Classic Motorcycle Build

DIY Motorcycle Tools

Article by Mark Trotta

Fabricating your own tools is not only fun, it saves you money. Besides, most of the stuff you see online is foreign-made and often inferior to what you can build yourself.

DIY tools for motorcycle repair and restoration

In no particular order, here's some motorcycle tools that I've fabricated as the need arose.


Neck Bearing Installation Tool

If your bike has sealed fork bearings, this simple DIY tool will allow for easy installation. Materials needed are length of threaded rod, two pieces of 3/16" steel, and nuts and washers.

fork bearing installation tool

A drill press was used to drill the two holes in the steel plates.

fork bearing installation tool

On the tool pictured, a 1/2" threaded rod was used. I first used a 3/8" rod, which snapped in half as I got near the end of the install.

TIP: Keeping the bearings in the freezer overnight will make installation a little easier.


Fork Tube V-Blocks

Notching a couple pieces of 2x4's into V-blocks will help check fork tube straightness.

check fork tubes for straightness

A compass saw allowed quick, easy cuts.

check fork tubes for straightness


Flywheel Centering Jig

The picture below shows a Harley 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.

Harley flywheel centering tool

The wing nut on the end is from a spare tire holder.


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. So you need to have a way to hold the round flywheels in place while you torque the nuts.

flywheel holding jig

The "V" is needed to clear the crank pin.

The engineers who designed those old flywheels put holes in them for a reason, to allow you to slip them into a jig while tightening the nuts.

motorcycle engine tools

I fabricated this simple holding jig starting with a cardboard template. Then I took a piece of steel and cut it to the shape needed. You can find lengths of 1/2" round stock at hardware stores and home improvement stores.


Flywheel Truing Stand

A truing stand is a nice luxury, but homemade units work just as well.

DIY flywheel truing stand

Read: DIY Flywheel Truing Stand


DIY Sander/Polisher

This bench sander is just an old electric motor fitted with an arbor purchased separately.

DIY buffing wheel

A bench sander has dozens of uses. I use it mostly with a buffing wheel to polish aluminum. When not in use, I store it in a plastic tote under my workbench.

motorcycle forks before and after polishing

Read: How To Polish Aluminum Parts


For those who can weld, here's a few more DIY motorcycle tools:

DIY Bearing Puller

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

sprocket-shaft bearing puller


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.

DIY tools for motorcycle repair and restoration

Read Complete Article: DIY Motorcycle Engine Stand

motorcycle engine tools


If buying a motorcycle lift stand is not in the budget, consider making a motorcycle work stand.

motorcycle work stand

Read: Motorcycle Work Stand


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