Don't be afraid to do your own motorcycle maintenance! If you've just picked up your first motorcycle, you may be a little gunshy about routine maintenance tasks like changing the oil. You shouldn't be. All you need for some of these chores are your bike's maintenance manual (or YouTube videos) and some basic tools. Most are inexpensive and in the long run can save you money over the life of your bike. Here's a baseline of what you'll want to have on-hand to get started in your garage doing some of the routine work (and even some bolt-on customization) on your own.
Motorcycles are different than cars in the sense that you can easily fit a lift in your garage without taking up much real estate. This 1,000-pound lift from Harbor Freight is foot operated and costs a tick under $430.
Taking your bike to the dealer every time it needs a service can get expensive fast. Changing the oil is fairly simple and can save you a bundle in the long run. This Low Profile Oil Drain Pan from big H-D is just over $30 and will pay for itself the first time you use it.
If your bike came with a chain or you’ve done a conversion, do yourself a favor and get a proper chain tool. You’ll save yourself a heap load of time and frustration trying to attach that master link without chasing the little clip all over the garage. For just less than $140, this tool from RK will save your sanity and your fingers.
I’ve found that most videos on YouTube are either too detailed or full of crap. Unless you want to painstakingly watch a 20-minute clip on how to change a tire by a wannabe filmmaker shooting in his basement, buy a proper service manual for your bike. Prices vary but it’s worth every penny.
It’s hard to compile a must-have list without tools. Tools are just like your bike. You can spend a little or you can spend a lot. Craftsman tools are readily available, come in all sizes, and are easily returnable. Even though you have an H-D, don’t forget to purchase metrics as well, as many parts are being switched over. Prices start at around $60 and go up from there.
There’s nothing worse than the sound of “were-were-were-click-click” when you go to start your bike. A battery tender will make sure that the battery will always be as juiced up as you are when you are ready to ride. C-Tek offers a wide variety of chargers for a wide variety of batteries and start at about $60 and go up from there.