This isn't even motorcycle related, although I do need to bleed the brakes on both of my bikes this winter. I've got a bicycle in my garage, it belongs to the son of a guy I work with. He's actually the guy who told me about the job, and he's also the same guy who let me squeeze in the back seat of his car with his 2 kids for 4.5 hours when they were driving across the state and dropped me off at the dealership so I could ride my XB home, so I definitely owe him some favors. Anyway, I always fix up his bicycles whenever he needs something, he pays but I don't charge him much, usually just the cost of parts plus $5-10 depending on how much work it was. Every summer and christmas his son comes back from school and his bike is usually a mess with bent up wheels and squishy brakes. This time when they put the bike in the back of his truck they pulled out the front wheel, and in the process of getting it home the lever was pulled and the pistons closed together. He eventually got them back apart, but said he had to let a little fluid out to do it. I've been bleeding them, which was going smoothly, but the one piston is only pressing out at somewhat of an angle because I just don't have any way to wedge anything in there the right way to put leverage on it in the direction I need to, so I'm having a hard time even getting the rotor back in there.
I was a bicycle mechanic for years so my ratio of working on bikes to riding bikes is still high enough that I get annoyed when people insist that they need hydraulic brakes, especially on their college campus commuter. My life would be much easier if everyone just used mechanical disc brakes. I also feel like things would be easier if everyone stuck with friction shifters too though, so obviously I can't always have my way.
Anyway, back to the basement to fight with this some more. There's one tool I've always wanted and have never been able to find anywhere, and that's a reverse pair of pliers. I want something I can stick between 2 things, like caliper pistons, and be able to squeeze outwards. Harbor freight actually has a pair for $15, but at their skinniest setting they're still too wide to put between anything. Even the GS has one sided brakes that you can just compress with a C-clamp, so why is it a bicycle needs dual sided calipers? Thanks for listening to me complain!