Gear

Tools that stand the test of time

Motorcyclist - - Contents - —Chris Can­tle

in 1996 THE leather­man mi­cra WAS brand new and multi-tools were all the rage. Some­how, the clever lit­tle gad­get, with its spring-loaded scis­sors and tiny screwdrivers, wound up on the shelf of a lo­cal chain store, mis­marked to half its ask­ing price. My old man, a sucker for a bar­gain, bought out the lot of them. I was 12. I’ve ad­mired the hell out of it ever since.

A good tool has a knack for longevity, for be­ing passed along. Some­times among friends as loans that last life­times. Some­times they’re handed down gen­er­a­tions. In­evitably, funny lit­tle bonds form, and some­times per­ceived value far out­strips a tool’s ac­tual cost. I’d rather lose an ex­pen­sive socket set than the lit­tle Leather­man that’s out­lasted 20 years of sock draw­ers and jeans pock­ets.

The staff at Mo­tor­cy­clist have sim­i­lar at­tach­ments, and in as­sem­bling them for this pho­to­shoot, a pic­ture of each con­trib­u­tor emerged. The racer. The painter. The me­chan­i­cal dab­bler. Each of us treats them like our ma­chines in minia­ture. We laud them when they make us look sharp and hold them ac­count­able for our faults. And, just as with mo­tor­cy­cles, the tools may vary but our out­sized af­fec­tion for them re­mains con­stant.

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