Tools and Tool Placement FAQ
compiled & edited by Kristian #562
Please read the Disclaimer before attempting any work in this FAQ.
Updated 15 August 2004 by Nate #1379

Tools for General Maintenance

Tools & Parts for Trips

General Parts

Tool Humour

Tools for General Maintenance

What Stock Tools does BMW Provide ?

Allen Keys, Spark Plug Socket, Couple of Dinky Spanners, Reversible Plain/Philips Screwdriver.

For the GS See this Pic, from Gerry #951

What additional Tools should I buy to fix my Bike?

The Classic REQUIRES only one SPECIAL tool, the alternator rotor puller, to tear the entire bike into little tiny pieces. That's about $24 and hardly worth paying postage to ship around. There is a special bolt required to hold the crank when doing cam stuff. But that costs under a dollar, and you can make one by grinding the end of a normal bolt for a rounded "point." To completely tear down a Classic, you'll need a pair of 22mm sockets, a 30mm socket, a 26mm socket (or 1-1/16") and probably a 30mm combination wrench, too. A set of 6, 8 and 10 mm Allen sockets and a ball-end 5mm Allen key simplify and speed up the job. All the regular, normal tools will be needed. Assorted metric wrenches (17 and 19mm combination wrenches are critical), a selection of screwdrivers and pliers and, of course, a hammer. Having 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" drive socket sets with an assortment of extensions will make you happier while the work is going on. But you COULD do it with just one set and a lot of cussing.

If you plan on dropping the motor, first get a pair of 14mm bolts at least 100mm long. They make it SO much easier to keep things in line when pulling the swingarm bolt. And they make getting the motor back into position at the swingarm a snap. Otherwise, you'll be wrestling with those dammed nylon swing arm washers for what seems like forever (Dab of grease helps!). Flash #412.

Choose just what YOU need:

For the GS Only:


Special BMW tools
Davidhpark, #711

Subject: Special BMW tools

In re-reading/reviewing the BMW service manual for the F650GS I decided to extract the BMW part numbers for the tools that they recommend using (why they can't simply provide a list at the end of the manual is beyond me). I submitted them to my local dealer to get pricing/availability. These are all "special order", must be prepaid and there can be no returns. That being said, I found it funny that some of the stuff wasn't available (at all) in the US and some of the tools that they list for valve adjustment aren't available at all (i.e. no longer available either in US or Germany).

  1. Countersprocket puller, BMWNo.88886 00 8 400 = $52.25 available in US
  2. Oil drain guide, BMW No. 9088611 7 511 = $61.50 available in US
  3. Hose pliers, , BMW No. 9088617 5 500 = $115 available in US
  4. Valve-clearance adjuster, BMWNo.9088611 7 501 = $235 available in US
  5. Thruster, BMWNo.9088611 7 503 = no longer available
  6. Shaft, BMW No. 9088611 7 502 = no longer available
  7. Clamp block, BMW No. 9088611 7 504. = no longer available
  8. Magnetic holder, BMW No. 9088611 7 505 = $44 not in stock, Germany may have it.
  9. Hose clips, BMW No. 9088613 3 010. = $10.40 available in US

You can get by for most jobs, without any of these Tools (See individual FAQs). You DO need the BMW Flywheel Puller though. Flash#412, Kristian #562.

Generic Flywheel & Clutch Holder Tools

Specialist Tools

Axle Wrench: You can replace the axle wrench with one of Scott's tools (smaller/multi-function). You need a 24mm for the rear axle - options for the other end are 19mm and 17mm.


BMW Valve Shim Removal Tool: When talking to the tech's (Jim) at CalBMW we were discussing valve adjustments on the F650GS/Dakar. Apparently they have a special tool that you can use which makes the job a 5-10 minute job as you don't have to take off the cam chain, etc.  You bolt this appliance on to the top and then with a few turns and such can take out and replace the shims. It's about $350 and I'm seriously considering getting it. Opinions? Would be nice to save time and not have to mess with parts of the bike that don't need to be disassembled. DHP #711

The Overwhelming Opinion is SAVE YOUR MONEY. (See the GS Valve Shim FAQ): Here's the feedback:

Tool Tips and Tips for Tool-use:
by Mal #1011 & Various Authors

For years I've been using some dodges I've not seen on the web. I thought  I'd share them with the Gang. Here I'll scratch the surface with a couple..

