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Thread: Tool kit

  1. #1
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    Default Tool kit

    Been accused of not doing sufficient searches before but couldn't find anything that really addresses this. You are building a bike. You may have some control over the engine by replacing bolts but most of the frame and accessories are really up to you. What connectors, nuts, bolts do you select to reduce the size or increase the functionality of your toolkit that you carry? I'm thinking of how can you reduce wrench sizes, maybe use fewer allen wrench sizes, etc. Maybe even reduce the tool kit to attachements to a particular size ratchet. I personally think there is a particular level of hell reserved for those who mix different size phillips, slotted, and allen heads on the same motorcycle--god forbid you mix metric and SAE threads!. Any one kind of head type is bad enough! Or is this one of those things that no one thinks about? To me, just a few $$$ in connectors can make life on the road so much easieir. Another thought is those universal tools with slots to match bolt head sizes. Might be worth making a custom tool (or two) with custom cutouts to reduce the number of tools one carries.

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    Two smallish toolbags will take a Harley down to the cases including removing the primary and transmission. (Real men don't need torque wrenches.)

    If I go on a road trip I open two bags and load 'em. My shit doesn't break often but it seems someone else's bike always shits the bed so I don't travel light.

    The best electrical defense is building your motorcycle such that it rarely shits the bed and wiring it properly in the first place. Spare splices, lugs and heat shrink fit an Altoids tin.

    I always have a folding hex key set in my riding jacket and whenever I have pants on there's a Leatherman 300 on my belt.

    I carry an "air thief" (hose with one locking and one standard tire chuck) and a BMW tire pump on very long trips but I don't road trip with spoked wheels so they've gotten little use. Tube death equals "you are fucked" unless you feel like carrying two different tubes (patch kits don't cover all bases). I only run tubes on old Britbikes which came with spokes because a flat tube is game over. I'm even putting mags on my FXLR because I despise tubes after growing up with the motherfuckers. I'm comfortable changing them by the roadside but even more comfortable not having to. I use a lot of locking hardware and red Loctite. If it doesn't fall off, it's not a problem.

    I bobbed a good Cresecent wrench by cutting the handle in half. It fits pocket or tool bag nicely, gets axle nuts with a push of a boot, and is so useful around the shop I'm gonna whack a couple more. I welded a 13/16 box end to the handle to get spark plugs.

    I carry a points setup in a ziplock bag. They are easy to eyeball and get right so I don't bother with a feeler gauge.

    The only notable metric hardware on an HD is 10mm battery bolts.

    If you know all your sizes you can just bring what fits. If you want to bring what fits but need to refresh yourself, picture "x job" and toss those tools one by one into yer road bag.

    I use a small, light stainless steel hydraulic tubing cheater tube to extend ratchets and wrenches. Leverage is good, and a 12" extension plus large deepwell socket (like a 13/16 spark plug socket) makes a good cheater bar too. Always carry a universal joint and extensions.

    I got mine from Uncle Sugar, but these are what I use for all sort of tools and take on the road:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Olive-Drab-H...-/161886678642

    These go in my trucks:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mechanics-Ta...-/262071305434

    Leather motorcycle toolbags suck and can leak small tools. They don't take overloading nearly as well as proper tool bags.

  3. #3

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    Lots of great advice by Farmall

    On my ADV bikes I use a few tricks and carry a fair bit of stuff but will just try and keep it relavant to a HD on the paved road:

    Cable ties in various sizes - weigh nothing and always handy
    Longish bit of wire with alligator clip on one end - hot wire coil etc
    Strips of duct tape placed on top of each other somewhere on the bike - peel them off when you need them
    Fuses if you are running them
    Tire levers cable tied to frame tubes - you can run a 21" tube in the rear to get yourself going again if need be
    Metal putty for repairing cracked cases etc
    Chain split link hanging off vest/jacket
    Headlamp torch - if you cant see it you cant fix it and they free your hands

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    Some good hints here on what to carry but I'm in the design/building stage. I'm trying to think of things I can do NOW to reduce the number of tools required to fix common problems on the road. Ideal would be needing only one or two common tools to repair anything on the bike. As hinted above, I would even consider custom making a tool -- like the specialized tools for AR-15s. The obvious first step is to reduce the number/type of connectors. Enlarge holes (or shrink by welding/adding bushings but that would be rare) so more connectors are the same size. I'm searching online for some bolts that may have different shafts but same hex heads or allen sockets (haven't tried Torx yet) to reduce tool count for instance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Two smallish toolbags will take a Harley down to the cases including removing the primary and transmission. (Real men don't need torque wrenches.)

