What Tools

Apr 22, 2003
Hey Folks,

I posted this Q on Thumper Talk (yes I've been unfaithful :| ) and there were a couple decent responses but I want to know what you all think and support this forum. Soooo, what tools other than a power washer, rubber mallet, and a good set of wrenches should a DIY type have for most of the general dirtbike repairs? Or what tools are just good to have in general?

I will be getting the green light soon to remake the garage to my liking and I want to get it stocked with more tools--my model railroad tools don't cut the mustard.

I already have the Kawasaki service manual--good reading so far. Oh yeah, I have a spoke wrench and a sparkplug wrench too.


Moderator / Wheelie King
Jun 30, 1999
I have been stocking my garage and got a lot of things that are not necessity but are cool to have.

Here is my list in order of importance:
1) Good wrenches
2) Good sockets
3) Good torque wrench - I prefer the click type
4) Good screwdrivers
5) Hammer - my favorite tool
6) Tire irons
7) Safety wire
8) Duct tape

There are plenty other things but I recommend getting things as you need them. However, I just went overboard and bought a grinder, more air tools, fork wrench, fork seal driver, etc. Not necessities but good to have.


Tony Eeds

Godspeed Tony.
N. Texas SP
Jun 9, 2002
Ha ... been practicing unsafe computer sex have ya!

Regarding tools ... the most important tool in my garage is open space. It is at a premium, then comes my countertop refrigerator full of a brew or twenty and finally a nice folding chair. One should be comfortable while contemplating the next modification to be delicately applied to one's motorcycle.

Past that about all I have is a 40 odd year collection of tools such as ...
12 point sockets, 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch drive, metric, deep and shallow, some are missing from each group,
T handles, 4mm to 17mm, their cute, but I really only use the 8mm and 10mm, they are my cute wrenches to impress everyone
6 inch and 8 inch magic metric, aka crescent wrench
dead blow hammer
brass drift
16 oz. ball pien hammer
zip ties, be sure to color coordinate with your motorcickle,
allen wrenches, 4 mm up ... a few are T handles
circlip pliers

Most of which resides in a tool box that is VERY difficult to carry.

I also have a roll away full of tools from my days of building/racing funny cars.

Things I need/want ....
new 3/8 inch drive torque wrench
TIG welder
5 HP 100% duty cycle IR air compressor.
To build the DRN dream shop that I have drawn :aj:
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Apr 22, 2003
Forget it, I'll just come to your house to do my wrenchen Truespode! :laugh:

Ha ... been practicing unsafe computer sex have ya!
Never! I didn't push the right buttons anyway...

I should probably just go to Sears or somewhere tomorrow to find out but do torque wrenches come in sets? I ask because a lot of people only mention having one.

Okay Tire Irons are on the list. I'm trying to talk my buddy into getting a bike. He was all for it before the holidays but he's been out of the country for a month so now I gotta put the pressure back on--between the 2 of us we could have a rockin garage!
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Always Broken
Dec 26, 1999
You use sockets on the torque wrench. The wrench is just like a socket wrench but has settings for the torque needed. If you buy one don't skimp because to much trust in a low quality one may be more expensive then guessing.

I use all my T wrenches at one time or another (I love em)
Just got a portable air compressor and some tools (finally after 5 seasons)
Good wrenchs -Open end, socket, and box are great to have in there
Good philips and straight screw drivers of assorted sizes
a plastic scraper (find em in the food store for cleaning teflon cookware) for taking off excess mud


Lifetime Sponsor
Nov 7, 2000
I would say a nice metric mechanics craftsman set would do you for starters. A nice set of screw drivers. A nice set of metric allen heads (sockets and wrenches). A feeler guauge for adjusting your vavles. The adjustables wrenchs are nice and great for rounding off bolts. You can buy the stuff to fix that as you need it cuz it will eventually happen. :) You can get the "tools of conveince" as you go along.

Also, another nice tool might be a manual screwdriver impact. You can pick a cheap one up at autozone for about 15 bucks. It will keep you from stripping out those crappy phillps head screw which you will soon replace with allen head ones (like on the float bowl of your carb)

As for torgue wrenchs you will definatly need a 3/8 inch drive for the wheels, clutch, ext... It will more than likely range from 10 to 75 ft lb's. Remember as you get closer to the ends of the range it gets less acurate. I would also suggest an inch pound wrench for the smaller stuff. Idealy you want to be in the middle of the range of the wrench when you use it. You will eventualy learn for the smaller stuff its easier to go buy feel if its not a critical item.

Tire stuff is good. A couple of good tire irons. A vavle tool and some rim savers (plastic do-dads that keep you from scratching you rims). I also built the tire holding device listed here:


P.S. there is an ademdum to the doc for changing dirt tires. Also see last months dirt rider mag for a article on changing tires. It might be on there website next month as they put up old articles on there.

A free 15 inch steel tire a couple pieces of wood and some all-thread rod. I can bolt it to my work bench. It just elimates the wheel from flopping around when changing the tire. I would do on the ground a couple of times though as when at the track or riding area its nice to know you to on the tailgate if you have to. Another tire thing you might need is a air tank if you don't have a compressor. There is a gas station near me that I can fill mine up for free. I have an 11 gallon one.

