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Tools for a newbie


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Hi all. Coming up to nearly a year I've had my first bike (MT07). I'm looking to do some basic mods on my bike (exhaust, tail tidy, R6 throttle tube) and want to do basic maintenance and servicing on it when it is out of warranty. I have very little in the way of tools and mechanical knowledge of bikes, so will be a big learning process for me. Sorry I know its a such a broad question, recommendations for good quality specific tools, or tool sets when starting out? Cheers for all the responses.

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Halfords professional tools are pretty solid for a good price. Never pay full price for them though, every few months their sets will be on offer.

Multiple 10mm spanners seem to be a requirement for many bikes...

Long sockets in select sizes (depending on bike)

Extension bar for those hard to remove things.

A good torque wrench - find out how to use it properly, and don't mis-use it for you'll break it.

Vinyl gloves, cause working with greasy, oily hands gets boring quickly.

Swarfega - for when you inevitably do get oil and grease on your hands, this removes it best.

Not sure if Yamaha's use JIS screws, Honda certainly do. If you like DIY, and do not mind spending a good amount of money on screwdrivers. A set of JIS screwdrivers are well worth the investment if you have Japanese bikes.

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I would start with a repair/service manual, like Haynes. This will have all the info you need for basic maintenance and servicing as well as give you the various torque values for critical fixings. Ally this with a factory service manual if you can find one. Either should tell you what tools you need. Especially oddities. Tools that may not be part of a basic set, for example a breaker bar. Deep sockets and so on. To make life simpler it's always useful to have the specific oil filter tool.

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With sockets get some decent 6 sided ones (most cheaper sets tend to come with the 12 point star type) 6 sided are much less likely to round off bolts.

Circlip pliers (and not the cheapie ones with swappable jaws... They are more grief than they are worth) are often overlooked until they are needed, there's times you can get away with other methods but for sake of a few quid worth keeping on a shelf.

As mentioned a breaker bar always worth having.

+1 for Halfords pro stuff, can take quite a bit of abuse and lifetime warranty.

And also as mentioned the odd special bit, H7 is most common size for brake calipers but for some reason rarely included in sets, even biggest Halfords pro set jumped from H6 to H8. But those sort of things depend on what you need for your bike, but you normally find you need them when you're in the middle of a strip down.

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One bit of info that been said on here is circlip pliers.. for years I go on doing jobs with out these I mean maybe 5 or 6 times I needed these and never bought them as 1 a year naa I'll by somting else then you need them off goes the circlip 20 mins crawling along the fool with a magnet . Then the other day i bought my 1st.set one of each and if use then once so far and my god what a difference I know it sounds stupid but they are worth the money .even if you thank you never.use the again you will trust me once you start doing DIY on your bike . As for tool don't go for big branded names as that all your paying for but don't buy pound land tools

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I have a Halfords 1/2" drive socket set, must be getting on for 30 years old now, the 13mm & 17mm sockets have been replaced (frequent use) and the 12" extension (lost it). It covoers sizes 8-30mm (and imperial, but you probably only need metric)

I also have a Draper expert 1/4" socket set, sizes 4mm to 13mm, includes deep reach sockets and screw driver, torx and hex bits) This set is really useful for my bike. 10mm, 13mm, Pozi 2, and a few Hex bits are used all the time.

If you are only goingot deal with bikes then a 3/8" set might be a cost effective solution. Should cover 6mm- 24mm.

Check what sizes you need on your bike.

Three sets fo spanners, Combination spanners - these hang on a rack on the wall for easy acces for quick jobs, then open ended and ring sets in the tool box.

Loads of screwdrivers, Japanese bikes use JS specification for the cross head, if you can get htese screwdrivers at sensible price then great, if not Pozi area close substitute.

My top recommendations is a soft faced mallet, Mine has rubber one end, and hard plastic the other, ideal for tappong wheeel psindles outt etc, with out damageing them. Hammers will easily damage the end of threads and such.

Some bike specific bits:

1. Oil filter wrench, looks like a black cap that fits over the end of the filter, then use 3/8" socket set. Makes removing and fitting much easier.

2. Tappet adjusting screwdriver, on my bike the tappet screw is a small square head, this little tool fits it and makes them much easier to adjust. ( oh - nealry forgot - Feeler guages for checking tappets san spark plugs). There are differen tools for different makes /models.

3. Cable lubricator - clamps onto the end of a cable and makes it easier to get lube into it.


I have a big tool rack with 15 drawers, but then I have cars, boats, and bikes to maintain and fix. I have accumulated tools over the years that have only been used once (essential at the time) and some may never be used again.

Decide what job you wantot o do and then think you r way through it, which tools to use etc. If you don't have the required tool, aquire it, to start with you will need to keep buying tools, but soon you will havea useful set and only need to but "specialist" tools for specific jobs.

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On a more practical note, one thing you can do is replace every possible bolt on the bike with a stainless steel Allen bolt then you'll hardly need spanners and sockets at all . While your at it you can put a dab of copper slip on various threads so they will undo easily when required . This is particularly helpful on things like mudguard bolts and calliper bolts where shit and salt can seize things solid . I get the majority of mine from Tool Station dead cheap and the longer and bigger ones I buy individually off eBay.

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as above. I replaced all the hugger and mudguard bolts on the Tiger with SS. I haven't done the caliper ones yet.


Calliper bolts should ideally be part threaded with a plain shank .

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