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Tommy is gearing up for a big tear down and customization of our 2000 XL to a Harley Cafe Racer. In preparation, Tommy reviews Harley shop essentials, tools and materials that will be needed along the way.

Safety is of utmost importance in your Harley shop. Eye and face protection, respirators, gloves, and appropriate clothing is always necessary. Make sure that the work area is a clean, open space and that fire extinguishers are present and up to date. Gasoline, or anything flammable should be relocated, away from the area. A job or repair should not be attempted without serious consideration to safety.

When replacing fasteners or gathering fasteners for new fabrication, a grade five or better fastener should be used. If a component being installed is not American made, the supplied hardware should be discarded & replaced.

One of the most important tools to have on hand is the factory service manual for the year and model motorcycle being worked on. Not only does a manual give specific instructions & procedures, it also lists important torque specs, capacities and wiring diagrams.

When it comes to hand tools, there are a number of common, basic sets that are necessary to have on hand. You should have complete sets of screwdrivers, combination wrenches, pliers (including electrical & snap ring), six and twelve point sockets in both shallow and deep well/SAE and metric sets. You will need 1/2 inch, 3/8 inch and 1/4 inch ratchets and extensions. Also, plastic mallets, steel end hammer, foot and inch pounds torque wrenches.

It is also important to be prepared with the right chemicals, lubricants, and glues. These include brake cleaner, carburetor cleaner, penetrating lubricant, grease, anti seize, teflon paste, blue threadlocker, and red threadlocker. Download a PDF of examples of what goes where here. Your manual is the main reference (Download the Loctite Motorcycle Application Guide PDF).

With all the tools and supplies gathered, Tommy is ready to secure the Sportster to the lift and begin working.

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Tags: building a motorcycle, Harley Cafe Racer, Harley shop tips, Harley-Davidson videos, Member Videos, motorcycle maintenance, motorcycle repair guides, motorcycle repair tools