Is your garage well stocked and set-up? Do you have all the things necessary to get through most major and minor repairs? I am not just talking about tools here, I am talking about garage supplies. Is your garage set up well enough to be a shop?
Let's start looking at what you need in the chemical department. First and foremost, you need spare lubricants for your bike. To play things safe, I always keep enough oil, and primary and transmission fluids to do a complete service on my bike, plus one extra quart of each in case I need to top off midway.
Next on my fluid shelf are cleaners and solvents. I keep a few cans of spray brake cleaner, Acetone, and Permatex Gasket Remover. Between these three and assorted flat blade razors, I can clean up almost any surface on or around a motor. Naturally, the cleaners are supplemented with rubbing and polishing compounds for paintwork. Next to that you will find metal polish, something like the Luster Lace products that work on aluminum or steel.
Continuing on a cleaning theme, I have at least eight different types of wax (I admit it, I am a clean freak with bikes), two or three different rubbing and polishing compounds, and half a dozen different plastic and rubber dressings. Plus all the specialty things like clearcoat safe wash, wrinkle black enhancer, leather cleaners and conditioners, as well as chrome polish. I love cleaning my bike, so I may be a bit on the overkill side here.
More important chemicals come in tubes. Keep plenty of Lok-Tite in different strengths, anti-seize for threads, and in case things go wrong, RTV silicon and JB Weld. While I try to have a spare gasket for everything I work on, sometimes you have to resort to liquid gasket maker, so keep some on hand for emergencies.
Another good idea is to buy more zip-ties than you could ever use. They can be turned into all kinds of brackets when things are looking bleak. A well-stocked garage also has spare hose clamps and cotter pins in all kinds of sizes. I borrowed a rubber O-ring assortment from a friend of mine (that I keep meaning to return), and it has turned out to be an absolute necessity.
If you do electrical work on your bikes, better get a decent array of spare wire spools. Having enough of the right gauge wire when adding an accessory or fixing a bad short is a blessing. Add to that one of those wire connector assortments, and you are looking good. I also like to keep a few fuse links in the spare parts bin, just in case I can't find the cause of a short. Don't forget to keep a spare roll of electrical tape and solder tucked away for when you need them as well.
A great idea for those that usually go the next step with their bike projects is to check out a hardware assortment for home. Companies like Chrome Hardware Supply, in Arizona, offer bulk assortment packages that save a few bucks and let you continually upgrade your bike by replacing the hardware each time you take something apart.
When I got addicted to stocking the garage, I went on a rampage and bought all kinds of extra things for when I would need them. Suddenly, my garage cabinet had spare fuel and oil lines, an assortment of banjo bolts, a few different brake line fittings, and, although I am not sure where it came from, some sheets of clear plastic protectant.
I continued my pursuit of having everything I could possibly need by saving all the extra hardware that was involved in a repair. Now there is a bucket under my workbench filled about a third of the way full of nuts, bolts, washers, and the occasional extra spacer.
I don't know if clamps and holders count as tools or accessories, but I have increased my collection either way. Sometimes when you are working by yourself, a well-placed bungee cord or C-clamp can make all the difference in getting a job done.