Owning a motorcycle entails a commitment to maintaining a human-machine relationship. You don’t need to be a professional mechanic to properly care for your bike. So, be prepared with the right repair tools and your bike’s service manual to unleash your inner mechanic in an emergency!
Puncture & Tyre Repair Kits
Modern high-performance adventure motorcycle tyres are designed to be more puncture resistant than ever before. However, almost every rider will experience a drive-ending puncture at some point. When this happens, a good tyre repair kit is a better option than simply replacing the deflated rubber with a spare or attempting to run on tubeless adventure motorcycle tyres. Some kits even make it simple to permanently repair the tyre, eliminating the need for replacements.
Almost all tubeless kits work on the same principle: after removing whatever caused the puncture, ream out the hole, insert a plug to fill the hole, reinflate the tyre, and you’re good to go. You should also be aware that some kits include the means to re-inflate your tyre, a small canister of gas, for example, but if they don’t, you’ll need help or a mini compressor, which, if you’re an off-roader mid-way through a trip, you might already have with you.
Tyre Pressure Gauge
The tyre gauge could be the most crucial tool in your motorcycle maintenance kit. Tyre inflation is critical to your motorcycle’s safety and performance. The two small contact patches you ride on provide your connection to the road. All of the acceleration, braking, and leaning forces are handled by these palm-sized sections of the tyre tread.
Tyre pressure gauges come in various styles, from simple pencil gauges to precision analogue or professional digital gauges. In the end, more precision is preferable.
All in all, the best tyre pressure gauge is one that is simple to use and can be checked before each ride. Consequently, your adventure motorcycle tyres will have a longer service life, which will offset the initial investment cost. Furthermore, your security is priceless!
Besides being one of the most basic car tools, a real motorcycle rider should also have a good pair of screwdrivers. To avoid stripping the screws, you’re attempting to loosen, get them in all different sizes. Magnetic tips on high-quality screwdrivers prevent screws from falling into holes. Others have interchangeable tips and are therefore more portable. This type also allows you to use hex-head tips, commonly found on Japanese motorcycles.
A wrench set is another essential accessory for your motorcycle. It’s used to loosen and tighten most of the nuts and bolts on your motorbike. While a ratchet wrench is useful, you’d be surprised how some fasteners are placed between tight spots where a ratchet wouldn’t fit. Thus, instead of second-guessing which tool to use, a set of combined open-ended and ratchet-ended wrenches would save you a lot of time. Keep a set of larger, more durable wrenches in your garage and a lighter, smaller set to take on the road. To save some money, determine whether your motorcycle uses metric or standard fasteners and purchase the appropriate set and sizes for your motorcycle.
Ratchet, Socket Set & a Breaker Bar
Socket wrenches are also one of the most commonly used tools for motorcycle or vehicle maintenance. It’s used to tighten or loosen sockets that a standard wrench set can’t reach. Sizes range from 4mm to 20mm in most socket wrench sets. You’re unlikely to use every single one of them, but for the larger sizes that you will, such as removing your rear wheel, buy them individually rather than as a set to save money.
A breaker bar is another essential piece of equipment that many repair kits include. Increasing your leverage and getting that tight nut out of its threads, the breaker bar is used to loosen up nuts and bolts that are difficult to crack open.
Hex heads are now widely used on modern motorcycles for various screws throughout the bike. They come in the form of L-shaped hex key sets or heads that you can attach to your ratchets to provide more leverage and torque for those bigger and tighter screws.
You’ll have to put every nut and bolt back together for every fastener you remove and disassemble. Torque wrenches are used to tighten or loosen fasteners without guessing how tight they should be twisted. It’s ideal for tightening rear axle nuts, front axle and pinch bolts, brake calliper bolts, engine and clutch cover bolts, and a variety of other things. Second-guessing the tightening torque of these bolts will almost always result in them rattling off if they’re too loose or stripping if they’re too tight. You don’t want to be in any of those situations, in any case.
Oil Catch Pan
An oil catch pan should fit between the drain plug and the filter on the motorcycle. To remove the drain plug or filter, you should be able to fit your gloved hand between the motorcycle and the oil catch pan. The capacity of the catch pan should be greater than the oil capacity of your motorcycle.
Nowadays, few motorcycles, especially newer ones, come with centre stands. Even so, you’d have to work on your motorcycle standing up the majority of the time. In the absence of a centre stand, using a properly mounted motorcycle stand to hold your bike upright allows you to easily access both sides of the bike rather than relying on a kickstand.
A chock-style stand keeps the bike upright with the front wheel on the ground, ideal for street bikes but prevents wheel removal. Paddock stands to allow you to lubricate your chain and remove the wheels by holding the bike up by the swingarm and forks.