Interesting Options for Projects and Problems

Last updated on November 13th, 2018

These are just a curated selection of recently viewed and recommended products.

Some are personal recommendations that have been used in past projects and DIYs. Others are simply recommendations as potentially the best solutions for a certain need or problem. Yet other and items in consideration for future endeavors.

For any suggestions, feedback or recommendations, feel free to contact me.


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Noco Genius G3500 12v Ultra Safe Battery Charger

A charger is a must have for anyone who owns a vehicle of any kind. It’s just the nature of lead-acid batteries. They will self-discharge whenever left alone, so needing a charger at some moment down the road is virtually inevitable. This Noco G3500 Charger is the one that I end up grabbing most often when I need a top off – for cars and motorcycles alike.

It will work with the vast majority of battery chemistries, including AGM and Lithium-Ion. Plus their customer support is great and they have plenty of accessories to compliment it. All in all, there are plenty of other decent chargers out there, but this is the best I’ve found.

 

Motorcycle Chain Cleaning Brush

As if lubing your motorcycle chain wasn’t enough work, on top of that you have to clean it, too. Personally, I’m not a big fan of chain degreasers – I just don’t see the need for it. On anybody not going off-road, your chain shouldn’t get dirty enough to need a degreaser anyway. At least if you use a decent lube, that is.

Personally, I simply use the chain cleaning brush above before lubing. It does the job pretty well. And it’s more rugged than you expect. Even with monthly chain cleaning and lubing, they tend to last me at least a year or more. It’s simply one of those staple motorcycle tools everyone should own.

Guardian Bell

I’m as far from superstitious as you’ll ever find – but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good story or myth. A prime example of that is one of motorcycling’s coolest traditions. A Guardian Bell.

You’re supposed to attach it to the lowest part of your bike with a leather strip. Allegedly, as it rings it will catch any electrical gremlins and dump them back on to the road. Don’t ask me – it dates from WW2 pilots and nonsensical electrical problems. Nonetheless it makes a great conversation starter at the bar.

 Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6

These days, if someone talks about professional image library software, they’re talking about Lightroom. Bar none. It’s what I use when I edit the images on this site. For many photographers, it’s so versatile that it makes Photoshop just about unnecessary.

All considered, I’d have a hard time managing my images without this. And I really don’t have any reason to even want to consider switching away.

YTX12A-BS Batteries for a Kawasaki Ninja 650

Regardless of how well you take care of a battery, you’ll need to replace it eventually. Most lead-acid batteries live between one and three years.

However this depends strongly on how it’s kept. Both an OEM-quality Yuasa and a discount-bin no-name battery will last for years if kept on a battery maintainer. And both, regardless of price and quality, will die within weeks of successive deep discharges.

The Ninja 650 uses a size YTX12A-BS battery, so any battery with that spec listed should fit. Here are a few options. Whichever one with the lowest price and decent reviews should be a perfectly suitable options for years as long as well-kept with a quality battery charger.

Snapjack Portable Motorcycle Jack

While rear stands are great for garage use, they’re hardly a viable option while touring or travelling. One interesting option for filling that void in your toolbox is the Tirox Snapjack v2 Portable Motorcycle Jack.

It’s a compact, folding, lightweight jack that works with virtually any bike with a standard swingarm and kickstand. Simply place it as shown above and nudge it to lift the rear tire of the ground. Thanks to the leverage provided by the design, it takes very little effort to do so and is stable enough for reliable use.

All in all it’s just one interesting specialty tool for either hardcore riders, those without space for a rear stand, or committed touring riders alike.

Mini-Can of Chain Saver Lube

 

Dupont’s chain saver is one of the best chain lubes around. It’s what I used in my detailed chain cleaning and lubing how-to – it’s worth the read if you’re interested in a few tips and tricks. However, for on-the-go use, a 14oz can isn’t really the most efficient way to take up space in your tank bag. Especially during touring, SaddleSores or long rides.

Whenever I feel the need to carry chain lube while riding, I just keep one of these minibar-sized 2.5oz cans of Dupont Chain-Saver.  One of the main advantages of a lube like this that both cleans and lubes is that you only need one product. The fact that it’s one of the best lubes around anyway is just the cherry on top.

Starter Fluid for Engines

When you want to just go on with your day, nothing sucks like an engine that just won’t start. Sometimes it’s simply a lawn mower that’s been left too long without running. Others, it’s a new engine build that needs a bit of encouragement to purge the fuel lines. Frequently the fix is to spray a bit of starter fluid into the engine’s intake to help it rev right up on its own. Regardless of what’s in the fuel lines, the starter fluid will atomize into the engine’s air intake providing a fuel source for ignition. Plus, it’s suitable for 2 and 4 cycle engine alike.

Alpinestars Celer Leather Gloves

Alpinestars is world-renowned for motorcycle gear – and with good reason. The Alpinestars Celer Leather Short-Gauntlet Gloves are just one more testament to their commitment to high-quality motorcycle gear.

These gloves are perfect for the casual rider who wants better-than-average protection. The leather frame will withstand plenty of abuse, while the touch-screen tip is great for smartphone displays. All in all, these are among the best gloves a city sport bike rider can choose for daily riding.

Screw Extractor kit

Having to find a way to extract a screw with a deformed head is never any fun. It’s one of the prime ways to stop a project in its tracks and give anyone a headache. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to extract a stripped screw. Among the cheaper and easier options to remove a stripped screw, the prime choice is a screw extractor kit.

To use it, insert it into your drill, and drill back in reverse. Most of the time the screw will promptly come out. Different sizes are included to accommodate different bolt sizes. To increase your chances of success, a bit of WD40 and heat application can also help.

Waterproof 5 Pin SPDT Relay

Working with relays on vehicles can be a PITA. To boot, there are a dozens of models, types and sizes. Having tried a pretty good amount of them, these days the unit I use for most automotive projects is this 5 Pin 12VDC 30A SPDT Multi-Purpose Relay. As far as its features go:

  • 30 Amp Capacity – 30 amps at 12v DC is quite a lot. That makes this suitable for reasonably heavy-duty tasks.
  • Waterproof – This is great for a car’s engine bay or for motorcycles. The waterproofing also makes the unit far more reliable.
  • Compact – You won’t have trouble finding a spot for it.
  • Integrated Flyback Diode – For automotive use, a flyback diode is essential for avoiding damage to your vehicle’s electronics. Make sure whichever relay you choose has one, just like this unit.
  • 5 Pin Design – Most relays are either 4 pin or 5 pin. You can use a 5 pin diode wherever you can use a 4 pin, so I simply use 5 pin relays for all my projects in case I decide to repurpose it later. After all, they cost the same.