Europe’s No.1 in the Motorcycle

Tools

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For some people, motorcycle maintenance is a natural and integral part of their hobby, for others something best left to the professionals.

Yet you can do many simple bike maintenance tasks yourself and quickly install some accessories without expensive trips to a workshop, if you have three things: your bike's repair manual, some peace and quiet, and decent tools.

Inexperienced DIY mechanics often do not have the latter (yet). A random collection of unprofessional screwdrivers, a much too soft, cheap slip-joint pliers, blunt nippers, and a few poor-quality wrenches are not a great starting point. Nobody can do a good job with tools like that. Without a doubt, working with bad tools is a nightmare you don't want to experience. A few useful, high quality tools, however, can make working on your bike a real pleasure, and can also save money.

Costing little more than the hourly rate charged by a workshop, your first purchase should be a good-quality, reasonably extensive socket wrench set with a large (1/2 inch) and a small (1/4 inch) ratchet, lots of sockets, bits, bit holder, universal joints and extension bars. This will enable you to undo the vast majority of screw connections on your motorbike, including in hard-to-reach places. They don't have to be the most expensive professional tools, but definitely go for chrome-vanadium steel. Also useful are sockets with flank-drive, which will even undo many a damaged hexagon bolt. For example, the Rothewald socket wrench set 1 – or Rothewald complete set 2 – with combination wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers and additional 3/8-inch ratchet. If you own a Harley or a British classic, you will, of course, need imperial tools. Rothewald imperial tool set 3 – incl. combination wrenches and ball end Allen keys.

socket wrench set
Socket wrench set, 108-piece
tool set
Tool set, 122-piece
tool set
Imperial tool set, 92-piece
combination wrench set
Combination wrench set
knipex pliers wrench set
Knipex pliers wrench set
digital caliper gauge
Digital caliper gauge
led multifunctional tester
LED multifunctional tester
japanese connector set
Japanese connector set
self-amalgamating insulating tape
Self-amalgamating insulating tape
brush set
Brush set, 6-piece

You often need a second tool to hold nuts, so a large combination wrench set is also essential, unless included in the socket wrench set 4. You should also have a pliers wrench set; e.g. from Knipex 5, a medium hammer (300 g), a caliper gauge for measuring bolts etc. 6, a voltage tester 7 – for tracking down electrical faults, a set of cable terminals with a suitable crimping tool 8, a roll of self-amalgamating insulating tape 9 and a set of brushes for removing dirt and corrosion 10.

Now you have the basics covered!

We recommend:

CIRCLIP PLIERS, 4-PIECE

Three interchangeable
tips!
10 - 50 mm diameter

Rating : 2.5 out of 5

12.99

To the product
CRAFT-MEYER

For professional
thread repairs
39-piece metric M3-M12

Rating : 3.5 out of 5

29.99

To the product
CRAFT-MEYER

For professional
thread repairs
39-pc. imperial UNC

Rating : 1 out of 5

29.99

To the product
DIGITAL CALIPER GAUGE

Accurate to 0.01 mm!
Display in mm and inches
Includes battery

Rating : 3 out of 5

24.99

To the product
IGNITION VOLTAGE TESTER

Enables fast
detection of
ignition problems

Rating : 3 out of 5

9.99

To the product
INSULATING TAPE

Self-welding
Ideal for working on your
bike's electrical system

Rating : 4.5 out of 5

9.99

To the product
JAPANESE CONNECTOR

The inexpensive set
for the true
DIY mechanic. 501-piece

Rating : 3.12 out of 5

19.99

To the product

Best in test

KNIPEX PLIERS WRENCH SET

Does the job of an entire
tool set!
Exclusively from Louis!

instead of 90.00

69.99

To the product
LED MULTIFUNCTION. TESTER

Detects +/- current flow
For 3-48 V elec. systems
LED indicator lights.

6.99

To the product

Exclusively at Louis

MITYVAC BRAKE BLEEDER

The easy and
gentle way to bleed
your braking system

Rating : 2.83 out of 5

instead of 64.99

49.99

To the product
MOTORBIKE WRENCH SET

Covers everything from M4
to M22 axle nut
Chrome-vanadium, hardened

Rating : 4 out of 5

34.99

To the product
OPEN/BOX END WRENCH SET

Rothewald,imperial
12-piece with bag
TÜV/GS-tested, acc.toDIN

Rating : 4 out of 5

24.99

To the product
ROTHEWALD DIGITAL

Professional tool
with many
different uses.

