If you’re a dirt bike newbie or just someone who hasn’t really delved into the mechanical side of motorcycles before, it can be quite daunting trying to gather the tools you need to maintain your bike
Hammer and Punch
Obviously we all know that a hammer is used for hitting things, but a nice long punch for knocking out your axels is handy as well. Mine is a custom job that I made out of a long screwdriver. I simply removed the handle and flattened out the blade.
I’m sure everyone has that one thing that they want to hit and not leave a permanent mark. A rubber hammer is perfect those jobs.
¼ Inch Socket Set
I always recommend a ¼ inch socket set, especially to those heavy handed people that love to strip every thread they touch. A small socket set is perfect for getting into tight places and it’s much harder to strip threads.
You never know when you’re going to want to cut something in half.
Screw Driver Set
A decent set of screwdrivers always come in handy. You want at least three sizes in both flat blades and Phillips-heads because believe it or not, screw drivers are not a one size fits all tool.
I don’t ever recommend tightening or undoing a nut or bolt with a shifting spanner (except for maybe a large axle nut), as shifters are notorious for stripping the heads off bolts. What they do come in handy for, is holding the head of a bolt or axle while you tighten the other side.
This chain breaker is called a whale type chain breaker. The name comes from the company who first made this style of chain breaker. This makes splitting chains much easier, but I recommended grinding the pins off the chain before pressing the link apart to make the tool last longer.
A Stanley knife is always a handy tool to have. It can be used for trimming back stickers, cutting any tape or cable ties and any other odd jobs.
Pliers and Side Cutters
There are a range of pliers I like to have and they all serve different purposes. The standard pliers are for small items while the long nose pliers can reach hard to access spots. The cutters snip cable ties and wire while the multi grips can hold larger items.
Tie Wire and Tie Wire Pliers
These tools are handy for lock wiring your grips into place. It is also a good idea to carry some lock wire with you out on the trails for those emergency situations.
There are many Allen key bolts on motorcycles these days. The best set of Allen keys are the ones with the ball ends as they help to reach hard-to-access bolts.
Tyre Levers, Valve Tool, Spoke Spanner and Pressure Gauge
These are pretty self-explanatory. They’ll help you deal with any wheel or tyre issues.
I like to keep a few large spanners specifically for removing axle nuts. Axles are regularly 22mm, 24mm, 27mm or 32mm.
½ Inch Socket Set
The ½ inch socket set is perfect for doing all the larger jobs on your bike where more torque is need to remove any nuts or bolts.
Spark Plug Tool
Most modern day four strokes require a bike-specific spark plug tool to remove the plug. These can be sourced through a dealer.
You can carry a variety of different size T-bars or you can just buy one like this with a ¼ inch socket drive on the end, allowing you to just interchange the sockets.
A torch is often handy when trying to see numbers written on jets or if you are trying to look down an intake port.
This is the cheap alternative to setting your rear suspension sag. You can also purchase the sag tool which locks into your axle.
A variety of spanners is a must. I have told people in the past to buy a reasonably cheap set and replace any of the ones that break with quality ones. There is no need to have a draw full of Snap On 9mm, 11mm or 15mm spanners, but you might find yourself eventually needing one for an odd job one day.
Things like WD40, silicon spray, grease, coolant, oil, brake fluid and chain lube are always good to have sitting close by.
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