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The Tools Necessary for Professional Repair & Service of Dirt Bikes


Possessing and using the proper tools when working on dirt bikes is essential to professionally performing any maintenance, repairs or bolting on of aftermarket parts. Additionally, there are dirt bike maintenance tips and other articles throughout this site which may motivate you to head for the garage so you're going to need to have the proper tools for performing theses tasks. Furthermore, If you're well rehearsed in wadding up parts, blowing out wheels or keeping the bike on the pipe or rev-limiter, you're going to need standard and specialty tools as well since riding like this is kind of hard on parts.

Granted, the standard and speciality tools listed below should not be viewed as a complete list of all the tools that someone servicing motorcycles will ever need but it's a pretty good start. It's important to also understand that a mechanic can always (and should), continually add to the tool collection. You'll likely also notice that buying and acquiring tools is never ending so if there is a speciality tool necessary for a specific job, it's recommended that you stop and get the tool so as to not damage any parts.

When working around dirt bikes (Especially during use of any power tools, or grinding, cutting or hammering), it is very important to use face, eye and ear protection to prevent possible eye, face or ear injuries.

Additionally, Having the proper sized sockets and wrenches, as well as having an organized work area and other speciality equipment as listed below is important so as to prevent damage to fasteners or components.

The recommended tools listed below along with the Dirt Bike Maintenance Tips listed elsewhere should be everything necessary to keep a dirt bike running at it's best and reliable for some time to come, as well as save anyone a considerable amount in repair costs while avoiding the dreaded wait that comes with taking a dirt bike in to a service facility to be serviced.

Places that are good for picking up the tools or supplies listed below are Sears and Auto Parts outlets (Ask to see their special order catalogues).

The Basic Tools Required for Motorcycle Service

  • Metric Combination Wrenches
    (Sizes ranging from an 8mm to a 32mm will usually cover everything.)
  • 13/16" Open Ended Wrench
  • 13/16" Spark Plug Socket
  • Metric Allen Wrenches or Drive Bits from 1.5mm to 12mm
  • 1/4" Drive metric socket set 5mm to 14mm (deep and shallow)
  • 1/4" Drive ratchet
  • 1/4" Drive speed-handle or T-Handle with a 1/4" drive end
  • 1/4" Drive nut driver (the type that a ratchet can be used with is best)
  • 1/4" Drive x 6" Extension
  • 1/4" Drive swivel

  • 3/8" Drive metric socket set deep and shallow 8mm to 22mm
  • 3/8" Drive ratchet
  • 3/8" Drive x 3" Extension
  • 3/8" Drive x 6" Extension
  • 8mm, 10mm, 12mm and 14mm T-Handles
  • 1/2" Drive to 3/8" drive adapter
  • 1/2" Drive ratchet
  • 1/2" Hand Impact
  • 3/8" Drive Torque wrench
  • 1/2" Drive Torque wrench
  • Awl
  • Pick
  • Pocket screwdriver
  • Screwdriver set
  • Hand impact driver
  • Vernier dial or digital calipers
  • 6" steel rule
  • Metric tape measure
  • Channel locks
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Pliers
  • Diagonal cutters
  • cable cutters
  • Razor scraper
  • Razor cutter
  • Rat tail file
  • Flat file
  • Drill index
  • Straight punch set
  • Center punch
  • Chisels (1/4" width and 3/4" width)
  • Wire brush
  • Hacksaw
  • Cordless drill and flashlight combo
  • Air Compressor
  • Air powered rotary tools (grinders etc)
  • Portable air-tank
  • Face shield for use when grinding
  • Eye and ear protection
  • Air blow nozzles
  • Bench Grinder
  • Bench vise
  • 32oz. Ball-peen hammer
  • Plastic tip hammer
  • Dead blow hammer

Tools Required for Maintaining a Professional Level Shop

  • Parts washer
  • Oxygen / Acetylene torch set
  • Tig welder
  • Shop press

Motorcycle Specific Tools

  • Factory service manuals specific to the motorcycle being serviced
  • Motorcycle lift table
  • Motorcycle work stand
  • Engine building box
    (See the article below on building an engine building box)
  • Flywheel remover (specific to dirt bike being serviced)
  • Case splitter (An automotive harmonic balancer puller can often be used)
  • Long straight punch (for sag adjustments)
  • Sag Scale (or a tape measure with metric graduations)
  • Safety wire pliers and stainless steel safety wire
  • Cable luber
  • Spoke torque wrench
  • Tire irons
  • Tire Changing Stand
  • Low pressure, precision tire gauge
  • Front axle hex
  • Fork seal driver(s)
  • Nitrogen
  • Nitrogen charging gauge and regulator

Common Supplies Necessary for Motorcycle Service

  • Clean shop rags
  • Ratio-rite cup
  • Nitrile gloves
  • No-Toil air filter oil
  • No-Toil air filter rim grease
  • No-Toil air filter cleaner
  • Simple green
  • Electrical tape
  • Duct tape
  • Teflon tape
  • Zip ties in multiple sizes
  • Safety wire
  • Anti-seize
  • Loctite (Red, Blue and Green)
  • HondaBond or Yamabond
  • Dielectric grease
  • Chain lube
  • Silicone spray
  • Carburetor cleaner
  • Brake clean
  • Brake fluid
  • Engine coolant
  • Bel-ray water proof grease
  • 2 Stroke oil
  • Engine oil
  • Mothers polish
  • Armor-All (or similar protectant)
  • Baby powder (to be used in tires to prevent inner tube chaffing)

How to Build an Engine Building Box

If you're planning to do any lower engine repairs, such as splitting the cases, you'll find that an engine building box will prove extremely beneficial anytime you're servicing an engine while out of the frame.

Picture of an Engine Building Box

Without an engine building box, attempting to service an engine while out of the frame is often a PITA due to the mainshaft, countershaft and crankshaft protruding, as well as the awkward shapes of the engine cases making the engine difficult to work with on the bench since the motor will try to walk around on the ends of the shafts every time you try to loosen, tighten, position or remove any component.

All That's Required For An Engine Building Box Is:
  • 4 pieces of 2 x 4 approximately 12" and equal in length
  • A handful of 2" and a few 1/2" drywall screws
  • A piece of plywood measuring roughly 12 x 15"

With the minimal supplies listed above along with a cordless or electric drill and a screwdriver bit, fasten the 2x4's together to make a box that looks like the one pictured above.

With your engine building box assembled, optionally attach a piece of plywood to one side as this will keep any stray parts at bay should you want to pick the engine and engine box up together and move it.

Do You Need A Tool Box or A Track Box?

In addition to the recommendations listed above, you should also pick up a high quality tool box for tool storage and organization while on the road, This way you'll have your tools with you at the track or where you ride.



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