|FOR THE DO-IT-YOURSELF DUCATI OWNER
|What exactly do you need to work on your Duc? Well, this
is a comprehensive list of stuff that I have found useful or
necessary in all of the maintenance that I have done. Some
items are "Not Absolutely Necessary", but they come in
handy. I have also listed a rough idea of what you will end
up paying for them. When you see the cost, think of it as
an investment, because for one thing you will be saving way
more by not having the dealer do it. Also, you can show off
your new tool collection to your friends and charge them to
do their maintenance! The real key is to watch for sales.
There's of course a ton more stuff that comes in handy, but
that you don't really need- this is just the stuff that you will
use from the articles on my page.
Craftsman tools because they aren't overly expensive (watch the sales and you'll be surprised at what you can
afford), they are rugged (so I have the same tools I have had since I first started buying tools), they are precise (unlike
a cheapo socket that is loose or doesn't fit at all), most all of them have lifetime warranties, and I get zero hassle if I
attempt to return something. Also, join the Craftsman club, and get 10% off all hand tools once a month. I have
purchased Harbor Freight tools before, and when I returned them (imagine that, returning a Harbor Freight tool) I get
pure attitude. As if I must have abused it to break it. I find that you get what you pay for. I had a set of Harbor
Freight tin snips that chipped a piece off the tip and it flew and almost hit me in the eye- not what you want to happen.
|A complete set of end wrenches. I previously had the individual sizes listed, but now my
best advice is to get an entire set. I picked up a set of 6mm-30mm wrenches for roughly
$40 on sale (there's that keyword again-sale). The newer monsters have a 30mm axle
nut, and you can use your new 30mm wrench on it (but you'll still need a torque wrench
to tighten it).
|A complete set of screwdrivers. I have used all but a couple of these on my bike. The
screws run the gamut from big to small, in both phillips and flat, so a good set of
screwdrivers is a must. This is a little more than you'd need, but you can pick up a set
for around $20 on sale. Make sure you get the long reach ones (for synchronizing).
|A 14mm allen bit socket. These things are hard to find, Craftsman doesn't sell them
and it is likely you won't find one locally. You could mail order an expensive set of bits
from Harbor Freight, but that would cost over $20 in the end for one stupid bit. So, get a
.99 cent 9/16" sleeve nut (the very long nuts at the hardware store), and grind down the
edges on one side slightly so that it is 14mm. Don't laugh- it works flawlessly. You'll
use this on your axle (older styles), or oil filter screen (new models). Either way you'll
|Until I get a pic, see the
Superbike Fork Page
|A shop manual. I prefer the Ducati workshop manuals, but they are pricey and could
take a while to get- order one up from your dealer for your specific bike. I was lucky to
pick up a Monster one for about $40 and a month wait, but it was well worth it. I keep it
in a binder with all my service records and tech articles. It's a lifesaver.
|An air pressure gauage. Go for a good dial type one like this, as they are more
accurate and easier to read. A good one can be had for as little as $10
|A torque wrench. This is where you don't want to skimp. Torque readings are crucial,
and a $20 torque wrench just won't be accurate enough. You may beg to differ, but I'll
hold my ground- you wan't a good one. 3/8" drive (up to 80ft-lbs) should be sufficient for
a motorcycle, and one that reads in both Nm and ft-lbs is a real joy. This model was
around $90 on sale.
|A set of metric flare nut wrenches for the oil cooler lines and other tubing nuts. These
ensure that you don't round the edges off of soft nuts on cooling lines and the like. Not
absolutely necessary (I've never needed them yet) but should come in handy. You're
looking at about $36 for a set (it includes standard too, but they don't sell a set of just
metric and it is cheaper to get the whole set than these four metric wrenches).
|A shock spanner wrench for setting preload. This model was hard to use, and I wouldn't
recommend it. But, it did get the job done. I'd look for one with a longer handle and
perhaps a fixed end that is tailored to your Duc's shock so you don't round any edges.
