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The Custom Chopper Report, Issue #15 -- Subscriber Tool Suggestions
February 19, 2005

Tool Suggestions From Your Fellow Subscribers...

Thanks to all for contributing your list of tools (if you missed the last few
newsletters scroll to the bottom and click on the Back Issues link). Below are several contributions we thought you would find useful, and even funny!

Also, be sure to read the update at the bottom as well.

Here are the suggestions:
If you have any more, let us know...

Mine is a junk open end wrench that I don't mine loosing when I throw it through a side window of some asshole that just tried to run me over. That's all I carry.

Dirty Ernie

1. Recip saw
2. Tube Notcher
3. Disc Grinder
5. Wire-feed Welder
6. Adjustable Protractor
7. Drill Press
8. Straight edges (Alignment)
9. Socket Set
10. Torque tools
(and an 11th tool, a well stocked cooler for inspiration)

John Wayzatta

#1: Leatherman (actually more than 5 tools in 1, depending on model). Not the perfect tool for any job, but better than carrying a toolbox.
#2: Vice-grips. Can double as a shift lever as well.
#3: Electrical tape. 'Nuff said.
#4: Long #3 flat blade screwdriver. Works as a pry-bar, too.
#5: Teeth. Gotta have something to strip and crimp electrical connections.
#6: Maglite. You can't work if you can't see.

Mike Parker, "Lip", Smithfield, VA

Why carry the extra weight and loose valuable storage space.... Carry a Cell Phone and the HOG roadside assistance number. No matter what tools you have, you'll never be able to carry enough to fix everything that could break down, so why bother when a Harley dealer will come out to your aid when your in a jam.

Chuck Rucker

Nothing sucks quite as much as being on the road at night and having a headlight or tail light burn out. Here's what I do: Take an empty 35mm film canister and put a cotton-ball in the bottom. Then put a bulb glass side down into it. Then another cotton ball. Put the lid on. It's water proof and wont brake if toss something on top of it. This idea also works great for spare fuses.

Jeff Haffner, Custom Cycle Creations, Hamersville, Ohio.

I agree with most of the tools you speak of in this email (article), these are the special ones I carry. You must be aware that when I ride it is usually for long distances. An example would be to ride to Kalgoorlie from my place for the weekend. It's a one way ride, 760klms (about 420 miles ), with up to 80klms (50 mile) between towns and there is nothing but bush. So my' must haves' generally stay in the bottom of my gearsack:

I carry a hose with a spark plug hole fitting; one end and a tire valve attachment the other end so I can reinflate my flat after fixing.

A schrader tool for removing valve cores.

And finally a tubeless plug tool with plugs to fix the hole in my tire.

I know there a strange batch to carry but out here you can't always count on people to stop and help so it's best to be as self sustaining as is possible.

Hope the list amuses you.


I'm new to motorcycles. I took the MSF course this past summer & bought my first bike in October (an XL 1200R). I have no experience maintaining or repairing bikes (yet). I bought a small tool bag that attaches to the front fork. So far it contains a tire gauge, a multipurpose tool (a leather-man type tool), a standard multi-hex wrench tool, some cable ties & an adjustable wrench.

Well, there you have it...A guy has got to start somewhere!!!!!!

On the subject of tools; I was at a local Sears the other day & saw a craftsman set for sale designed specifically for repairing/maintaining domestic bikes. The set contains 35 pieces (various tools/supplies) with a cordura case on sale for $79.99. Is this a waste or something to consider???? I thought it might be worthwhile for a newcomer like myself who's just starting out & doesn't own many tools specific for motorcycles. Let me know what you think. Thanks for all you do for our sport/hobby.

William Thornton

My favorites are Allen (Hex) keys with rounded ends. Great for the Harley.

Steve Plourde, Nova Scotia, Canada

Here are some garage tools: Air compressor 60 gallon , Hammers, Chisels, Variable speed bench grinder with lamp, shop vac, mini die grinder, high speed sander, tubing bender up 2'' pipe, mig welding, plasma cutter, tig welding, english wheel, panishin hammer, panelbeater sandbag, teardrop mallet, screwdrivers

As you can see this is no much but is just the beginning because I am buying little by little and I hope this can help you.

Sergio Arturio Vargas

It might not seem like a tool at some times, but a cellphone is one of the best things to take to the road with you. If you do break down, and can't figure out the problem, or don't have the right tool, and no-one is stopping to help you, the cell might be a lifesaver. Also, I have a handlebar pouch, and I rool a few select wrenches, and ratchets into a couple of rags and stick in the pouch. No saddlebag, haven't found a set I like yet. Ride 'Till You Die!

Ben Hightower, Cocke County
Ride Free Indian Larry

Tig welder, any Jim's USA tools, they are the finest. Two stage compressor- single don't get it, got one.

Tex Putman, Castle Rock, CO.


In regards to our Motorcycle Events article here's what a couple subscribers contributed....

Plant City Bikefest - Plant City, FL (between Orlando & Tampa). 1st Saturday of EVERY month - vendors, bike contest, bands, bikes, bikes, and more bikes. Three to six thousand visitors every event (realistic figures).

Ernest Alexander

Myrtle Beach Bike Week, Laughlin River Run, Laconia…. etc.

Charles Rucker


UPDATE: If you purchased Motorcycle Painting Secrets please email your receipt number and we will show you how to get on the list. Here's why: you get free updates! Anytime we ad to the manual you will be notified (and a new update is coming in about a month). Just like with How To Build A Chopper Frame Vol. 1 (so if you own both and you haven't gotten on the list send your receipt numbers over.)


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