Guide to motorcycle toolsHammer:
Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive chrome scooter parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.
Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing leathers or bike covers.
Electric hand drill:
Normally used for spinning steel Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling rollbar mounting holes in the floor of a sports car just above the brake line that goes to the rear axle.
Used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
Used almost entirely for lighting those stale garage cigarettes you keep hidden in the back of the Whitworth socket drawer (What wife would think to look in there?) because you can never remember to buy lighter fluid for the Zippo lighter you got from the PX at Fort Campbell.
See oxy-acetylene torch.
Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for hiding six-month old Salems from the sort of person who would throw them away for no good reason.
A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against the Pamela Anderson poster over the bench grinder.
Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, "Hand me 'nother beer, Bubba!"
Hydraulic bike jack/platform:
Ingeniously-designed tool for flipping bikes onto their sides, usually when you're alone in the shop.
Eight-foot long Douglas fir 2 x 4:
Used for levering a bike upright after using a hydraulic jack on the bike (see above).
A tool for removing wood splinters (see above).
Tool for calling your neighbor Bubba to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack (see above).
"Snap-on" gasket scraper:
Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog-doo off your boot.
E-Z out bolt and stud extractor:
A tool that snaps off in bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.
A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup on crankshaft pulleys.
Two-ton hydraulic engine hoist:
A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and hydraulic clutch lines you may have forgotten to disconnect. Almost capable of lifting a Goldwing off the floor.
Craftsman 1/2 x 16-inch screwdriver:
A large motor mount prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.
Battery electrolyte tester:
A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from scooter battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought.
One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
Aviation metal cutters:
The mechanic's own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, "the sunshine vitamin" which is not otherwise found in garages at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105 mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.
Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to round off Phillips screw heads.
A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty suspension bolts last tightened 40 years ago by someone in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and rounds them off.