Working on your own Harley-Davidson can not only save you money, but it can give you a great sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, there are a lot of specialty tools out there needed to work on certain areas of your H-D, or so they would have you believe. Now the specialty tools make the job so much easier and are way more efficient, but in some cases they are not entirely necessary.
The area of the tank top-plate is one of those instances. Harley-Davidson does in fact sell a toothed-socket to remove the top-plate retaining ring with maximum ease, but it is possible to remove and install without said socket. It is a more difficult and time-consuming approach compared to using the socket, but if you are in a pinch this method will get the job done.
What you will need is a bronze punch and a bronze hammer. The reason you need to have bronze is because bronze is softer than steel so you won't damage the retaining ring that you will be striking. You need to be very careful as to not miss the mark or else the result could be catastrophic to your tanks paint. If you take your time with it, this process will prove successful.
This piece originally appeared at MotorcycleCruiser.com.