Working on your own bike is not only fun and personally satisfying, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. Having a well equipped motorcycle repair kit is great to do maintenance, basic repairs and upgrades on our bikes.
Taking your bike to a mechanic for every little thing can turn into lots of unnecessary, and pricy payments. One of the best parts of owning a motorcycle is getting down and dirty and turning wrenches yourself. It helps you learn more about how your bike works and builds a personal connection with your ride. If you haven’t been doing repairs in the past, I suggest you start learning because its a great hobby and will keep your wallet full.
Not everyone is as handy as they’d like, so you may need some guidance on what tools you need in your kit to get started. Keeping things affordable, with all the basic items and a few essentials is what you are looking to achieve. You will want to put together a tool box with items to accomplish most tasks that don’t require a mechanic’s know-how. One thing to keep in mind is to go for tools you will use repeatedly on your bike and around the house because they are an investment, but only if you use them.
Most of the maintenance done on your motorcycle will require the use of a socket set, so make sure you have one in your tool kit. Some rather basic socket kits can be had, but you’ll probably find some of the more extensive kits more useful. The type of bike you have will dictate whether you’ll need an SAE or metric scale set, but it doesn’t hurt to have both. Shell out for a set of deep sockets as well, because you will occasionally need to get into some tight, deeply set spaces to remove bolts. Hex and torx bit sockets may also come in handy from time to time and you might need to buy an individual socket for larger bolt sizes. Supplement your ratchet bar with extension bars, non-ratcheting bars and universal joints. These will all help you perform a variety of tasks with ease.
Like sockets, wrenches come in handy for multiple procedures, so you definitely want to have a set around. These also come in SAE and metric values. Wrenches traditionally offer two sizes on opposite ends, but you will also find it very convenient to have wrenches that are double-ended to offer you a box end and open end in a single size. Ring spanner wrenches with extension bars will give you extra leverage over larger, stubborn nuts, while you will need a “C” spanner wrench in order to adjust your bike’s shock absorber. Count the adjustable wrench in as well, since you will find it very useful in certain situations.
The ubiquitous screwdriver will definitely come in handy for removing and replacing various light components on your motorcycle. While you can buy screwdrivers individually, it’s almost always to your benefit to buy them in a set. Your bike will make use of either Phillips or flat head screws, but be aware that odd shapes such as square heads can exist.
Depending on the type of pliers you get, you can use them to hold, clamp, or cut. Unlike sockets, wrenches, or screwdrivers, you generally don’t need to get many different types. You’ll likely be good to go with a standard pair of pliers, long nose pliers, cutters, and an adjustable pipe wrench. Additionally, purchase a handful of locking pliers in different shapes and sizes because they make for reliable and portable holding tools.
Motorcycle stand – If your motorcycle isn’t equipped with a center stand, these will prop your bike up at a right angle, allowing you to easily and efficiently perform certain procedures. A rear stand will be useful for most applications, but a fork stand or triple tree stand will be essential for maintenance at the front end of the bike.
Torque wrench – Another supplement to your sockets. Most bolts are tightened to a precise torque specification and a torque wrench will ensure that you have them tightened correctly.
Spark plug tool – This will allow you to check the clearances on your spark plugs and adjust them accordingly.
Spark plug socket – Unlike regular sockets, spark plug sockets are built with the correct clearances in mind, which will allow you to reach your bike’s spark plugs. They also feature rubber bushings to keep the ceramic insulator of the spark plugs safe and to help grip the plug so you can pull it out. Some bikes require a specialized tool for this, so check your manual.
Chain tool – If you are performing your own chain maintenance, this is essential. It will allow you to remove your old chain and install your new one.
Brake bleeder – This vacuum pump will make it easy for you to drain your old brake fluid and to bleed new fluid into your braking system.
You may be surprised at what you can do with some of the basics. As you get more and more comfortable, you will probably want to add to the repertoire of maintenance items you wish to perform and the tools needed to do them. Start with the essentials, and then add to your tool kit over time.