Working on an older model Harley-Davidson is a hobby picked up by motorcycle enthusiasts around the United States. The thrill of transforming a vintage Harley-Davidson from a rusty, non-operational hunk of metal to a fully restored and high-performance street machine keeps the hobbyists motivated and the rest of the motorcycle culture in awe. Having the right tools to accomplish a rebuild or restoration of an older Harley-Davidson is paramount for getting the job done correctly.
Combination wrenches are essential to working on older Harley-Davidsons. The bikes use a mix of metric and standard sizes, though at the time when Harley-Davidson parts were strictly American-made, standard was the only measuring system used. A complete set of combination wrenches, from ¼ to 1 inch standard, and a metric set from 7 to 36 millimeters would be ideal.
Screwdrivers are essential for the removal of some parts on the motorcycle. Both flat-head and cross-head screwdrivers are used in all sizes. A cross-head screwdriver is used for the removal of the seat while a flat-head screwdriver can be used to pry open the battery cover. Screwdrivers are also used for tightening the throttle cable or with any plastic piece on the bike.
Torx bits are star-shaped drivers that fit onto a ratchet wrench. Torx head bolts are used on the motorcycle where vibration occurs more frequently. Torx head bolts are used throughout the motorcycle, from the derby cover to the belt guard. A complete set of Torx head bits should have sizes between T5 and T55.
Allen-head bolts are the most frequently used on Harley-Davidsons. They are used in the mirror mounting, the cylinder head and the mounting of the handlebars. The Allen-head sockets fit onto a ½- or 3/8-inch ratchet wrench. Allen-head sockets come in both standard and metric, and both may be required for bike repairs.