Kawasaki VN750 Forum banner

1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased my first motorcycle, the vn750 (mine's a 1996), and I'm looking to start my toolset in order to properly maintain the bike. What are the first and most important tools (should we say top 10?) every motorcyclist, from newbie to senior, must have. In your recommendations, it would be very helpful if those posting could add the specific brand names of the tools they found worked best for their Vulcan. I'm excited to get to work, and thanks in advance!


1:
2:
3:
4:
5:
6:
.....
 

·
MO Rider
Joined
·
66 Posts
Go to ebay and get a clymers or other 'shop' manual. Other than that I haven't had to get any special tools other than the usual garage tools.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
Consult the thread forum for all the must have stuff.
I would think some type of adjustable wrench and duct tape.
Also, if you dig fixing flats...a stop n go plug kit and a small compressor to connect to a cig lighter plug you have pre installed.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,778 Posts
Service manual

Impact driver so you don't mess up the heads on fasteners.

Set of metric wrenches and sockets.

Torque wrench.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
738 Posts
#1 - a good digital tire gauge. Have its accuracy checked periodically by a Master Calibrated Gauge found at most big tire centers or any motorcycle racing shop. Use a Sharpie to mark the side of the gauge with any need + or - PSI to compensate for inaccuracies (should only be 1 or 2 Lbs off at most).
 

·
1992 VN 750
Joined
·
109 Posts
First of all...metric tools and sockets. And then, use JIS drivers on all the screws.

http://www.rjrcooltools.com/vessel.cfm

I have a set of these and they grab like a Doberman on a steak and I have not rounded out a screwhead since I got them. I wrench on my bike a lot and these grab the screws and turn each one with authority. I also have a Carb tuner to sync the carbs but that is basically a once in a lifetime thing so I am willing to share it with anyone close! Also, a good torque wrench that will measure inch pounds and foot pounds is a must.

I love my Vulcan and after learning which drivers to use on her it is now that much more rewarding.

Enjoy...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Here's what I'd recommend (for what it's worth):

Shop manual
Torque wrench(es) to measure in-lbs and ft-lbs
Metric sockets and wrenches (include a 27 mm)
Quality air pressure gauge
Oil filter wrench
Air compressor
Motorcycle jack
Small hand pump for shocks
Good lighting
Good quality cold beer
 

·
The Reanimater
Joined
·
847 Posts
I recently purchased my first motorcycle, the vn750 (mine's a 1996), and I'm looking to start my toolset in order to properly maintain the bike. What are the first and most important tools (should we say top 10?) every motorcyclist, from newbie to senior, must have. In your recommendations, it would be very helpful if those posting could add the specific brand names of the tools they found worked best for their Vulcan. I'm excited to get to work, and thanks in advance! .....
What I use........













 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
I'd add a BFH.

My dad told me once I might not be able to fix everything, but you can break anything beyond recognition. :p

A nice stool to sit on while working on the bike is a good thing too, if you don't have a big lift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,687 Posts
18mm thin wall socket from Sears for the spark plugs. I dunno if regular wall socket would work on this bike, but at least for my EX500 it definitely needs to be a thin wall socket. And since it's the only I have, I use it on the VN700 and works just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,750 Posts
WD-40
Liquid Wench
PB Blaster
Cable Lube
Multi Meter
#2 grease
60% moly grease
Spray can of Lithium grease

DT
 

·
Linkmeister Supreme
Joined
·
7,960 Posts
Check out sections 15-basic tools, 16-advanced tools, and 17-first specialty tool (impact driver).
http://www.dansmc.com/MC_repaircourse.htm

Note what he says about used or second hand tools. I have seen excellent deals on tools in second hand stores, garage sales and pawn shops.

X2 to getting 6 point sockets, or even better the newer style "side drive" sockets if you find them. (The 6 corners of the socket are relieved or radiused so that the torque is not applied to the corner of the bolt head or nut where it can round off. The torque is now applied to 6 points on the side, but still close to the "corner". Not sure if this explanation will make sense to anyone who hasn`t seen a side drive socket.)

He also has a good starter list of tools at the end of section 15.:smiley_th
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the feedback, particularly "Peter", because I think your list is a great place to start. But specifically concerning metric socket sets and wrenches, which brands do you think are best concerning value, and how many sockets/wrench sizes do I need in order to perform most basic repairs and services for my vn750.

I see sockets and wrenches from Snap On that are upwards of $70 for a single wrench, to a Stanley set that looks sharp and has positive reviews but costs only about $30. I could spend hours reading reviews and researching makes because I obsess over stuff like this, and I'm hoping for that recommendation that spares my eyes all that computer reading.

Dido for a torque wrench (sizes and brands).

