Tip on Keeping Bolts Organized

Save yourself from the trial and error

How many times have you removed a series of bolts, for instance side-cover screws, only to realize during reassembly that they were all different lengths and you didn't have a clue which one went where? Oh, not ever, huh? Well I have, and since I dislike doing things by trial and error, I've adopted this simple method to keep track.

Keeping your motorcycle bolts organized after removal
Using a template to store the case bolts eliminates all of the trial and error when it's time to stitch the whole thing back together.Photography by Mark Zimmerman

On a plain sheet of cardboard, draw a rough outline of the cover you’re about to remove. Mark the approximate location of each fastener. If you’re as easily confused as I am you can even number them so you know where to start. As each screw is removed, poke a hole in the cardboard that corresponds with that screw’s location in the case and stick the screw through it. It’s an absolutely fool-proof way to keep your bolts from rolling around the garage floor. During reassembly it’s a simple matter of selecting the correct screw for the location. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it works just fine.