Every motorcyclist needs a good set of basic tools to keep with them on their motorcycle. Some bikes have designated compartments that will allow you to store a small toolkit in various places around the motorcycle. Most sport bikes have a small storage space underneath the seat. Large cruisers and touring bikes have room for saddlebags.
Some bikes have small compartments on both sides of the bike where the battery is concealed underneath the seat as well. And if your particular bike doesn’t have any of those options available, you can always purchase a small toolkit bag and Velcro it to the forks so that it sits there while you ride.
It is important to have some basic tools that will allow you to work on your bike in the event you have to fix something while on the road. We’ve all gone on a long ride where we didn’t like how loose something felt, and wish we had a screwdriver or wrench to tighten it up just a bit. Whether it’s a minor fix to change a mirror or a serious fix in having to fix something as serious as a flat tire or loose chain, it is extremely important to have a basic set of tools to hold you over.
Some of the tools we recommend are some socket wrenches with extensions, an adjustable wrench, combo screwdriver, allen/hex bit sockets, pocketknife, a pair of pliers, a small flashlight, a tiny tire repair kit, a few zip ties and a small roll of duct tape.
Packing some socket wrenches with extensions will allow you to make some quick changes with ease. The socket wrench is much easier to use than traditional wrenches where you have to crank repeatedly. Both socket wrenches and adjustable wrenches will allow you to tighten and loosen fasteners on your bike. Make sure that the wrenches you keep within your kit will work properly with your bike as sizes vary.
You want to pick a set of socket wrenches and an adjustable wrench that will let you fix most, if not all the bolts on your bike. If possible, try to find a large adjustable wrench, and a smaller one, so that you can select the size that will fit in the most appropriate areas. The last thing you want to do is get a large wrench, and then realize that it doesn’t fit in the innards of the bike you’re trying to reach.
The combo screwdriver within your toolkit will allow you to fit into those tight areas of the bike where other tools simply can’t go. A few of the simple parts of your bike like the lighting, cable adjusters, blinkers, etc. will feature screws. If you can purchase a screwdriver that has a magnet on it, it’ll help finding that dropped screw that slips into those hard to reach places. A combo screwdriver will come with several different attachments so that you can pick and choose which head is appropriate for the problem you’re looking to fix.
A multipurpose pocket knife
A multipurpose pocket knife will allow you to pack many tools into one compact location that doesn’t take up too much space. It’s quite a shame that most tools don’t come in a compact version like pocketknives do. Small swiss army pocket knives or Leatherman will allow you to have a multitude of tools that can help cut lines or hoses at the flick of a wrist. If your pocket knife or leatherman has some of the tools we mention on the list, it might help alleviate some of the other tool concerns on the list as well.
A pair of pliers
A pair of pliers will add another tool to your kit that will help solve some of the hard to reach areas you might face. They will help you get a good grip, tighten, straighten, and hold parts without forcing the burden to fall on your hands. A good pair of pliers will ensure that the part you’re working on won’t slip from your grasp and make the problem worse.
A Small Flashlight
Having a small flashlight can help shed some light on the areas of the bike that are hard to see. In addition, it’ll provide the extra lighting necessary when having to make a last-minute repair late at night with no visible light to help guide the way. Try to find a small flashlight that will be reliable for a long time. Lithium Batteries have a shelf life of roughly ten years, and also work in cold weather. Selecting a good brand of batteries for your flashlight could just help save you in the middle of the night.
A Small Tire Repair Kit
Storing a small tire repair kit will help you repair a flat tire in no time. Tire repair kits are made to just get you from the area you got a flat, to a shop to get a new tire. There are various forms of tire repair kits out on the market. Whether it is plugs, CO2, a can of fix-a-flat, or mushrooms, it’s important to pick a repair kit that does the job, and will get you back on the road in no time. Flat tires are one of the biggest problems that motorcyclists will face on long journeys, and it is important to be able to handle one when they arrive.
Packing a few zip ties and a roll of duct tape will allow you to fix most of the problems that may arise. Whether a cable gets loose, something falls off and you need to secure it with that little extra support, zip ties and duct tape will pretty much handle almost anything. Zip ties and a roll of duct tape will save you time and help get you back on the road in no time at all, not to mention they are both easy to store and lightweight.
Keeping a basic tool kit on your motorcycle is a necessity, and will help you make those basic repairs to keep you on the road much safer, and longer.