Motorcycle Specialty Tools

The Hydraulic Brake Bleed Kit

An essential part of setting up your hydraulic brake kit, the bleed kit is what allows you to finish the job and pull the last remaining air from the hydraulic hose before attaching it. If any air remains in the hose, the brake system won't work and the actuating lever will be spongy. The fluid needs a complete vacuum to create its pressure and stopping power. The bleed kit allows you to drain the fluid safely until all of the air is out of the line.

The Chain Breaking Tool

Many motorcycles are driven by drive chains. However, today's chain doesn't have a master link. They are the same link design all the way through. So how does one repair the chain and take it off? Many manuals say to remove the swing arm, but this results in a lot of unnecessary work. The chain breaking tool allows you to choose a point to break the chain and remove it. Then you simply drag the new chain through, rivet the remaining ends closed with a master link, and the chain is complete again.

Bearing Remover/Driver Kits

Today's motorcycle engines rely on bearings for their rotating parts--and these bearings are installed very tightly in aluminum engine cases. That's a horrible mix if one tries to remove or install them with brute force. Either the bearing will be twisted and useless, or the case will crack. Bearing pullers and punches allow precise force to be applied to installation and removal, so that the work causes no damage to either part. Most kits come in multiple sizes to fit most of the major bearings involved.

Case Splitters, Flywheel Pullers and Gear Pullers

Again, brute force can ruin perfectly good motorcycle engine cases. However, some kind of force is needed many times to open up an engine case or remove a gear. Case splitters, flywheel pullers and gear pullers do so without damaging the engine case. All three tools are designed to perform their function at key points, directing force to safe areas and avoiding engine case fractures or cracks. An owner usually needs to find the right tool that matches the engine, as many of these kinds of tools are specifically made for certain models--including flywheel pullers in particular.

Crankshaft and Piston Installers

The crankshaft and piston are tender engine parts that require extreme care when installing or removing. Crankshaft and piston installers allow installation by pulling the part into place without applying impact force to the engine part. This preserves the integrity of the crankshaft or piston. The crankshaft puller usually screws on to the end of the motorcycle crankshaft and pulls it through and into the main engine bearing in the case. The piston puller pulls the piston gudgeon pin through the piston bearing, crankshaft end and piston body to secure it on the end of the crankshaft.

Many More Tools Exist

The above list is not exhaustive, and many more motorcycle specialty tools exist, depending on your motorcycle model. Manufacturers usually provide specific factory tools through dealers, and sometimes aftermarket suppliers make limited items as well. For vintage tools, you may need to look around and try garage sales or eBay for tool sets. Patience is the key; wait long enough and you can complete an entire mechanic's set for your motorcycle. If you've ever worked on an old motorcycle, you probably found after a few times that it was fairly easy to do. Depending on the manufacturer, you basically needed to have a metric or standard set of spanners and sockets, screwdrivers, hammers, a work space, light and levers. The few specialty tools needed maybe numbered close to five tools on many models. Today, the list is far bigger. And without these specialty tools, you won't be able to get the repairs you want doing it yourself.