technician in training in need of tools

G_YamTech_314

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Hey everyone. Ive been working as the primary technician of a new motorcycle dealership since October of last year. Some of you may be aware that I went to school to receive proper technical training to qualify to work professionally in the motorcycle world. While I was given what they call a "starter tool set" consisting mainly of hand tools, and a multimeter, and some other inspection related tools, and I've acquired some specialty tools along the way through my XS650 build. (which, sadly is still in the dealership basement in limbo while I get my feet back under me.) I'm at the point in my career where I am working towards getting FASTER. Management is being very nice to me, and paying me hourly for now, until they feel I'm ready for flat rate. When that time comes, I dont want to be hungry. I want to thrive. That being said, Im here for some advice. What tools do you all consider absolutely essential to getting a job done in a timely manner? I know impact tools are a must, they're very well the next item to purchase for my collection.

I'd like to add that Im a firm believer in never having too many tools. I don't usually get rid of tools, but if any of you could live to part with some tools, Id happily give you money before giving money to the tool truck, or lowes, HF, etc.
 

Jim

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Don't have any to offer... just wanted to say I've been inside a tool truck exactly once.... looked at the prices and stepped back out.
Stay away from the tool trucks. :cautious:

Good luck with you quest!!
 

G_YamTech_314

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Don't have any to offer... just wanted to say I've been inside a tool truck exactly once.... looked at the prices and stepped back out.
Stay away from the tool trucks. :cautious:

Good luck with you quest!!
I step in to window shop... it pisses em off. but it gives me a little breather from the shop. lol. I DID overpay for exactly ONE tool from a matco truck.

I lost my 1/4'' drive 10mm and was working miserably without it for weeks. I caved and he had one so I got one. 12 point 10mm 1/4'' socket... $20 and some change. Never again.
 

G_YamTech_314

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You have ratchet wrenches? I consider those valuable in the shop and a good investment in time saver tools.
theyre on the list. as well as hex, and torx sockets. they beat the hell out of t handles or allen keys. Im looking for sockets larger than 19mm as well. i see a lot of hardware thats 22-36mm. not sure ive ever seen bigger than 36 but im sure the day will come. Id love to have every size from 7mm to 40mm but thats gonna be one of those "as I go" investments I think.
 

JesseeS

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What type of bikes does the dealership sell? Like is it a generic one selling specific brands or like a used dealer
 

G_YamTech_314

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What type of bikes does the dealership sell? Like is it a generic one selling specific brands or like a used dealer
As of right now we primarily sell Kawasaki, Yamaha, Can Am. but we are soon adopting our sister locations inventory, and will be adding Suzuki, KTM, Honda.

we do a little bit of everything, we'll change tires for any brand, and accept MOST service jobs that arent absolute basket cases.
 

JesseeS

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Ok cool. I did an USD fork swap on my bike and bought all specific forks tools. I.e motion pro fork seal driver, fork cap, and a tool specific for inside the forks. Find the sizes of the forks on the bikes you sell (they will probably use a lot of the same sizes) and buy the drivers and caps of all the sizes. I cannot stress the importance of these tools. Not only did they make the job super fast, they got it done right without messing with macgyvered tools. Also, the interior fork tools are super important because there’s nothing worse than starting a job just to stop because you don’t have that tool. These are not rush items, but will get those bikes in and out faster.
 

G_YamTech_314

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Ok cool. I did an USD fork swap on my bike and bought all specific forks tools. I.e motion pro fork seal driver, fork cap, and a tool specific for inside the forks. Find the sizes of the forks on the bikes you sell (they will probably use a lot of the same sizes) and buy the drivers and caps of all the sizes. I cannot stress the importance of these tools. Not only did they make the job super fast, they got it done right without messing with macgyvered tools. Also, the interior fork tools are super important because there’s nothing worse than starting a job just to stop because you don’t have that tool. These are not rush items, but will get those bikes in and out faster.
I appreciate the tip! We DO have a ton of "shop tools" that are already provided and available to everyone. Theres valve tools, pullers, fork tools, crank tools, etc. its a pretty well rounded collection since we bought out a kawi/yamaha dealership. some of the tools Im able to keep in my toolbox since theyre duplicates, but others Id like to have for my own collection anyways. Ill keep what you said in mind though, because im not sure how many of the fork tools they have are "universal" we all know how that can go.
 

bosco659

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I’d eventually invest in a decent set of cordless tools. I have some Snap On stuff from a previous life but probably wouldn’t buy them again, just because of cost. I like Milwaukee’s tools. I’d eventually get a 1/2” and 3/8” impact gun; 3/8” ratchet; 1/2” drill; hex drive screw gun. M18 batteries for everything but the ratchet. I’d go M12 for that because of size. These tools, properly used will help get your speed up. Agree that ratcheting wrenches are a great investment. I don’t mind Harbour Freight’s Icon line of tools. Pretty decent quality at a decent price.
 

