Top Five wacky tools you need to buy on eBay...

This specialist tackle doesn’t get used much but, when you need it, buying it from China on the Bay makes a lot of sense.

Yamaha Tracer Akrapovic exhaust

YOU PEOPLE don’t know you’re born. When I was a lad, when you came across the words ‘special factory tool required’ in a service manual, you knew you were beaten, and would have to get your bike down to the main dealer. The first one for me was getting the alternator flywheel off a GPz550 crankshaft – the required puller was well beyond what I had in my toolbox, or what Halfords could provide. Ditto the special clutch holding tool, the C-spanner for steering head adjustment, and much more. The proper tools cost hundreds of pounds, had to be specially ordered from the dealer, and for the once or twice you’d use them, didn’t make any sense at all.

Fast-forward thirty years, and the twin miracles of Chinese industrial production and eBay mean you can get the weirdest of tools, posted to you, for a fraction of the cost. You can buy them for under £20 quite often, and while they’ll not be the same quality as the factory tools, nor last as long as Snap-On kit, for one or two amateur uses every few years, they’ll be more than up to the job. They’ll often be useful if you work on your own cars or the like too.

Here’s our pick of the most useful weapons of war for your lockup battles!

Vacuum bleeder

Vacuum pump/brake bleeding kit

Essentially a bicycle pump in reverse, these are dead handy for a few specific jobs – testing out vacuum hoses on the engine intake. But they’re also good for bleeding hydraulics – brakes and clutches. This is one area where buying a slightly better quality item will pay off – one from someone like Venhill is a little bit pricier, but comes with a good gauge and extra fittings for a load of jobs on bikes and cars.

Blind bearing puller

Blind bearing puller​

We bought one of these the other week to pull the baffle out of the Akrapovic exhaust on our Tracer 900. It’s a set of sprung steel wedges, with a threaded insert. When you tighten the threaded part up, it forces the wedges outwards, so they grip against whatever you put them into (oo-er!). Then, you screw a slide hammer into the whole shebang, and you can hammer it out by sliding the hammer weight up the rod against the end piece. Designed for getting bearings out of holes where there’s only access on one side, they’re also invaluable for things like wheel bearings and steering head races, where getting in properly can be a faff.

 

Head to page two for the next three items.

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