This was about $15.
|A vacuum gauge and compression gauge. Good for engine diagnostic work and also
synchronizing the carbs and tuning fuel mixture. Not necessary for the basic mechanic,
but they are fun. The pair was around $50.
|A good old Craftsman strap wrench. Extremely handy, and worked very well removing
my oil filter. A mere $10 means you should definitely have one in your toolbox.
|A set of pliers. You won't need all these, but you should probably at least have some
arc-joint pliers, some needle nose pliers, and some wire cutters. This whole collection
was only about $37. The big ones are Craftsman, but the little ones are Harbor Freight-
there's a time and place to skimp, and with small scale work that doesn't require big
loads I don't forsee any problems with the Harbor Freight.
|Zip ties. You NEED zip ties. They always come in handy, and are great for cleaning up
wiring. Just get a big collection like this and forget about it- it was only about $8.
|A ruler that reads in millimeters and a tape measure. These come in handy for the sag
measurement and the chain slack measurement. Don't take your wife or girlfriends
office ruler and try to put it back because it will be pretty oily by the time you're done.
|Some detail work pieces- again, Harbor Freight. A small alignment tool, a telescoping
magnet, and some dental picks. Good for fishing out lost pieces from you combustion
chambers and getting lost bolts out of the cracks in your garage floor.
|A flashlight. You're not going spelunking, so a small one will be fine.
I got this Mag Light for a mere $8 at Wal-Mart
|A set of Vise Grips. These things are great. Good for holding gas lines closed and
holding pieces in place when working on them, etc. This set was about $25.
|A digital multimeter. This is great too. It has a ton of features I have yet to
even understand, and is great for tracking down electrical gremlins. It also has a
temperature probe (very handy). I got it on sale for about $30, almost half off.
|Nut drivers. Not necessary by a long shot, but handy and easier to use in tight
spots (such as the retaining nuts on the speedo and tach). A basic set's about $16.
|For the fender and battery box, a file, pair of tin snips, and rotary air grinder
were useful. These were hand-me downs, but will run about $70 for the lot. Not
really necesaary for the fender or battery box even, but they're handy.
|You've got to get yourself a drill, center punch, and bit set. The bits are the most
expensive, but even those I got for $30 off the regular price. The drill is a hand
me down. You could probably set yourself up with a good drill and bit set for
|An angle grinder- this was really handy for the battery tray and fender. It's high
powered and makes short work of any offensive metal. Picked it up on sale for $50.
|My new best friend- a Craftsman 6.5 amp reciprocating saw, regularly $90, on sale for
$50- you've got to watch those ads. This made VERY short work of cutting 16 gauge
sheet metal that would have taken 4 times as long to cut with the air grinder. Plus,
the saw is much cleaner and doesn't heat the metal as much.
|A rear stand. This is a necessity for a lot of the articles on this site. MUCH handier
than a floor jack, stands, and a block of wood. However, if you can't afford the stand,
use what you have. I picked this up for $70 and it works great.
|A caliper and micrometer. You need these for the valves, period. The caliper is
optional, but the micrometer isn't. They should also be good quality- look for ones
that are accurate down to .0001" and have carbide tips to produce less error. You're
looking at about $75-$150 for a good micro, also a calculator if your micro doesn't
read in mm.
|Various shop stuff that's fun, but not necessary- an air
compressor, a drill press, a bench grinder, a lathe, a vise,
and a belt/disc sander. I used most of this making my
fender and battery box, and they should be considered
necessary for those. If anything, get a good bench vise-
they are very handy. The Shop-Vac shown is a handy piece,
although our 6 horse 22 gallon wet/dry works better (which I
got free from the X-Show). The carts shown are great; they
allow me to push them to where I need them, and they are
very sturdy. I picked up all four for $20 from a warehouse
closeout, and the Shop- Vac shown was free because it was
full of mud from the flood of '97. If you're willing to put in
some work and keep your eyes peeled for deals, you can net
yourself quite a setup. The Kawasaki in the background
makes an excellent workbench :)
|That about does it- again, this is only a partial list and I can't possibly list all the cool tools I've used- these are just the
basics. The best advice I can give is to watch the sale ads (Sears of course, nobody else sells as many tools and can't give
the big price breaks like Craftsman does), and find a good complete set as a starting point. For example, I recently saw
a 250 piece mechanics set with a free 4-drawer box for around $200- it had most of the required items, and would only
need a little bit more to make it complete. If you go that route or not, you should also look into storage, because these
things take up sapce. I have the three chests shown above stored in my bedroom (don't want to take any chances in the
neighboorhood I live in :), and also have some stuff stored in cabinets here and there. It all adds up, so go for the
biggest chest you can afford and leave room for future growth. Good luck, and have fun!
|This page is in no way associated with Ducati.com, nor is it an entity of Ducati Motor Holding, S.p.A. All content, information, and views expressed herein
are those of myself and do not reflect those of Ducati or its affiliates. The "DUCATI" logo and "Circle D" are registered trademarks of Ducati Motor
Holding, S.p.A., all other content on this website is copyright 2006, Monster Man Productions.