Getting serious about tools for Christmas

It’s that time of year, when you need to drop a few hints about what you would like to find under the Christmas tree, or maybe to think about what you would like to get for yourself.

You can’t go wrong with tools. But we’re not just talking about wrenches and screwdrivers. We’re thinking about some specialized stuff.

Here are a few specialized tools you may want to consider.

The tool kits that come with some bikes include a spoke wrench. Nice, yes, but you can seriously screw up a wheel by attacking spoke nipples with inconsistent gusto. To meter your enthusiasm, consider an adjustable spoke torque wrench kit, like one sold by Fasst Company.

The wrench is adjustable from 20 to 60 inch-pounds. Alone, it’s $137.99, while the complete kit, which includes 12 heads ranging in size from 4mm to 7.4mm, plus a spline drive, it’s $293.87. Info:

For the ultimate in tire-changing convenience, consider getting a beefy tire changer, like those sold by No-Mar Enterprises. The company says its economical Cycle Hill CH100 HD motorcycle tire changer changer works great with street bike, dirt bike and ATV tires. It can handle wheel sizes from 10 inches to 21 inches and is upgradeable. Price: $399. Info:

Once you’ve changed your tires, you need to balance them. Aerostich’s cantilever wheel balancer that features ultra-low friction bearings to provide super-accurate results. The company says the stand’s removable axle design allows for more compact storage and an optional cup and cone type adapter fits most wheels used on single sided swing arms.

The cantilever wheel banker measures 18 inches by 20.5 inches by 10 inches and weighs 10 pounds. Price: $147.00. Info:

For a quick check of your motor’s top end, you can’t beat Motion Pro’s compression tester. The unit checks cylinder compression and comes with hoses for 10, 12 and 14mm spark plug applications. It features a quick disconnect and a 300 psi gauge. It’s packed in a carry box and comes with instructions. Price: $134.99. Info:

Don’t forget the specialty tools offered by your bike’s manufacturer. For some jobs, it pays to have the exact pullers, sockets, holders and other unique tools designed and sold just for your motorcycle. They usually aren’t cheap, but they’re always better than a home-brewed workaround.

Finally, this isn’t a tool, but you may want to treat yourself to a paint touch-up pen from Color Rite Distributing, which sells factory-color urethane paint, in case you need to fix a nick in your bike’s beautiful paint job.

What’s great about Color Rite Distributing is you can take the guesswork out of matching your motorcycle’s OEM paint color by going to the company’s website at After finding your exact color match, you can buy the company’s touch-up pen or half-ounce touch-up jar.

For bigger jobs, there’s the two-ounce touch-up bottle that has an in-cap brush.

The company also sells spray paint and half pint, pint and quart cans of paint.

Prices for the products range from $15.95 to $199.74.