Here is one of the better tips that anyone ever gave me for working on motorcycles; grind down the mouth of your sockets. This removes the machined radius from the lip giving more biting power.
I hate defacing tools, but this tip is of huge value for working on some very important parts. 1/2″ drive sockets are intended for large bolts and purchase, how much bite on the bolt head, is typically not a concern. But when it comes to motorcycles, sometimes those big sockets have to be used on some rather fragile parts.
No place is it more obvious than when it comes time to service forks. The 19mm head on the base valve of WP open chamber forks is very prone to damage. It is shallow and made of aluminum. Trust me, once you completely strip the head on a base valve and have to seek professional help, you will be greeted with a condescending ” you should have known better” look, classic Eric Jensen. It was that look, more than the actual damage to the parts, that made me swear I would never make that mistake again.
So now I grind down the face of a few specific size sockets. I had a mechanic on a recent ride tell me he does it to every one in the set. As you can see in the photo, we are not talking about it being a matter of cheap quality tools. In this case, my 1/2″ sockets are Proto. Even at that there is quite a large radius around the inside that is not providing any benefit.
I don’t do it to every socket in the set. Heck, other than the 19mm, 24mm, and 27mm, most of my 1/2″ stuff gets more action as seal drivers. Maybe we will talk about that one next time.