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I'm looking to do more of my motorcycle maintenance myself, and am wondering what I should be investing in, when it comes to tools/devices. What are the basic tools that I'd need when starting to do more of my own maintenance on my motorcycle?

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If you buy a 3rd party maintenance manual for your bike (Clymer, Haynes) it will include a list of tools. They usually have a general list and a specific list.

Don't go out and buy them all at once. Before you begin a new procedure, read through it carefully. Clean your workspace and gather the tools you will need. Plan a shopping trip for what you're missing. Be prepared for a second (and third!) trip when you realize something else you need. Having a way to get to the tool store without your motorcycle is a must. (I had a second motorcycle. But it was often in pieces, so then there was the third bike...)

There are two questions only you can answer for yourself:

  1. Which tools are you willing to do without vs. which helpful-but-not-strictly-necessary tools will you buy?

For example, you can do a lot with an adjustable crescent wrench, but a good set of combination wrenches will be easier to work with and is gentler on the machine.

  1. Which tools will you spend extra on to get high quality vs. which tools can be junky.

Snap-on vs Harbor Freight?

Working with a good quality tool is a joy, and having the right tool for the job makes things go more smoothly. But a large toolset is also a burden, as you have to organize, sort through, and maintain all those tools.

A 3rd related question is about your threshold for doing work yourself vs. taking it to a pro. Start with something simple, like an oil and filter change.

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This is a great answer – Chris McCall Sep 16 '14 at 16:08

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