BMW toolkits have come a long way from the days of Airheads. I certainly found that out when I purchased an F800GS last year. While you can perform all of the basic maintenance work and beyond with the standard tool kit from an Airhead, the supplied tools on the GS are for only the simplest tasks. Fitted to the bottom of the seat are one open-end wrench, one right angle torx wrench and a screwdriver with two changeable blades with flat, Phillips and torx bits. While I have a pretty complete tool set in the garage, it became clear that the tool set to carry with the bike could use some enhancement. This became all too obvious when I arrived at the International Rally in Sedalia with a drive chain in serious need of tightening. I had to head to one of the local home improvement centers to buy the necessary wrenches to adjust the chain. The chain actually fell off the rear sprocket as I was on the way to the store. Fortunately, I was able to slip it back on and carefully ride to the store and back to the Rally site and make the much needed chain adjustment.
Recently I received a package with a RoadTech B1 tool set from CruzTOOLS (http://cruztools.com
) intended for today’s modern BMW. Included in the set is a nice fabric tool roll, a selection of combination wrenches, hex and torx keys, torx sockets with a stubby ¼” ratchet and extension, locking pliers, adjustable wrench, LED flashlight, pencil-type tire pressure gauge, four-in-one screwdriver with flat and Phillips bits, as well as an assortment of cable ties, mechanics wire, electrical tape and small tubes of threadlocking compound and WD-40. The inclusion of the threadlock and WD-40 is a nice touch. Also in the package (but not standard with the B1 tool set) was an L-shaped T-50 torx driver intended for use on BMWs with single sided swing arms.
The tools have a nice feel in the hand, fit the fasteners on the bike well and the satin finish wipes clean easily. The adjustable wrench and the locking pliers operate smoothly and seem to hold their adjustments well. While it appears well made, I did find the ¼” ratchet too short. Loosening and fully tightening some of the fasteners with anywhere near the proper torque will be difficult with such a short tool. A longer ratchet would easily fit in the tool roll and would be a worthwhile upgrade.
Since there are very few hex head fasteners on a modern BMW, a number of the wrenches and hex keys could be left at home. This would free up space in the tool roll to add additional torx sockets and wrenches that are not included with the set. Also, the F800GS requires 17mm and 24mm wrenches for the axle nuts to facilitate wheel removal and chain adjustments. These would probably have to travel in the tank bag or panniers, as wrenches this long wont fit in the tool roll. The new wrenches I bought in Sedalia travel in my tank bag.
Compared to older models, it is clear that modern BMWs could use some help with the supplied tool set. You could certainly put together a suitable tool kit with a visit to your favorite hardware store or tool supplier; however, with the addition of a couple of wrenches and a few sockets, the CruzTOOLS offers a quality starting point with their RoadTech B1. Available from a variety of suppliers or from the manufacturer, the CruzTools RTB1 carries a suggested retail price of $119.95. Visit http://www.cruztools.com for more information or ordering.