Allen keys:
Take a set of regular Allen keys and cut off at the turn so as to end up with straight keys. Also the short lengths (not shown) can be used the same way.

SEE Cut-Offs1 and Cut-Offs2.

1. Can be used in many ways in a cordless drill/driver (handy for taking all those screws that hold the bodywork and engine covers). ALWAYS start screws in the thread the usual way as the drill/drivers are too fierce. SEE DrillDrvr

2. Can be used with sockets. I use Blu-Tak, the tacky plasticine for sticking paper on billboards etc To hold them in. SEE Socketkey


Allen screws with thread locking compound on them or seized:

Fork Top Threads:

These are a fine thread and can get crossed up. If the sockets are held as in ThreadFeel, this way the top stays square. With the ratchet in the undo/anti clockwise (AC) direction - press down and turn AC . You will feel a jump as the thread on the top cap meets the end/start of the threads in the stanchion. Ease out the top cap and let it sit in position on the spacer. Set the ratchet clockwise (CW) to tighten. Press down as in ThreadFeel and the threads will be lined up start to start.

Spring Removal - Installation
by Flash #412

Try placing coins in between the spring coils to extend it. For spring removal, I would start with the bike on the centerstand, as this will extend the spring to some extent. Don't try to extend the spring to add more coins, but rather try to flex it side to side. Eventually, when enough coins are inserted, you should be able to retract the centerstand and the spring should be extended enough for removal.


Listening to Engine Rattles
by Flash & Richard #230

Use a screwdriver as a stethoscope to help track down the location of the rattle.

Torque Wrenches

Torque: Metric Converters

Penetrating Oils

Getting Stubborn Nuts Loose

Cheap Maintenance Tips

Bike Storage Tools




(not really "standard", since THE standard is the metric one)


Spoke Wrench Information

General Spoke Wrench Info

by Marty #436-Chicago-97 F650F & Seacuke, #1214, F650GS


I measured my Classic spoke nipples...about 0.240" (close to 6 mm). My old set of spoke wrenches say that it's between a #9 (sloppy fit, but works) and #10 (no fit, and I have no clue what the numbers convert to...). Personally, a 4" crescent wrench works for me in a pinch.

So I finally got a spoke wrench (
Rowe Spoke Wrench), and discovered that the size '3' is the proper (I should say 'properest') fit. This #3 didn't mean much to me, but I did find this chart which seems to maybe make some sense. If indeed this is 3 AWG, that would put our diameter at 5.816 mm, and in eyeballing the tool with a ruler, it does indeed appear to be just over 1/2 a cm (5mm) wide at the '3' size.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'd believe that the threaded end of the spokes on our wheels measures somewhere's around 3 AWG.

Reviews of FAASTCO's Spoke Wrench

Fasstco Spoke Torque Wrench
Price (MSRP): $119.00
Optional heads: (5.0mm, 5.6mm, 6.0mm, 6.2mm, 6.3mm, 6.4mm, 6.7mm, 6.8mm, 7.1mm, and spline drive) $9.95 each

Will Pattison's Review
Ok, let's get the disclaimer out there right from the start - I am not a professional wheel builder. I've been riding, racing, and wrenching on my own motorcycles for 20 years, but it's not how I make my living. While I've split my share of cases and done top ends by the dozens, I only recently decided to tackle wheel building. As a mechanical engineer, I can readily accept that every spoke in a wheel should have the same torque, and that there is in fact an ideal setting. I figured that the Faast Co. Spoke Torque Wrench would put some science into the art of determining exactly what that value should be. I also imagined that it would turn a newbie wheel lacer into a pro in short order.

In a word, wrong. The first task I chose to try the wrench was a rear wheel. I already had everything pretty snug, and the rim had less than 0.025" of run-out or wobble. I assumed at that point that I could simply use the torque wrench to take them all to the 100 lbs. mine is set at and be done with it. Big mistake. After cinching up all 36 spokes I stepped back to admire my handiwork and quickly saw that I was in trouble - the wheel had a wobble I could measure with a yardstick! At that point, I did a reset and finished the job by feel. As I expected, the wheel loosened each time I rode the bike (yz400) for the first 5-6 hours, but since the spokes seated themselves, I've had no issues.