    If I go on a road trip I open two bags and load 'em. My shit doesn't break often but it seems someone else's bike always shits the bed so I don't travel light.

    The best electrical defense is building your motorcycle such that it rarely shits the bed and wiring it properly in the first place. Spare splices, lugs and heat shrink fit an Altoids tin.

    I always have a folding hex key set in my riding jacket and whenever I have pants on there's a Leatherman 300 on my belt.

    I carry an "air thief" (hose with one locking and one standard tire chuck) and a BMW tire pump on very long trips but I don't road trip with spoked wheels so they've gotten little use. Tube death equals "you are fucked" unless you feel like carrying two different tubes (patch kits don't cover all bases). I only run tubes on old Britbikes which came with spokes because a flat tube is game over. I'm even putting mags on my FXLR because I despise tubes after growing up with the motherfuckers. I'm comfortable changing them by the roadside but even more comfortable not having to. I use a lot of locking hardware and red Loctite. If it doesn't fall off, it's not a problem.

    I bobbed a good Cresecent wrench by cutting the handle in half. It fits pocket or tool bag nicely, gets axle nuts with a push of a boot, and is so useful around the shop I'm gonna whack a couple more. I welded a 13/16 box end to the handle to get spark plugs.

    I carry a points setup in a ziplock bag. They are easy to eyeball and get right so I don't bother with a feeler gauge.

    The only notable metric hardware on an HD is 10mm battery bolts.

    If you know all your sizes you can just bring what fits. If you want to bring what fits but need to refresh yourself, picture "x job" and toss those tools one by one into yer road bag.

    I like these.

    Wiring--I find myself liking larger gauge wires than usual. But I have to keep myself from adding too much extra length "just in case". Its not like a house where you can put a bit extra into the wall for when you replace an outlet or switch!

    Like your modified tools! The idea of shortening the wrench and carrying a cheater is good. Wonder about ways to make the cheater do double duty. I have used combination wrenches as cheaters in the past but I don't think it would work on the ratchet.

    I need to get a plug kit. New bike may have both a spoke and mag wheel. Will likely put a tube in the Mag so I don't have to carry a plug kit.


    For my current bike I like to evaluate my toolkit by doing the work with what I carry. If I need another tool from the shop I evaluate how likely I am to need it on the road. Can't carry everything but using just your toolkit is good practice and a way to find its shortcomings.

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    well, this carpenter's tool belt bag carries everything i need:


    mounted in the same location as the leather carpenter's belt bag, this one is a little out there, but still securely holds essential tools (crescent wrenches, locking pliers, duct tape, zip ties and a hammer for adjusting the mirrors on cages that get too close):

    what is it? i scored this from a pig farmer who formerly used it on the discharge chute of his manure spreader to break up the "chunks". he made it, i re-purposed it.

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    Doing the front brake lines on my 2012 Sporty and just found out the banjo bolt bolts are fucking metric. Not the size of the banjo hole,...the size of the bolt head that secures the banjo. Who build a bike 99% SAE then uses 2 metric bolts?? At least it's not a socket I would need to keep in a bag.

    And why use a mix of torx and hex heads? Doubles the amount of bits needed in your bag.

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    A jumper wire that is long enough to go from your + battery terminal to the + side of your coil will bypass the ignition switch and main breaker to help get you home if either one fails you in an emergency on a kick start bike. You'll have to turn off your bike by turning off your gas though.
    The way to keep your tools from falling out of your bags is to put them in a sock and wrap it w/ electrical tape w/a twisted tail left on the end. The tail to pull it back off easy and the sock doubles as a rag.

