New Items in the Tool Kit
by Deryle Mehrten
BMW doesn’t provide much a tool kit with their new age bikes. For example our new ’08 K1200GT came with a simple screw driver and two torx wrenches. Given the electrical and mechanical complexity of these new bikes, there isn’t much I could repair if it “broke” out on the road. I do carry a tubeless tire repair kit with an air pump to handle about the only emergency I could hopefully deal with - a flat tire. The problem arises that if I needed to remove either wheel I couldn’t with my current emergency kit.
To take the rear wheel off you need a T-45 and a T-50 torx wrench. You need the T-45 to loosen and turn down the muffler, which is necessary to get the rear wheel away from the rear drive. One of the torx wrenches provided with the bike is a short handled T-45. Its short handle though makes it very difficult to remove a stubborn bolt. The rear wheel lug bolts require a T-50 that is not part of the provided tools. To fill out my emergency kit I decided to add a socket T-50 rather than a T-50 wrench, you can get more leverage with the longer handle of the 3/8 inch ratchet. Makes sense to go for a T-45 socket as well to make the twisting of the muffler a much easier job.
The front wheel removal requires a 22 mm hex head to remove the axle, a T-30 to remove the front fender, and a T-45 to loosen the axle pinch bolt and remove the front brake calipers. Neither the 22 mm hex nor the T-30 wrenches are provided. Seems many of the other motorcycle brands have required a large hex head to remove axles for some time and there are several aftermarket front axle wrenches out there to choose from. I went with the Motion Pro T-6 Hex Axle Tool. It will fit multiple sizes and could come in handy for other axles other than the K1200GT. I also added a T-30 socket to my on-board emergency repair kit.
There is another major consideration on the front - you must get the front wheel off the ground and keep it there in order to remove the front wheel. Getting the front wheel off the ground isn’t easy, the Rider’s Manual calls for the OEM Front Wheel Stand. Lacking the OEM stand, I removed the belly pan and used the two bolt holes on the bottom of the engine to makeshift a simple lift. An on-the-road front wheel removal would be a real challenge. Expect to see more on the makeshift lift.
Under the passenger seat there is a smallish area designed to hold the Rider’s Manual in a plastic cover. In my opinion, an emergency tool kit with enough tools to do a few simple repairs and to allow the rider to remove the front and rear wheels in the event of a flat tire makes more sense. The Rider’s Manual can ride up front in the lockable glove box.