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Most tools can be categorized, but some tools are so special that they have their own distinct category.
Fittingly, this category is known as “specialty tools,” and this episode is all about them.
Tune in to discover:
- What makes a tool as “specialty tool”
- 4 examples of specialty tools
- Whether specialty tools are worth getting
Hello, and welcome to another episode of 30-minute motorcycling – a podcast for those riders who are at the beginning of their own Dual Wheel Journey, where you’ll discover something new about how your motorcycle, moped, or scooter works – in less than 30 minutes.
In terms of tools, some are easy to categorize – you’ve got your pliers, your spanners, and your simple but ever-trusty screwdrivers.
Other tools, however, aren’t as easy to categorize. These tools are known as “specialty tools,” and this episode is all about them – we’re going to cover what makes a tool a specialty tool, some examples of them, and whether you actually need them.
So – what is a specialty tool, then?
Also known as “specialty purpose tools,” specialty tools are tools designed for just one specific purpose.
Often, that purpose is in the name of the tool. Take these tools, for example:
- Clutch compressing tool
- Flywheel removal tool
- Wheel alignment tool
Did you notice a pattern? Apart from the fact that they all end with “tool?” They all have not just their purpose in their name, but also what component you’re supposed to use the tool on.
To bring the point home even further, picture of an ordinary screwdriver (which, just for the record is NOT a specialty tool).
Now think about some jobs you can do with a screwdriver – just to name two, you can change an air filter and remove fairings and covers.
But try doing either one with a clutch compression tool, and you’ll see that it’s not possible.
If there’s one thing to take away about specialty tools, it’s that you should only use them for their intended purpose. Doing otherwise could actually damage them beyond repair.
So now that we’ve established what a specialty tool is, let’s look at some examples.
The first example is a clutch compression tool.
If you need to replace your clutch plates, you should know that it takes an insane amount of strength to compress the clutch springs so you can open the clutch up.
And unfortunately, most humans don’t have that kind of hand strength. That’s where a clutch compressor comes in to give you that strength to compress the clutch springs.
The second example of a specialty tool is a flywheel removal tool – also known as a “flywheel puller.”
A flywheel sits on your engine shaft and is responsible for providing a continuous source of power.
If you need to remove your flywheel, say if it needs to be replaced, you’re going to run into one problem. The flywheel itself is secured to the transmission with a nut, but as soon as you begin to remove that nut, the flywheel spins.
The flywheel puller solves this problem by locking the flywheel into place so you can remove the aforementioned nut with ease.
If you’d like to know more about motorcycle flywheels and flywheel pullers, I’ve included a link in the episode description to an article on venhill.co.uk that goes into greater detail about it.
The third example of a specialty tool is a wheel alignment tool.
Since poor wheel alignment can cause poor steering to death wobble, this is something you must check often.
There are two ways you can do this – either with the naked eyes and those lines on your rear swingarm, or you can use a wheel alignment tool, which you just place across your rear sprocket to make sure that it’s aligned with the front sprocket.
Finally, the fourth specialty tool is a torque wrench.
Unlike the previous three tools, this one doesn’t have a component or a task in its name – so what does it do?
The torque wrench is used to tighten down nuts and bolts to the correct torque specs – or “how-much-you’re-supposed-to-tighten-them” in plain English.
In other words, with a torque wrench, you can avoid the awkward, not to mention dangerous scenario of your front wheel falling off, just because you didn’t tighten it down properly when you put it back on after changing your front tire.
Now that we’ve covered 4 examples of specialty tools, perhaps you’re thinking “do I really need to get these tools?”
While many of them can make repair and maintenance much easier, some can be expensive – a clutch compressor can cost as much as the equivalent of $1,000.
Fortunately, if you don’t want to spend that kind of money, you can get away with using just standard tools for essential maintenance.
With that in mind though, there are some specialty tools that I recommend you’d get even for basic maintenance – a torque wrench is an excellent example of such as tool.
And if you want to get serious about working on motorcycles, or scooters, a specialty tool is one of those investments that will pay for itself in the long run.
On a final note, if you’re going to invest in one or several specialty tools, be advised that some of them are made for specific motorcycle brands.
Therefore, don’t waste money buying a clutch compressor tool designed for Harley Davidsons when you’ve got a BMW.
And that’s what specialty tools are, 4 examples, and whether you need to get them.
I hope you enjoyed listening and above all, that you discovered something new.
Until next time, keep your helmet on and your eyes on the road. Bye!