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What's a good torque wrench for diy motorcycle maintenance ?
 

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Sportbike Scum; Ex-Mod.
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There are plenty, but this is one tool you shouldn't "cheap out" on... get a quality unit that states a specific accuracy. Make sure it is calibrated in the units you will be using (if it's in Newton-Meters, but all your specs are in inch-pounds, you're gonna spend a lot of time doing conversions).

Get one that covers the torque range you'll need to be measuring...you may have to get two sizes to cover all your needs, but anything over 150 lb/ft is pretty much overkill.

Finally, make sure it's easy to read and will fit the sockets you plan on using.

Top choices are Snap-On & Mac, with Craftsman following. S&K makes good tools as well.
 

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2006 MV Agusta F4 1000S
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I've actually had good luck with Harbor Freight. It's cheap (like 80% LESS than Mac/Snap On/Craftsman), has a lifetime replacement warranty, and just for kicks I tested it next to my old roomy's >$100 Craftsman torque wrench and they were within about 2 or 3 lb/ft of eachother all the way up through 130 lb/ft.
 

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Sportbike Scum; Ex-Mod.
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I've actually had good luck with Harbor Freight. It's cheap (like 80% LESS than Mac/Snap On/Craftsman), has a lifetime replacement warranty, and just for kicks I tested it next to my old roomy's >$100 Craftsman torque wrench and they were within about 2 or 3 lb/ft of eachother all the way up through 130 lb/ft.
I had the HF units too, but I was always concerned about accuracy... having been a metrologist (calibration tech), I know how much these things can be "off"... And their markings were not in ft/lbs so it made things cumbersome...
 

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I had the HF units too, but I was always concerned about accuracy... having been a metrologist (calibration tech), I know how much these things can be "off"... And their markings were not in ft/lbs so it made things cumbersome...
I actually managed to find one that was lb/ft on one side and n/m on the other, which was a godsend for working on the Ducati. Before I bought that thing, at least 10 minutes of every bit of maintenance I did on her was spent doing the conversion and rechecking my math to make sure.:eek:
 

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My tools are primarily snap-on, but I also have worked a shop.

For DIY craftsman should be good. I wouldn't use Harbor Freight unless you're really hard up for cash.
 

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2006 MV Agusta F4 1000S
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For DIY craftsman should be good. I wouldn't use Harbor Freight unless you're really hard up for cash.
Why? Everyone says that, but no one can come up with any reason other than just being a brand snob. I haven't had ANY problems. They work just as well to do the jobs they're designed to do, have the same warranty, and the cost difference is VERY significant. Literally 80% on average. And every measurement tool I've gotten from them I've tested next to the run-of-the-mill professional tool and I've always found it WELL within limits of acceptability, for ANY job.
 

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Brand new sure it's close. Check it after 6 months. Then try to get it re-calibrated.
My other gripe is people say well it's only 2-3lb/ft off...Well on certain bolts that's significant. Even stored in a controlled environment I have had the one torque wrench I bought from Harbor Freight end up seizing to the point that I couldn't turn the adjustment dial.

I've bought stuff from there, I just won't use their precision instruments. I'm not bashing them at all.
 

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Yep - some things HF sells are great deals - I have quite a few HF tools in my tool chest. Most recently I bought a set of 4 U-joint Spark plug sockets; plugs never get torqued hard, so cheap sockets are not a problem, and 4 for under $10 is an incredible bargain. Having said that, you have to use common sense on what's ok & what's not. As mentioned above, not many shops will recalibrate or service HF stuff... I've gone through 3 of their 3-ton auto jacks... they start to leak after a couple of years, and no one will rebuild them. At $60, that's fine, but on the day you need the jack and it won't work...then the $150 American-made jack looks a LOT better deal (which is why I have one of those now). Also - anything that needs replacement blades or parts on a regular basis (like a wood jointer or planer) - HF's Chi-com stuff uses non-standard parts - good luck getting them. I won't get anything that requires high precision or has to be extremely strong (so I stay away from their wrenches for heavy work, but their sockets are ok for medium-duty use). The ratchets tend to fail early and be a little "clunky" in use. Things like their jack-stands are ok. Their digital calipers seem to be an exception - very accurate, compared to my Starrett unit, and very much cheaper. I especially like the digital/fractional unit I just bought... saves lots of time in converting for someone lazy like me.

I've got some old Stanley wood planes that my dad bought when he was in his 30's... that's around 1940 or so... and they STILL perform perfectly; the irons still take & and hold an edge, the adjustments are smooth & precise, and the frame is still true. Similar quality planes made today sell for over $300... I'm pretty sure the $19.99 units at HF aren't in quite the same league...performance OR longevity-wise.

The bottom line is, you get what you pay for in tools, usually. In lots of applications it doesn't matter, and HF has good deals. In other cases, it's false economy. So, as the Grail knight said... choose wisely...:)
 

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Brand new sure it's close. Check it after 6 months. Then try to get it re-calibrated.
My other gripe is people say well it's only 2-3lb/ft off...Well on certain bolts that's significant. Even stored in a controlled environment I have had the one torque wrench I bought from Harbor Freight end up seizing to the point that I couldn't turn the adjustment dial.

I've bought stuff from there, I just won't use their precision instruments. I'm not bashing them at all.
It WAS 6 months old when I measured it.

And either way, if it goes out of spec, send it back and get a new one. Lifetime warranty, it doesn't have to fall apart like Craftsman before they'll replace it. If it stops doing it's job, you can get it replaced. No need to mess with recalibration, just go get a new one for free. I don't get it. :dunno:

Even without the warranty you could buy FIVE replacements before you'd make up the cost of ONE of the "other" tools. :dunno:
 
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For what it's worth, Sears has a sale this week on their "Craftsman Microtork wrenches"
59.99 fo 25-250 in-lbs, 10-75 ft-lbs, or 20-150 ft-lbs
 

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Believe it or not the primary reason of torque wrenches failure is the storing procedure. You must unload the torque wrench (it's in the instructions). I’ve had mine from HF for about a year now, and have compared it to my bro’s Craftsman with only 2-3lb/ft. difference.

BTW both HF and Craftsman claim a +/-2% accuracy on their torque wrenches.
I hope this helps.
 
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