Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
Forest City Motorrad Club #159 - Treasurer
Knights of the Roundel #333
Check out Craftsman from Sears, less expensive than Snap On. I have a Craftsman 1/2" ft lbs and a Snap On 3/8" in lbs, both click type.
If you want a real torque wrench and not a wannabe, you'll get Stahlwille.
You can use 3/8 or 1/2 inch on the same wrench because the head is removable/interchangeable.
You can use it in reverse to loosen fasteners with no damage. (If you have right-hand threads, simply remove and turn over the head.)
There's no need to zero it when not in use.
There's no harm done tightening past the set value. On my SUV a brake part torque spec is 80 nm plus 45 degrees.
The scales are both in nm and ft-lb and there's no conversion required.
The BMW special tool for removing transmission drain plug on an R1100S is designed to fit one of these wrenches, too. FWIW Hazet also follows the same removable head size specs, but doesn't have the other features.
Sorry, but you're going to have to have at least two torque wrenches, because obviously a wrench long enough to tighten/remove lug nuts isn't going to work at 5 ft-lbs, too.
I'm fairly certain the cheapest place to get these is through either the VW or Mercedes parts systems. BMW probably has them, too, but no experience.
'12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S
I have an SK "clicker" style torque wrench. It has both ft-lbs and N-M scales. It is made in USA and came with a blow molded case. For the same price (or less) you could get two HF "clicker" style torque wrenches. I wanted mid/high-quality, made in USA, and simple. I expect the SK to outlast me. The only caveat is that I will likely need a second wrench that covers low torque ranges. I have a BMW motorcycle and two Honda CIVICs that (for me without a"calibrated" right arm) require a torque wrench. Cost was approx $80 in 2007.
You can go bananas and spend all kinds of money on these things. The Sears Craftsman click type torque wrench is more than adequate for torquing bolts etc on your bike or home projects. I own the Craftsman units for home. I carry on my KLR or 1150RT, wrenches from Harbor Freight. The reason I do this is that if I am on a long distance/period ride I take these because on the KLR, I need the 1/4" drive to get into crazy tight spots. I keep them out of the way and in no way do they bother me. I'm funny in that I'll prepare for any situation and act on it within reason. They have come in handy many times and I've always been glad to have had them. These are all calibrated within tight specs and the only reason they will go out of spec is not storing them properly or beating the crap out of them.
If you don't buy a torque wrench with a traceable calibration, you should probably give some thought to testing it. Basically you need a bar of known length (with a square hole for the drive, something that can be made from bar stock using a drill and files) and weights. Cheap wrenches might or might not be accurate.
BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...
Point is you don't have to go nuts spending all sorts of $ for a basic tool unless spending $ makes you feel good. The gs guys, dual sport guys, klr or not can easily carry a HF wrench and get by fine on the trail. Its nice to know your in the ball park when cranking down on a bolt rather than snapping one in the block or where ever.