DIY Motorcycle Service: Basic Tools & Supplies
- Metric Hex Keys - 4,5, & 6mm
- Metric Combination & Box End Wrenches - 6,8,10,12,14,17,19, & 24mm
- Metric Sockets - Six Point, Standard & Deep - 1/4" Drive: 6,8, & 10mm - 3/8" Drive: 10,12,14,17,19, & 24mm
- 1/4" & 3/8" Drive Standard Ratcheting Handles
- 1/4" & 3/8" Extensions (various lengths, including wobble type)
- 1/4" Drive Ratcheting Driver Handle ("T" or screwdriver style)
- 3/8" Drive Breaker Bar or T-Bar Handle
- 3/8" Drive Torque Wrench (click type)
- Honda Spark Plug Socket Wrench - P/N 89216-MAT-000
- Japanese Industrial Standard Screwdrivers
- Needle Nose Pliers, Standard & Long Reach
- Slip Joint Pliers, Standard
- Hammers: Dead blow; Plastic/Rubber Head; Ball Peen
- Punch Set
- Snap-On Pick Set
- Rear Shock Spanner
- Angled Feeler Gauge Set, Tapered Blades
- Digital Multimeter
- Battery Tender (or other small charger suitable for motorcycle batteries)
- Flexible LED Inspection Light
- Small Inspection Mirror
- Utility Knife (and extra blades)
- Ruler & Tape Measure
- Long Reach Tweezers
- Magnetic Pickup Tool
- Control Cable Lubrication Tool
- Chain Breaker Tool
- Plastic Bristle Chain Cleaning Brush & Toothbrushes
- Small Long Reach Funnel
- Clear Vinyl Hose (small diameter, for bleeding brake calipers)
- Oil Drain Pan, Clean Drain Pan/Containers (for engine coolant, brake bleeding, etc.)
- Tire Pressure Gauge (dial or digital)
- Tire Valve Chuck, Blower Attachment, Air Hose
- Small Air Compressor (1.5 HP, 2 Gal., 120 PSI)
- Heavy Duty Tie Downs, Soft Hooks, & HD Eye Lag Bolts (to suspend front end of bike from garage rafters, for front suspension work)
- Rear Wheel Paddock Stand
- Model Specific Factory Service Manual
- Notebook & Pens/Pencils
- Anti-Seize Compound (for most bolt & screw threads)
- Loctite Thread Lock, Medium & High Strength (for specific applications)
- Water Proof Wheel Bearing Grease
- High-Temp Black RTV Silicone
- Handgrip Cement
- DOT 4 Brake Fluid
- Aerosol Brake Cleaner
- Engine Coolant
- O-Ring Safe Chain Lubricant
- Kerosene (for drive chain & misc. parts cleaning)
- Paint Pen, White or Yellow (for marking critical torqued fasteners)
- Shop Towels (paper & cloth)
- Oil Absorbent "Pig Mat" (or plastic sheeting, for oil filter changes and lubing drive chain)
- Latex Gloves and/or Hand Cleaner
That is an excellent tool kit to have.
Another nice thing about Honda that may go unnoticed is things like clutch cable adjustment and rear axel nuts are two different sizes so you don't need two of any tool for common maintenance items.
. . . a timely list, after many years I find my self filling a tool box with tools for motorcycle maintenance.
It's kind of tough to just go out and get everything you will eventually need, all at once. A fair number of my tools were acquired piece meal over the years, when I was working as a motorcycle & snowmobile technician. I've bought a few metric wrenches which are somewhat more specialized, just to work on a specific bolt or nut on certain models... like a long reach, thin 10mm Snap-On combo wrench to get into particularly tight areas. I've also taken various sized wrenches and cut them, then re-welded the open or box end to a different angle or offset needed for a specific application. I call these "cheater" wrenches, as they have saved a lot of time by not having to disassemble other parts just to get to the fasteners that are needed to be removed for the job.
Anyway, hopefully this list will be useful to those who want to get a little grease under their fingernails, and enjoy the satisfaction of working on their own bikes.
Holy smokes. I was just thinking about asking someone "experienced" to post a list of recommended tools and products. So thanks, Mike!
Which anti-seize type(s) would you recommend? And which bearing grease?
Also where would the high temp silicone be used? I've never even heard of this.
And (just a suggestion to complete the list), what basic cleaner/wash/wax products are actually good to have for the CBR, without going overboard on product?
Except for the JIS Screwdrivers, cable lube tool, and kerosene (and maybe one or two other items, I already have most of these items . . but not in one place.
BTW, despite that the service manual recommends replacing this gasket when doing the Valve Clearance Inspection, it can be reused as long as it's in good condition. I've done three VCI's on my bike, reusing the original gasket each time.
I would suggest adding Loctite thread locker to the list also.
But yes, Loctite Thread Lock certainly has its specific applications. Added to the list.
What about sliding tommy bars/T bar.
I find these useful for applying a controlled amount of force with two hands on bigger fasteners. Also the sliding action makes it easier to use than a ratchet (which I don't have).
There are a lot of additional tools which are definitely nice to have when working on a bike. Just within the category of Socket Tools, the variety of different handles, adaptors, and extensions is incredible. Things like Speeder Handles, Breaker Bar Handles, T-Bar handles, Wobble Extensions, Flexible Extensions, Drive Adaptors, and Crows Foot Wrenches, to name just a few, are handy tools to have.
As I was putting this list together, I wanted to keep the idea of "basic tools" in mind, without going overboard into a lot of specialty tools... one could put together a whole separate list of specialty tools and equipment under the heading of Engine Rebuilding & Repair.
For example, in my own tool cabinet I have a lot of tools which I didn't include in the list... things like Dial Indicators, Vernier Calipers, Micrometers, Compression Gauge Set, Rethreading Set, Helicoil Kit, various Flex Hones, Ammco Rigid Hone, Mighty-Vac Brake Bleeder, Seal Drivers, Bearing Pullers, various Pneumatic Tools, Drive Chain Tools, and the list goes on. Back when I was spinning wrenches for a living, all these tools were used fairly often and eventually paid for themselves. While they are nice to have, most of these expensive tools just sit in my roller cabinet and rarely get used. Obviously, unless a person is making their living working as motorcycle technician, most of these advanced and specialized tools would not necessarily be a good investment for someone who's main goal is to perform basic service & maintenance on their own bike.
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