I did give the wrench another chance, however, when I built the front wheel in the set. Again, I found it to be less than helpful. To be fair, though, I have to say I'm not sure that the wrench is at fault. First, I believe that the same torque value should probably not be used for both a front and rear wheel. Not only are the spokes different diameter and the rims of differing strength, but the abuse one takes is clearly greater than the other. Second, in my short wheel-truing career, I've decided not to use the resistance at the nipple to judge how tight the spoke is. It seems that even with anti-seize on all the threads that some of them want to gall a bit, which of course sets the torque wrench off prematurely. That may be a manufacturing issue with the spokes themselves (Buchanan in this case) or it may be my choice of lubricant. I'm going to build the next one using plain grease and see if it makes a difference.

Either way, I'd certainly like to hear the feedback of an experienced wheel builder. I guess that until I did, it would be difficult for me to recommend that any one else spend the $119.95 Faast is asking for this tool. I still believe that nipple torque is important, but until I can reconcile that with actual practice, I'm going to continue tightening them by feel and sound.


Tool Feedback:

Genuine 2 by 4 with Snap-on screwdriver to shim/adjust the wheel for doing the bearings! (lift on 2 by 4 to lift the wheel to index fork legs etc)

Craftsman jack stand holding up the bike.

DeWalt light that takes the rechargeable batteries, an excellent shop-light.

Valve Adjustment Box:

If you have take your shims out, keep track of them. It is FAR to easy to mix them up, switch buckets, shims can and will migrate/interchange/disappear I made this box and chart for my 6K service but my valves are all within spec (!). See the faq for more shim explanation. I will  have part #s for the Triumph and Kawasaki replacement shims forthwith.

Rhodesian Factory Tool:

After a long hard day working on the F650, every Ridgeback needs a nice warm bath!

This is Cecil, my 115# Rhodesian Ridgeback that helps with everything.

She grew up getting in the way of TY250s, BMW Airheads and now is an F650 fan.


By Nate #1379

Hi all you fans of stripped thread holes. Due to the unfortunate fact that BMW has chosen a cross between pot metal and Cheddar cheese to use for the engine and transmission cases (among other things), it may become necessary at some point to repair a badly stripped out threaded hole.

There are really three options:

1. Fix it yourself
2. Take it to a machine shop to fix it
3. Buy a new part

While buying a new part will preserve the originality of the bike, it is the most expensive option and often requires additional disassembly to put the new part on. The machine shop option usually is cheaper, but also requires additional disassembly. Fixing it yourself is the least expensive, and may not require any further disassembly. If you choose to re-thread the hole yourself, you have a few options:

1. Drill the hole out bigger, retap and use a bigger bolt (least appealing but fastest option)
2. Use a thread repair epoxy (only good for low torque, non-critical threads)
2. Use an insert like
3. Use an insert like

This is not an F650, but in fact a boxer engine head (R1100S) where one of the head cover bolt holes has been stripped out. Note that the hole is elongated as well (towards 1 o'clock)

Although there are a few options in how to repair this, I chose to use the Time-Sert method of replacing the threads to their original dimensions (instead of drilling out to the next size up bolt). The kit is expensive, but is significantly better than the alternative Helicoil since the new threaded insert cannot migrate down into the hole and won't uncoil since the Time-Sert is a solid bush insert.

In general, the included instructions will guide you well. But first things first. In order to use the Time-Sert, one must have good, direct access to the hole, so that drilling and tapping of the hole can be done completely square to the surface.

Note that I have protected the rocker assembly and timing chain from bits of metal by using a plastic bag and cloth. One does not want the drilled and tapped bits of metal to drop into the engine.

The first step is to drill out the old threads using the included drill bit. Before I started drilling, I used a small drill bit to determine how deep the hole was and taped off the Time-Sert drill bit at that length to prevent drilling too deep. I also spray the drill bit with WD40 away from the open engine. The WD40 works as a cutting oil, but you do NOT want excess draining into the engine or transmission oil because WD40 will adversely alter viscosity. Be CAREFUL, the aluminum is very soft and can be almost drilled by hand with a tap handle.

This next picture shows the counterbore in the hole. The Time-Sert counterbore is set so it can't really cut too deep. Again, I spray it with WD40 before boring, but do so away from the engine oil.

