It’s always a trade-off with what you carry on the bike to get yourself out of trouble. I know riders who take spares of everything and I know others who take nothing at all in the hope (or naively) that nothing goes wrong.
I’m somewhere in the middle. The reality is that if something major happens I’ll be sitting on the side of the road waiting for a lift. But with minimal tools I can do (and have) the basics. So here’s what I take?
My toolkit – Along with the bikes standard tool kit, over the years I’ve been adding and subtracting things to find the right balance of what to take.
Leatherman – a high quality multi-tool is worth it’s weight in gold and is a must have on a trip. The essentials are good pliers and knives with a few other assorted tools.
Motion Pro tool kit – This is a great little metric tool kit made by Motion Pro and contains a wide array of tools that cover the majority of the tools you need including a 3/8 driver so you can add your own sockets. For those bikes with torx screws I think they also have torx bits available.
The toolkit shown below includes a 13mm socket and a 3mm and 4mm hex bit which I have added to the basic kit.
Tyre plug kit – for anyone who rides out of town this should be an essential part of your kit and you should know how to use it. These come in a variety of forms but essentially they all do the same thing – plug the hole so air doesn’t come out.
If you’ve not used one before try it on an old tyre (or even get an old tyre from the shop to practice on) so you become familiar with using it. Much better than having to learn on the side of the road, at night time, while it’s raining.
My kit originally came with CO2 cannisters. While these offer fast inflation you generally need a few cannisters to do the trick. And they are one time use so if you need more air and you’ve run out of cannisters you’re stuck. So I have now supplemented my kit with a mini pump.
Tyre pump – I have just purchased a little Tomcat pump which seems like a good little pump. While I haven’t tried it out in anger I did let down one of my tyres to try it and it seemed to work well. Rather than jumper leads to the battery I have made an adapter to plug the pump into my heated gear power lead.
It would be easier to use the pump with 90 degree valves on the wheels.
Other Assorted stuff – No toolkit is complete without some race tape and cable ties! I also include some additional fuses, a fuel filter (this is a slightly used one) for when you get a tank of contaminated fuel, and a couple of fine screw drivers.
I also have a 12v adapter that can be used for the tyre pump or for other applications that use a 12 volt plug.
And finally the last two things that I carry:
- my Sattellite Personal Tracker (SPoT) as I am often riding outside phone reception – this allows me to signal for help if I get stuck or if it all goes to custard (bad) I can send a distress call which notifies the authorities.
- my auto club membership card to come to my rescue and pick me up.
So that’s my list.