JesseeS

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I appreciate the tip! We DO have a ton of "shop tools" that are already provided and available to everyone. Theres valve tools, pullers, fork tools, crank tools, etc. its a pretty well rounded collection since we bought out a kawi/yamaha dealership. some of the tools Im able to keep in my toolbox since theyre duplicates, but others Id like to have for my own collection anyways. Ill keep what you said in mind though, because im not sure how many of the fork tools they have are "universal" we all know how that can go.
Oh ok cool! I wasn’t sure as I know some places are “the tools we have are the ones you brought” but it’s good they have necessities and you’re more on your own for “hand tools”. In that case besides what’s been listed already, a small pen light/headlamp, a few sizes of inspection mirrors and those extendable magnetic tips for when you drop stuff are good additions. Also, keep a pocket notebook and pen on you. Good for notes, but also if you’re working and say “wow this tool would make this easier” write it down so you don’t forget and then buy it haha
 

Wingedwheel

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You have ratchet wrenches? I consider those valuable in the shop and a good investment in time saver tools.
I totally second that and do you have a JIS screwdriver set? There’s nothing worse than being a customer and getting a bike back with mangled screw heads.
 

G_YamTech_314

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I totally second that and do you have a JIS screwdriver set? There’s nothing worse than being a customer and getting a bike back with mangled screw heads.
I'll be getting them soon. I haven't messed any screws up so far. I don't want to wait til I do to get JIS drivers though. Hopefully I'll have them sooner than later.
 

jetmechmarty

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You need to keep your stuff organized, so you can find it quickly. What I do and have dove is buy inexpensive stuff. If I break it, I get something better. Be careful with air tools. Taking something apart with a cheap air ratchet is fine. Putting stuff together with one is another story. Those are the things snapped off bolt heads are made of.
 

Wingedwheel

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I'll be getting them soon. I haven't messed any screws up so far. I don't want to wait til I do to get JIS drivers though. Hopefully I'll have them sooner than later.
I know there’s a thread or a mention on the forum about grinding the end of a Phillips slightly to change the angle for better contact with a JIS fastener.
 

bosco659

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I know it may be difficult, especially when starting out, but I’ve always advised to buy the best quality tool you can afford. I believe most of my tools will out live me.
 

WideAWAKE

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I’d say you are the best tool you possess. You want to be more efficient, without rushing, some physical tools may help get you there but your mind, organization and approach to the work will take you farther than any tool.

When you have a problem, get in the habit of collecting information, trying to solve the problem on your own, understanding where it falls apart for you, and then when asking for help, be able to present all the info you have to the individual(s) your seeking help from so you aren’t back tracking and wasting time.

For instance - in this case.

Make a master list of all the tools you currently have, and the ones that the shop has.

Present it to the forum with the bikes you tend to work on, where you fell you may be at a lack in terms of tools today, where you see your work headed in the future - THEN ask where they would fill in the blanks.

Efficiency is the way you operate.

Simply asking “what tools do I need” is a waste of your time and the time of others trying to help you.

Atleast that’s my take on how to be the most productive you can be in a problem solving environment.

Ps. I’m not perfect at this but it’s something I try to really stress and exhaust and you will probably not be very good at it, but as long as you can continue to see where you fall short, you’ll be more and more self sufficient, productive and efficient regardless of the physical tools you you have at your disposal.
 

G_YamTech_314

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I’d say you are the best tool you possess. You want to be more efficient, without rushing, some physical tools may help get you there but your mind, organization and approach to the work will take you farther than any tool.

When you have a problem, get in the habit of collecting information, trying to solve the problem on your own, understanding where it falls apart for you, and then when asking for help, be able to present all the info you have to the individual(s) your seeking help from so you aren’t back tracking and wasting time.

For instance - in this case.

Make a master list of all the tools you currently have, and the ones that the shop has.

Present it to the forum with the bikes you tend to work on, where you fell you may be at a lack in terms of tools today, where you see your work headed in the future - THEN ask where they would fill in the blanks.

Efficiency is the way you operate.

Simply asking “what tools do I need” is a waste of your time and the time of others trying to help you.

Atleast that’s my take on how to be the most productive you can be in a problem solving environment.

Ps. I’m not perfect at this but it’s something I try to really stress and exhaust and you will probably not be very good at it, but as long as you can continue to see where you fall short, you’ll be more and more self sufficient, productive and efficient regardless of the physical tools you you have at your disposal.
Thanks a ton for your opinion. I honestly forget to remind myself of that fact. I'm a tool. (In a good way mostly 😜) I want to be as useful and knowledgeable as possible. It's important for me to keep a well rounded way of thinking. Last week, I was chasing what I thought was a bad clutch on a Honda Rubicon 500. I talked it over with my parts guy to see what he thought, and he goes: "it won't move when it's in gear? Hm... Did you try putting it in 4WD?" Sure enough. Its clutch seems fine. But the half shaft is SPENT which we already knew. :doh:
 
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