Why should you have a basic motorcycle toolkit with you every time you’re ready to ride? Well, without turning this into an Alfred Hitchcock mystery, let’s just say it’s better to avoid the small problems than deal with the big ones.
What specific tools should you be carrying with yourself? We’ll get to that in just a moment.
As long as your bike is generally well-maintained, as opposed to a hunk of junk on its last legs, the tools mentioned below will live up to the task in most situations.
Now, one problem you might come across is finding enough room on your bike to carry these essentials. Modern bikes generally have limited room for a toolkit, which is usually found right under your seat. If you find yourself out of luck and stranded, there’s a good chance those standard toolkits may not prove to be sufficient.
Get an aftermarket toolkit or tool roll that can be strapped to your bike. Let’s cover the essentials now, shall we?
1. Allen Wrench
Allen wrenches are fairly easy to find and come cheap. They’re used for removing and tightening fasteners on your bike. Just make sure the one you’re getting works the parts on your motorbike. The Metric-type wrenches are the one you’re looking for.
2. Adjustable Wrench
Generally, the smaller it is, the better, though it needs to work with the fasteners on your bike. This is where your knowhow comes into play; know your bike as certain bolts are only accessible through sockets. Carry the right sizes and get a socket wrench too with an extender. Those can be lifesavers when you least expect it.
3. Flat-head Screwdriver
Since you need to access tight spots, the screwdriver should be pocket-sized and not too bulky. A magnet on one end makes it more useful as it helps you get a fix on screws or fasteners you accidently drop in tight places.
4. Combo Screwdriver
Always good to have this in your kit; you can replace it with the flat-head one if you wish. This comes with a “Philips crosshead” screwdriver as well, serving plenty of good uses with its attachments.
If your bike has parts that need to be worked in a fairly restricted space, a good pair of pliers can save the day. A good quality pair will give you adequate grip and help tighten, straighten and hold parts as well as fasteners.
A pocket Leatherman or Swiss Army knife are perfect in this case – there are plenty of blades along with small tools which are easy to store on your bike.
Hoses and/or lines can become somewhat brittle as your bike is subjected to daily wear and tear. You may need to cut off the end of a hose at some point, and clamp it on again to make sure it fits snugly.
7. Battery Cables
Dealing with a flat battery can leave a pretty flat taste in your mouth. Get lightweight cables that are easy to roll up tightly before being stashed away in your kit.
The cables will help you jump start your bike not just from another bike but also a car battery; just don’t start the car as the battery already has a sufficient charge to start your bike.
8. Portable Flashlight
There’s no telling when you might find yourself in a fix at night. Keep a fresh pair of AAA batteries and use lithium ones; they last far longer than regular ones and work fine in cold climate as well.
9. Flat Tire Kit
Whether it’s a pump, CO2, mushrooms or rope plugs you prefer, a flat tire is among the top five most common things that can go wrong with anything on wheels. Have the right kit, and this is going to be easy as cake to fix.
10. Extra Bulbs and Fuses
It’s always good to have a spare supply, according to your bike’s specs. They’re pretty inexpensive to acquire and usually come in a case that keeps them huddled together, while offering enough protection from everyday “accidental misuse”.
11. Other Stuff to Consider
The more time you spend riding that beauty of yours, the more tools like zip ties or a small duct tape roll will prove useful. The next thing to do is get an annual AAA motorcycle membership or at least, keep a reliable towing company’s number within reach.