Here, the hole as been tapped out. Be very careful that the tap is completely square to the hole or else the threads will be difficult to use (the hole will effectively be oval). Again, I use WD40 before tapping. When turning the tap handle, clockwise cuts the thread. After turning about 1 turn, it is good practice to back off 1/4 turn (turn out counterclockwise) to clear metallic chips from the cutting edge. Be careful to feel for the change in resistance that signals the bottom of the hole. DO NOT TURN ANY FURTHER when you get to the bottom of the hole or you will damage the freshly cut threads. After backing out the tap, blow out the hole to remove any leftover chips.

Some people coat the tap with grease to increase catching chips. I have only done this once when trying to tap a spark plug hole in place (ie head not removed).

The next step is to put in the insert and turn it a few turns by hand. Although it is not mentioned in the included instructions, I put a couple drops of locktite on the outside surface to help ensure the insert locks in place.

This step involves driving the insert into the hole. I coat the driver with a light machine oil (or engine oil) instead of WD40 to prevent any chance of damage to the insert threads. As you drive it into the hole, it will get slightly more difficult and then get easier again. This is because you are cutting the final threads and expanding the end of the insert, locking it in place.

This is the finished insert. Carefully remove the cloth and plastic to keep chips out of the engine/transmission. I was able to retorque this hole back to spec torque.

A couple of explanatory notes to go with this:

1. If you have never tapped out a hole before, practice drilling and then tapping the hole before trying it on your bike. Scrap metal is cheaper than engine heads.
2. I only used the electric drill in a couple of steps:

A. Drilling out old threads--lightly drilled, then used the drill bit in a tap handle
B. Counter bore--Used the drill without any concerns. The counter bore will only cut the prescribed depth
C. Tapping the hole--NO ELECTRIC DRILL USED. I used a tap handle (sometimes in a tight spot, an open end box wrench will work if you are careful)
D. Installing the insert--NO ELECTRIC DRILL USED. Tap handle only

Tools & Parts for Trips

What Tools should I carry on Long Trips ?

Q. Are there any favourite tools that F650 riders carry in addition to the stock tool kit?
A. It depends on whether you’re doing a Long, Medium or Short Trip, or a World Tour.

Here is a cross-section of opinions:

An observation: tools and parts are a bit like insurance -- necessary, but hopefully never needed. e.g., if you never need the extra tools and spare parts, they seem like a burdensome luxury. But, if ever in a situation when you do need them, they are the only thing that will suffice:

  1. The original Leatherman Supertool: don't leave the carport without it.
  2. Hardwired accessory plug that will allow access to battery with (a) your cellular phone and (b) other pre wired goodies.
  3. Motorcycle specific jumper cables.
  4. 70% polyester rag for cleaning windshield. Keep it in,
  5. One of a half dozen quart size zip lock bags so the rag does not collect lint or excess moisture. Save the others for general purposes.
  6. Spare headlight and tail bulbs (wrapped in bubble wrap so they do not get damaged by banging around with the metal stuff).
  7. List of emergency telephone numbers for you to call for help if necessary.
  8. Separate short list of emergency telephone numbers for someone else to call if you are injured and can't call for yourself (And keep it where it can be found without blowing to the four winds if you t-bone a tree or some other immovable object).
  9. Plastic mistletoe to hang on your tail light if you are run out of a place you will be better off leaving anyway. And finally,
  10. Carry a change of underwear. That way, if you have to spend the night in the boonies because you failed to carry adequate tools and parts, you can enjoy the luxury of a fresh change before you begin your walk out in the morning. And save the old ones to use for a signal flag if a search party is sent out.” Rick #725

From my experience I have added to the standard tools:

And on large trips:

All the above mentioned have been used at least once, specially for the other friends that I ride with. Unknown.


What Tools should I carry on Worldwide Trips ?

Impossible question to answer here, because there are so many variables. Have a look at Werner's book. (See Documentation FAQs).

These are from people who have been RTW or close.

1 - Spares to Pack for the Big One
by Werner #547 Ottawa., Werner #547 -- 2000 F650 Classic -- 1991 R100 GSPD.

