Owning a classic motorcycle often means undertaking most, if not all, regular maintenance and repairs. But mechanics know that a bad set of tools can damage precious components and hard to find/replace hardware (nuts, bolts and screws).
So, to do any work on a bike properly, you'll need an assortment of good quality tools, but the obvious problem you'll run into when updating or when buying the first set of tools is price. How do you decide when to go expensive? Is it worth paying three times as much for a set of wrenches, for instance?
For some, price is no object; they will purchase the best of everything from a top tool supplier, such as Snap-on, Beta, and Facom.
For classic bike owners on a tighter budget, a more considered approach will be necessary. A good rule of thumb is to purchase good quality tools in the sizes or types that will be used most. For instance, 10-mm dual ended (open one end, ring at the other) wrenches will be used on metric hardware bikes on almost every job. However, a 28-mm socket may get used once every four years (typically found on certain Japanese bikes' clutch center retaining nuts).
Buying tool kits, rather than an individual item, often saves money, and most tool manufacturers offer individual kits of:
- Screw drivers
- Adjustable wrenches
- Allen keys
- Electrical tools
Although a kit may not have every tool needed, the mechanic can purchase individual tools when needed. Alternatively, some auto shops offer tool hire (no point buying an expensive tool that is only going to be used infrequently).