The only activity that many motorcyclists enjoy as much as riding is wrenching; it both soothes and stimulates our speed-soaked brains. Garage, shop or man cave ... whatever you call the special place where you wield your tools, this month's Gear spread is dedicated to sprucing it up.
Scabby concrete, grimy plywood or tattered pieces of cardboard are standard work surfaces for the home mechanic, but that doesn't have to be the case. Whether in the driveway, at the track or in the backcountry, MotoPads are the ideal surface on which to wrench, clean and display your bike. The reinforced plastic panels are strong enough to support any size bike, and they come in your choice of trim color to match your motorcycle. The $199.95 kit includes a half-dozen 24-inch panels that snap together to form a 4x6-foot platform.
Enjoy frosty draft beer right in your garage! EdgeStar's KC2000 Kegerator is the ultimate refreshment solution for your shop. This isn't some retrofitted dorm fridge; the $499 assemblage is custom-made to hold a full-sized keg and keep it at a crisp 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This brilliant beer dispenser features a chromed tap and bar rail, and all beer components are American-made and commercial-grade. Tired of keg beer (like that could ever happen)? Simply remove the keg components, slide in the two included shelves and insert the included plugs to convert the Kegerator into a standard refrigerator suitable for holding beer bottles and cans.
USAG Ducati Corse Toolkit
Whether you're removing your carbon-fiber bodywork for an oil change or installing a slipper clutch, this Ducati Corse toolkit from USAG has got you covered. Contained within the custom-painted steel case is an assortment of tools, including a ratchet, extensions, combination wrenches and a wide range of sockets. Like everything with corse in its name, it's expensive: $595. And sure, you could assemble a comparable kit at Sears or Home Depot for half the price. But it wouldn't come in a case wearing the Ducati Corse colors, or contain the same quality USAG tools used by the factory MotoGP mechanics.
Griot's Garage Creeper
A large plush seat, stout 2.5-inch casters and a convenient under-seat drawer elevate this sit-on creeper above all others-especially that milk crate you've been using! The 10x14-inch seat is oversized and extra comfortable thanks to the upper-thigh support it provides. Rated at 400 pounds, the $45.99 Wide Seat Creeper is set at the optimum height to make those low-down jobs tolerable. The under-seat drawer is perfect for storing frequently used tools, and the lower platform is great for rags, sprays and those frosty mugs of Kegerator beer.
DID Chain Tool
Cutting and riveting a chain is one procedure you can't MacGyver; it requires the proper equipment. DID's new KM501E Sport cutting and riveting tool is just the thing to get the job done quickly and safely. The compact, machined-steel body is engineered to cut and press side plates onto any size or brand chain, while the rivet pin is designed specifically for DID's ZJ-style master links. The "Sport" specification designates this tool for light, home-shop use; professionals should upgrade to the rugged, forged-steel KM500. The KM501E retails for $120 and comes in a handy denim storage bag.
Motion Pro Titanium Wrenches
C'mon, who wouldn't want to see the gray sheen of titanium wrenches peeking out from their toolbox? These Prolight wrenches from Motion Pro are designed to be ultra-light, strong and comfortable to use. Made from tool-quality titanium alloy, they will never rust or corrode, and are guaranteed to impress your friends. At less than one-quarter the weight of standard steel wrenches, these featherweight wonders are perfect for your onboard toolkit, too. Each wrench is laser-etched for easy identification, and can be purchased individually or as a set. The $99.99 four-piece kit (8, 10, 12 and 14mm) comes in a heavy-duty nylon tool wrap.
Champion Factory Box
Show off your allegiance to any of the Big Four with a Factory toolbox from Champion Tool Storage. Dressed in vibrant, durable Factory Effex graphics, these tool chests complement your bike in the garage or at the track. The $399.95 Factory Box features heavy-duty handles, liners in all of its nine drawers, tool-drawer ID stickers to keep you organized and smooth-rolling ball-bearing sliders. The all-steel chest is lockable, and comes with a lifetime warranty. Traded your Honda for a Yamaha? No problem: The graphics are removable and replaceable.
Pit Viper Motorcycle Dolly
Shuffling motorcycles around in the confines of a garage is a PITA. The Pit Viper Motorcycle Dolly makes the process a whole lot easier by allowing you to roll and rotate your bike as needed-Tetris style. The robust steel platform and double-caster wheels can support up to 1250 pounds, so the $95.99 Pit Viper can be used to corral your full-dress Harley into that slot between your dirtbike and sportbike. A convenient ramp/wedge design functions as a brake while the motorcycle is wheeled into place, and there's an adjustable platform so the bike can be leaned on its kickstand.
Wrenched, Man and Machine
When you've got a real head-scratcher of a mechanical problem-be it a top-end tick or an electrical gremlin-the best thing to do is to let yourself get distracted for a while. What better way to loosen up than with some motorcycle-inspired poetry? Wrenched, Man and Machine by sometimes Motorcyclist contributor Ed Milich is the poetic diary of his vintage racing and wrenching experience. With titles like "Parts Harvest," "Clutch Dust" and "Incident in Turn 1," Wrenched is an entertaining and enlightening read. The $15, 142-page volume is interspersed with artful, topical black-and-white photography, and comes complete with Ed's greasy thumbprint on the title page.