Ben’s 5 favourite tools...

Which things could he never be with­out?

Performance Bikes (UK) - - The Garage / 360º Garage -

1 Fork spring com­pres­sor

‘When you are strip­ping down a fork and you have the spacer tube ex­posed, you can see two holes. All this tool does is se­cure into these holes with lock­ing pins and al­low you to com­press the spring so you can undo the nuts and get the spring out. It’s noth­ing flash, but ba­sic can be bril­liant. With­out this you end up try­ing to do it with­out a com­press­ing tool and that re­sults in your fin­ger­tips get­ting bit­ten when it fights back!’

2 Lock wire pli­ers

‘I just love a good bit of lock wiring and some of the dis­as­ters I see on cus­tomers’ bikes re­ally up­sets me. It’s an art form and I love the sat­is­fac­tion of get­ting it right. And yes, I con­fess I do spend time look­ing at the qual­ity of other rid­ers’ lock wire on their race bikes. Es­pe­cially full fac­tory bikes, it’s beau­ti­ful on Mo­toGP ma­chines...’

3 Dyno

‘This is a Dyno­jet 150 and it was a huge in­vest­ment, but the hardest part was get­ting a good cool­ing sys­tem in. We run a huge 500mm fan that shoves enough air through to peel your shirt off! Dyno­ing a bike makes such a mas­sive dif­fer­ence and it takes real skill to set a bike up prop­erly – but the ben­e­fits are in­stant. I’m good at dyno work and while I was work­ing for Slick Bass I set up Dean Har­ri­son’s Su­per­twin as well as his Su­per­stocker and Tim Reeves’ side­car.’

4 Box­ford lathe

‘I play pool in a lo­cal league and af­ter one of the old boys called Neville passed away, one of his mates hap­pened to men­tion that he had a lathe and milling ma­chine sit­ting in a shed at the back of his house, so I do­nated a few quid to char­ity and took them home with me. We have an en­gi­neer­ing firm around the cor­ner, but this is great for do­ing lit­tle bits and bobs and it re­ally isn’t hard to learn how to use one. I don’t do things for cus­tomers as it isn’t cost-ef­fec­tive, but it’s so use­ful to have around when we need spac­ers and that sort of thing knocked up.’

5 Long screw­drivers

‘I get so much stick for us­ing these, but the long shaft means you can get much more torque on them. I use them even when I can eas­ily ac­cess the screw’s head with a stan­dard length screw­driver. They are ab­so­lutely ex­cel­lent on carb drain screws, for ex­am­ple, where you re­ally need to get some oomph on them. Al­though it does some­times feel like you are ap­proach­ing them from the other side of the room.’

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