Tools are essential in any motorcycle.
While modern motorcycles are as reliable as the atomic clock, that doesn’t discount emergencies.
It’s always best to be prepared for the worst.
Roadside motorcycle repairs are almost extinct in these times as motorcycles become ever more reliable. However, that doesn’t rule out breakdowns due to say, minor accidents (touch wood!), such as experienced by this writer during the recent GIVI Rimba Raid Mat Daling.
Time to break out the tools kit.
This is no time to discover that either you’ve got no tools or crappy and/or inadequate ones that came with your bike (depending on the manufacturer).
Here are Ten Must Have Tools. You could choose to store them under your bike’s seat or in the tool box, but best to we ride while adhering to the Scouts’ principle of being ready.
A multi-tool is always handy as it combines many tools into one compact package. You’d usually find a knife, a pair of pliers, a pair of screwdrivers with different heads. Do get yourself a sturdy set such as those from Victorinox (the ever-popular Swiss Army knife), Gerber or Leatherman.
The caveat of a multi-tool is that it only contains basic tools, leaving out the wrench, among others.
The screwdrivers included with multi-tools are too short, thereby lacking the torque to turn stubborn screws, besides being unable to reach difficult places. You ought to include a pair of 15cm (6”) long Phillips and straight-edged screwdrivers under the seat. Also, best that they have magnetic tips to help you in retrieving metal objects.
You may already have a multi-tool, but it’s still best to have a dedicated pair of pliers under the seat, in case you forget the multi-tool. We prefer the needle-nose (long nose) variety as it could fit into tight spaces. Do choose the pair with a sharp and strong cutter.
4. Allen/Hex Keys
Most bikes use both normal screws in combination with allen or hex (usually called “flower” locally) screws. Yes, you can find an entire set contained in a flip-out style holder, but we recommend that you obtain ones with long handles for the necessary torque. Additionally, find those with ball-ends as they slot in easier at acute angles. You can bring those corresponding to the sizes of the screws on your bike and leave the rest at home.
5. Adjustable wrench (spanner)
Honestly, we abhor the adjustable wrench as it never fits a bolt or nut exactly, leading to rounded bolts and nuts. Yet, it’s the only tool you could turn to when you don’t have enough wrenches or sockets. A locking type is recommended as it frees your hands to work on other things.
6. Wrenches (Spanners)
How could anyone leave these out? You don’t have to buy from the smallest to the largest, instead have those sizes on your bike. Please don’t be cheap when you shop for wrenches (or any tool for that matter) as low-quality ones with have you crying over rounded bolts and nuts.
7. Puncture repair kit
Every motorist, motorcyclists included, should learn how to fix a flat tyre and carry a set of puncture repair kit. Sure, you could call for assistance but what if you had a flat in some deserted location without telephone service. At night. We found this Oxford tyre repair kit in Hodaka Motoworld.
You could argue that any mobile phone has a torchlight function. Very true. But you need one hand to hold on to it or place it on somewhere secure. A headlamp is best. We found compact, bright, weatherproof and long-running LED ones from Energizer here in Malaysia.
9. Cable ties
No tool pouch or toolbox is complete without cable ties. You could repair just about anything with them, such a dropped number plate, loose bodywork, etc.
10. Duct Tape
No ducks were harmed in making duck tapes. Hahaha. Sorry, just a little joke. Duct tapes are excellent for temporarily repairing leaks for example a hose (hence the name “duct”) or patching up small leaks.