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The purpose of this thread is to list tools that are needed to work on a motorcycle. There are unique tools to make simple tasks on a motorcycle easier to accomplish. The right tool and techniques make the soooo much easier. Yes, someone could read the owners and repair manual and get a pretty good idea, but first hand experience is best in my opinion. So please post your experience with tools you use, why and best techniques.
 

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I'll start with the simple task of taking a screw out. Looks like a phillips head so you reach for one. You go to turn and it slips. You push down a little harder and turn again. After a few more tries the slots are now rounded. You now can't get it off, it's stripped. Might get lucky with vise grips on the head. But NO. Not you try to drill it out. OK, this is working. It's a small screw and you are using a small bit. You almost got it, snap, the bit breaks in the screw, way in there. You get a bigger bit. Some time later the hole is now totally messed up, no threads left. Now you have to Heli coil the hole. Now this simple task of taking a screw out has turned into an all day job. Yes, this actually happens a lot. That's experience speaking. So now let's look at the problem, it's a JIS head not a phillips. Looks at the example below to tell the difference. At times even with the correct JIS screw driver it's still hard to get out. A steel screw in alloy (aluminum) will corrode over time. Penetration oil is your friend. Another thing I'll do is hit the head of the screw driver down to help the penetration oil in. Another tool to take screws out is a hand held impact wrench, Just make sure it has a JIS bit if needed.





 

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Les, you know what Im going to say (no.. not seafoam).

Its not a tool unique to motorcycles, but motorcycles are often the first time a person with mechanical experience starts working on a machine where most of the steel bolts and threads are screwed into aluminum.

Its important to tighten up steel-into-aluminum bolts and fasteners correctly, and the only way to do that is with a torque wrench.

Here is the reason: when you tighten a steel bolt into a steel case or frame by hand, it will spin freely all the way in, then get snug, then get tight, and unless you are a gorilla you can crank on it hard and it wont strip out the threads in the case.

Aluminum is not like that, it will start getting snug, and then tight, and then you will be turning the wrench and its not getting any tighter, because you are pulling the threads out of the case, and now you have damaged the case and it will take hours to repair, and maybe hundreds of dollars. The hands on experience you have from turning bolts into a steel case WILL strip out the threads into an aluminum case.

Its easy to find the yamaha factory service manual for vstar bike online as a free (scanned) download, and they contain all the torque specs for every fastener and nut on the bike.

A 3/8" torque wrench that goes up to about 80 ft-pounds should be all you need for most work. A 1/4" drive torque wrench good for 20 to 30 ft-lbs would be nice for smaller allen head bolts (like the covers over the oil filter and other access plates. Use it for everything: the oil drain plug, spark plugs, axle nuts - every fastener on your motorbike needs to be correctly torqued, because your life depends on it.

Again: its not a motorcycle specific tool, but it is a necessary motorcycle tool.

The one tool that is perfect for its job usually comes with the yamaha tool kit, hidden in the storage compartment if your bike has one: the spanner for adjusting the monoshock. If you dont have the spanner, nothing else comes even close.
 

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KCW, when I started this thread the first thing I thought about was a torque wrench. But I knew you would jump in. So I started with tools needed to take things off. Please add to the list and maybe between the few that will contribute we can cover most tools and techniques needed to help someone not have a major headache later.
 

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Les, you know what Im going to say (no.. not seafoam
I've used seaform as a penetrating oil before, works pretty good. So I guess it counts in this thread too.
 

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I was thinking more that a tank of fresh gas with seafoam is the 'tool' to use if the bike is running rough, before you start taking the carbs apart.

there are a lot of fuel / oil / coolant.. additives that make a lot of claims, and most of them are bull...

but if you have a bike running poorly because of old gummy gas, Seafoam really does have a good chance of being all you need.
 

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Now how do you get a screw out in a really tight place. On the 1100 headlight trim ring screws are difficult to take out with certain driving light bars. I have a small ratcheting screwdriver that works great. There are many places on the bike like this so make life easier and so maybe look at getting a set. You have to take those two screws out to change the headlight bulb.



 

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Not specialized but much like Seafoam and beer. Duct tape! I built a temporary seat when I had the seat on The Strat recovered didn't have to call a friend or wait 7 hrs for it to be done.
 

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When I got my VStar the first thing I did was change the oil, which everyone here knows requires removing most of the exhaust. I quickly discovered most of the bolts are hex on it (allen head). Trying to get the exhaust off with the hex key set I had was a lesson in frustration. You know what it's like - tight bolt and you have to clamp vise grips on the end and hope they don't slip at the worst possible time and scratch the pipes, skin knuckles, etc. So I went out and bought a set of standard/metric hex head sockets. I think I use them every time I do anything on my bike. It's a must have in my tool box.
 

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Les, you know what Im going to say (no.. not seafoam).



The one tool that is perfect for its job usually comes with the yamaha tool kit, hidden in the storage compartment if your bike has one: the spanner for adjusting the monoshock. If you dont have the spanner, nothing else comes even close.
Hey KCW
I was looking for a spanner to adjust my shock. How do you know what size you need?
 

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^ which bike? - not sure they are all the same size
 

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Just takes me to their website. Sears is now gone in Canada. They paid out millions in bonuses to the CEO and other executives then closed the doors, leaving their employees out to dry with no pensions.
 

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Just takes me to their website. Sears is now gone in Canada. They paid out millions in bonuses to the CEO and other executives then closed the doors, leaving their employees out to dry with no pensions.
Link shows this when I go to it.


 

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Must be a border thing. Thanks for posting that Les.
 

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