Rating : 4.5 out of 5

instead of 17.99

14.99

To the product

Best in test

ROTHEWALD DISC BRAKE

Prevents the brake
piston from tilting
in the guide

Rating : 4 out of 5

39.99

To the product
ROTHEWALD HEXAGON KEY

Chrome-vanadium steel
9-piece, magnetic
Ideal length for leverage

Rating : 2.75 out of 5

14.99

To the product
ROTHEWALD HEXAGON KEY

Chrome-vanadium steel
With magnet, imperial
9-piece, ball heads

Rating : 5 out of 5

14.99

To the product
ROTHEWALD IMPACT DRIVER

Effortlessly undo
seized or rusted
screws

Rating : 4.76 out of 5

12.99

To the product

Best in test

ROTHEWALD INDUSTRIAL

One set for everything
Chrome-vanadium steel
122-pc., metric

Rating : 4.17 out of 5

149.99

To the product

Best in test

ROTHEWALD PROFESSIONAL

Imperial version
Chrome-vanadium steel
92-piece

Rating : 4.52 out of 5

99.99

To the product
ROTHEWALD SOCKET WRENCH

Extensive selection
Fine-toothed ratchets
1/4'' and 1/2''

Rating : 3.84 out of 5

79.99

To the product
ROTHEWALD STAR

Gunmetal finish
Chrome-vanadium steel
Magnetic, 9-piece

Rating : 2 out of 5

14.99

To the product
ROTHEWALD WORKSHOP

Comfortable work position
Rugged quality
Padded seat

Rating : 3.42 out of 5

39.99

To the product

Best in test

SCREWDRIVER SET

Go-through blades
With impact caps
and external hex

Rating : 5 out of 5

29.99

To the product
SET OF 6 BRUSHES

Many different uses
6 different brushes
Top value for money

Rating : 4.25 out of 5

instead of 9.99

4.99

To the product

Best in test

SOFT FACE HAMMER WITH

Rubber and plastic
faces. Non-slip
rubber grip

Rating : 5 out of 5

14.99

To the product
THREAD FILE, METRIC

Professional quality
For finishing
For metric threads

Rating : 5 out of 5

29.99

To the product
TORQUE WRENCH

Professional torque
wrench in 3 sizes
Accurate scale

Rating : 3 out of 5

from 59.99

To the product
screwdriver set
Screwdriver set, 10-piece
impact driver set
Impact driver set, 5-piece
wrench sets
wrench sets
Wrench sets
variohammer
Variohammer

Although the bits in the socket wrench set will also work for slotted, cross-head and hexagon socket screws, sometimes you will probably prefer to use conventional screwdrivers because they are sturdier. So unless they are included in the socket wrench set, you will want a screwdriver set 11. If there are lots of cross-head or slotted screws on your bike, an impact screwdriver 12 is a great help, as they are often really tight and get damaged easily. The ideal tools for hard-to-reach hexagon socket screws are ball-end hex keys because they can be inserted at an angle. They have come right down in price nowadays, 13 – not needed if included in the socket wrench set. A tap with the Variohammer rubber or plastic hammer 14 can often help to loosen parts on your bike that are stuck fast. A standard steel hammer would often do more damage than good in such cases...

tools chart

At some point you will probably have to remove a bike part that is fastened with a circlip or Seeger ring, for which you will need two special pliers, one for internal and one for external rings: Seeger ring pliers set 15. Next you should purchase a battery charger suitable for your bike battery (see all chargers at Louis). If your motorbike doesn't have a centre stand, you should also get yourself a suitable paddock stand, for example, so that you can safely park your machine when working on it, or for the winter. A stand will also enable you to turn the rear wheel to lubricate the chain.

Experienced DIY mechanics who plan to do engine repairs, but also any biker who doesn't have a knack for tightening bolts correctly, depending on their purpose and size, should own a small 16 and a large 17 torque wrench. But don't forget, as solid as these wrenches look, they are only used for tightening, and not for loosening stubborn screws, as this may damage them internally.

