The ten best tools of all time
THE TEN BEST TOOLS OF ALL TIME
(from an email from 2001 - said to have been found on the net)
There are only ten things in this world you need to fix any motorcycle, any place, any time. Forget the Snap-On Tools truck; it's never there when you need it. Besides, there are only ten things in this world you need to fix anything, any place, any time.
1. Duct Tape: Not just a tool, a veritable Swiss Army knife in stickum and plastic. It's safety wire, body material, radiator hose, upholstery, insulation, tow rope, and more in one easy-to-carry package. Sure, there's a prejudice surrounding duct tape in concourse competitions, but in the real world everything from Le Mans - winning Porsches to Atlas rockets uses it by the yard. The only thing that can get you out of more scrapes is a quarter and a phone booth.
2. Vice-Grips: Equally adept as a wrench, hammer, pliers, baling wire twister, round off bolt heads, breaker-off of frozen bolts, and wiggle-it-till-it-falls off tool. The heavy artillery of your toolbox, Vice-Grips are the only tool designed expressly to fix things screwed up beyond repair. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
3. Spray Lubricants: A considerably cheaper alternative to new doors, alternators, and other squeaky items. Repeated soakings of WD-40 will allow the main hull bolts of the Andrea Dora to be removed by hand. Strangely enough, an integral part of these sprays is the infamous little red tube that flies out of the nozzle if you look at it cross-eyed, one of the ten worst tools of all time.
4. Margarine Tubs With Clear Lids: If you spend all your time under the bike looking for a frendle pin that caromed off the peedle valve when you knocked both off the seat, it's because you eat butter. Real mechanics consume pounds of tasteless vegetable oil replicas, just so they can use the empty tubs for parts containers afterward. (Some, of course, chuck the butter-colored goo altogether or use it to repack wheel bearings.) Unlike air cleaners and radiator lips, margarine tubs aren't connected by a time/space wormhole to the Parallel Universe of Lost Frendle Pins.
5. Big Rock At The Side Of The Road: Block up a tire. Smack corroded battery terminals. Pound out a dent. Bop nosy know-it-all types on the noodle.
Scientists have yet to develop a hammer that packs the raw banging power of granite or limestone. This is the only tool with which a "made in India"
emblem is not synonymous with the user's maiming.
6. Plastic Zip Ties: After twenty years of lashing down stray hoses and wired with old bread ties, some genius brought a slightly slicked up version to the auto parts market. Fifteen zip ties can transform a hulking mass of amateur-quality rewiring from a working model of the Brazilian rain forest into something remotely resembling a wiring harness. Of course, it works both ways. When buying used bikes, subtract $100.00 for each zip tie under the tank.
7. Ridiculously Large Standard Screwdriver With Lifetime Guarantee: Let's admit it. There's nothing better for prying, chiseling, lifting, breaking, splitting, or mutilating than a huge flat-bladed screwdriver, particularly when wielded with gusto and a big hammer. This is also the tool of choice for oil filters so insanely located they can only be removed by driving a stake in one side and out the other. If you break the screwdriver - and you will, just like Dad or your shop teacher said - who cares? It's guaranteed.
8. Baling Wire: Commonly known as BSA muffler brackets, baling wire holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties. Like duct tape, it's not recommended for concourse contenders since it works so well you'll never replace it with the right thing again. Baling wire is a sentimental favorite in some circles, particularly with BSA, Triumph, and other single and vertical twins set.
9. Bonking Stick: - This monstrous tuning fork with devilishly pointy ends is technically known as a tie-rod-end separator, but how often do you separate tie-rod-ends? Once every decade, if you're lucky. Other than medieval combat, its real use is the all purpose application of undue force, not unlike that of the huge flat-bladed screwdriver. Nature doesn't know the bent metal panel or frozen exhaust pipe that can stand up to a good bonking stick. (Can also be used to separate tie-rod ends in a pinch, of course, but does a lousy job of it).
10.A Quarter and a Phone Booth: See #1 above.
Other Important Tools And Their Definitions
HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.
MECHANIC'S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing seats and motorcycle jackets.
ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling mounting holes in fenders just above the brake line that goes to the rear wheel.
PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.
HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects in your garage on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside a brakedrum you're trying to get the bearing race out of.
WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2 socket you've been searching for the last 15 minutes.
DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted part you were drying.
WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar callouses in about the time it takes you to say, "Ouch...."
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a motorcycle to the ground after you have installed your new front disk brake setup, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front fender.
EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering a motorcycle upward off a hydraulic jack.
TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.
PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.
SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog-doo off your boot.
E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off in bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.
TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup.
TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and brake lines you may have forgotten to disconnect.
CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large motor mount prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.
BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from a car battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought.
AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
TROUBLE LIGHT: The mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin," which is not otherwise found under motorcycles at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.
PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to round off Phillips screw heads.
AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty bolts last tightened 60 years ago by someone in Springfield, and rounds them off.
PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.
HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses 1/2 inch too short.
Seek, and ye shall find.
Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
Truly excellent Grant! Have been feeling like cr*p all day with a stinking cold but now i'm having a job to tap this out with tears rolling down my cheeks!
Just going for a short ride on my bike....
also: Adjustable spanner(or wrench depending which side of the atlantic you are) suitable for rounding off various size bolt heads. Can only be used if there is nothing else in a 3 foot radius of bolt needing loosening. Also, depending on quality of item, usefull for smashing knuckles onto hard surface when adjustable jaw part suddenly breaks.
Everything in Grant's post is absolutely true. Brilliant!
There is an old African proverb that say, "that any thing can be fixed with the right size hammer" and after seeing a few working on there bikes in Egypt and Morocco I'd have to agree.
