MC Tested: KiWAV Motorcycle Stem-Nut Spanner Wrench

Steering-stem nuts? Shock-preload collars? They’re no match for KiWav's adjustable spanner.

KiWAV motorcycle spanner wrench tool
One wrench to rule them all. The KiWAV adjustable spanner works on any size steering-head bearing collar and most shock-preload collars.Photo: Brody Cox

We're all guilty (or at least I am) of resorting to somewhat barbaric methods of loosening or tightening stubborn slotted adjustment collars—the kind you find on shocks, steering-head bearings, and the bevel-drive tube on my Kawasaki W650. How did those channel locks work out for you? They left me with sliced knuckles. And the hammer and screwdriver method? I’ll always regret the gouge I left in the tank of my 1978 XL350. For those of us who are tired of using the wrong tool for an important job, KiWAV has a more civilized answer.

KiWAV's adjustable stem-nut spanner has a wide range of adjustability (actual working capacity is between 25 and 75mm, or roughly 1 to 3 inches), which is broad enough to fit every adjustment collar I’ve encountered. At just about a foot long it's far easier to convince that rusted stem nut to release its relentless grip with the power of leverage on your side.

The wrench is made of Chromium-Vanadium steel and feels sturdy in your hands. There is a noticeable amount of slop in the worm-drive gear, and while that has never been a problem while under load during use, it can be off-putting to those who are used to their silky smooth adjustable wrenches of higher marque. I was also initially worried after seeing photos online that the handle was cheap cast aluminum, but it is in fact steel.

Spanner wrench
Note the square hole in the handle, which will accept the 3/8-inch drive head of a torque wrench. Warning: You’ll need to do some math to account for the added leverage.Photo: Brody Cox

Take a look at the handle and you'll notice there's a square hole it. It's sized to accept a 3/8-inch ratchet, presumably so you can use the spanner in conjunction with a torque wrench. You can use an extension on a torque wrench, but it will affect the torque applied. KiWAV doesn't provide any instructions for doing this, but I found a free online extension-calculator app from a tool company called Norbar (click here to see the calculator).

The only drawback with this spanner is the wait to get it. KiWAV is a Taiwan-based company so shipping can take a week or two. Interestingly, there’s an identical-looking adjustable wrench offered by Yamaha as a factory service tool. It’s similarly priced and often in stock in dealerships, so if you’re in a hurry to attend to that slotted adjustment collar, consider picking up the Yamaha tool locally.

KiWAV Motorcycle Stem Nut Spanner
Price: $42
Verdict: Sturdy (aside from the gear lash) and very adjustable, KiWAV's stem nut spanner is great space-saver in the toolbox.