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Author Topic: This matter of tools  (Read 2024 times)

LJRead

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This matter of tools
« on: August 09, 2009, 08:47:49 AM »
We are fortunate in that not a lot of tools are needed for every day maintenance on our bikes.  There was, of course, a changeover  to metric some years ago, so some of the years require one to have two sets of wrenches - whitworth and metric.  And I understand that some Japanese bikes require even fewer wrench sizes than ours, but still there are some needing to be carried for side of the road work, and some back in the shop for other jobs.  My bike tool bag (an old leather shaving kit bag at present) is a bit heavier than it should be and I want to whittle it down some. In addition, there are a few of the larger size wrenches that is simply didn't have, like the 24 mm socket used for the nuts on the rear wheel and front fork tubes, the 30 mm for the center nut above the front fork pivot bolt and some 22 mm bolts for the swing arm.  I did a bit of browsing and found one company that seems to stand out in having very high quality with very modest prices.  This is "Toptul" which is handled in the U.S. by Wren Hand Tools.  Unfortunately it is a Taiwanese firm so that here again the fine American tool manufacturers are likely to be pushed out.  And, some of the well-known companies, Like Williams, Snap-on and probably others, are starting to manufacture in China and Taiwan.  Difficult to be assured of buying American these days.

But as I review things, the number of tools needed begins to add up.  Air pressure gauge, spark plug wrench compact enough to be carried, and possibly a small set of metric wrenches for all the different size nuts that tend to vibrate loose and need tightening down the road.  I get the feeling that a set of open end wrenches  would be worthwhile additions to the tool bag, but then can I justify adding even more weight.  I'm starting to think that putting a carrier up front, one that is secure from random theft, might distribute the weight better.  I'm talking 10 to twenty pounds, not insignificant.

But how far in this direction does one go?  There are lists available, having relatively few wrenches, but I'm wondering if this is good enough.  It boils down to what logically can go wrong (I would guess just about anything) and what realistically is fixable on the road side. 

Then there are the electrical bits and pieces.  I haven't even thought to carry wire, terminals, fuses and tools for this.  CMW sells a kit that would handle most of it, so this could be addid or something similar.  I felt my bike crapping out at around 50 mph,and thought that I might need to be able to tear down the carb at some point, and easy job with the right tools.

Any thoughts on this?  Any special tools you wouldn't want to be without?  Or does one just bring a cell phone and a credit card?  Wouldn't get me very far here!

Well, Iron butt Jim just made a long trip West and I wonder what he took along.  I could even push myself home from almost anyplace I would likely go on my island, but it would be painful, much of the island is up and down hills.

Definitely need to give the subject more thought.



Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

r80rt

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 05:11:47 PM »
I think you'll need a big trailer to haul all those tools around ;)
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geoffbaker

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2009, 05:25:41 PM »
Put it this way... I've not seen my toolbox shrink since owning an Enfield...

r80rt

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2009, 05:42:09 PM »
So far the tool kit that came with my C5 is like my appendix, it's there but I don't think I'll need it. :D
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geoffbaker

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2009, 06:03:54 PM »
Now that could be the essential definition of an optimist :)

LJRead

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2009, 06:47:08 PM »
Up until now, my tool setup for 'on the road' has been rather piecemeal, with everything just thrown in my bag.  Had an idea to use the space between the two toolboxes (one with filter and one with Batpac to hold some tools, maybe taking the back out of one of the tool boxes and continuing it on back.  The other idea is to make some removable false bottoms in my pannier boxes that would be unobtrusive (look like the box bottom yet hold the tools nicely in a sort of flat position.  What I would like is to have most tools needed with the bike, so that even when the bike is home I can just go in to the tool boxes and get what I need.

It would be possible to make fitted tool boxes using wood with each tool nestled in its own place, making it easy to see if anything is being left behind.

My bike didn't come with a tool kit, so I just put one together. I'm bound to make a project out of it and put more into the project than may be needed - but it is like insurance, isn't it?
Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

redcat

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2009, 07:27:45 PM »
I have almost 7,000 miles on my 2002 Classic (when I bought it it had 357) and have only suffered a broken clutch cable. That occurred about 100 yds. from my driveway so it was an easy push home. In my humble opinion as long as you keep an eye on things, do the basic mantainence,and don't wind the shit out of it, an RE shouldn't leave you stranded very often.
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redcat

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2009, 07:29:35 PM »
Oh yes, there is also a giant knock on wood that goes with my last post!
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The Garbone

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2009, 02:40:12 PM »
I use the stock kit on my RE.  The only thing I have had to do on the road is put my KS lever back on once.    I Imagine a large adjustable spanner and tire repair kit and pump would go a ways.   
Gary
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Chasfield

