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Old 09-02-2007, 07:00 PM   #2
hilslamer OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Chch, EnZed
Oddometer: 1,786


Chapman Tools - This is the best compromise of weight and functionality I have found in a miniature ratchet. It can be used with all of the above bits, as well as the 1/4" drive adapter and any sockets you carry. The Chapman ratchet mechanism itself is a light but a little fragile, especially if you use a cheater on it as is neccessary sometimes. I substitute the Husky ratchet below and use all the rest of the chapman stuff, for a very versatile and capable set:

Driver Handle
4" Extension
Metric Allen bits - 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm*
1/4" Drive adapter
#2, #3 Phillips bits*
#2 Flathead bit*
*I keep these separately stored in thin felt in an Altoids Smalls tin:

Chapman 1/4" Drive adapter:

This allows you to use the sockets listed below on the extension, to get down into that sidecase bolt or up through the frame to toghten that shift lever with ease. Note set screw on the bottom of the extension in the above pic; it will retain any bit or adapter inserted into the extension to prevent accidental loss of the tool.

The Husky 1/4" & 5/16" reversable mini ratchet complements the good parts of the Chapman stuff. There are many other similar products out there ,but this one stood out to me for a couple of reasons, following. It also provides it's own well-retained snap-in 1/4" drive adapter for the larger ratchet(read: higher torque capacity) on the 5/16" end for close quarters use:

It's proven itself time and time again for me. The fact that the ratchets are robust AND reversible is a dead sell over other designs IMO.

Craftsman Stubby Combo Wrenches - 8, 10, 12, 13, 14mm sizes - These are off the shelf items at any Sears or mailorder from same. Strong enough to put a wrench-on-a-wrench for the same leverage as a typical long-pattern wrench, without the bulk/weight of same:

Thick chrome plating resists abrasion and scratching and most of all rusting in a soaked toolbag. You'll notice that I also carry a Yamaha-issue 14&17 combo open end wrench - most rear brake master cylinder adjutments require TWO 14mm wrenches, and there are occasionally 17mm hex heads on bolts that need attention on my bikes.

Craftsman Short 6-point sockets, 1/4" drive - More off the shelf items I keep on a trimmed and shortened and lightened socket rail. 12 points are a LOT more likely to strip seized fastener heads, and the Husky ratchets have very fin indexing to accomodate the better 6-point socket variety. I I used to keep these in a tin too, but they fit nice on a shortened rail in my new Ogio MX 450. Sizes: 6mm(Kiehin or Mikuni Mainjet wrench), 8, 10, 12, 14mm standard, 8 & 10mm deeps- all common sizes on my bikes. I'm not a fan of redundacy in trail tools, but oftentimes you need the deep sockes to loosen brak bleeders, adjust levers, you name it. On my bikes, I have found a need, so they're in my kit. You decide accordingly for your bike and it's possibilities.

Beware of bikes with oddball 15mm, 13mm and 7mm hex head fasteners - check your bike for critical fasteners the might need attention in the field, and stock the appropriate tools!

Inconel 600 tie wire, .025 or .032 - Available from MSC Industrial Supply or McMaster-Carr...Expensive nickle superalloy, but you'll find more and more uses for it. It's about 200% better than bailing wire: lighter, stronger(60ksi yield strength, 3x that of common bailing wire) and it doesnt rust instantly when immersed in moisture and turn the inside of your toolbag orange! It is especially strong even at very high temperatures, so it can be used to hold bent or broken exhaust pipes and expansion chambers and silencers on to get back to the truck.

Other usage examples: It can easily be used in place of a missing or broken exhaust spring. The .032 or larger can be bent into a cotter pin shape to hold a footpeg pivot pin in or similar. The .025 stuff can be bent carefully into a carburetor needle clip in the even one is lost. I carry about 18" of it in a small bundle or two.

Tweezerman tweezer kit- I live in AZ, and everyone knows how cactus remind you not to bump into them next time. Not to mention you can find all sorts of other uses for these, just lik you would at home. They weight nearly nothing and are indespensable on the trail IMO. These are SS so they don't rust, and come in their own case, which I orient in my toolbag so that they may never escape and get pointed at me while racing. Why is this important? A friend of mine had his come loose in his toolbag, get poked through the side, and gave him what was basically an "inkless tattoo" for the better part of a long lap in a harescrambles race...

Comb - Any small comb with fine enough combs to pull an entire chunk of Cholla cactus or similar out. Also doubles as a way to sift gently through the sand should you drop a bolt, etc., in it while making a repair.

SOG Paratool or equivalent - This hits a lot of birds with one stone: pliers, powerful needlenose pliers(due to doubler mechanism - SOG unique!), wire cutters, knife, a single- and double-cut file, a wood saw that trims broken plastic fenders etc. nicely, and even aluminum if need be, straight blade knife, a serrated knife, miscelaneous screwdrivers(although they never seem to be long enough to get to anything...hence the Chapman screwdriver bits), Scissors on some models that are good enough to trim tins/pop cans for patches in crankcases, etc. Some models have ViseGrips incorporated into them, which can be used on a broken shift/brake lever or stripped shift shaft so you can at least shift. The biggest thing here is to know what it has so you don't carry it twice or separately and also so you know what can be used where!

hilslamer screwed with this post 04-21-2011 at 12:11 PM
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