Practical Sportsbikes (UK)

5 Mark’s favourite tools...

A few of his workshop and paddock essentials to make life quick and easy

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1. Bearing puller tool

“This is as cheap as chips and is just brilliant as you are always replacing bearings when you work with older bikes. You don’t beat the living daylights out of a hub’s aluminium spacer tube when you use a proper puller. And it totally removes the faff, or the chances of damaging a hub, with a misplaced smash from a drift.”

2. Piston removing tool

“Just like the bearing puller, this brake piston removing tool eradicates the chances of damaging a brake caliper, which you don’t want to do on older bikes, where spares can be pricey, and hard to find too. With race bikes you don’t use them that often, but you need to keep on top of the pistons as they can seize through lack of use over winter.”

3. Spring puller

“With a race bike you need to make everything quick and easy to access and remove, or you won’t bother doing it, which is why exhausts are secured together with springs. Why people try and use pliers to take off springs is a mystery to me when a proper puller is less than £10 and makes it so much easier and faster.”

4. Tyre pressure gauge

“My mate Tony introduced me to this Longacre gauge, and after borrowing his so many times I had to buy my own, although I didn’t get the flash aluminium case like him. You need an accurate tyre pressure gauge when you race as you need to be precise with pressures, as it’s one variable you can remove when it comes to set-up.”

5. Ruler

“You’ll be amazed how many people take to the track with misaligned wheels. The markers on the swingarm just aren’t accurate and so I use this ruler to take a measuremen­t from the swingarm pivot to the rear axle nut on each side to ensure my wheels are correctly aligned. Simple, quick and precise.”

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