Good luck and happy shopping. Spending other peoples money is always great! :yeehaw:
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Apr 22, 2003
Thanks for the Torque wrench info guys. I feel kinda dumb now....oh well it always passes! I don't want to skimp on the wrench but I don't think I'll pay $200 just yet. I'll see what Craftsman has to offer up.

There are some pretty helpful tips on tire changin at that site.


Apprentice Goon
Mar 16, 2001
Charlestown, IN
Swivel head 3/8" drive ratchet.
3/8"-to-1/4" socket adapter (may need it, be careful with it)
1/4" ratchet and mm sockets (get both shallow and deep well, as well as extensions)
End wrench set
Chain breaker
Compression guage (don't go cheap)
Set of mm taps

When you are our tool shopping and come accross one of those little platic handled things that have a rubber band affixed to it, (use to take off jar lids, odd sized screw type thingys, etc...) buy it.
You'll know why you have it once you start fidddlin with your forks.
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MEW-Craftsman does have some reasonably-priced torque wrenches. I'd recommend the 3/8-drive ft-lb and a 1/4-drive in-lb for starters. Those are must haves if you don't have a calibrated, mechanic's arm!

For the most part, here is what I use on a regular basis, all metric, of course:

Combination wrenches (one open end, one box end). 6-15mm
8mm, 10mm and 12mm 1/4-drive sockets
Craftsman 1/4 drive ratchet and 4" extension
8-14mm 3/8 drive sockets, 3/8 drive ratchet and various extensions
Larger, 1/2 drive sockets for suspension and axles
1/2 breaker bar
Double-sided Craftsman rubber mallet for tapping axles through, etc.
Metric Allen wrenches-Get a set with the "balls" on the long end, and get a set that comes in a molded, plastic holder. Don't get a set that lets the wrenches float around in a plastic pouch, you'll never find the one you need!

Other than that, some good basic pliers sets (needle nose, wire cutters, etc) and anything else you see that strikes your fancy will serve you well for probably 95% of what you need to do. :thumb:

Also-I remember Nat (GETMETOCA) had asked about this about 1-1/2 yrs ago and there was plenty of great info in that thread if you can find it. :thumb:


Wise master of the mistic
Jun 28, 2001
My Suggestion,
I would suggest just getting one of the Craftsman pre assembled Metric sets. These bundle the most common wrenches, 3/8 drives, 1/4 drives, sockets, extentions, and screwdrivers.
This should get you the most for your money! Don't got cheapo on the tools, nothing worse than using a crescent wrench and stripping the head if you don't have the right wrenches or sockets or cheap ones that don't hold up.
Once you have the bulk you can pick up the odds and ends, like a Large Socket for your axle. Also get a pre packaged set of pliers from Sears aswell. If and when you break them you can exchange for a new one.

Now for an Opinions.
I don't buy Sears/Craftsmen named Power tools, they don't have the warranty of the hand tools and to me are very cheaply built and don't hold up. Thus Craftsmen Power washer or Cordless drill. Get something with a Honda Motor or for a drill get a Makita, Milwakee, or Dewalt. I use my drill alot with an 1/4 socket drive.

I don't have a Torque wrench and doubt I would use it much. If your set on geting one but doubt you would use it much, than pick up a cheapo from Harbor Freight.(I know that contradicts what I said earlier, yet if your not going to use it much, than don't spend the big bucks)

Good luck, I hate mechanicing ;)


Pantless Wonder
Dec 26, 1999
A brad/staple gun to hook up to the compressor makes putting seat covers on much nicer. While your at it a cut off tool, impact driver, die grinder, and ratchet are nice things to have on the end of the air hose.

A heat gun! Better than burning up the wife's hair dryer fixing up the new graphics or adjusting some plastic parts to fit better or remove those white crease marks.

Dremmel tool and assorted bits! I use mine a lot and used Mr.Luckey's to cut new teeth in a starter gear at Dirt Week.


Timmy Timmy Timmy!
Sep 24, 2000
Don't forget a vise to mount on your bench. A stereo/CD player is also a required tool for any garage. :)


Jun 5, 2001
Carpet on the floor, Dish Network on the TV, a futon, trash can with a lid, surround sound system, all tools noted above ^^^, parts washer, microwave for the popcorn, washing machine for the gear and filters, case of WD-40, case of Carb cleaner, case of barley pops, case of the runs, porta potty, craftsman cordless phone, mechanix gloves, calender with Supercross dates and Outdoors Nationals dates, clock, exacto knife, metal files...... that's good so far.;)
And don't forget the extra kitty litter containers in case something breaks on your bike :aj:


Can't Wait For Tuesdays
Mar 17, 2002
One thing not mentioned here is just a small travel tool box to take some tools with you to the track or on your camping/ride trips. I know some of you guys would love to take your Uber Tool Boxes with you, but then you wouldn't have room for your bike. :)

I have a three-drawer Craftsman tool box that I like a lot, it doesn't take up too much room. Here's what I keep:

Screwdrivers, Philips and flat
Rubber Mallet
T-Handle metric allen wrench set
Box wrench sets
Adjustable wrench
Needle nose pliers
Wire snippers
8-14mm 3/8 + 1/4 drive socket set
3/8 + 1/4 drive ratchets
Zip Ties
Duct Tape
Sharpie Pen

Have fun shopping! All my stuff is Craftsman.
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