Over the years Ive spent a small fortune on tools.
Some of these tools are essential, some are just luxuries. Either way, having them will as sure as hell make
your life easier.
You dont need to buy the most expensive tools but do buy quality.
Dont buy cheap rubbish that will break or wear out.
Equally, the most expensive isnt always the best.
Snap-on for instance pay other people to make thier tools. It is possible in some cases to buy exactly the same
tool from the people who supply Snap-On, with an 'own brand' for a fraction of the price (see my chain tool).
Abba Stand and Micron front stand
Concentric Hub Adjuster
This is a carburetor vacuum guage that lets you balance throttle bodies
simply and accurately.
On the Triumph 1050 engines you can do it using software.
On the 955i engines and all preceding Triumph engines you will need a
To remove bearings from the suspension drop link and drag link you will
need some kind of bearing puller. The old bearings can be drifted out if you
are careful, but the new HK2020 bearings need to be positioned for the
seals on either side of them and its important not to damage them.
I made one up from a length of thread with a nut on each end and a
selection of washers, some wider than the bearings and a stack very
slightly smaller than the bearings.
Using this the old bearings can easily be drawn out, and the new bearings
pressed into position precisely .
Vacuum Pump for bleeding brakes
There are various ways to bleed brakes without vacuum pumps. They are
without exception a pain in the arse. Use a vacuum pump.
I used to use a plastic Mitivac pump that I got for £20 on Ebay. Its ok, it did
the job for a little while, but buying cheap is alwasy a false economy.
Its worked fine for a while, but I didnt take my own advice. I bought
The plastic broke and I ended up with brake fluif everywhere.
Now I use a decent vacuum kit with a brass pump, shown here.
Essentialkit for simple fast amd clean filling and bleeding of brake
If you are going to service your Triumphs, you are going to need some
large size sockets.
36mm 1/2 inch drive socket for the head bearing adjuster nut under the
top yolk on the speed triple955.
38mm 1/2 inch drive socket for the top nut on the SprintST 1050.
46mm 3/4 inch drive socket for the rear wheel nut and cush drive.
A sprag clutch holder tool
This is a triumph specific tool. The sprag clutch, spins freely and you need
a very large pin spanner to hold it while the centre nut is undone with a
breaker bar. You cant undo a sprag clutch without it.
This tool does just that. If you can weld you could make one up out of
sheet steel and some brass pins but the one pictured here is the genuine
If you want to order one from a UK Triumph dealer, the part number
If you are going to be working on your bike you need at least one stand.
ABBA stands come highly recommended. The rear stand allows you to
remove the back wheel, suspension linkages and swingarm.
I also use an ABBA front lift (not pictured here) to life the front of the bike
from under the engine. Its stable and allows you to support the front of the
bike so that the front wheel and the forks and yolks can be removed.
There should be a large C spanner in the OEM Triumph tool kit when the
bike first left the showroom.
If by some miracle you still have it you will know its piece of crap that is
made of cheese and desifgned to strip skin from your knuckles.
This one pictured here is made from 5mm stainless steel and has an
angled reversable angled handle that you can swap around depending on
which way you are adjusting the hub. Which combined with its length
neatly avoids smashed knuckles.
It cost £10 from a tool maker on Ebay and is better in every way possible
than the rust collecting OEM triumph tool.
Left to right
Swingarm adjustor socket. Triumph UK part number T3880290.
Swingarm lockring socket, Triumph UK part number T3880295.
Castle socket for SprintST1050 top yoke. Triumph UK part number
Pin socket for 955i top nut. Triumph UK part number T3880300
Slidehammer tool for removing Swingarm Droplink Bearing Sleeve
Hydraulic Table Lift
This one is a bit of a Heath Robinson affair, but its a peach.
The drop link bearing sleeve sits in the swingarm and can be a real bastard
to remove but with a slide hammer using this home made tip its simple.
Its the least used hook tip for my slide hammer.
Cut the hook off off welded a 60mm fine thread M14 bolt onto it.
Scew this into the drop link sleeve, screw the slide hammer onto it and
popping the sleeve out is then childsplay.
If you are intending to remove a triumph swingarm, get a slide hammer
and make one of these.
This was a treat to myself and my garage.
Its a Sealy lift and retails for £600.
I paid a little over £250 for it on Ebay. RESULT!
It is worth its weight in gold. It makes working on, in, under and around
the bike SO much easier.
If you have the space and can find a way to afford one, get it.
You wont regret it. Highly recommended.
Lubricating cables. One of those messy annoying jobs.
Slip this over the end of the outer casing with inner cable running right
Tighten the two clamp bolts. Insert spray lube into the small hole, hold
spray open for 10 to 15 seconds,.
Amazing time and mess saver. Get one.
There are loads of chain splitters, joiners and riveters on the market.
I have used a few over the years and discovered that you pretty much get what you pay for.
Cheap chain tools are crap, they will break and need replacing.or damage the rivet. When they do rivet, they
struggle to peen the rivet well. Only an idiot would trust a poorly or badly riveted chain at 100 mph?
Not that I ever do that sort of speed on public roads your honour.
Right then, what NOT to get.
First up. This one shown is the first chain tool I ever bought.
Its branded Sealy and costs around £30. I dont know who actually makes
it, because if you look on ebay you can find any number of brands that are
It does split chains easily. But when you try to rivet, the anvil plates will
break. The pins will be slightly out of line because they are soft and
damage easily which means it struggles to rivet securely.
Not worth the money or the grief. Avoid it.
Next up is the D.I.D. type.
I find this awkward to split chains and when pressing new link plates on,
its prone to creating tight links if you are not very careful.
It rivets the D.I.D type links that have an pre formed indentation on the tip
of the pin very well but doesnt cope well with pins that need to be peened
over and Ive found that the U section is prone to flexing slightly and
popping out. of position on the main body.
If you are using a D.I.D. type pin its passable.
Its better than the Sealy type, but Ive struggled with this tool enough that
I dont like it and dont recommend it.
This is the one I use now. It is the proverbial dogs nuts.
The Daddy of chain tools.
It does everything well on all size chains. It splits with ease, will rejoin with
push pins, seat link plates, peen rivet pins.
You can buy this tool from Snap-On for stupid money, or you can buy it
from ITC (www.international-tool.co.uk) for £90. (your mileage may vary
on price, its become cheaper sine I purchased it I believe)
ITC make this tool for Snap-On, so it is exactly the same tool, just without the brand name. I have always
maintained that Snap-On tools are good, but there are other tool brands as good. And this proves it.