The first prize goes to Flash. Alas, not everyone is a flush as Flash. I travel light: VISA, MC and lots of cash. But I'm a sucker for packing tools: only the best: Snap-On, state of the art, and spare parts. I carry a whole set of valve adjusting shims (you never know!). I carry a torque wrench (Snap-On, of course), and a micrometer (guess what make?). Spare tubes (two each). Oil, water (for the battery), multimeter. With all that hardware there is no more room left for software (e.g. clothes). Therefore I look grubby at times. I call it, "like a macho biker," but others might have a different opinion. If you're travelling in the so-called third world, it doesn't really matter. Most of the locals look the same way. The main thing is to have fun. And that's what it's all about.

There's an amusing incident in "Jupiter's Travels" relating to spare parts. Ted Simon had carried a spare stator for his Triumph for quite a while. He never needed it, so he sent it home to England. The next week his stator went on the blink. Lesson: Whatever spare part you carry, you'll never need it. What you'll need is what you don't have.

Carrying spare parts must involve compromises. You can't carry a spare piston. If you would, the transmission would go. So what is feasible to take along?

  1. Plugs and filters (but these are consumables, and don't really count as spares)
  2. Clutch cable ( I always carry one, hence mine never breaks)
  3. Set of wheel bearings (my rear ones failed after 25,000 miles)
  4. Rectifier/voltage regulator (it's not heavy, but expensive, and hard to get at times)
  5. Brake pads (again not heavy)
  6. Valve adjustment discs (Shims) (2 sizes thinner or thicker than the ones installed) Important: Know what's in there. Make a diagram. Be sure that the ones you're carrying have the thickness printed on them.
  7. Tube repair kit and tire pump (a guarantee not to get a flat)
  8. Light bulbs and fuses (again not heavy)
  9. A set of good tools, including a torque wrench and a multi-meter.
  10. A repair manual with pictures (of utmost importance. If you need a part you have to get shipped in by FedEX, for example, it's good to fax a picture to the dealer with whom you have made prior arrangements in case of emergency)
  11. A set of credit cards (comes in handy when you're in civilization, but not very useful in the middle of the Sahara.
  12. You can get parts shipped in within three days to all parts of the world. But be advised that this is very, very expensive. Customs of the country you're in usually take at least a third of the value of the goods imported. The only way to get around this is if you're a female, pretty, and under 25 years of age. Believe me, I've tried.

2 - Spares to Pack for the Big One

by Flash 412 (CO)

Never forget that the Classic is Italian.

"For Italian vehicle owners. The first law of Italian parts is, 'If you have that spare part, you will never need it.' The second law of Italian parts is, 'If you have the part and need it, it will turn out to be the wrong part."


  1. When you change plugs, carry the old ones as spares until you get new ones. (Don't forget to get the new ones.)
  2. YES!
  3. Change your "lifetime lubricated" sealed wheel bearings every 24k. 24k is the "lifetime" of sealed wheel bearings. If you're going to cross a 24k mark on your trip, maybe carry the spares. But these bearings are very common all over the world.
  4. There are other VR's that fit. Figuring out which and how, in the middle of nowhere, can be tricky. Not a bad idea to carry one.
  5. If you pay attention and inspect your brakes, you shouldn't need to carry spares. (But personally, I keep a set of pads for whichever wheel will need them next under my seat at all times.)
  6. Put the shims in little bags or envelopes on which you can write (and re-write) the size of the contents.
  7. YES! And maybe a bead breaker, too. Particularly if you are in the Sahara or somewhere that is nowhere.
  8. YES!
  9. Yes. But... I don't bother with a torque wrench. BTW... that Doc Allen's Versatool KICKS A-S-S.
  10. Hmmm... at LEAST carry a wiring diagram.
  11. YES!
  12. Werner, just HOW do you go about trying to be female, pretty and under 25?

3 - Spares to Pack for the Big One

by y_kiwi, Lance, #1303, '01 F650GS, '96 G650ST.

From 1-11 I carry 7, 9, 10 (virtually on my laptop) and 11 only. I have not had to have parts shipped in 4 long trips (Europe, Europe-Singapore, Australia and Nth/Sth America). A lot of that is lucky timing - and regular BMW servicing whenever there is a dealer.