Do the best you can with what you have,
A stranger in a strange land now heading North South East West to.....
BMW tool No 1 - the largest hammer you have.
A good 'tool' web site .. various catagories - Cool Tools
I check it every say 2 - 3 months to keep up with the latest inventions/discoveries...
Forget Nos 7, 9 & 10. In the middle of the never never and that lifetime thingy breakes .. where you gonna get another one, a phone box? No 7 does for No 9.
No 7 should be two large screw drivers, one for braking.
No 9 should be bandaids.
No 10 - Credit card. Except in certain countries where cash is the go.
“I've learned to do the same thing with my tire pressure guage and pump. In the old days, I could never find them when I needed them. Then I learned to just leave them connected to the valve stems. Presto (or Schroder I suppose), they're there when I need them. Sometimes they thump around when I'm riding, and high speed stability is impaired, but it's worth it to have the utility of a tool and the convenience of a part.” Sparky - Braindead Adventurer
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
Hayes translation of important terms...
Haynes mechanic manual: Important Terms And Their Definitions
Haynes: Rotate anticlockwise.
Translation: Clamp with molegrips (adjustable wrench) then beat repeatedly with hammer anticlockwise. You do know which way is anticlockwise, don't you?
Haynes: Should remove easily.
Translation: Will be corroded into place ... clamp with adjustable wrench then beat repeatedly with a hammer.
Haynes: This is a snug fit.
Translation: You will skin your knuckles! ... Clamp with adjustable wrench then beat repeatedly with hammer.
Haynes: This is a tight fit.
Translation: Not a hope in hell matey! ... Clamp with adjustable wrench then beat repeatedly with hammer.
Haynes: As described in Chapter 7...
Translation: That'll teach you not to read through before you start, now you are looking at scary photos of the inside of a gearbox.
Translation: Hammer a screwdriver into...
Translation: Go buy a tin of WD40 (industrial size).
Haynes: Ease ...
Translation: Apply superhuman strength to ...
Haynes: Retain tiny spring...
Translation: "Jeez what was that, it nearly had my eye out"!
Haynes: Press and rotate to remove bulb...
Translation: OK - that's the glass bit off, now fetch some good pliers to dig out the bayonet part and remaining glass shards.
Translation: Start off lightly and build up till the veins on your forehead are throbbing then re-check the manual because what you are doing now cannot be considered "lightly".
Haynes: Weekly checks...
Translation: If it isn't broken don't fix it!
Haynes: Routine maintenance...
Translation: If it isn't broken... it's about to be!
Haynes: One spanner rating (simple).
Translation: Your Mum could do this... so how did you manage to botch it up?
Haynes: Two spanner rating.
Translation: Now you may think that you can do this because two is a low, tiny, ikkle number... but you also thought that the wiring diagram was a map of the Tokyo underground (in fact that would have been more use to you).
Haynes: Three spanner rating (intermediate).
Translation: Make sure you won't need your car for a couple of days and that your AA cover includes Home Start.
Haynes: Four spanner rating.
Translation: You are seriously considering this aren't you, you pleb!
Haynes: Five spanner rating (expert).
Translation: OK - but don't expect us to ride it afterwards!!!
Translation #2: Don't ever carry your loved ones in it again and don't mention it to your insurance company.
Haynes: If not, you can fabricate your own special tool like this...
Translation: Squeeze with all your might, jump up and down on, swear at, throw at the garage wall, then search for it in the dark corner of the garage whilst muttering "******" repeatedly under your breath.
Translation: Squint at really hard and pretend you know what you are looking at, then declare in a loud knowing voice to your wife "Yep, as I thought, it's going to need a new one"!
Translation: You are about to cut yourself!
Haynes: Retaining nut...
Translation: Yes, that's it, that big spherical BMW MINI of rust.
Haynes: Get an assistant...
Translation: Prepare to humiliate yourself in front of someone you know.
Haynes: Refitting is the reverse sequence to removal.
Translation: But you swear in different places.
Haynes: Prise away plastic locating pegs...
Translation: Snap off...
Haynes: Using a suitable drift or pin-punch...
Translation: The biggest nail in your tool box isn't a suitable drift!
Haynes: Everyday toolkit
Translation: Ensure you have an RAC Card & Mobile Phone
Haynes: Apply moderate heat...
Translation: Placing your mouth near it and huffing isn't moderate heat.
Translation #2: Heat up until glowing red, if it still doesn't come undone use a hacksaw.
Haynes: Apply moderate heat...
Translation: Unless you have a blast furnace, don't bother. Clamp with adjustable wrench then beat repeatedly with hammer.
Translation: List of all the things in the book bar the thing you want to do!
Haynes: Remove oil filter using an oil filter chain wrench or length of bicycle chain.
Translation: Stick a screwdriver through it and beat handle repeatedly with a hammer.
Haynes: Replace old gasket with a new one.
Translation: I know I've got a tube of Krazy Glue around here somewhere.
Haynes: Grease well before refitting.
Translation: Spend an hour searching for your tub of grease before chancing upon a bottle of washing-up liquid. Wipe some congealed washing up liquid from the dispenser nozzle and use that since it's got a similar texture and will probably get you to Halfords to buy some Castrol grease.
Haynes: See illustration for details
Translation: None of the illustrations notes will match the pictured exploded, numbered parts. The unit illustrated is from a previous or variant model.
'99 R1100GS - In a suitable shade of black
It's not that life is so short, It's just that we're dead for so long....
"The world is a book, those who do not travel read only one page." ~ Saint Augustin
The best ever tool invented, thats so easy to pack/carry, and can lead to the cure of any problem.... mechanical or phsycological...
A - bottle opener
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