If you venture far from home on your motorcycle, always carry an emergency tool kit. There's no reason to get stranded in the middle of nowhere when all you need to do is change a fuse or tighten a hose clamp. Let's take a look at the most useful tools to pack a portable kit.
Basic hand tools — wrenches, screwdrivers and pliers — are essential. The specific ones you need depend on your bike. You want to be covered for anything likely to go wrong, but you don't want to waste valuable space on tools that don't fit your bike's parts. If you can, get duplicates of the tools you use at home most often, but keep an eye out for multipurpose tools that can save space.
Other tools you'll be glad you packed:
- Spare fuses and lightbulbs. There's no sense in being forced to ride in the dark because of a blown lightbulb, when it can be easily replaced in a few minutes.
- A small flashlight for working in low light (such as when you're replacing the aforementioned lightbulb).
- Zip ties, duct tape and electrical tape. They are useful for holding hoses and cables out of the way as you work. Plus, they're cheap and don't take up much space.
- A utility knife or Swiss army knife to cut tape or zip ties.
- A tire repair kit.
- Battery cables. Even if you don't need them, you're bound to meet someone who does. You'll be glad to have them, even if they take up a lot of space.
To pack everything up, look for a compact, durable tool roll designed to be strapped to your bike. But before packing everything away, make sure you know how to use all the tools and make common repairs. Get familiar with the repair procedures in your owner's manual. And practice good maintenance habits at home — to make your roadside repairs few and far between.