DIY Motorcycle Tools

Not only is fabricating your own tools fun, it saves you money. Besides, most of the stuff you see in catalogs and on websites are foreign-made and inferior to what you can build yourself. The following are some engine tools that I made as the need arose.

DIY motorcycle tools

Motorcycle Engine Stand

If you'll be working on your motor for a while, a motorcycle engine stand is invaluable. I built this stand for a Harley-Davidson Flathead, but it will also accept Harley Big-Twins 1936 to 1999 (Knucklehead, Panhead, Shovelhead, and aftermarket engines). Sportster engines are different and won't fit.

harley engine tools

This DIY engine stand was made from scrap metal I had around the garage. The angle iron is from an old bed-frame. After cutting the parts to exact size, I used a T-square to make sure everything would square up.

DIY motorcycle tools

A 3/16" thick metal plate provides sufficient strength for the sides. I welded up everything with a 110v Mig welder.

motorcycle engine build

DIY Sander/Polisher

This bench sander is an old electric motor fitted with an arbor purchased separately. The motor weighs about ten pounds, and when not in use, I store it in a plastic tote under my workbench.

DIY buffing wheel

Read: How To Polish Aluminum Motorcycle Parts

A bench sander has dozens of uses. I use it mostly to remove rust off metal and clean bolt threads. I have also used it with a buffing wheel to polish aluminum.

DIY bench sander and polisher

Flywheel Truing Stand

A length of 4" C-channel stock is the base of this DIY flywheel truing stand. The alignment of the two center bolts on the truing stand is not super-critical. They just provide the two points that the flywheels and shafts ride between.

DIY flywheel truing stand

I mounted a magnetic dial indicator to either side of the flywheel assembly. You can probably get by with one, but you'd be moving it from side to side to get readings.

Shop: Magnetic Base with Dial Indicator

The adjustable magnetic base allows many options as to where it can be mounted. Clamp firmly to a surface as close as possible to the shaft. Position the indicator so the stem is parallel to the direction of component motion.

Flywheel Centering Jig

The picture below shows a flywheel centering jig, made out of pieces of C-channel stock. Each piece was cut four inches in length with a hole drilled in each. A length of threaded rod goes through them. The wing nut on the end is from a spare tire holder.

flywheel centering tool

Flywheel Holding Jig

On many old bike engines, crank-pin nuts must be accurately torqued to 150 ft-lbs. Classic Harley Big-Twin flywheel nuts are torqued to 175 ft-lbs. The engineers who designed those old flywheels put holes in them for a reason, to allow you to slip them over a jig while tightening the nuts.

flywheel holding jig
motorcycle engine tools

To hold the flywheel while tightening the nuts, I fabricated a simple holding jig that uses the holes in the flywheel. Starting with a cardboard template, I took a piece of steel and cut it to the shape needed. The "V" is needed to clear the crank pin. You can find lengths of 1/2" round stock at hardware stores and home improvement stores.

DIY Bearing Puller

This is a tool I made to remove the inner sprocket shaft bearing on a 1965 Harley Sportster XLCH. Materials needed were a piece of 2" metal tubing, a 7/16" SAE nut and bolt, and two heavy washers.

sprocket-shaft bearing puller

Read: Motorcycle Work Stand