tool kit

After petitioning a few friends for their advice on what would be a good on-the-road tool kit would be, this is there advice. Remember, some of these items are more needed for longer trips and some for shorter trips and some for daily riding. Some of these items are good for every motorcycle. However, an item necessary for one bike might be useful for another bike. Get to know your ride and what it might need.

– a spark plug wrench – spare plug or two (or four)
– file (emory board works and is cheap), and/or small piece of sandpaper (for cleaning plugs and points)
– spark plug spanner for setting plug clearance
– tools for removing the tappet covers and setting correct tappet clearances (this means I seem to recall a 17 mm for the covers plus an 8 or 9 mm wrench for the nuts on the tappets themselves as well as those thin metal blade thinges to measure the clearance)
(there might be a ‘special tool’ for holding the top of the tappet screw but I always used a pliers)
– and gapper for checking points gap–if you still have points in the thing.
– Spare set of points is very helpful for those few times you might need them, but you’ll be glad you packed them when you do.
ALSO–know how to hotwire the ignition switch. The switches on all the old in-line fours–400s, 500s, 550s, and 750s–are notorious for just frying out on you without notice. Getting a replacement used to not be terribly easy, and when Honda got smart to the attrition rate they made it impossible to buy the connectors alone and instead forced the consumer to buy the entire switch assembly–which was well over $100 back when last checked. There was an aftermarket unit available for about $35 that worked just fine. But the hotwiring will get you home and it’s not hard to do.
Condoms and aspirin are useful, too, at odd moments

Be able to diagnose the problem. That is a good part of the battle. Tools are easy.
– Both types of screwdriver (reversable one)
– adjustable wrench
– various zip ties
– fuses
– some wire and wire nuts
– electrical tape if you can fit it
– common
– sized box wrenches 10mm, 12mm, 14mm
– Craftsman nylon tool wrap thing, fits under seat
– End wrenches:10, 12, 13 (Not a size you run into on a stock Honda but there are many 13mm fasteners lots of bikes), 14, 17
– Mid-size adjustable wrench
– Small vise grips
– 4 way reversible screwdriver
– A dozen zip ties of varying sizes
– Fuses
– Tire pressure gauge

– Someone else recommended: http://www.cruztools.com
I picked up one of their metric econo kits a few years ago. Wrenches seem decent (better than the stock ones), plus wire, tape, zip ties, allens, pliers, plug wrench, screwdrivers, oil, and a handy dandy shop rag, all in a nice zip up carry pouch. I think it’s about $35.

Also: A good little multimeter is handy for diagnosing potential electrical problems.
I got a decent one from Radio Shack. Still works fine after 10+ years of abuse.

Master link. I always carry at least one extra.

Duct tape is good. So is electrical tape. A small hammer. Impact
driver. Big ol adjustable wrench. Sockets and rachet.

may the wind be at your back and all your roads be twisty

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