- If your bike has a canister-type oil filter, opt for a cap filter wrench from your auto parts store instead of a strap filter. While strap filters do the job, they don't always fit perfectly and can indent the delicate sides of a filter if you really torque it. Cap wrenches fit precisely and, used with your ratchet, make installing and removing filters a breeze.
- Invest in a torque wrench to ensure proper torque on bolts. Professional mechanics who change oil everyday can pretty much do it by feel, but for the rest of us, there's no shame in using a torque wrench, particularly for the drain plug, which if over-tightened can be stripped, requiring replacement of the entire drain pan.
- If you're bike doesn't have a center stand, consider getting a paddock stand to keep your bike level and secure. Once you have one, you'll use it all the time for adjusting your chain, removing the wheel for tire changes, elevating the bike for long-term storage, etc. We highly recommend Pit Bull stands, made in Huntsville, Alabama, by a guy who used to do work for NASA (really).