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    Awesome advice posted, but ya just always seem to need the one fuckin thing ya didn't pack, Murphy's law i guess, one day when i do make it to hell, im gonna meet that murphy dude, and after we have a beer and laugh about all the ass fuckins he dished out, im gonna bust the fuckin bottle over his mutha fuckin head then gash him in the fuckin throat with the busted off bottle end.
    Don't know where that came from but i feel better now, thanks for listening. 😠

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    There aren't terribly many different fasteners on most bike, but their position is what drives the use of different tools.

    Want max reliability? Build the thing with aircraft hardware, all-metal locknuts, locking nutplates and copy systems designed to stay in the air where you can't fix them.

    If a system breaks often, it is inadequately or badly designed, or badly maintained.


    Chopping is an opportunity to correct design defects, and we can remember the frist purpose of bobbing was getting rid of excess weight and complexity.

    Doing the front brake lines on my 2012 Sporty and just found out the banjo bolt bolts are fucking metric. Not the size of the banjo hole,...the size of the bolt head that secures the banjo. Who build a bike 99% SAE then uses 2 metric bolts?? At least it's not a socket I would need to keep in a bag.
    It wasn't profitable to change hardware on the brakes just as it wasn't profitable or sensible to change the metric carb screws which dated to the 1970s.

    Metric and standard sizes should be understood in their sequence, like legacy number, letter, and fractional drill bit sizes. Harley clings to them out of symbolism. They persist in military equipment for convenient compatibility with legacy standards coupled with the reality that military equipment lives in its own maintenance and sustainment ecosystem.

    Harleys are designed to be maintained in their ecosystem which is mostly of mechanics who have both types of tools and will recognize fasteners from seeing them constantly.

    Eventually Harleys will be metric, which will make using parts and hardware from other machines easier. The sooner the better IMO.

    For those not familiar, lay your open end wrenches in size sequence and compare them. Most are deliberately machined with sufficient tolerance to fit their nearest counterparts. 10mm and 12mm are the most common motorcycle size lacking Imperial counterparts. 7mm is another if you work on cars, especially interiors.

    I need to get a plug kit. New bike may have both a spoke and mag wheel. Will likely put a tube in the Mag so I don't have to carry a plug kit.
    If you are serious about preparedness, I suggest packing two EFFECTIVE small tire irons. Fortunately small tire tools are usually the most effective.
    They should be tools you have actually used to dismount and mount tires. Flat tire tools can be rotated using a Crescent wrench to open access for the other iron.

    Metal valve stem caps with valve core extractors eliminate having to carry those in your bag.

    I would carry the plug kit anyway. It's easy to pinch a tube even if you change them often.

    I've seen dirtbike tire tools with a box wrench on one end, logical as you can only use one end of a tire tool at time. You could cut then splice tools similarly.

    For example the handle of a Crescent wrench could be a tire iron. It would be easier on your hand then a plain iron. One large, and one small Crescent is a good mix for that mod.

    The best screwdriver bits are machined so carry a good multibit screwdriver with common and Phillips bits. If the hex driving the bits also fits the hex on your hose clamps, even better!
    Slotted screws are shit on hose clamps and nearly everywhere else. Don't use them or use clamps which also have hex heads.

    "Fuel injection" hose clamps are the best style. Cut off every factory band clamp on your Harley and replace with fuel injection hose clamps or remember to bring at least two spares, because line replacement requires at least two.

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    I keep a few spare bits in this



    since it sits just over my exhaust I'm wary of what I put in it (mainly nuts and bolts, and a few things I try off and on to see if they'll take the heat), but so far nothings melted. it's also attatched to the exhaust bracket so it's not unsprung and bouncing with the swingarm.

    I keep my tools here



    had to move my shifter out to the heel position (wasn't using a heel shifter anyway), clears everything and heat again isn't an issue

    I keep this stuff in it



    this is my first Harley, and I haven't had it that long, so I just have a kind of generic bunch of tools I thought would be good to have, at least until I see what specific things I might want to have in the box.

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    I'd put muffin tops w/butter patties wrapped in tinfoil in there. Stop for coffee when you get that first waft of muffiney goodness.
    you'll be known as "The Muffin Man".

    "girl you thought he was a man but...
    HE WAS A MUFFIN !"