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 03:37:54 PM »
i am always on the look out for that holy grail of adjustable spanners that really does replace a box of tools, doesn't round off nuts, and can get into most places that a normal open ended or ring spanner can go. Does anybody know of such a device?
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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2009, 04:00:59 PM »
  Unfortunately just the mention of adjustable spanner means that if you are really depending on it, it will strip that bolt and ter up a knuckle or three.  I have a Cruz tools metric tool set that is really handy, good quality 'Merican made" and I paid right around $25 for it delivered.  That and a few WQhitworth wrenches and stock tool kit seems to do the job well.  Of course I'm not planning on doing open engine surgery on the road.  Will.
Will Morrison
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geoffbaker

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2009, 05:01:23 PM »
I've been building an ultraminimalist tool kit for my road trip (planning now on leaving the 19th)

Motionpro tire tooll.wrench 24mm
Motionpro tire tooll.wrench 27mm
Motionpro tire tooll.wrench 32mm
these handle taking off front or rear wheels and tire repair - made of aluminum but tough
Motionpro socket adapter fits 27mm tire tool
10 & 13mm sockets
Motionpro wrenches 8,10,11,12,14 (these are ultralight actually titanium)
Adjustable six inch wrench
screwdriver and a full set of bits, phillips regular and hex
hand air pump/C02 cartridge - it works both ways
small tin holding wire, patches
roll elec  tape
small can wd40

cell phone and credit card :)





dogbone

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2009, 08:32:13 PM »
My toolbag weighs 11 pounds,  I' don't have the kitchen sink in,  yet !    I have fixed other biker's many more times than my own. 
Stopping in to help out a fellow biker is usually a friend forever. I am very good at electrical   (in fact it's my trade)  It's  a good feeling, thats all   .
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LJRead

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2009, 01:23:07 AM »
Yeah, Goeff, I don't see any electrician tools in your setup.  Wow, though, titanium tools?  And I was going to ask about your start date for the trip north, but you've answered that one.  How about giving the link to your website again so we can follow along?  How about adding a few political stickers, like " go Biodiesel for America's sake"?

Saw a link to a Porsche today with one million spent, everything aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber - 1100 pounds knocked off the beast (how much spent per pound?) with Porsch factory technicians bridging the Atlantic, bring in more jewels to make the thing run lighter and faster (350 miles on odometer so far).  If one were to do the same thing with the already light weight R E, I wonder what one could come up with in final weight.  Oh, and of course the Porsche is ensconced on a nice, expensive carpeted floor (have to do something about my linoleum) .  Here's the link to the Porsche:one.http://www.luxury4play.com/porsche/2...-trust-me.html

I did manage to pick up a nesting set of open end wrenches, from 8 mm to 17 mm by an outfit called Gedore of South Africa and Germany - apparently quality - for $2.99, so I bought two sets one for the rickshaw, one for the bike.  There is a ratchet by Toptul with swivel head for about $30 with 1/4" drive on one side of the head and 3/6" on the other 160 mm long (about 6 inches, so a complete minimalist socket set could be put together which would be light and compact.  It is always the tool you left out that you end up needing, and sockets are light and compact enough.

Screwdriver handles with bits would go a long way, wouldn't they -very compact.

The electrical kit doesn't really have to be much.

And, if your going tripping about, some spares for oil change, bulb change, fuses and the like, a spark plug would be good at any time (any length trip).

I believe I read that one of our forum member, Jeri, did a head removal on her bike in the middle of the night - quite impressed by that as it shows what skill can do.  :ike to know your tool setup, Jeri.  Are you going to add a torque wrench now?

Goeff's concentration on tire repair is instructive.

On a longer trip I would carry a spare CDI iignition unit and a lot of other spares, but hardly necessary here.

Start breaking it down like this and you aren't talking a lot of weight, but it does seem a practical investment in time and trouble to get the kit right.  Whay do as I have been and being a slob about it when with a bit more thought, something so much better (more capable) can be devised.

« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 01:36:07 AM by LJRead »
Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

geoffbaker

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2009, 07:00:12 PM »
Yeah, Goeff, I don't see any electrician tools in your setup.  Wow, though, titanium tools?  And I was going to ask about your start date for the trip north, but you've answered that one.  How about giving the link to your website again so we can follow along?  How about adding a few political stickers, like " go Biodiesel for America's sake"?

Electrical tape and a swiss army knife; I reckon I can fix most electrical problems with that. But then I just finished building my manual bypass so that I can start the bike with no electrics whatsoever... so if I have an electrical problem no matter how big I can always ride to somewhere with tools and equipment...

Motionpro is a sponsor for the trip so I was able to get good tools. The titanium wrenches are retail $99 for the set, so it's really not too outrageous... and man, they weigh nothing.. but I wish they'd come out with a set of different  8/9 10/11 12/13 14/15  116/17

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clamp

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2009, 12:51:23 AM »
I don't know why Royal Enfield just don't fasten everything with wing nuts.

