picks for seven tools that every motorcycle owner should have to do regular maintenance and save some money in the process.
Hey guys, Brian hear from TwoWheelObsession.com, and today I’m going to go over my top seven tools and picks for saving you money while working on your motorcycle in the garage.
No. 7 is a high-quality ratchet and torque wrench. The ratchet is indispensable — you use this thing all the time on the motorcycle. You don’t want one that’s going to save you a few bucks in advance, but break on you after 10 uses. This is the case of, you do get what you pay for. Whether or not you have fancy features like an extending handle and flip rotatable head, anything like that, you just want to make sure that the ratcheting mechanism is backed up by a quality warranty.
Having a high-quality torque wrench is absolutely indispensable every single bolt on your motorcycle and most vehicles for that matter have torque specs. It’s very important to follow them and be within the correct range. Using a high quality unit with the correct torque range for the application is absolutely critical.
No. 6: Sockets and Allen wrenches. Obviously, absolutely indispensable for working on any bike. Make sure if you have a metric bike, you have a full metric set of tools. Likewise, if you have an American-made bike, make sure you have not only a high-quality set of metric tools but also SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers).
No. 5 is a good multimeter. You don’t need to go crazy and spend hundreds of dollars — although if you do a lot of electrical work, especially outside working on bikes, you’re going to want one. But, a basic unit; something that is say more than 10 bucks — one with quality switches, a nice digital display for better accuracy than the old needle types. This is more than enough for fixing and diagnosing anything on your motorcycle’s electrical system.
Something I find indispensable and, not only time-saving, but hassle saving, is a simple box of rubber gloves. You can use mechanics gloves, too, but a lot of jobs are very dirty, oily and greasy, and I like disposable gloves because I might go through 10 sets of these doing one particular job — if I have to have them on and off, especially making videos for you guys. Twenty bucks is going to last you probably a year or two of doing your own maintenance, and it keeps your hands safe and clean.
If you have any kind of modern bike, you’re going to eventually need a manometer if you want to sync your own throttle bodies. Lots of people don’t realize that sinking your throttle bodies greatly diminishes any felt vibration throughout your bike. It’s regular, scheduled maintenance. It can save you hundreds of dollars over the life of your bike versus having the dealer do it. It’s very easy to do in virtually every bike. It needs to be done every few thousand miles and one purchase of this specialty item — admittedly a little expensive — pays for itself the very first time you use it.
Special spanner tools are often needed and used for things such as setting your suspension preload or torqueing your steering bearings. These are very inexpensive, especially nowadays, when you can go online shopping, but they’re very handy, because they are required for regular scheduled maintenance.
If you have a new bike, you’ve got an owner’s manual. If you’ve got a bike that you bought used — pretty much if it’s in the last 20 years of production, you can go to the manufacturer’s website and download a free PDF copy. The most important thing in here is the scheduled maintenance table. It’s always going to be near the front of the book. It also is going to produce all the fluid and torque specs that you need — very important.
But even better is the service manual. This is relatively expensive at 50 to 100 bucks, but it is worth every penny. You can do anything to the bike the dealer can with one of these manuals and the right tools, and a little bit of work on your part. The biggest tip I have for that is: the OEM manual is more geared towards the mechanically inclined or the professional mechanic, whereas the third-party manuals, they can be a little bit more explicative and help you through the steps. Can’t hurt to have both. I would always recommend the OEM first, then get yourself a third-party manual if you need that extra step of help.
So, I hope this helps you guys. These are just my personal tips on saving you money, working on your own motorcycles see you next time.