As motorcyclists, it’s ingrained in our very nature to be prepared and ready for whatever comes our way. You could certainly say that riding a motorcycle is an adventure in and of itself, and that overcoming challenges along the way is all part of the fun. That being said, those challenges can vary in difficulty and severity. While not everything can be fixed on the side of the road, a lot more can than initially meets the eye—especially if you come prepared. Here are a few tips and hacks you can follow to stay prepared no matter what.
Save space by wrapping some tape around a wrench
Most motorcycles come with a built-in tool kit stored underneath the seat. While these tools consist of essentials for most emergency repairs, a lot of them don’t come with an essential that can get you out of trouble: electrical tape. Electrical tape can fix lots of potential issues on your bike, especially those small things that easily get undone due to rough roads and constant vibrations. This is especially useful for electrical components such as loose wires, switches, and sockets that have come off their mounting points. Electrical tape can also secure things like your side mirrors, turn signals, and other accessories in the event they break due to a drop or crash.
Carry some spare CO2 canisters
Getting a flat tire in the middle of nowhere is the perfect recipe for a bad day. While you could pump away for a few hours with a portable hand pump, investing in CO2 canisters, particularly those meant for bicycles, is an extremely good idea. While a couple of canisters may not be enough to fully inflate your tire, they’ll certainly go a long way in getting you close to road-ready. Just make sure you have either a bottle of sealant or a tire repair kit with you handy at all times. Also, double check to make sure that the CO2 canister is compatible with your motorcycle’s tire valve.
Spare bolts and nuts are a must
It isn’t uncommon for bolts and nuts to come undone when you’re out for a ride. In fact, one of our colleagues recently encountered this problem, and let’s just say it wasn’t any fun. Anything and everything on your bike can potentially come loose due to vibrations, uneven road surfaces, and let’s face it, neglect. That said, make sure to take into account the most vital fasteners on your bike—your shift and brake levers, engine supports, exhaust brackets, and fairing bolts, and make sure to keep a stash of spare nuts and bolts in a small plastic bag inside your backpack or under your seat at all times. It also helps to check your bolts regularly, and apply some blue thread locker, too.
Duct tape is your best friend
Apart from electrical tape to secure the smaller issues on your bike, duct tape can potentially offer a temporary fix for a host of other more serious issues. For instance, if you snap your brake or clutch lever from a drop, simply duct tape a spanner onto the stump, and you’ll be on your way. If your fairings crack or you lose a fastener, you can use duct tape to safely and securely keep things in place til you get home.
Zip ties, too
Just like duct tape, zip ties can also address a whole host of issues while you’re on the go. It’s helpful to keep a few zip ties in your tool kit or backpack at all times, as they’re very useful even if you don’t need to make any repairs. Let’s say you’re out for a ride and suddenly realize you need to buy something. You can zip tie a plastic bag or eco bag onto your bike’s subframe, or onto one of your belt loops as a quick fix. Need a place to hang a spare helmet? Tie a large zip tie onto your passenger grab handle and buckle your helmet onto it. Of course, zip ties are very useful in securing stuff like wires, loose bodywork, and other accessories, too.