  1. Can get plugs pretty much anywhere, washable air filter is the best option (sadly I don't have one), external fuel filter and spare is a great bet (BMW fuel filter is expensive)
  2. Never had a problem... accelerator cable is another story...
  3. Never had a problem in 70k miles on 2 bikes... steering bearings went though.
  4. Do these fail on their own or only when hit in a crash? Seems like a part that either works or doesn't...
  5. Mine last ones lasted for 35,000 miles and still had a bit left when I replaced them. I agree with flash.
  6. I just wait for a dealer... bit more expensive but...
  7. Absolutely. some also carry a spare tube. and tire levers.
  8. Lamps are easily obtainable (front light is standard H4 halogen light - I picked one up at a service station in Argentina)
  9. Not so sure about the torque wrench, but multimeter is very useful
  10. Or have the PDF on your laptop or a handy website you can FTP from. Repair books are very heavy
  11. Cash also works - preferably us dollars.... :-)
  12. Or buy from the local BMW dealer. still expensive but the hourly rates are low so it evens out. You can also have parts made - especially in the third world. A frame bolt sheared on my my bike in Ushuaia and the local moto dealer made a new one from alloy bolt stock.

I would add:

13: fork seals - they are light and they do break.
14: duct tape, metal goo, 2 part glue, superglue and wire for fixing those random bits that break.
15: some also carry chain and sprockets. I don't, but have found it hard to find sprockets..

and if you are going to send spare parts home send the old part and install the new one.


What should I pack for Long Trips (Clothes and Spares)

  1. Bicycle Shorts (Mike639) Definitely! The best way to keep your ass from getting saddlesore. There is an added benefit of some muscular support as well (quads here not your butt :-). Whether on or off-road I have these on (off-road ones are different though with hip and thigh protective pads). A very inexpensive way to improve the enjoyment from your long distance riding.
  2. One pair of jeans, and more (BestRest). If you're going to bring jeans, one pair will do it. Personally I've found jeans to be less useful when motorcycle touring. I've switched to wearing ExOfficio clothing or certain things from REI or NorthFace. I'm very particular about what I bring with me and it's got to have certain properties like being lightweight or having some technical benefit such as sun protection/cooling or the same garment type in short/long sleeves. Anyways, I experimented and how have the collection that suits me well for just about any trip. As far as the off-bike gear goes I layer. I have REI fleece jacket and pants (but the special version which is thinner and lighter weight) and layer a Gore-Tex windbreaker/pants over this in case the camping is wet. I have off-bike gloves/combo to match so it's easy to think about what to wear when off the bike. Cold weather, fleece, really cold fleece and Gore-Tex overprotection, city stuff ExOfficio/REI pants/shorts with whatever shirt of the moment. No cotton t-shirts here as I prefer the active wear stuff from Nike, NorthFace and REI. It lasts longer when actually being used, packs lighter, and dries faster. Ditto on the ability to buy stuff and for sending stuff home
  3. Using the post office (Alan 442). If you've got to bring a lot of medicine with you this might take up a lot of room that you could do better with over time. Remember it's a battle of time vs. space. Send things to you and get them via poste restante or friends. Alan also caught that you have too many socks. I had three pair for the entire three weeks of the Dakar. Remember with a rest stop you can always find a Laundromat, either a drop-off wash and fold or a do it yourself place. Even when you're die-hard ride all day, sometimes a nice stop can be made for you to eat and do your clothes.
  4. Werner's comments. Werner and I think alike in that there is no substitute for being able to fix your bike by yourself. I "reserve" the left pannier for this for my trips (mostly off-road backcountry affairs), spare tubes, oil filter (for my other bikes not for the F650GS as I run the Scott's reusable one), air filter oil (I run the K&N), and other stuff like Werner has. But all of this has to be balanced as Flash said against your ability to make said repair (why carry two sets of tubes for each tire if you don't even know how to take the wheel off of the bike).
  5. Of you're in the US/Canada most of the times help is just a phone call away. Something like membership in BMWMOA so that you can get the "anonymous" book goes a long way and IMHO is better than BMW's "roadside dis-assistance" program.,
  6. Shank's words of wisdom. Definitely do what he says. Lay it all out. Weigh it (at least I did to make a spreadsheet), then pack it, unpack it, pack it again, then take a local trip, camp out somewhere close and pack and unpack in the dark. You'll quickly see how much time it takes the more stuff you have. As far as the cooking while riding goes, I can't vouch for this. I prefer to eat first then ride. but then again YMMV.

