31 Examples of Mechanic Wisdom and Garage Banter



At REDRIDINGBOOTS, we are not necessarily great mechanics. But we love a bit of mechanic wisdom and garage banter. And we do attempt our first restoration project, but we can’t say that has gone smoothly so far.

Our 1987 FZR 750 is far from road ready yet. But we do enjoy the proces, and even all the frustration it brings. Are you a mechanic? Of like us, a newbie in the restoration or custom builders world yourself? Then you might enjoy a bit of garage banter, mechanic wisdom and profanity.





1. Hex keys exist in three shapes and sizes; too small, too big and the missing one.

2. When you crawl underneath your motorcycle with a handful of hex keys, the one you actually need is still in your tool box.

3. When you get the one you need and crawl back underneath your bike, you always end up lying on top of that particular hex key.

4. When a construction lamp is placed properly under your motorcycle, it always shines in your eyes.

5. Trust the torque wrench. It really is more accurate than your arm.

6. “Universal” means that the part described is designed not to fit anywhere, except after major modifications and the use of foul language.

7. When you rummage through your stock of bolts and nuts during some maintenance on the bike, you can never fin that one suitable bolt or nut among that impressive collection.

8. Murphy’s Law regarding repairs in combination with gravity; things that fall always roll in the least acceptable direction.

9. To calculatie how long a bike restoration will take, you can use the following formula: the number of parts x (the number of children per household / the average number of free hours per day) x total number of vehicles owned x current number of projects. Divide this number by the number of years of experience with doing maintenance yourself.

10. Something that seemed impossible at 1 a.m. seems to be very easy and possible to do at 4 p.m.

11. Neighbours punctually call 999 (or 911) when they see a body under a burning vehicle.

12. Volunteer firefighters hate false alarms. They do like beer and peanuts.

13. Also worthy of note is the fact that bolts and nuts must first be checked for temperature to ensure that they are not still hot.

14. The moment your hand slips and hits something sharp, hot or otherwise hurt, that’s when you are not wearing work gloves of any kind. Cold weather reduces the pain in your hand during this action by about 600%.

mechanic wisdom / sleutelwijsheid

15. There are few things that won’t come off with WD-40, a cutting torch, and / or a sledgehammer.

16. The right tools are always out of reach.

17. Screwdrivers are bad cold chisels. Cold chisels are bad screwdrivers. Hammers can often be replaced by one of the tools just mentioned.

18. Small parts that fall out from underneath your vehicle as you look just below it will always fall into your eyes, nose or ear. Depending on what precautions you have taken.

19. Your wife (or husband!) does not find oil stains on your newly cobbled driveway ‘decorative’.

20. When you wash dirty and greasy hands in the kitchen sink, that new white towel is not the best option to dry them off with.

21. Doing the dishes is an effective way to get the grease off your hands.

22. Do not use bath towels as cleaning rags. Do not use cleaning rags as a bath towel.

23. ‘Massage, absorb and rinse’ is not enough to remove bearing grease from your hair.

24. Life-long sealed bearings are indeed sealed for life. How long this life lasts will always remain a mystery.

25. The engine won’t start, when the restoration of your bike is completed.

26. An engine that does not start is generally caused by an electrical cable that you forgot to connect and which is now impossible to reach.

27. Crying does not help, but it does relieve stress.

28. Carburetor cleaner has a special talent for finding little wounds.

29. Electrical tape and paper towels work well as bandages.

30. Brake cleaner cleans more than just brakes.

31. Kicking your vehicle out of frustration only lengthens the repair list.

mechanic wisdom / sleutelwijsheid


That was our list of 31 examples of mechanic wisdom and garage banter. Do you have some examples yourself? Please feel free to send them to us via info@redridingboots.com. We’d love to add them to our list. And give you credit for it, of course.