If you have a Garage Wrencher on your holiday shopping list who spends more time in-shop than in public, here's a list happy, if still isolated...
Welcome to RideApart's Motorcycle Holiday Buying Guide. To help clear up the confusion when it comes to finding that perfect gift for the motorcycle enthusiast in your life, we've made things simple by breaking down great gift ideas by the type of motorcyclist you're buying for. So whether you've got a Hooligan Street racer or a Moto Nerd to buy for, look no further.
If you have a rider on your holiday shopping list who seems to spend more time in the garage working on their bikes than they do out riding, these suggestions will make their life better, and probably yours too.
There are plenty of specialized tools out there that make working on a bike easier, yet stubborn cheapskates like myself just refuse to spend the money on them, and instead waste their precious time doing things the hard way. There are also items that make life in the garage easier, but many people never even think to add to their work space.
It helps to know at least something about the type of bike the person you are shopping for rides, but you don't have to know to much—things like a cruiser, sport bike, dirt bike, and vintage bike help out, as well as the brand name or at least nationality of the bike.
1. Titan 1500XLT-E Motorcycle Lift
Why start small? If your favorite wrench twirler doesn't have a lift they don't know what they are missing. And even if they do have one it is probably of the cheap Harbor Freight variety everyone seems to buy when they get tired of sitting on the ground and working on their knees.
2. Whitworth Wrenches
If your grease monkey likes old British motorbikes, like B.S.A., Triumph (pre-1990s), or Norton, a set of obsolete and hard to find Whitworth wrenches, excuse me SPANNERS, will be appreciated. In the USA, one of the few places to get them is British Fasteners, and you get a King Dick T-shirt free with any set of spanners.
3. Japanese Industrial Standard Screwdrivers
For the fan of wrenching-- or in this case screwing --on old Japanese bikes, a set of these will make their life easier. These screws look almost exactly like normal Philips screws but they are not. Normal screw drivers will damage them, if they can get them out at all.
Price: $79 for the Vessel set, or $22-$30 for Hozan via Amazon
If you are shopping for a fan of old American, German, or Italian bikes, cash can be donated in lieu of gifts...
5. Impact Screw Driver
Anyone who works on bikes has issues with Philips screws because they are the devil's own fastener, tormenting us for our sins. A quality impact driver is a life saver. You hit the back with a hammer which drives the head into the screw, while also twisting it, and it relieves frustration too!
6. Harley_Davidson Tool Box
If you have a Harley-Davidson mechanic on your list, you may want to spring for one of the officially licensed tool boxes Craftsman offers. Like everything from Craftsman it is made of real metal and made to last.
7. Mechanic's Tool Set
New tools are always appreciated, you can never have too many because you can almost never find them when you need them. Look, I don't want this to become an advertisement for Sears, but they make good tools and they are always on sale this time of year.
8. Home Powder Coat Kit
Eastwood has made specialized products for the home restoration and modification crowd for years, and were the first with a DIY powder coating kit. Most of the kits come with everything you need except a small air compressor, and a toaster oven, but you can get those as well.
9. The Instruction Manual
If they are still flailing away in the shop and don't have a proper workshop manual for their bike, find out the make, model and year and order them the Haynes or Clymer manual, or go to eBay and find a copy of the original workshop manual. Haynes also has general workshop, system, and modification manuals that are easy to reference with greasy fingers. And if they do have a copy already, maybe you can get a page from it blown up to poster size to hang on the wall?
Wiring diagrams in full color make nice and useful posters
Most manuals have a great engine cutaway drawing, or you may find one online that will look great on the wall
The exploded engine diagram with part numbers is also a great option
Price: $25-$50 for the manual, plus printing
10. Motion Pro Tools
Price: $20 and up
11. Portable Tire Inflator
If there isn't an air compressor handy in the garage, a quality tire inflator is a welcome addition. Even if there is, this guy from Kobalt also works in the car with a cigarette lighter plug for inflating on the go.
12. Pyle Industrial Boom Box
Don't worry, you can listen to any type of music on it, not just NIN and Throbbing Gristle... This near indestructible FM radio with aux line in, Bluetooth, and rechargeable battery from Pyle is industrial strength. These new jobsite radios sure have come a long way from the beat up old boom box tuned to classic rock, and it is already black so it won't show fingerprints.
Price: $355 or Less
13. Gloves and Dispenser
If you are tired of the grease under the nails look, stuff their stocking with a box of cheap and cheerful heavy duty Nitrile gloves. Order a dispenser and they will always know where the gloves are.
Price: Dispenser $16, Gloves $15 per 100
14. Hand Soap
To get the grease off my hands, I find you can either scour it off with pumice and harsh stuff like Lava soap, or oddly enough, use an oilve oil based beauty bar. The olive oil somehow manages to cut through the petroleum oil and grease, and leave your skin soft too.
15. Professional Help
Of course, if their hands are real bad, you may want to call in professional help. Book an appointment and go see the ladies at your local nail salon for a manicure. You will be amazed at how clean someone else can get your nails.