    My comments

    Draggin' jeans are too bulky: Get rid of these, stick to touring motorcycle wear, and think about not having jeans at all, if you must one pair only.
    Fewer socks and underwear: Bulky and easy to buy on the road (and one of life's small pleasures).
    3. 1 set of real clothes,
    Pants last longer than shirts and can be worn twice.
    Maps - take it easy, carry those you need now and send the rest ahead or stop at AAA and get them as you go along.
    5. A camelback - this is the one thing that I constantly remind people of. You need to CONSTANTLY hydrate. So drinking (water) while riding is what you need to do. If you "feel" thirsty" it's too late. If you get this in a small backpack version you've also got a place to put some food and personal accessories.

Where can I carry Tools on Long Trips/While Touring ?

Normally Under your seat, in your luggage, but there are custom places:

Tyre Pumps (Small ones, for use while On the Road).

Here is a Cross-Section of TYPES of Small (Portable) Pump Available. No, the CG does not endorse any of these products. YOU Choose.!

Electrical - 12V Compressor Foot-pump CO2 & Manual

2nd Wind Pump
Under General Catalog, Tires

CO2 Only

Moto Pump Ultra w/ Co2 cartridge
Under General Catalog, Tires

Manual Pump
Very small CO2 Pump
Pump that runs off Engine Compression
Online Catalog

Opinions on Pumps

Making a Portable Pump

See this Article for "A Cheap But Effective Motorcycle Air Pump"

General Parts

What are those Yellow or White Paint Marks on the Bolts on the Bike?

Where can I get Stainless Metric Bolts, Screws etc?

What Strength Replacement Bolts do I need and How Many?


OK, I'm fed up with all those BMW bolts that are made out of a mixture or half oxidised iron and cream cheese.

So, I thought I'd go stainless on the engine bars, luggage mounts etc. However, despite holding an engineering degree (I was going to get medicine but the colour photocopier was bust) I am struggling to work out the relative strengths and preparation required. What I have worked out so far: R rated steel bolts have a tensile strength of 45 tons per inch square or 620 MPa. Titanium is rated at 895 MPa. A4 stainless is at 700 N/mm2 or 686 MPa. The OE "steel" jobs are already locked in place, I had a real job getting the luggage rack off, ended up using a stud extractor on the ones that broke. I think I'll be investigating in a taps to clear the threads and maybe helicoils. The helicoil is stainless wire, which again pushes me towards using stainless for the bolts if they will stand the load, possibly with additional load plates and bolts behind the frame. The pillion hangers are a possible problem as they seem to be some sort of alloy (MAZAC?) that corrodes to white where the pint is chipped. Putting stainless through them could be a problem, hence I think you need a coating. There is nothing that bolts to the engine that's corroded. Rotax unlike BMW seem to use decent bits. Andy Leeds UK #982

Where can I get Optimoly MP3, Loctite 243 etc. Are there any Substitutes?

by Todd #389/Kristian #562

A General Useful Table

Optimoly Grease:

Regarding Optimoly grease, generally for fitting seals you can just use a common automotive (motor oil compatible) grease.


Alternatives & Feedback:


I'd consider substituting 242 on the water pump drain bolt if it was well prepped and clean, but I'd be less comfortable subbing 242 for 243 on stressed engine parts. (I'm glad I have 243 on my CS sprocket.) 243 is available from NAPA as a stock item, or look in the Yellow Pages (or their website) for a distributor. Industrial suppliers will be more likely to have it in the 15cc size, but I've seen it in 5cc tubes also. The 15cc size should be good for hundreds of small bolts. Besides being more oil resistant 243 is considerably stronger than 242, as strong as available without requiring heat for removal.

Alternatives & Feedback:


According to the Table of Operating Fluids in the v2 of the GS Manual, Sealants are:

3-Bond 1110B Surface Sealant
1209 Surface Sealant
Omni VISC 1002 Surface Sealant (max 200 deg C/392 deg F)
Loctite 574 Surface Sealant
Curil K 2 Heat-Conductive Sealant
Hylomar SQ 32M Permanently Elastic Sealant

Alternatives & Feedback:

In trying to get a Handle on this "Mystery Subject" that comes up from Time to Time, so I could add it to the existing bit in the Tools FAQ I came across these. I was trying to find a Cross-ref Chart Threebond/Yamabond/Permatex high temp black sealant/Hylomar but there just isn't one.