We recommend:

Best in test

CTEK LITHIUM XS

Automatic 8-stage battery
charger for Li-Ion motor-
cycle starter batterys

instead of 129.95

109.95

To the product
CTEK MXS 3.8

Fully automatic 8-stage
battery charger
IP65 enclosure protection

Rating : 4.5 out of 5

instead of 69.95

59.95

To the product

Best in test

CTEK MXS 5.0

Automatic 8-stage charger
with max.5A & temperature
compensation, IP65

Rating : 4.41 out of 5

89.95

To the product

Sale %

CTEK MXS 5.0 TEST&CHARGE

Automatic 8-stage charger
and alternator/battery-
analyzer - IP65

Rating : 1 out of 5

99.95

To the product
CTEK XS 0.8 EU

Fully automatic
6-stage battery charger
IP65 enclosure protection

Rating : 5 out of 5

49.95

To the product

Best in test

PROCHARGER

High-tech charger with
1000 mA for motorcycle,
scooter and ATV batteries

Rating : 4.53 out of 5

49.99

To the product

Best in test

PROCHARGER COMPACT

High-tech charger with
600 mA for motorcycle,
scooter and ATV batteries

Rating : 4.49 out of 5

34.99

To the product

Best in test

PROCHARGER S

Plug-in charger with
400 mA for motorcycle,
scooter and ATV batteries

Rating : 4.37 out of 5

19.99

To the product

Best in test

PROCHARGER XL (CAN-BUS)

Intelligent charger with
up to 4000 mA!Can bus and
and Li-Ion enabled!

Rating : 3.98 out of 5

99.99

To the product

Best in test

PROCHARGER XXL

Most powerful ProCharger!
Switchable between 6 V
and 12 V, up to 10,000 mA

Rating : 3.7 out of 5

149.99

To the product
seeger ring pliers set
Seeger ring pliers set
torque wrench
Torque wrench (6–30 Nm)
torque wrench
Torque wrench (40–210 Nm)
disc brake piston spreader
Disc brake piston spreader

With that lot, your DIY workshop would be pretty well kitted out. You only need further tools if you are doing special work. For regular brake servicing, tools like a disc brake piston spreader 18 and a brake bleeder 19 are very practical.

brake bleeder
Brake bleeder
2-gauge synchroniser
2-gauge synchroniser
4-gauge synchroniser
4-gauge synchroniser
ignition tester
Ignition tester

To change oil filter cartridges, you use a suitable oil filter removal attachment for the 1/2 inch socket wrench. If you're going to synchronise a multi-carburettor system, you will need a synchroniser; e.g. from Rothewald, 2 gauges 20, or 4 gauges 21. To track down faults in the ignition without risking damage to the electrical system, you use an ignition voltage tester (which does not cost much at all) 22.

digital multimeter
Digital multimeter
hand tap and thread cutting sets
Hand tap and thread cutting sets

Nor does a multimeter 23 cost a fortune. You use it to find electrical faults in general, and you can even download comprehensive instructions for how to use it on motorcycles at www.louis.de (for further product information, go to the product in the Online Shop). If you own a vintage motorbike, or if you enjoy customising your bike, you will have to repair threads every now and again or cut a thread on parts you make yourself. Not a problem with a good thread cutter and tap set 24.

thread file
Thread file
workshop creeper
Workshop creeper

If the thread of a bolt is damaged, it can often be repaired with a thread file (metric) 25. Unlike a thread cutter, it restores the existing metal rather than removing metal and further weakening the thread. Working in comfort will increase your enjoyment of bike repair. A comfortable creeper seat 26 for working on your motorbike is a useful addition to your workshop. And is certainly no unnecessary luxury, as good posture at the motorbike is not only more comfortable, but also helps you to stay focused on the job you're doing.

tools chart
[IMAGE - Download this tip.]

Download this tip

For the garage: Simply download, print out and take it with you.

the experts

The Louis Technical Centre

Problems getting spare parts? Or maybe you've got a technical question about your motorcycle or an accessory The Louis Technical Centre can help! Remember to quote all the necessary details of your vehicle – better still, send us a copy of your registration document.

We will get back to you as quickly as possible!

So: send us your technical problem!

Please note!

These tips for DIY mechanics contain general recommendations that may not apply to all vehicles or all individual components. As local conditions may vary considerably, we are unable to guarantee the correctness of information in these tips for DIY mechanics.

Thank you for your understanding.

[IMAGE - Buy the Louis Mechanic Manual now.]

German Version

Louis DIY Mechanic Manual

The printed version

The big Louis DIY mechanic manual available in a printed version: in color and practical A4 format at cost price.

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