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Tired of the crap
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Discussion Starter #1
More than once I've been out on the road and noticed that some part of my bike was "buzzing" because a fastener had come loose. Fortunately I've always been able to find a friendly garage to lend me the appropriate tool to tighten things up again before I went too far.

Of course, the easy way to prevent this is to properly torque all your fasteners, and to make sure you've got a nice clean dab of Loctite on them first. But unfortunately we live in an imperfect world, and like most people, I don't make a habit of checking every fastener on my bike every time I roll it out of the garage. But to make the search easier - lets leave out the really big fastener sizes (like the axle nuts, and the shock bolts). These fall into the "critical fastener" category, and should be periodically checked, torqued, and loctited as part of your regular maintenance. I also find that the bigger fasteners like this are much less likely to come loose - which is probably a real good thing.

I've been giving some thought to the problem of things coming loose - and searching for the perfect set of on-bike tools for the V-Rod. This is not as easy as it might appear:

  • There are both SAE and metric fasteners on the bike.
  • There are multi-tools made for SAE fasteners - namely because H-D doesn't provide toolkits like every other bike maker, but not that many metric multi-tools
  • The V-Rod has zero built-in storage
  • They actually managed to put (2) different sizes of torx fasteners on the switchgear...

I initially liked the idea of taping a few allen wrenches inside the airbox - but the more I thought about it, the less sure I was. I'm not that thrilled about having to remove not only the airbox "skin", but also the plastic inner cover, most likely in a somewhat unfriendly environment (by the side of the road, in the rain, etc.) Moreover, most allen-wrench sets small enough to fit in there have a combination of keys that are too small (how often will you use the 2 mm one on the road?); with a lack of other tools necessary to do basic repairs.

Many people swear by the "Leatherman" type multi-tools, and indeed they are really great to have around if you should find yourself stranded in the wilderness. But I don't really think they have a lot of applications for the motorcyclist. I'm not going to start cranking on screws and nuts with a pair of pliers that really aren't designed for the purpose. And if I find myself trapped under my bike, I just can't see using the little saw to amputate my own leg to free myself.

Back in my mountain-biking days I bought a great little multi-tool, the Topeak Alien . This has a good selection of allen keys, plus a few metric hex wrenches, a couple of screwdrivers (including a new torx bit); and a knife blade. The only downsides I see is that it has a couple of things that are pretty much useless for V-Rodders -a chain tool and tire irons, and that there are a couple of torx sizes you aren't going to be able to work on. It does come with a belt loop, so you can carry it with you, although I'd still be a little concerned about taking a spill with it attached to my torso.

Does anyone have any suggestions for something better? And what sort of "on the road" minor mechanical stuff have people encountered, that they would have been able to fix, if only they'd had the right tool with them?
 

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P.E.
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71 Posts
I found this on the Harley Website.

Designed specifically for the V-Rod®, this is the ideal carry-along tool kit for your VRSC model. This kit includes the metric tools required to perform most service functions with the least amount of carrying weight.

94820-02

Fits '02-later VRSC models.
MSRP US $89.95
 

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Tired of the crap
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2,819 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tip, ACer.. but I guess I have to agree with mjw here: the "tool kit" Harley sells for the V-Rod doesn't seem to have had much thought go into it.

For starters: It looks like they've included a spark plug socket (and a long extension). A nice idea, but spark plugs are hardly the sort of thing that is likely to suddenly go bad on the road, especially with a modern fuel-injected engine with ECM. And even if it did go bad - how are you going to fix it once you've pulled it out?

Secondly, unless you have saddlebags or a luggage rack on the bike, there is no way you could take that honking great roll with you.

Thirdly, I'm not sure exactly what you'd use the Visegrips for. Maybe they'd come in handy for tightening a stock peg back on. but that isn't really the sort of thing that comes loose very often. Visegrips are fine for plumbing work, but not something I'd recommend to use on a $20,000 motorcycle.

Lastly, the ratchet is another "nice idea" that seems inappropriate for an "on bike" toolkit. People managed to cinch down fasteners for years before they invented ratchets. Including a ratchet only adds to the weight and bulk of the kit.

To my way of thinking the $90 "V-Rod toolkit" is a bad investment: too big and heavy to take with you on the bike; and neither good enough quality or sufficiently well-equipped to be of much use in your garage.
 

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Registered
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172 Posts
Check out the kits that come on the metric cruisers. Small, light and will do most quick repairs, and they even have a spanner to adjust the shocks. I hope my wife hasn't figured out her tool kit is missing from her shadow.
 

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speeding safely
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499 Posts
So what are the most useful and common tools for the V-Rod. For instance, I know my softail loves 9/16" and 1/2" wrenches, #27torx, 3/16" allen, 1/8" allen. A few tools seem to go a long way.

I'll be driving my new -rod home 500 miles next week, and I'd love some advice on what to bring with me.

thx in advance.
 

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Tired of the crap
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2,819 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
For "carrying" tools a small set of metric allen wrenches, #27 Torx (V-Rod uses the same switches as your Softail), a medium Phillips screwdriver, and a good tire gauge are probably just fine.

