The tool kit is rubbish


Seriously, the stock tool kit is just garbage. I’d learnt as much back in the KLX days. To it’s credit the KLR’s kit provides you with the tools you need to get the wheels off, so that’s an improvement, I guess. But after that, it just gets scary:

  • The 6mm / 8mm spanner is actually 6mm and 6mm. Don’t believe everything you read
  • The side covers, probably one of the most-removed parts of a bike, require a 8mm socket (plus extension post) or tube spanner. Kawa don’t do sockets (not that I’d trust them if they did), and they don’t do a 8mm tube spanner. Flat battery? Tough.
  • There’s a 12mm tube spanner, but it’s capped on the other end, and doesn’t have a hole to use a screwdriver for leverage, so you need a 17mm spanner on the other end to use it
  • 19 and 27mm ring spanners are made of pressed steel. They need an extender (a flattened tube spanner, effectively) to get any real leverage. Considering the use they’ll get (axles) and the space and weight they occupy (almost none), I’ll keep them
  • The 10/12 and 14/17mm open spanners are typical stock kit stuff. Forged, but not great. Since adding the crash bars I need a 13mm spanner, so I need to add to this anyway. The whole lot are going.
  • The spark plug spanner doubles as a screwdriver handle. Not a beautiful piece of engineering, but it wills stay.
  • Small and large Phillips Head drivers aren’t wonderful, but they’re a job lot with the spark plug spanner, so they’ll stay.
  • Multigrips are trash. I’ll be looking for a replacement for those
  • Allen Keys are OK, though I’ll probably replace them down the track. I’d just rather know where I got them from, I guess
  • The spanner extender is simple enough, and will add leverage to the spanners and the allen keys, plus the screwdriver shafts fit inside it. It stays.

So, the plan is to keep the 6, 19 and 27mm spanners, the allen keys, the spark plug spanner, the screwdrivers and the spanner extender thingy. Everything else goes.

First purchase (I tried today, but they were closed) will be these Bahco Reversible Ratchet Spanners. The three spanners each have 4 different metric sockets, which is quite nifty, and they’re ratchets too. As you can see, I’m showing off my tool knowledge (that is my knowledge of tools, not the other kind), which is almost nil. Still, they cover off all the spanner sizes I could need, and they have to be better than what I have.

I’m also going to replace the side cover bolts with allen-head bolts, then removing the need for a socket or tube spanner. I’ll keep an eye out for any others that are likely to be a problem, too.

I’ll replace the multigrips, add tyre irons and probably add one or two other things. I’d like to strike a balance between the useless stock kit, and the monster kit on this thread. This guy has thought of everything. I’d be happy with the best of what he’s got, if I can find somewhere to house it on the bike. I’m thinking the left side cover might be a suitable host for some of it.

UPDATE: Picked up the spanner set and a dozen allen drive bolts today. I realised that the radiator shrouds use the same size bolts, and I figured with a little effort I’d find more to replace. What I didn’t realise is that the washers on the side covers and shrouds are captive, so I’ll need to get some washers. Only the smallest of the spanners will fit in the stock toolkit case, so I’ll need to do some thinking about where I’m going to put the full kit once it is all assembled.

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