Spike’s 5favourite tools...

The es­sen­tial gad­gets he couldn’t be with­out

Performance Bikes (UK) - - 360º GARAGE -

1 Spring puller

“Ev­ery race bike has springs hold­ing the ex­haust sec­tions to­gether and they can be a night­mare to take off and put on. I used to strug­gle like hell with a set of pli­ers, but this spring puller is so sim­ple and stops all the ir­ri­ta­tion. There is noth­ing worse than that ‘twang’ noise as the spring slips and fires off into space or smacks you in the face, and this sim­ple tool stops that hap­pen­ing. And, best of all, I got it for free in a tool­box I bought from Rob Mac!”

2 3/8ths ratchet drive

“This is one of those things that sits in your tool­box un­used, but when you do need it, it is ab­so­lutely in­valu­able. The head can ro­tate to any an­gle so it can slip into re­stricted spa­ces. You can even turn it on its end and use it as a screw­driver. It’s just a lovely tool and has a su­per-fine ratchet ac­tion, which means it takes min­i­mal move­ment to tighten some­thing up slightly. It was about £35 on eBay and was bought for me by my wife.”

3 Mole grips

“You may shud­der at the thought of us­ing mole grips on a bike, but th­ese are dif­fer­ent. They have flat rather than jagged jaws and the pivot point en­sures the two grips stay par­al­lel, so they are ba­si­cally a 0-46mm ad­justable span­ner with a very strong grip. I saw a guy called Ge­orge Dziedzic, who used to be Fred­die Spencer’s me­chanic, use them on a Honda RS500 and they are in­cred­i­bly handy. I couldn’t be­lieve he was us­ing mole grips on the RS un­til I looked a bit closer and re­alised how much time he was sav­ing by not swap­ping span­ners.”

4 Dig­i­tal temp gauge

“This is es­sen­tial when it comes to choos­ing your tyres. Track tem­per­a­ture makes an enor­mous dif­fer­ence when it comes to which slick you should run, and if you pick the wrong one for the tem­per­a­ture it will de­stroy the tyres. A Pirelli SC2 rear is a hardish com­pound for abra­sive tracks or a cool track. From 20-40 de­grees you run the SC1 medium and the SC0 has to be over 40 de­grees or it will cold-tear. If you get the tem­per­a­tures cor­rect your tyres last far longer and grip bet­ter.”

5 Black & Decker power file

“I fab­ri­cate my own seats us­ing hard foam and this belt sander. When you are ac­cel­er­at­ing hard on a fast bike you are slung back­wards, so you tend to hang on tightly to the han­dle­bars, which causes in­sta­bil­ity. I like to lock my­self into the bike with a hump, but you can’t buy one. So, I get hard foam and af­ter cut­ting it down to size us­ing a hack­saw I sand it smooth. It’s a great tool but the dust that comes off gives you black bo­gies for days af­ter­wards...’

‘That “one more lap” is the one you’ll crash on’

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