If your bike is new, you might want to check the front axle nuts before heading off on a long trip. A few folks (me included) have found that they come loose - and the honking great wrench needed to tighten them isn't something I'd really want to carry with me.

You also might want to check the torx screws that hold the piece of chrome trim on the bottom of the "secondary volume" of the exhaust. They are loctited at the factory, but they are very short screws, and have a tendency to buzz loose. Its not a disaster if you lose one - they only cost a few cents each - but I'd hate to ride very far with two of them gone.
 

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speeding safely
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499 Posts
Thanks.

What size wrenches are likely in that $90 harley tool kit?

(yes, I'll have a cell phone and a hog membership- but those are for big problems)
 

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Premium Member
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13,343 Posts
I have the HD V-Rod tool kit. Every time I need another tool, I add it. So far, I have used 5% of the supplied tools, and have added several. Primarily allen wrenches not included. And a couple of end wrenches. Some metric, some i-p. Naturally. The nice HD roll up bag overfloweth. But I have saddlebags to put it in.
 

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EJones
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125 Posts
HD Toolkit contents???

Daniii said:
I have the HD V-Rod tool kit. Every time I need another tool, I add it. So far, I have used 5% of the supplied tools, and have added several. Primarily allen wrenches not included. And a couple of end wrenches. Some metric, some i-p. Naturally. The nice HD roll up bag overfloweth. But I have saddlebags to put it in.
Daniii,

I realize that this post is almost 2 years old, but let me ask the question anyway. Would you mind sharing a list of the tool sizes that HD includes in the V-Rod tool kit? I would like to replicate that kit - with non-HD tools...

Thanks,

EJones
 

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Premium Member
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13,343 Posts
Wish I could. I have swapped so many in and out, I no longer know what came with them! I have added a couple of folding, ball end multi-allen tools, that I use more than anything else (mostly to retighten Kuryakyn pegs!). Two years later, I don't think I have used 10% of the tools that came with the set. One of these days, I'll probably reorganize the mess. Mostly, it fits nicely in a notch at the bottom of my FPOS bags.
 

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EJones
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125 Posts
fehrc said:
I too have the kit EJones. I can compile the contents over the weekend and post it for you.
Thanks Fehrc...I'll probably be ordering a bag from Kuryakyn in the next week or so, which will give me a convenient place to keep some tools. I'd like to know what to add when I go to Sears to compile my toolkit...

By the way - I've been in the garage doing some "re-arranging". The pics you posted inspired me.
 

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EJones
Joined
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125 Posts
Daniii said:
Wish I could. I have swapped so many in and out, I no longer know what came with them! I have added a couple of folding, ball end multi-allen tools, that I use more than anything else (mostly to retighten Kuryakyn pegs!). Two years later, I don't think I have used 10% of the tools that came with the set. One of these days, I'll probably reorganize the mess. Mostly, it fits nicely in a notch at the bottom of my FPOS bags.
Thanks Daniii...I've used the folding allen tools myself, and they are a nice addition to a bike toolkit. I've also grown pretty fond of those screwdriver sets that Sears sells with the bits (straight, phillips, and torx) that you can store in the handle. I'm sure I'll have one of those in my toolkit as well.
 

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Premium Member
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1,501 Posts
In addition to the tool kit in the saddle bag, I always like to add a mini-mag lite, cigar clipper, church key, and bic lighter.
 

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Craig Fehr
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2,506 Posts
EJones said:
Thanks Fehrc...I'll probably be ordering a bag from Kuryakyn in the next week or so, which will give me a convenient place to keep some tools. I'd like to know what to add when I go to Sears to compile my toolkit...
Here's the list of tools in the V-Rod Took Kit

1 - 6 mm allen key
2 - 5 mm allen keys
1 - 4 mm allen key
1 - 3 mm allen key
1 - T25 hex allen key
1 - socket driver
1 - driver extension
1 - 5/8" socket
1- 17 mm socket
1 - vice grips
1 - 1/4" wrench
1 - 3/4" wrench
1 - 10 mm wrench
1 - 13 mm wrench
1 - spark plug gap tool
1 - T30 screw driver bit
1 - T40 screw driver bit
2 - phillips screwdriver bits (#2 & #3)
2 - straight screwdriver bits
6 - tie straps

Below is a pic as well.
 

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Craig Fehr
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2,506 Posts
EJones said:
By the way - I've been in the garage doing some "re-arranging". The pics you posted inspired me.
Good luck! It's not always easy keeping a clean garage! :banghead:
 

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EJones
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125 Posts
Thanks much for the tool list. I just got my bag from Kuryakyn this weekend, so I'll start putting the kit together...
 

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Registered
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302 Posts
djoyce said:
Check out the kits that come on the metric cruisers. Small, light and will do most quick repairs, and they even have a spanner to adjust the shocks. I hope my wife hasn't figured out her tool kit is missing from her shadow.
I agree that the metric cruisers tool kits are handy and like you hope the wife doesn't find hers missing. By the way a Shadow also.:thumb:
 
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