Tool Shopping for a "n00b"

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Covert, Sep 25, 2019.

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  1. Covert

    Covert Adventurer

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    I am shopping for a mobile tool pack for my 2020 GSA. I've been eyeballing the Wera set which I've received a few recommendations on and have seen mentioned in this forum.

    I've come across two:

    Wera 3/8 Metric Ratchet/Socket Set
    https://www.amazon.com/Wera-05004048001-Metal-Switch-Ratchet-29Piece/dp/B00IS0W9V2

    Wera 1/4 Metric Ratchet/Socket Set
    https://www.amazon.com/Wera-05004016001-Zyklop-Metric-Ratchet/dp/B00IMF1CDO

    They come with different size socks. I probably will have to add a few sockets/bits (amongst other items) to the kit to make it complete.

    Are there any advantages of one over the other?
    #1
  2. Mcgee

    Mcgee Been here awhile Supporter

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    Not sure what year you have, but JVB productions has a great tool list for the GS's.
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  3. Covert

    Covert Adventurer

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  4. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I wouldn't get a 1/4” drive. Just not enough oomph for wheel bolts or axle. Personally I don’t buy those sets of 29 pieces as half of them you will never need. I find it best to work on the bike in my home garage...or at least walk around the bike trying tools out...and then duplicate those tools I deem needed in my mobile kit. I carry NO wrenches, just sockets and ratchet. I’m not going to rebuild my engine, tranny or drive on the road as I have no parts. But I will need to remove bodywork, wheels, brake calipers, battery for sure. Over time the kit gets edited, both adding and removing tools. Also I tend to. Hold up other stuff as needed: tire pressure gauge, screwdriver, combination pliers/wire cutter/stripper. Also some duct tape wrapped around a pencil. Bits of wire. Headlamp bulb. I’m also fond of the blue painters tape. JB Weld. I do carry a mini hacksaw! There is a hammer in my camping duffel.
    #4
  5. Covert

    Covert Adventurer

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    Thanks for your insight, this is exactly the type of feedback I am looking for.
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  6. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    What tools you need depends on a couple of things:

    1) Your ability to use them
    2) How far from civilization you intend to wander
    3) What kinds of spares/supplies you also intend to haul along with you

    For most ADV folks, the most cost AND size effective tool kit is a cell phone and a VISA card.

    If you are nuts, like me, then you also need to carry the parts likely to fail half-way up the Dalton Hwy. I carry a boat-load of tools, but I attempt to buy ones that are very compact and/or multi-function. As an example, the Motion-Pro T6 combo lever. I carry the 24mm one which fits the rear axle nut and the other end is an excellent tire spoon. I also have the 24mm 3/8" square drive adapter and carry that instead of a 3/8" ratchet.

    The only way to figure out what tools you really need is to have a pile of tools handy and do all your own maintenance/repairs using them. Then you have to decide if each tool goes into the tool roll or back into the garage tool box. I leave the torque wrenches at home, as my "calibrated" wrist is good enough by the side of the road. Plus this isn't a one-time event: every time I work on one of my bikes and have to go into the basement for a tool, I have to decide should this (or another tool that could substitute for it) go into the tool roll?

    I guess I'm a lot like JVB in that I pack lots of tools, all the time. I carry over 100 tools, but many of them are very tiny, like hex and Torx bits. A few are large, like the Motion Pro BeadPro FS.

    At a minimum, you should carry a good tire gauge, tire plugs, a good tire pump.
    #6
  7. Covert

    Covert Adventurer

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    I am not a tool guy, nor very handy. However, I do want to use this as an opportunity to learn how to maintain my bike.

    I do want to keep things light while out on the road, just looking to make minor adjustments if necessary.

    For home, I do want to be able to install some farkles such as new handguards, swap windscreens, headlight protector, bar risers (if I need them), skid plate, install slip-on, etc...

    I also would like to service the bike, maybe even do my own break-in service.
    #7
  8. gratefulJED

    gratefulJED long strange tripper Supporter

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    Ive always tried to work on my bike even in the garage with what I carry with me. To that end, I love the wera 1/4 set, the metal cased 6X7? Size. I then add the 3/8 ratchet, the bigger socket, and everything else Mr. Tuckers mentioned in a nice 12X6 roll. I wrap a wrench with some safety wire, the nice German wrenches 8,10,13mm,spare oil sight glass back in the day, tow strap, tire repair, zip tie, air chuck, .45, and a visa.
    #8
  9. Motopsychoman

    Motopsychoman Not a total poseur Supporter

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    I think all motorcyclists should know how to wrench on their rides. Glad to hear you at least want to be able to deal with the basics. Too bad you're not up here in the Bay Area or I'd be glad to help you along.

