Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:59 pm
Tools & Tips you may find useful on the road        

[ I'm sure most of this is old hat for you, but what the hell ]

Do you still use allen wrenches? If so, may I recommend ditching them, and picking up some 0.25" hex-end allen bits? Minimum 3, 4, 6mm. I forget if I use my 8mm and 10mm bits at all. You can use them in a ratchet with an appropriate adaptor. Then, throwing in a screwdriver handle for those bits means you can spin 'em faster, and a bunch of extra screwdriver bits adds really no space/weight but can be awfully handy if something happens to your real screwdriver(s). Plus, with one more adaptor, you can then use that screwdriver handle to spin loosened bolts with a socket on the end of it; screw drivers are much faster than ratchets, especially for long, obstructed bolts like at the back of the gas tank.

Ratchet + 6mm allen bit makes removing the rear brake caliper much easier.

6mm allen bit + screwdriver makes removing / replacing the mirrors much quicker.

4mm allen bit + screwdriver makes removing / replacing the upper gas tank bolts a less-dangerous breeze.

A 3mm allen bit on an 8" screwdriver handle really makes draining the LHS carb a lot easier.. oh, and if you need to drain your float bowls, cut a coke can 1/3 of the way from the bottom; it will fit under the carb you're draining and sit on the motor, and will hold a whole float bowl + fuel filter full of fuel. If you need an emergency piece of rubber tubing for siphoning your gas tank, the overflow hose is long enough, but it's thin so it will take about 30 minutes...

Speaking of fuel filters, Tecumseh-engined lawn mowers use one with a 0.6 micro element, which is easy to find and should fit the stock plumbing. I've changed to 0.25" plumbing, but the application chart says 1/4 - 5/16" hose will work. It's similar in size/shape to the B&S filter I had on last year if you remember that one. Want the part number?

I like 0.25" fuel hose, I don't need clips to hold it onto the petcock. And if you ever pull the petcock vaccuum nipple off, just tap it back in with a hammer. Mr. Green (I grease the nipples now to avoid that possibility).

Also, I don't know how fast you are at changing plugs, but for me the fastest way to go is to put the stock toolkit plug adaptor in the hole, drop a 10" extension + 14mm socket on the end of it, loosen that with the ratchet, pop the ratchet off and spin the extension like a screwdriver. I like that trick, because you can poke the extension right down through the back bone and wires.. but it only works if the tank is off.

Hmm. Don't forget a small tube of multi-purpose grease (in case you need to take off a wheel and drop a spacer or axle in the dirt).. spare plugs and spark plug anti-seize.. breaker bar.. 8, 10, 12, 14, 17, 22, and 24 mm sockets.. 14mm wrench for passenger footpeg/muffler back-of-bolt.. 19 mm wrench if you are going to work on the suspension (doubt it).. vice grips, plug gap tool, needle-nosed pliers, diagonal cutters (side cutters), feeler guages, 9 mm deep socket (or valve adjustment tool), valve adjuster-sized flat-tipped screwdriver..

Hmm...a tube of instant-gasket might not be a bad idea.. but I don't know.. a head gasket can't be fixed at the side of the road, an alternator cover gasket might be better "fixed" by just dumping lots of oil into the crankcase..

Another speed tip: you can bypass the need for a lock on your seat by attaching a zip-tie to the mechanism and feeding it down through the space beside the fender. Cut off so it's flush with the rear fairing. Now you just reach underneath and pull the zip tie to open the latch.

I think that's about all I can spew right now. Oh, don't forget, lots of zip-ties, electrical tape, duct tape. You might want to bring some of those metal zip-ties in case something hot breaks (like a muffler bracket?). And bring some of that plastic lense tape (or a post-it note pad Smile )


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