This site (Parker Yamaha) supplies Yamabond. These are the alternatives:

        It would appear of the Yamabonds, #4 is the best substitute for 1209


Q. I know I have seen this discussed before but I can't remember what size Dowco Guardian cover works best for a classic F with bags.
The cover I use is marked "125". and it fits over a tall shield, a large Givi trunk, and the hard side bags. Scott S in WA

Dielectric Grease

Q: My question is; where should one use dielectric grease and how much? Does this grease actually conduct electricity? Can you apply it to the points of contact before assembly or is it to be put on after the bits are together? Where should I not put it as far as electrics are concerned?
Put it everywhere that electrical connections are made. Use as little as possible if you think it is expensive. Slather it on if you think it is cheap. The idea of the stuff is just to COAT the connection. Anything more than that is wasted. Anything less is... under-utilization.
Does this grease actually conduct electricity? Heck no. A "dielectric" is an insulator.
Can you apply it to the points of contact before assembly or is it to be put on after the bits are together? Smear it where ever you think there is a bit of metal that conducts electricity and might be exposed to air or water whenever and where ever you find it easiest to accomplish that. If you put it on two connectors separately and then plug them in, they WILL make contact and be protected. If you connect them first and then smear it on, they will still be protected as long as you get them completely coated. Spurt a blob up into your spark plug cap before you slap in on the plug. Slather your battery terminals with it after you've connected the cables up. Whatever seems to make sense and is easiest is right.
Where should I not put it as far as electrics are concerned? Where there is no electricity, there is no reason to use insulating grease. Where there is already insulation, there is no reason to use insulating grease. You CAN smear it all over your body (NOT recommended) and/or dip your entire motorcycle in it if you can afford it. But that is wasteful and makes about as much sense as burning premium fuel in an F650. (e.g. it wastes money and does no added good.) Flash 412 (CO)

Where to Buy:

Tool Humour


Tools “Defined”
from Ian Chadwick

10 Best Car Repair Tools of All Time

Richard #230, Pacifica, CA

My brother picked this up off the internet somewhere. It was written for cars, but seems appropriate for motorcycles, too.

10 Best Car Repair Tools of All Time
. There are only 10 things in this world you need to fix any car, 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 an easy to carry package. Sure, there's prejudice surrounding duct tape in professional competitions, but in the real world, everything from Le Mans-winning Porsches to Atlas rockets and attack-helicopters use 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, breaker-off of frozen bolts and wiggle-it-til-it-falls-off tool. The heavy artillery of your tool box, vice grips are the only tool designed expressly to fix things screwed up beyond repair.
  3. Spray Lubricants: A considerably cheaper alternative to new doors, alternator, and other squeaky items. Slicker than pig phlegm, repeated soakings will allow the main hull bolts of the Andrea Doria 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 10 worst tools of all time).
  4. Margarine Tubs with Clear Lids: If you spend all your time under the hood looking for a frendle pin that caromed off the pertal valve when you knocked both off the air cleaner, 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 noisy 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 Malaysia"
    emblem is not synonymous with the user being maimed.
  6. Plastic Zip Ties: After 20 years of lashing down stray hose and wiring 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 wiring from a working model of the Brazilian Rain Forest into something remotely resembling a wiring harness. Of course it works both ways. When buying a used car, subtract $100 for each zip tie you find under the hood.
  7. Ridiculously Large Craftsman Screwdriver: Let's admit it. There's nothing better for prying, chiselling, 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 all oil filters so insanely located that 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 and your shop teacher said -- who cares, it has a lifetime guarantee.
  8. Baling Wire: Commonly known as MG muffler brackets, baling wire holds anything that's too hot for tape or ties. Like duct tape, it's not recommended for NASCAR contenders, since it works so well you'll never need to replace it with the right thing again. Baling wire is a sentimental favorite in some circles, particularly with the Pinto, Gremlin, and Rambler set.
  9. Bonking Stick: This monstrous tuning fork with devilish pointy ends is technically known as a tie-rod 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 use 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 tip #1 above.

Dog Peeing on Your Bike? Dog Do-Do on your Lawn?


Some of these might upset Dog Owners & Dog Lovers. So please, take them with a pinch of Salt, it's meant to be a bit light hearted !