This week’s weekly Rider Hack has helped us get out of more pinches than we can even begin to count. We’re talking, of course, about a light tool bag or emergency kit with various tools and supplies necessary to get you back on the road. The goal is to pack as light as possible, but still have enough tools to remedy common road side repairs. Not sure which tools or supplies you’ll need? No worries, we’ve got a list of items we feel are the most useful for quick repairs.
1.Multi-Tool: Whether it’s a combination tool with screw drivers, pliers, allens, etc… or a tool pack with interchangeable sockets and bits, you’ll need a solid base to start with. Before you head out, it’s always a good idea to check and see what common tools and tools sizes you’ll need and add to your kit accordingly. This is the best way to assure you’ll be able to make repairs needed in a given situation.
2.Tire Repair Kit: Tire trouble is easily the most common bike-related issue riders face. First and foremost, a decent tire pressure gauge is essential (to confirm your tire is actually loosing pressure, if not already flat). From there, there are a number of tire repair kits on the market from patches to plugs and different sizes of CO2 cartridges. Find one you feel comfortable with, and be sure you study up and learn to use it before you ride.
3.Flashlight: May seem simple, but as soon as the sun goes down, there isn’t too much light to be found on the side of the road. A small, LED light should be enough to allow you to see what you’re fixing or the map you’re trying to follow.
4.Fuses, Bulbs and Bolts: Fuses and bulbs burnout, nuts and bolts rattle off, it happens. Your best bet is to make sure you have some spares just in case you need to replace them. For bolts, try and figure out the most common size bolts on your bike and sizes of those pesky ones that always wiggle loose, and have a few ready to go.
5.Zip Ties, Duct Tape, and Pocket Knife: These are the MacGyver items that always seem to be of importance and fix things when all else fails. If we need to tell you why zip ties, duct tape and a pocket knife are useful, then you probably shouldn’t be riding motorcycles.
6.Visor Cleaner and a Microfiber Cloth: This item isn’t a repair item, but boy is it useful when you do stop for a quick break along your ride. Much like your car windshield, you never realize how much better you can see once you squeegee off those bug guts. Visor cleaner typically comes in a small spray bottle (to soften up those clingers) and should be accompanied by a microfiber cloth that is safe for your visor.
You’re probably not surprised by any of these items included on our list, but they all help get the job done. Ideally you’d want to find a small bag or case that you can fit all of these tools and supplies in for easy transportation. A few different ways we like to store our emergency kits are either under our seats, in a backpack/bag or simply in our jacket if we have big enough pockets. Like we said, the goal is to take only the essential items for every day riding. For longer rides or extra peace of mind, you can always carry more cargo as you see fit. Hope this is a good starting point for you guys, and hope you’ll never have to use any of it at all!