Workshop Humour


God Bless Grandpa McSnotty


Knew a driver like this once!!

One for the workshop wall
One for the workshop wall

Motorcycle Tool Dictionary


New to wrenching on your own bike?

Here’s a few tips on the proper use of   those tools in your garage:


HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, and often found alongside the sickle in the club banners of countries with firm ideas on government, the hammer is now used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive parts right beside the object you are trying to hit. Alternately the hammer (and it’s larger cousin, the SledgeHammer or BFH) can be used to devise a way to get to visit that cute little nurse down at the local emergency room.

STANLEY KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of the cardboard carton delivered, at great expense, to your workshop; works particularly well on boxes containing fairing panels, expensive seats and/or a lone bottle of battery acid.

ELECTRIC DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel pop rivets in their holes until the Stupidity Police come to take you away; it also works great for drilling mounting holes in custom fenders and through the new $300 rear tire.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads and crush irreplaceable wiring loom connectors.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course the more erratic your destiny.

VICE-GRIPS: Used to round off bolt heads. Also used in place of a clamp to hold things in the wrong spot while you drill bolt holes. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to assist in arc-welding your metal watch band to the rear subframe.

OXY TORCH: Used almost entirely for finding various flammable objects in your garage. Also handy for firing off the two remaining explosive atoms left in that holed fuel tank you’ve been soaking in water for six months. Alternately can be used to set your moustache on fire while lighting cigarettes.

WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British motorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that metric socket you’ve been searching for over the last two hours. The socket you actually wanted will appear the moment you’ve rounded off the bolt.

DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching that flat metal bar out of the bloody mess that was your hand so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that freshly painted part you were drying.

WIRE BENCH WHEEL/BUFFER: Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them around the workshop at the speed of light miraculously smashing them straight into what ever breakable item is either the most expensive or the hardest to replace. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, “Fuuu…!”

HYDRAULIC JACK: Used for lowering a motorcycle to the ground after you have installed your new front disk pads, trapping the jack handle firmly between the (now) dented custom fender the (now) cracked alloy wheel.

2X4 TIMBER: Used for trying to lever a motorcycle off an hydraulic jack. It is quite useful for pinching holes in oil lines during this process and concealing the fact until you have ridden 50 miles from home.

TWEEZERS: A tool for pushing 2X4 wood splinters deeper into your hand.

PHONE: A tool for renewing your medical insurance and then calling your neighbor to see if he has another hydraulic jack.

GASKET SCRAPER: Useful as a breakfast tool for spreading butter on toast; and for getting dog shit off your boot. Does not require washing.

BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off in bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit. Always two sizes larger than the label says.

TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating burred screws and the futility of ever getting the timing anywhere near factory specs. Useful for sticking in your mouth late at night and permanently traumatizing any small child that mistakenly wanders into the workshop.

ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of the battery cables and oil lines you have forgotten to disconnect.

VERNIER CALIPER: A delicate and expensive levering tool that inexplicably always perfectly fits the minuscule gap between the engine cases and the barrels you’re trying to remove.

BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from a bike battery to the inside of your toolbox, and down the inner thigh of your new jeans, after determining that your battery is dead just as you thought.

METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.

TROUBLE LIGHT: The mechanic’s own tanning booth. Sometimes (and accurately) called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin”, which is not otherwise found under motorcycles at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume light bulbs at about the same rate that incendiary bombs might be used during, say, the first few hours of territorial negotiations in Yugoslavia. Also useful for hooking up your kickstand directly to the national power grid.

PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab through the foil seal of brake fluid containers and splash the contents liberally across your freshly-painted fuel tank; can also be used, as the name implies, to round off Phillips screw heads.

AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to an impact wrench that grips rusty bolts last tightened 60 years ago, by an apprentice in Milwaukee, and either rounds them off or removes the bolt head entirely depending on your perseverance.

PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the $100 chrome surround for that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 10 cent washer.

HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses a half inch too short.

RAZOR KNIFE:  A tool used for scratching chrome and paint after drawing blood.

TOOL BOX: A magic contraption for storing tools that only lets you find the tool you were looking for yesterday, NEVER the one you are looking for today, unless of course you just bought another one to get the job done. If so, when you go to store the NEW one in your tool box you will find the OLD one sitting right on top like a cherry on a chocolate sundae.

CIRCUIT TESTER/OHM METER:  A tool used to short-circuit electrical parts. Sometime sending sparks into all the old oil cans sitting in the corner starting a fire that burns down your garage, your bike, your truck, your collector’s edition Harley Davidson poker cards and even your Harley clock that goes “vroom vroom” every hour on the hour.  On the off chance that the fire trucks get there early enough to save the bike, you still have a shorted out electrical device that NOW has a voided warranty. I guess you’ll have to go buy a new one…with your beer money.

OPEN END WRENCH:  A tool designed to slip off of a nut once maximum force is applied so that your knucks travel at top speed when they impact sharp metal edges.  This has the added benefit of greatly increasing your ability to curse fluently.

BOX END WRENCH:  A tool that holds a bolt head tight enough that the open end wrench (above) can do it’s job on the nut.

TORQUE WRENCH:  A tool that lets you know how much force it took to twist the head off of a bolt.

PUNCH/CHISEL:  A tool designed to gently guide your fingers directly into the path of a ball-peen hammer.