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    I used almost all 12 point nuts and bolts on my shovelhead. It started as just a "looks" thing, but helped with the tool bag too. 3/8 bolts use a 3/8 wrench as opposed to 9/16. 5/16 uses 5/16, 1/2 uses a 1/2, etc. Keeps wrench and sockets smaller to carry, but they are expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vnygra View Post
    I used almost all 12 point nuts and bolts on my shovelhead. It started as just a "looks" thing, but helped with the tool bag too. 3/8 bolts use a 3/8 wrench as opposed to 9/16. 5/16 uses 5/16, 1/2 uses a 1/2, etc. Keeps wrench and sockets smaller to carry, but they are expensive.
    This is the kind of thing I was thinking of. Wonder if it is possible to reduce the tool count using this info--i.e. 1/2 hex head fits smaller shaft but 1/2 thread with 12pt would fit 1/2 socket/wrench. Two with one wrench. Maybe combo of 12pt and hex heads so wrench count is halved?

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    Aircraft hardware is typically 12pt so you could do a hardware upgrade. Useless on metric bikes unless you've access to metric hardware.

    You may want JIS screwdrivers if you ride Japanese. Phillips bits mostly work but aren't identical.

    Google "JIS vs Phillips" etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 47str8leg View Post
    I'd put muffin tops w/butter patties wrapped in tinfoil in there. Stop for coffee when you get that first waft of muffiney goodness.
    you'll be known as "The Muffin Man".

    "girl you thought he was a man but...
    HE WAS A MUFFIN !"
    it's not quite that hot. the ammo box in front I don't worry about at all. I do most of my riding in the city, but it's still enough out front and in the airflow that nothing comes close to melting in it.

    I was kind of worried about the rear box, but so far all that happened is one of those plastic grocery type bags got kind of brittle from the heat. I don't think I'd want to keep like a spare module or wiring in it, but a sparkplug or other knick knack type bits seem to be doing fine.

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    some just carry a cell phone and credit card... I carry this:

    https://youtu.be/zsLPIMr6MWc

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    Quote Originally Posted by 47str8leg View Post
    I'd put muffin tops w/butter patties wrapped in tinfoil in there. Stop for coffee when you get that first waft of muffiney goodness.
    you'll be known as "The Muffin Man".

    "girl you thought he was a man but...
    HE WAS A MUFFIN !"
    Hahaha... Zappa

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    I have one of these picked up for 20 bucks. But have used/carried loaned them out when ive been broken down/helped people.

    Windzone Tool Kit EK‑1HD



    The nice thing if you have extra tools, you can just use the parts list and change out what you prefer/need.

    Description
    Great for Harley-Davidson motorcycles & V-Twin American hybrids (fits most fork bags). Contains just about everything you could ever want or need in a motorcycle take-along tool kit. Designed to fit fork bags, the EK-1HD is the perfect tool kit for Sportsters, Ultras and everything in between.

    Items in Tool kit
    Locking pliers
    Tire pressure gauge
    Flashlight w/ Battery

    RATCHETS

    3/8" Ratchet Driver

    5/8" Spark plug socket
    13/16" Spark plug socket

    WRENCHES

    3/8" & 7/16" Open-ended wrench
    1/2" & 9/16" Open ended wrench
    5/8" & 3/4" Open ended wrench

    10mm Combination wrench

    9 Hex Keys/Allen Wrenches

    7-piece Torx set (T-10 thru T-40)

    SCREWDRIVERS

    Phillips #1
    Phillips #2

    Small Slotted
    Large Slotted

    ELECTRICAL

    Spark plug gap gauge
    Electrical wire
    Electrical tape
    Spare turn / tailight bulb

    THE ESSENTI-TOOL

    Includes the Windzone "Essenti-Tool", an ingeniously designed multi-tool and carrying case that fits conveniently in the EK-1 tool kit, your pocket, or on your belt. Equipped with needle-nosed pliers, wire cutters, knife, scissors, file, slotted screwdriver, hole punch, etc., this multi-faceted lifesaver puts the EK-1 in a class by itself.

    ...AND MORE

    Mechanic's wire
    Siphon hose
    Nylon Cable ties (5)
    Shop Towel

    I carry a Streamlight Microstream so I replaced the light which was bulkier, and these "Craftsman Ratcheting Clench Wrench"
    Last edited by Spade115; 09-27-2016 at 7:47 AM.

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