    I've been collecting tools and wrenching on motorcycles for almost 45 years, so I have amassed a significant collection. But sometimes even I have to go buy a new tool, like recently when I had to rebuild some DRZ400 forks. Needed a large 6-point socket for the bottom of the forks and a special "cartridge" tool for the insides. Those will sit in a large Ziplock bag in case I ever need to rebuild the forks again. But most of my tools are old Craftsman ratchets and sockets, combination/box-end/open-end wrenches, assorted screwdrivers, Torx drivers, hex bits, Allen wrenches, feeler gauges, etc.
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  10. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    I actually carry a 3/8” drive torque wrench in one and a quarter inch black plastic drain pipe! Just last week I got new rear tires for our two GS’s whilst in Georgia. I took the wheels off myself and carried them in to a small shop for remove/mount/balance. It felt good to be able to torque the wheel bolts...and the Mrs Tucker who likes to cruise on the open road at 80 mph appreciated the care I put in to such things.
    #10
  11. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Oh and on this last 4,400 mile trip which ended yesterday I had to plug/inflate my rear tire in a car park and replace my battery in a gas station. It was nice to have ample tools AND a multimeter! I had to borrow good jumper cables and someone’s running truck to put more charge in the new battery. My high beam bulb also burned out but I let that go until I got home as we don’t ride at night. Although I did have the bulb on hand. For the tire plug I used pliers to pull out the offending metal, reamer to clean the hole. Plug insert doo-dad to get plug in, my pocket knife to cut off excess. My ‘home made’ 12v air pump which originally came as a large affair which I stripped out of and put just the pump bit in small Tupperware. I had a small gauge in my riding jacket pocket. All done in about 15 minutes and back on the road doing 80.
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  12. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Thats funny. I forgot to mention my three credit cards, Cheque book for drop box camp sites and my .38 Smith and Wesson Detective Special! Passport card, National Parks Pass. I also carry a small format USA road atlas...I use my phone gps for address’s but the visual of a paper map for actual route finding/planning which ALWAYS changes on the fly. I have to say my most used tool is the iPhone. Great for Booking.com motels/camps. Parts stores, gas stations and etc. Removes the previous anxiety the Mrs Tucker suffered from my missteps and wandering. I do still like to pick a back road but it’s almost impossible to get lost anymore.
    #12
  13. Covert

    Covert Adventurer

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    I appreciate the gesture and your (as well as other's) advice.
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  14. NorthIdaho800gsa

    NorthIdaho800gsa Bad influence

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    Tire plugs, electrical tape, jb weld and zip ties take care of 90% of your issues prolly.
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  15. Covert

    Covert Adventurer

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    Do you guys have a recommendation on a decent 3/8 torque wrench?
    #15
  16. NorthIdaho800gsa

    NorthIdaho800gsa Bad influence

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    I'm a pro tool guy. Mostly snap on and mac for me. However, if you don't use tools much, don't spend the money. Gear wrench makes good stuff.
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  17. gratefulJED

    gratefulJED long strange tripper Supporter

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    Craftsman USA is/was good...don't know where you might find it, but prolly any ratchet will suffice since you're prolly not using it all the time. In my next life ill have a big assed blue/white snap on filled with Hazet tools lol
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  18. 150flyer

    150flyer Adventurer

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    Unless you do a terrible job maintaining your bike, the most likely break down will be tire or wheel related. I have every tool needed in my garage to do scheduled maintenance and tire changes but only carry basic tools while riding. A tire plug kit, electric pump, ratchet, torx bit set and socket set and a leatherman multi tool. For repair supplies I carry a few spare wheel spokes, a small roll of duct tape, a few wire splices, a few zipp ties and a replacement valve core. I figure any break down that could not be fixed with those items would not be realistic to repair on the road side anyway. Obviously if I were on a multi week adventure in remote regions, I would re-think my list.
    #18
  19. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    If starting from scratch, I'd get the list that JVB provides on his web site as my starting point.

    There is no requirement to buy high-dollar. Snap-On and Mac are fine, but FACOM gen. makes even better stuff. Regardless, all those prices are high. Craftsman, Husky (are they still around), and even Harbor Freight will suffice quite well.

    A decent quality 3/8" drive ratchet wrench will be one of your more significant outlays. Putting together the torx bits using JVB's list will also add up. Your single biggest splurge will likely be for a decent 3/8" torque wrench, which should only be used for (carefully) tightening fasteners.

    And if you're asking about a new bike, really you can get buy (pun) with only a cell phone + BMW's 1-800 number.
    #19
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  20. Coma

    Coma Long timer Supporter

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    Agree.

    Best quality tools are nice as they are tough, slender and durable. However, unless you’re making a living with them unnecessary. Since you want to be able to make adjustments JVB’s list will cover that and more. Your cell phone will give you access to references. A tire plug kit with inflator will get you off the side of the road and to a place to buy a tire, Progressive and others have roadside assistance.

    If you are going to start maintenance at home buy yourself a lift, HF is fine.

    Working on your bike is fun and rewarding!

    Enjoy
    #20
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