    Then all you would need is a small toffee hammer for torquing up and an old Cornfake packet as gasket material.

     Fabulous gaskets  is cornflake packet,  opened out its big enough for a side cover.

   
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r80rt

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2009, 01:10:25 AM »
I've made a lot of gaskets from 12 pack beer boxes, good stuff for old bikes :D
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2009, 06:12:14 AM »
  Ah yes, a dying art.  Being able to tap out a gasket with an 8 ounce ball peen hammer and permatex.  The memories.  Will.
Will Morrison
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r80rt

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2009, 11:10:27 AM »
I've got a real set of hole punches for gaskets now, when I was a kid I used .38 special cartridges cases to punch out bolt holes in homemade gaskets, fun times for sure.
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2009, 01:33:35 PM »
  Did the same bought a hole punch set and a good set of exacto knives.  Now I use a little grease on the item and press the image onto real gasket material.  Works great and a lot cleaner gaskets. 
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
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1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

r80rt

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2009, 10:08:54 PM »
Yeah, the guys at the parts store laugh at me, the never saw anyone but me buy whole rolls of gasket paper before. Exacto knives are a must have item with old bikes too, I've also  been known to use copper flashing to beat out head gaskets for flathead one lungers on occasion. I love that kind of stuff  :D
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 01:01:36 AM by r80rt »
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2009, 12:46:08 AM »
  Dying arts learned in farmland USA,  I make many a "kid" gaze in wonder when he sees me do stuff like that.  I remember re-using head gaskets on tractors and annealing them before use.  Guess maybe that shows our age.  Will.
Will Morrison
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2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

r80rt

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2009, 12:57:55 AM »
Yep, we must be getting old. We used to overhaul tractors in the field, now it's unheard of. I still keep a scrap iron pile to dig through when I want to make something that I can't buy. growing up dirt poor will teach you things that nothing else can ;)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 01:10:18 AM by r80rt »
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clamp

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #23 on: August 14, 2009, 01:33:35 AM »
Not unheard of, still done in Thailand at the shrimp farms where Yanmar single diesels will run for months on a gravity fed 50 galon drum.

   When its time for an overhaul they can do it in an hour.  cylinder and piston is pushed in by the long  head bolts. The crank comes out of the side,  ball bearings and are knocked off with a hammer, the big end shell is 2 dollar.

    All that and you didnt need to drain the oil.

    Yanmar industrial engines cheap and run for ever, static water cooled.

     The cheapness of these parts is ridiculous I had one in a boat once to drive a generator.
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r80rt

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2009, 01:36:42 AM »
I want one of those engines!
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2009, 01:39:12 AM »
  We had an old Wiscosin single on a hay baler I could pull it apart and do much the same by myself in no time.  Only needed help removing the 300+ pound flywheel if I had to replace the crankshaft output seal.  The cylinder bore and stroke on that was amazing.  Will.
Will Morrison
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1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
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LJRead

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2009, 03:32:50 AM »
I had an old twin diesel Lister I bought in Hawaii and sweated it out in the engine compartment installing it.  Only 16 hp for a 12 tonne yacht, so it didn't go fast, but air cooled and putted along well.  So simple.  There was an engine hatch cover and I could put a beam across the cockpit combing and lift it out with a come-along.  Enough that is to work on it.  Now I have an old Volvo Penta, sea water cooled, and it seems good too - all iron and heavy as hell.

Heard that in the Danish boats, moderate sized fishing boats, they had one-lungers with cylinders as big around as a sizeable barrel.  Real thumpers.
Lawrence J. Read
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2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

LJRead

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2009, 06:26:17 PM »
This question of tools, and particularly their weight, is overblown.  I feel that a very basic set of sockets to be able to tighten loosened nuts and do basic things like spark plug removal and even an oil change, tire repair, or basic tuneup, should be the criteria to base what we carry on.  A set of sockets, with ratchet, a set of open end wrenches, a few electrical bits and pieces, a few spares, sure it adds up but needn't be overwhelming as to weight.  When I do any work on the bike in the shop, I find myself using a number of different sizes of wrenches and such, and what I do in the shop isn't much different than what may be needed in the field.

Well, in a month or so I'll have the whole thing organized and can give a summary of it with weight.  They once failed me out of the Boy Scouts as being hopelessly non-conformist, maybe I'll get it right this time and "be prepared".
Lawrence J. Read
Vava'u
Tonga Islands
South Pacific

2002 Machismo, 2003 RE rickshaw with Thunderbird base

1Blackwolf1

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Re: This matter of tools
« Reply #28 on: August 14, 2009, 06:36:19 PM »
  I'll await your report.  My tool kit is very minimalist so maybe I'll see something listed that I probably shouldn't ride without.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.