(To myself) Has this forum spoiled me? Damn, I'm afraid so. Hand holders anyone?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,959 Posts
I have a mix of Stanley tools, the Lowes "Kobalt" brand , and the multi-era favorite, Craftsman. Sizes I use the most...10, 12.13, and 14mm I just pick up Craftsman tools, and keep the others as back ups.The importance of using the right tool..or size , and not abusing the tools can really make a cheaper set of Stanley sockets last a lifetime. You do not have to spend a fortune on tools here. Avoid Chinese stuff, most American made stuff is good no matter who makes it.

I have an old beam type Craftsman torque wrench..(15 bucks new 30 years back) and a "click" type from Harbor freight. May never use the HF one , but it was a good "one day" deal.

I really like 3/8 drive hex/allen wrenches, just freaking handier than the "L" shaped set in the stupid to use holders. Stanley stuff is fine, and can be found at discounted prices at Wal-Mart.

+1 on the 6 point sockets...they not only last longer but don't tear up stuck bolts. A harbor freight impact driver is handy to have around too....but don't feel you need to go out and buy everything at once...just start to collect it as you go along.

I do use Craftsman screw drivers...they cost only a bit more and are good for life.

( I found a large Craftsman blade screwdriver on the side of the road once...the tip was broken, so the owner must have tossed it. I walked into a Sears store with it, showed it to the hardware guy...and he gave me a new one...free. You can't beat that, and it is a shame the original owner appearently did not know about the life time guarenty. )


KM
 

·
MANIC MECHANIC
Joined
·
943 Posts
Most of my tools are Snap-On, MAC, Matco, and Cornwell. I bought these mostly because I was a tool snob "how could all that other cheap junk even stand up to these real tools". Truth told, I break the big name tools just as often as the guy next to me breaks his harbor freight tools. He can swing by and get his replaced on his way home I have to hope the tool guy shows up this week. To beat it all there isn't even a MAC man in the area anymore, so all those broken tools just go into a drawer.
 

·
Linkmeister Supreme
Joined
·
7,960 Posts
Thanks for the feedback, particularly "Peter", because I think your list is a great place to start. But specifically concerning metric socket sets and wrenches, which brands do you think are best concerning value, and how many sockets/wrench sizes do I need in order to perform most basic repairs and services for my vn750.

I see sockets and wrenches from Snap On that are upwards of $70 for a single wrench, to a Stanley set that looks sharp and has positive reviews but costs only about $30. I could spend hours reading reviews and researching makes because I obsess over stuff like this, and I'm hoping for that recommendation that spares my eyes all that computer reading.

Dido for a torque wrench (sizes and brands).

(To myself) Has this forum spoiled me? Damn, I'm afraid so. Hand holders anyone?
My 17 year old bike came with only 4 open end wrench sizes -10, 12, 14 and 17mm, and a 10mm socket with a 2" long extension and a 1/4" drive ratchet. Also included were a #3 Phillips screwdriver bit, cheap slip joint pliers, pencil type tire gauge, and a Kawi spark plug socket made from a piece of stamped steel tubing. These sizes allow you to check all but two of the exposed nuts and bolts in a pre-ride inspection, ie. (axle nuts). Minimum needed, but not the easiest to work with in all cases.

Torque wrenches- you want a 1/2" and 3/8" drive. An inexpensive one from Harbor Freight is adequate for the work you will be doing.

Sears thin wall 18mm sparkplug socket is needed to fit inside the vn750 plug tube.

You do not need Snap-On tools. Sears Craftsman tools are good quality and reasonably priced with a lifetime warranty. See my previous post with link for building a basic tool kit, sometimes with used tools. He also identifies the range of sizes you need in sockets and wrenches, (6-19mm).
 

·
Linkmeister Supreme
Joined
·
7,960 Posts
Most of my tools are Snap-On, MAC, Matco, and Cornwell. I bought these mostly because I was a tool snob "how could all that other cheap junk even stand up to these real tools". Truth told, I break the big name tools just as often as the guy next to me breaks his harbor freight tools. He can swing by and get his replaced on his way home I have to hope the tool guy shows up this week. To beat it all there isn't even a MAC man in the area anymore, so all those broken tools just go into a drawer.
Right on vj, in 35+ years I can only recall one instance where my Craftsman wrenches were not adequate, and I had to use a Snap On. I had to remove the u-joint from the differential on a transport truck to tow it into the shop. The Craftsman open end head was too bulky and there was no room to swing the wrench. I had to wait for the tow truck and his slimmer, less bulky, Snap On wrench.

A good friend ran a 3 bay service garage for 20+ years and did use Snap On and Mac tools, but also had a set of Craftsman and many odd and extra cheapy tools of many brands. When you are swinging wrenches all day long, every day, the lighter weight does make a difference to your fatigue at the end of the day. He kept the cheap tools in case he had to heat one up and bend it to reach into some inaccesible bolt.
 

·
Sparky!!!
Joined
·
8,697 Posts
I have a complete Craftsman Master Technician tool set... but then again, before I started working on bikes, I made my living working on diesels.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
431 Posts
Craftsman hand tools (metric sockets and wrenches)

Need I say more? Yeah:p, also a torque wrench and a multimeter.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top