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Six-point sockets are your friend. With few exceptions, a 1/2-inch socket wrench may not be. Become proficient in the use of anti-seize, loc-tite, and sealing compound for bolts; inserting bolts "dry" can be a very bad thing. You will be amazed at the difference anti-seize makes on the oil drain plug, for instance.



Always set aside more time than you think you'll possibly need the first time you try anything. Always have a second vehicle available for running to either the shop for parts or Sears for tools; avoiding the second trip and trying to make do with what you have will invariably make the first trip necessary - usually combined with the second stop on the way home anyway. That absolutely SUCKS when it's a cheap part you just destroyed, but it has a two-week delivery time, and it's not something your bike can live without (the aforementioned oil drain plug, for instance).
 

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... on a 1981 XS1100 Special, no less. Hence the wait on the parts.



That experience encompassed most of the things I spewed about - 12-point socket damn near rounded the bolt off, 1/2-inch ratchet with a 12-point almost finished the job, hammering on the handle of the 1/2-inch ratchet DID finish the bolt off. Vise-Grips and hammer got the job done, but the bike sat there afterwards and I swear it was giving me a "you come near me with tools again and I'm high-siding your sorry ass as soon as the opportunity presents itself" look.



Now, using anti-seize, a six-point socket (whole set of 6-pointers was $109 on sale at Sears), and a 3/8-inch drive, the drain bolt backs right out with minimal effort.



My ZZR's first oil change could have been the same way, as the Kawasaki factory had the drain bolt torqued in almost unbelievably tight. I used patience, my 6-point, and VERY gently applied pressure with a 1/2-inch ratchet to loosen it. Reinstalled with anti-seize and the correct torque value per the owner's guide, and it came off easily at the 3000-mile oil change. Of course, that was only about two months later...
 
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