Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tool Kits for Motorcycles

I seem to put together a lot of tool kits. Having spent my formative years driving a variety of motorcycles, cars, and trucks that tended to be from the less spendy end of the spectrum, I assume that whatever I'm driving will probably break down.

And the more interesting the bike, the more likely it is to break down.

So, I'm always on the lookout for compact tools.

And I'm not so much on the lookout for clever devices that purport to "fit all sizes of bolts", since such things are just not natural or right. I even feel a little twinge of guilt when I use a crescent wrench.

Here's the one I put together today:

There's a 1/4" drive t-handle, a long extension, a bit adapter to take screwdriver bits, a little plastic holder full of bits, a really long phillips bit, and 4 sockets.

By no means everything you need, but it does cover pretty much every fastener below 10mm, which is most of them on a motorcycle. Some bikes don't need the long phillips, and there's a couple of torx bits that are useless on most, but the germanic part of me can't just leave them out--I mean, there's even a little PICTURE of the torx thing printed on the holder.

Here's what it looks like all bundled up:

Pretty compact. The sockets slide over the handle of the t-handle, and are secured with a ziptie. I had to drill the center of the socket out a little to do this, but some brands have a big enough hole stock. You could also secure them with a little wire, or a short piece of fuel hose.

One of the problems I have with a lot of commercially-available attempts to do this is that they aren't very compact. They might fold up very cleverly, and have a spot for everything, but the people that design them just can't pass up the opportunity to make them all "ergonomic" and plasticky, which makes them bulky, lumpy, and not suitable for going into a tool roll or tool bag.

When this is bundled up in a toolbag, there's hardly any air, almost no plastic, and everything there is actually useful.

Now if I could just figure out how to compact a set of combination wrenches.......

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