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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In a long life of owning numerous pickup trucks and automobiles -- all of which save two well-used when bought -- I have learned to take the precaution of always having onboard a basic tool kit and a supply of most-likely-to-be-needed spare parts when making long trips. The lesson was learned the hard way, but once learned this precaution has allowed me to make a number of emergency roadside repairs and continue on my way with minimal hassle. It wouldn't be stretching the truth to say a couple of these situations would have even been potentially life-threatening had I not been equipped, as Foghorn Leghorn used to say, for "just such a situation".

In thinking ahead for the planned 4000 mile-plus tour this coming summer on my '08 Suzuki Boulevard C50 I have already put together a versatile tool kit. Now comes acquisition of the most-likely-to-be-needed spare parts. Number One , already purchased, is a good-condition salvaged clutch cable. My question to the Forum -- what other items would be wise to pack along?

Now, I don't mean stuff like a spare driveshaft or front forks, or things that could go without saying like a bit of spare oil and coolant, but things for which I could reasonably anticipate a potential need, that I could carry along in a practical fashion, and that could be replaced in a Walmart parking lot or a gravel pull-off next to some lonely 2-lane prairie highway. Suggestions?
 

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I know of people who carry along extra differentials, alternators and oil. I wonder why? Asian bike typically don't break. These items fail maybe once in 150,000 miles and why carry oil of all things as oil is oil and can be purchased anywhere.

I carry a basic tool kit and the most important of all items - duct tape and a knife. I just sold my 2001 goldwing which had 161k miles on the clock yet it never needed any on the road repair and the toolkit had a 1/2" layer of dirt covering it. I guess my biggest maintenance chore has been cleaning the tool kit. We have been doing 4-7k summer trips for 40 years and typically repairs have been trailer wires that have been damaged by road kill or a leaky tire which a plug fixes fast and easy.

A tire plug kit is good, one of those multi tool pliers, duct tape, small vom and zip ties is about it. The biggest plus today is the cell phone as one can always call for help if things are dire.
 

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I'm of the same mindset,all I carry is tire plugs and compressor, a little bit of duct tape, cable ties, channel locks and a couple of allen wrenches, a rag and bike cleaning spray. I can tighten up anything loose or loosen up anything tight with those tools to take care of nuisance problems, anything more serious will probably require parts and the cell phone comes into play. I used to keep a small can of WD40 around, it has it's uses but I realized I can always get a drop of engine oil on the dipstick and that can lube just about anything too so i stopped carrying the WD40.
 

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I guess the WD40 would be hand for lighting camp fires but pretty destructive otherwise. It's amazing how much better bikes are now vs the 1970's when a big trip was 20 miles and probably 4 repairs along the way.
Even a failed alternator on a Honda GL1800 is a 30 minute job in a motel parking lot and a one in a million chance of it going bad.
 

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Here's what I'm bringing with me on my Gambler 500 rally next month. The vehicle for the trip will be a Honda Elite 150D and much of the 500 miles (it's supposed to be 500 miles, but if you do every checkpoint it can be like 800 or 900 miles) will be offroad.

I'm going to carry with me:

- Extra fuel (a 5 gal jerry can).
- Basic tools (screwdriver, adjustable wrench, pliers that can strip/cut wires, and some metric sockets).
- Fix-a-flat.
- Tent.
- Alcohol (for the offroad parks we'll be camping at that allow it).
- Duct tape.
- Zip ties.
- Starting fluid.
- Spare drive belt (maybe).
 

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That's a lot of fuel to be carrying and sloshing around behind you. Have you done a trial run with that much? Bumps might prove disastrous.
 

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That's what I was thinking, maybe a gallon in one of those specifically designed carriers.
 

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I have! I don't feel it back there and it's in one of those sealed containers. Of course, getting into a crash can get kinda flame-y so I may want to downsize just from a safety perspective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tire plugs are a great idea -- for tubeless tires. Mine are spoked wheels, and tube-filled Michelin Commander IIs. Perhaps tire tools and a spare tube?

Duct tape, etc. -- those are in the "don't even need to mention" category. I mean, I hardly leave the house without a roll of duct tape! :grin: And, yeah, oil can be had anywhere -- except way out in mid-nowhere, and in next-to-nowhere motorcycle oil may not be on the convenience store shelf. A spare quart is no big burden.
 

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Spare bike fuses take up no space. I also carry a lithium portable power pack/jump starter that's a little larger than a pack of cigarettes that also has a built-in flashlight and can charge my phone several times, a tire repair kit and Co2 inflation kit, zip ties and small tool kit. On long trips I also carry two portable fuel bottles that will get me an additional 35 to 45 miles. Most of these items take up very little space.



 

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I've seen some good suggestions. Here are a few of mine:

Dump the factory "tools" that came in the kit and replaced them with quality tools that will actually work. (Short, easy to pack open end wrenches, maybe a full size 10mm open/box end too).
Also take some 1/4" drive sockets, ratchet and extensions. A 1/4" to 3/8" adapter along with a few larger 3/8" sockets.
None of the above will take up much space.
A spare tube is a good idea.
A brake lever, clutch lever and maybe even a shift lever. A little fall could take one of those out.
And last but not least... A credit card. :wink2:
 

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I've seen some good suggestions. Here are a few of mine:

Dump the factory "tools" that came in the kit and replaced them with quality tools that will actually work. (Short, easy to pack open end wrenches, maybe a full size 10mm open/box end too).
Also take some 1/4" drive sockets, ratchet and extensions. A 1/4" to 3/8" adapter along with a few larger 3/8" sockets.
None of the above will take up much space.
A spare tube is a good idea.
A brake lever, clutch lever and maybe even a shift lever. A little fall could take one of those out.
And last but not least... A credit card. :wink2:
I carried a clutch lever for years. Never used it. But one day on what looked like a perfectly level parking lot, I was about 30 feet from the bike still walking away when I heard something fall. Yep, bike was down on its side. Got it back up and that's when I noticed the clutch lever busted. I was beginning to think I'd never use it but so glad I had that spare laying in the bottom of the saddlebag.
 

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Last year my electric fuel pump started having fits on me. I limped it back from New Mexico to Oklahoma before I called the wife to hitch the trailer to my truck and come get me. After getting home, I learned my bike will run without a fuel pump, it will gravity feed down to about a half tank. So now I carry a couple feet of fuel line in my left saddle bag.
 
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