In 1996 the Leatherman Micra was brand new and multi-tools were all the rage. Somehow, the clever little gadget, with its spring-loaded scissors and tiny screwdrivers, wound up on the shelf of a local chain store, mismarked to half its asking price. My old man, a sucker for a bargain, bought out the lot of them. I was 12. I've admired the hell out of it ever since.

A good tool has a knack for longevity, for being passed along. Sometimes among friends as loans that last lifetimes. Sometimes they’re handed down generations. Inevitably, funny little bonds form, and sometimes perceived value far outstrips a tool’s actual cost. I’d rather lose an expensive socket set than the little Leatherman that’s outlasted 20 years of sock drawers and jeans pockets.

The staff at Motorcyclist have similar attachments, and in assembling them for this photo shoot, a picture of each contributor emerged. The racer. The painter. The mechanical dabbler. Each of us treats them like our machines in miniature. We laud them when they make us look sharp and hold them accountable for our faults. And, just as with motorcycles, the tools may vary but our outsized affection for them remains constant.

Tire Irons

Tire Irons
Owner: Ari Henning
Tool: Tire Irons
Jeff Allen

Piston Ring Groove Cleaner

Piston Ring Groove Cleaner
Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: Piston Ring Groove Cleaner
Jeff Allen
First Toolbox

First Toolbox

Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: First Toolbox
Jeff Allen

Brass Drift

Brass Drift
Owner: Ari Henning
Tool: Brass Drift
Jeff Allen

Plumb Body Hammer

Plumb Body Hammer
Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: Plumb Body Hammer
Jeff Allen

Binks Model 7 Siphon Cup Spray Gun

Binks Model 7 Siphon Cup Spray Gun
Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: Binks Model 7 Siphon Cup Spray Gun
Jeff Allen

Safety Wire Pliers

Safety Wire Pliers
Owner: Zack Courts
Tool: Safety Wire Pliers
Jeff Allen

Mac Ratcheting Wrench

Mac Ratcheting Wrench
Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: Mac Ratcheting Wrench
Jeff Allen

Timing Degree Wheel

Timing Degree Wheel
Owner: Ari Henning
Tool: Timing Degree Wheel
Jeff Allen

Welding Helmet

Welding Helmet
Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: Welding Helmet
Jeff Allen

Dial Indicator

Dial Indicator
Owner: Ari Henning
Tool: Dial Indicator
Jeff Allen

Rodac Die Grinder

Rodac Die Grinder
Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: Rodac Die Grinder
Jeff Allen

Mora Knife

Mora Knife
Owner: Chris Cantle
Tool: Mora Knife
Jeff Allen

Leather Mallet

Leather Mallet
Owner: Brian Hatano
Tool: Leather Mallet
Jeff Allen

Leatherman Micra

Leatherman Micra
Owner: Chris Cantle
Tool: Leatherman Micra
Jeff Allen