Do Harley mechanics prefer Mitutoyo or Starrett?

Do Harley-Davidson mechanics prefer American brands like Starrett to Japanese brands like Mitutoyo when buying calipers? Or do they not mind “rice-burner” tools?

And, what do they look for in calipers, anything special? Would a 6" electronic pair, inches/millimeters, jaws for OD and other jaws for ID and a protrusion out the bottom for depth, be good?

I am not a harley rider, but I use calipers many times every day.

I like my Mitutoyo, but stay away from digital ones like the plague. I can measure to .001 just fine, thank you very much. Looking at the digital readout drives me up the wall… but that’s just my personal preference.

BTW - I’d get a 10-12" set if I were you. The price difference isn’t that massive and it’s a pain in the butt the odd time you want to measure somehing larger than 6" and can’t.

Are you truly comparing like for like? It’s been awhile since my machinist days, but at that time, we treated Starrett tools with a respect that no other brand received. I think they were pricier, but they were always the finest.

It’s been a while, but I used a Mitutoyo caliper and telescoping gauges for what machine work I did (boring cylinders, for example.) They were at about as repeatable as a set of calipers (I could sqeeze about another .005" out of them, just as I could get tighten a caliper another few .0001"s) and the reset function was handy when measuring clearances.

For what it’s worth, a friend once observed that half of the people you meet in motorcycling are the nicest people in the world, and the other half are total flakes. Starrett is a good brand, but sooner or later you’re going to do something that will bother someone. Remember that both Mikuni and Kehin carbs have been used on Harleys. Besides, there are probably more dentists than outlaws riding Harleys nowadays.

But keep in mind that it’s more expensive to get a 12" caliper calibrated vs. a 6" caliper.

Thanks, all. I didn’t hear any pro-American prejudice specific to Harley mechanics, though nobody actually said they were reporting a Harley mechanic’s preferences.

Looks like Starrett is about 60% more costly than Mitutoyo.

I wonder, Bernse, whether in place of one pair of digital calipers you buy English and Metric versions? Or do you not use one of these unit systems? Or do you do 4-digit conversions in your head much faster than I do? Or do you work more slowly in one unit system?

And don’t folks find long calipers don’t fit into tight spaces more often than short calipers don’t reach far enough? I certainly do - I think about 4" would be a better all-around size. But then I do industrial work, not bike repair.

Actually, these points are getting to be “In My Humble Opinion” topics - I originally was interested in the humble opinions of Harlye mechanics, which topic is one of fact.

Not being a Harley mechanic, I personally like having nice name brand tools. No particular prejudice though I do hold Brown&Sharpe and Starrett in slightly higher regard than Mitutoyo, however the value of Mitutoyo is much better.

As far as calipers are concerned, I consider them disposable, so why pay $139.00 for something that is really no better than a chinese brand that costs $16.00. I don’t truly trust them for anything less than ± 3 or 4 thou. Other than that pull out the micrometers and a set of gage blocks. A set of gage blocks within 50 milliionths is only $89 now adays, $49 on E-bay.

On the metric conversion thing, when those 20mm shells start going through parts that are dimensioned in mm’s, I’ll start using metric tools.