Whether you have just bought your first bike or if you have been riding for a while, it is a good idea to become familiar with the maintenance requirements of your bike. This is because you are likely to reduce the risk of any problems arising when you know your bike inside and out. You can also save yourself a few pennies by supplying your own labour to the cause.
Most new bikes look amazing and can have a lot of power. However, once it comes time to locate the motorcycle tool kit for your first minor repair you can be left feeling a little underwhelmed. Most tool kits are made up of a couple of open ended spanners, a screwdriver and a tube spanner all contained in a flimsy vinyl pouch.
The majority of tool kits that come with a new bike are crap. Something that will become evident once you attempt to tighten your first fastener. The flip side to this disappointing news is that you don’t need a lot of different tools for basic motorbike maintenance, and the tools that you need are not too expensive.
So what do you need for your bike’s basic maintenance? Begin with observing fasteners, nuts and bolts that your bike is kept together with as different bikes will be kept together with different fasteners. Depending on your make and model you will need a variety of screws, hex (Allen) head fasteners and Torx fasteners (with star shaped inner sockets). You will need to buy tools that your bike’s fasteners. As fasteners are quite small, you will want to buy a ratchet screwdriver and a spanner that can be effectively used with these small parts and won’t need anything with a huge handle. You will generally only need these tools with a three-eighths inch or quarter inch drive – the part of the tool the socket fits onto.
A good way to get your collection of necessary tools is to buy a motorcycle tool kit with the tools in the sizes you need, and then gradually add the extra tools you need that didn’t come with the kit. Aim for mid budget for the best value for money. You will not need to go top shelf, as there are plenty of manufacturers making good quality tools that will last you a lifetime, without the big ticket prices the more premium brands are charging. You will also obviously want to avoid the super cheap no-name stuff. You can pick up a tool kit of reasonable quality at a good price, that will easily outperform the one that came with your bike.
If you are feeling a little apprehensive about undertaking our own maintenance, just begin with buying a set of screwdrivers and adjusting your levers. Starting out on smaller jobs will allow you to build your confidence as well as get you more familiar with your bike, which can be quite satisfying. Over time move on to bigger, more important jobs.