Advanced mechanics: Best motorcycle workshop luxuries

Top motorcycle workshop luxuries
Top motorcycle workshop luxuries

If you enjoy working on your motorcycle, either for essential maintenance or for more in-depth spannering such as restoration work, then you will probably already have a decent range of essential tools; sockets and spanners, screwdrivers and pliers, a torque wrench and so on. But while these will get you going, the addition of what many would consider motorcycle workshop luxuries will make work even more enjoyable and easier.

Air tools, for example. Once the domain of the professionals and then for mainly automotive enthusiasts, they can make life much easier.

A lift to get the bike off the ground so you are not on your knees working on it or stooping over it and giving yourself back problems.

Then there is the workshop itself: floor coverings to make working more comfortable and potentially warmer; proper lighting so you can see what you are doing or a heater so it’s a pleasant environment to work in.

So many little things can change how you approach working on your bike and turn it from a gritted-teeth necessity to a longed-for past-time. Here are a few of our favourite motorcycle workshop luxuries…

Price: 215.94 (was £311.94)

Tested by Justin Hayzelden for two months. Quality 4/5, Value 5/5. One of the joys of owning motorcycles is that there’s always something that needs doing, be it maintenance, restoration or modification. I’ve got a fairly well kitted out workshop, with tools that have rebuilt or repaired more bikes than I can remember, but it’s only recently that I decided to add a compressor as a supply for air tools.

Like a lot of folk, space in my shed is limited, so I opted for the smallest compressor in UK tool specialists Sealey’s line-up, a 2hp electric motor model with a 24 litre tank. It’s only 360mm wide (across the wheels) and 600mm long (excluding handle), so doesn’t take up much room. All up weight is around 27kg, but the wheels and handle make it perfectly portable.

Power is from a standard 3-pin socket. Charge time is approximately 90 seconds, by which time tank is pressurised to around 110 psi. The motor isn’t any louder than an average bike at idle and cuts in and out automatically to maintain a full charge. Control of airflow is via a simple regulator, although the gauges are hard to read without lifting the handle or squatting at ground level.

A four-piece accessory kit is included, consisting of an airline, blow gun, tyre inflator and spray gun, making this a great starting point for a home set up. There’s a choice of colours for the airline (and matching compressor handle), either red or this rather fetching Kawasaki-esque green.

So far the blow gun has proved to be the most frequently used tool and I seem to find an application for it on almost every job, such as blowing the area clean around spark plugs before removal, drying brake callipers and other hard to reach areas after a wash or flushing out components prior to assembly. A blast of compressed air is a very handy tool to have.

For an entry level item, the spray gun gives very pleasing results. It’s important to maintain an even flow of air when spraying paint and the regulator allows just that, with an accurate dialling in of just the right pressure. Having this on hand is great, as I can now use durable 2k paint, a two-part system that includes a chemical hardener, rather than rely on rattle cans. I wouldn’t think twice about tackling a fuel tank with it, or even respraying a whole bike.

The tyre inflator does exactly that, quickly and efficiently, and I’ve since added a Sealey straight air drill (£53.94) to my armoury too. Overall this is a very simple piece of workshop equipment to use and seems suitably robust for long term use. With instant wind power on tap it’s proved to be incredibly useful for a huge range of jobs and has left me wondering how I ever managed without it.


  • Well built
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent value


  • Gauges are a bit hard to read
Sealey 2hp 24L Direct Drive Air Compressor

When it comes to chain maintenance, a centrestand is a very useful addition to the bike. Getting the rear wheel off the ground to clean, lubricate and tension the chain is really handy.

But if your bike doesn’t have one and you don’t want to get your paddock stand dirty, this roller for the rear wheel is one of the motorcycle workshop luxuries that will help. Park the rear wheel on it and roll it without moving the bike to access all of the chain for cleaning or lubing.


  • Work with any bike
  • Use it anywhere
  • Move rear wheel with bike in place


  • Won’t help with chain tensioning
Price: £571.99

Kneeling next to your bike or stooped over the engine, for example, can soon become painful but this hydraulic lift table will raise the bike off the ground to a much more comfortable work height.

It’s low enough to load the bike onto easily and the chock will hold the bike upright though you can also use paddock stands. The hydraulic lifting action brings the bike up to 780mm off the ground and it will handle weight up to 450kg - pretty much any bike.


  • Raise bike to comfortable working height
  • Panel to allow rear wheel to be removed
  • Castors for moving when not in use


  • Expensive luxury
Price: 44.99 (was £59.99)

If your workshop floor is a bit too rough or cold for you to want to get down on your knees to whip off that oil filter, then a garage mat, like this official MotoGP one, will give you some proper race-garage vibes.

It’s got a fibre top side and non-slip nylon back and is both oil and water-resistant. It is also great to display your bike on or rest it on during a winter lay-up, for example.


  • Get that race-garage look
  • Keep you off the cold garage floor
  • Oil and water-resistant


  • Gives you thoughts of a MotoGP career
Price: £105.09

I've used something similar to this centrestand dolly and for manoeuvring a bike in a tight space, they can be invaluable. You pop the bike up onto its centrestand but with the stand on the dolly and then you can, carefully, as the weight is fairly high up, move the bike around as you need or turn it on its own length.

There is also a brake on the castors to prevent it moving when in place. As motorcycle workshop luxuries go, it's quite good.


  • Move the bike easily
  • Lock in place when needed
  • Handle up to 300kg


  • Bike will always have one wheel still on ground
Price: 69.99 (was £94.49)

Even if you raise the bike in the air, there are still some jobs, oil changes or brake work, for example, that mean you are working at what would be your thigh or waist height. To keep those knees off the ground, a creeper seat like this one will mean you can sit down and take the weight off while still being at the right height for the job in hand.

Castors mean you can wheel around to grab tools, the under-tray means you can store tools there and this one even has a cup holder.


  • Work at waist height easier
  • Sturdy and comfortable
  • Tool tray


  • Might be hard to get back up again
Price: £15.95

A cold, hard concrete garage floor is an inhospitable place and can reduce the temperature of the whole garage, making it uninviting. But covering the floor with foam tiles, such as these, can make it a much more pleasant place to be, making it one of the nicer motorcycle workshop luxuries. These come in packs of four 60cm x 60cm tiles for £19.95 though larger packs are available with associated bulk discounts and there are five colours.


  • Insulate cold floors
  • Protect floors from tool drops
  • More comfortable to work on


  • Could make castor rolling awkward

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