Exhibit 1: my ‘07 FXDLI.
I just had new tires installed which entailed removing the saddlebags, front and back wheels, and brake calipers. By almost any measure this is a simple task well within the technical skills of anyone with even a modest interest in wrenching. But the job is made unnecessarily complicated by the mix of SAE and metric-dimensioned bolts, heads, and tools required.
Not that long ago a decent, comprehensive toolkit would consist of a good 6-point socket set (SAE if you worked on US bikes such as Harleys or Indians, metric if European or Japanese, and British Standard Whitworth if your ride was vintage Brit iron) and a set of wrenches to match. A mechanics hammer, a few screwdrivers, and a mass of hex keys (again SAE or metric) rounded out the kit.
No more. Just to complete the relatively simple task of removing and reinstalling the front and rear wheels I encountered: SAE hex-head bolts, metric hex-head bolts, 12-point-head metric bolts, and Torx-head metric and SAE bolts. Four different sets of sockets/wrenches were needed.
There appears to be no obvious advantage to the use of one type of fastener over another, so one must question why the MOCO allows this degree of non-standardisation in its assembly processes. It certainly isn’t to make servicing their products any easier.