If you enjoy working on your motorcycle, either for essential maintenance or for more in-depth spannering such as restoration work, then you will probably already have a decent range of essential tools; sockets and spanners, screwdrivers and pliers, a torque wrench and so on.
But while these will get you going, the addition of what many would consider luxuries will make work even more enjoyable and easier.
Air tools, for example. Once the domain of the professionals and then for mainly automotive enthusiasts, they can make life much easier.
A lift to get the bike off the ground so you are not on your knees working on it or stooping over it and giving yourself back problems.
Then there is the workshop itself: floor coverings to make working more comfortable and potentially warmer; proper lighting so you can see what you are doing or a heater so it’s a pleasant environment to work in.
So many little things can change how you approach working on your bike and turn it from a gritted-teeth necessity to a longed-for past-time. Here are a few of our favourites...
If youu2019ve never used compressed air tools, the first time you do, youu2019ll wonder how you ever survived without them and from that point on, you will always use them u2013 I know, Iu2019ve been there.
The heart of any air-tools system is the compressor and while pro workshops will need huge ones, this 24-litre version from Hyundai should be plenty for DIY workshops. It’s described as silent (always useful) and produces 5.2CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute – the rate at which tools use air). A great starter compressor with good reviews online.
7bar working pressure
24l tank may be small for some operations
Basic Air Tool Set
Unless you are planning on full stripdowns and rebuilds, including engine and transmission work, then a basic set of air tools will get you going. This set includes an impact gun with adjustable torque settings and four impact sockets u2013 17mm, 19mm, 22mm and 24mm.
You also get a tyre inflater and a blow-gun – essential for cleaning carburettors, brake calipers and so on. Finally, there is a 15m hose to connect it all up. You’ll probably end up wanting more but this is a great start.
Covers the basics
Good starter set
Mixed reviews online
BikeTek Wheel Spinner
When it comes to chain maintenance, a centrestand is a very useful addition to the bike. Getting the rear wheel off the ground to clean, lubricate and tension the chain is really handy.
But if your bike doesn’t have one and you don’t want to get your paddock stand dirty, this roller for the rear wheel will help. Park the rear wheel on it and roll it without moving the bike to access all of the chain for cleaning or lubing.
Work with any bike
Use it anywhere
Move rear wheel with bike in place
Won’t help with chain tensioning
Switzer Motorcycle Lift
Kneeling next to your bike or stooped over the engine, for example, can soon become painful but this hydraulic lift table will raise the bike off the ground to a much more comfortable work height.
It’s low enough to load the bike onto easily and the chock will hold the bike upright though you can also use paddock stands. The hydraulic lifting action brings the bike up to 780mm off the ground and it will handle weight up to 450kg - pretty much any bike.
Raise bike to comfortable working height
Panel to allow rear wheel to be removed
Castors for moving when not in use
MotoGP Garage Mat
If your workshop floor is a bit too rough or cold for you to want to get down on your knees to whip off that oil filter, then a garage mat, like this official MotoGP one, will give you some proper race-garage vibes.
It’s got a fibre top side and non-slip nylon back and is both oil and water-resistant. It is also great to display your bike on or rest it on during a winter lay-up, for example.
Get that race-garage look
Keep you off the cold garage floor
Oil and water resistant
Gives you thoughts of a MotoGP career
Iu2019ve used something similar to this centrestand dolly and for manoeuvring a bike in a tight space, they can be invaluable. You pop the bike up onto its centrestand but with the stand on the dolly and then you can u2013 carefully, as the weight is fairly high up u2013 move the bike around as you need or turn it on its own length.
There is also a brake on the castors to prevent it moving when in place.
Move the bike easily
Lock in place when needed
Handle up to 300kg
Bike will always have one wheel still on ground
BikeTek Creeper Seat
Even if you raise the bike in the air, there are still some jobs u2013 oil changes or brake work, for example u2013 that mean you are working at what would be your thigh or waist height. To keep those knees off the ground, a creeper seat like this one will mean you can sit down and take the weight off while still being at the right height for the job in hand.
Castors mean you can wheel around to grab tools, the under-tray means you can store tools there and this one even has a cup holder.
Work at waist height easier
Sturdy and comfortable
Might be hard to get back up again
A cold, hard concrete garage floor is an inhospitable place and can reduce the temperature of the whole garage, making it uninviting. But covering the floor with foam tiles, such as these, can make it a much more pleasant place to be.
These come in packs of four 60cm x 60cm tiles for £19.95 though larger packs are available with associated bulk discounts and there are five colours.
Insulate cold floors
Protect floors from tool drops
More comfortable to work on
Could make castor rolling awkward