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Fri, 19 Aug 2016

The Right Tool For The Job

We know that Harley-Davidson owners are more aware than most of the thousands of possible ways to personalise a motorcycle. From indicators to footpegs, control levers to Custom Fit replacement seats, engine upgrade kits to unique colour-coded painted bodywork sets and everything in between or around these areas.

With so many options available for customisation from the same huge range of Harley® Genuine Parts & Accessories, the temptation can be to splurge on the materials and save on the labour by doing the work yourself. Of course, some of you are more than capable of covering basic installs, such as the fitment of an air filter housing or replacement mirrors. It helps that most Harley-Davidson accessory components are made to be direct like-for-like replacements.

But, working on motorcycles isn’t as easy as most people think – especially if you don’t have the right tools, workshop experience and a safe dry area to work in. When it comes to location there is always someone in the Harley family, or a friend who has a garage or shed to share. Tools are a different matter...

When you bring your Harley-Davidson® motorcycle to our Guildford, Newmarket, Norwich & Reading stores for any kind of service, such as servicing and custom work, it will be taken care of by factory-trained technicians who know Harleys inside and out. Importantly, it gives you the confidence that comes with knowing your pride and joy is serviced using only the finest tools, software equipment and consumables available that have been created specifically for Harley machinery.

Not everyone can afford the quality of tools that are used in a dealer’s workshop. At the same time, tools shouldn’t be the cheapest available because the quality may be poor and can cause irreparable damage. Recognised brands are recognised because of their manufacturing – even on premium tool ranges.

So what constitutes a basic toolkit that will be useful for general work such as mirror replacement or battery removal etc? A set of spanners should be able to deal with the smallest of bolt heads or nuts. For larger sizes you’re entering territory that is best left for our technicians to sort, because these are prime fasteners meaning they are associated with chassis, drive line or engine components and rider safety comes into play.

For screwdrivers, Phillips (crosshead), Pozidrive and flat-bladed, should be bought to be used on light usage screws and should be sized to fit correctly. Torx screws are international fitments, but again only deal with small sizes, so call in to the dealership for work involving larger sizes. Socket sets should be viewed the same as a basic spanner set, which is for the smaller range of fasteners and should be driven by a three-eighth shaft ratchet.

Tools are a necessity for all aspects of life and not just motorcycles. This is a perfectly usable excuse – should you need one – when buying yet another tool to add to the motorcycle tool collection. This will happen because acquiring tools is like eating something tasty for the first time – one bite and you’ll need to take another and another and...