We all know there's nothing like open air on the open road, but bad things happen to good bikes. When your motorcycle encounters mechanical or other troubles that prevent you from riding, having some good bike tools on hand can make all the difference between being stranded or continuing to eat up mile after gorgeous mile.
On a motorcycle, you don't have the advantage of a car's trunk to store a slew of tools. You might be lucky enough to have saddle bags or hard cases, or maybe you only have a backpack with you. Whatever the case, if you're planning to ride for any distance greater than your daily commute or a trip to the store, be prepared.
So what's a rider to do if his tools and storage look like crap? Ponder no more, we've assembled an illustrious group of portable tools and gear to keep you riding in style.
Riding longer distances without tools is tantamount to doing a marathon without energy bars. You really think you'll be able to go on forever? Keep a good tool kit with you, whether you stow it in your saddle bags or your backpack. The Roadtech M3 is geared toward cruiser riders, but it's appropriate for other types of motorcycles as well. There's plenty in the compact carrying pouch such as wrenches, ratchets, sockets, locking pliers, a tire-pressure gauge and more.
Just please don't leave it at home, where it'll do no good when you're cursing by the roadside. Oh, and these are guaranteed for life, so they might just outlast you.
CruzTools retails this bag complete for $85.
Your fancy tool set needs a good home. Ditch the stock tool roll and dock your tools in a custom crafted leather tool roll like the one from Duke & Sons. Hand made with two kinds of thick vintage style leather and tough bronze rivets, this tool roll can handle all the basics. It even comes with leather straps to mount directly onto your bike. And just look at how good it looks... it actually makes you want to fix your bike. Now that's a feat in and of itself.
Each is handmade and retails on Esty for $138.57.
This just might be the coolest stash tube we've seen, and we'll admit it is more for show than security. Made with a polycarbonate tube, CNC lathe-turned alloy end caps, and steel hardware, it's designed to hold anything from documents to small tools. Just pop your stash into the tube, screw on the end cap and mount it to your license plate. At the very least, you'll always know where to find that spoke wrench.
Biltwell retails this net little tube for $29.95
When you have to work on your bike, at night, in the wet...you kind of just want to weep a little. In these kind of situations, you will need a good headlamp because holding a flashlight in your teeth is for the birds. The Welltop 1800 rechargeable LED headlamps is just what might save you time and frustration, while its copper housing looks downright cool.
The Welltop is waterproof, has 3 brightness modes and can be adjusted 90 degrees. It's also incredibly light, so it won't bog you down when you ride. Add this to your inventory and you'll be glad you won't have to use your Zippo lighter to illuminate the repair site.
It sells for $21.
Sometimes a good repair requires a solid pounding when your fist doesn't do the job. Make sure to bring along an Estwing hammer: There's nothing more classic to put things back into place. The hickory handle feels great in the hand and can take a beating, while the 16 oz head can deliver the goods with authority. Did we mention it also doubles as a bike theft deterrent?
All yours for $19
Think back on how many times you needed a good blade on the road. Performing tasks like taking the corrosion off a spark plug, to slicing rope to tie loose items down call for a good knife. But why settle for some bargain bin utility knife? Carry this gorgeous Kaufmann Mercantile olive wood folding knife. The four inch blade is big enough for most tasks, yet nimble enough to do the finer things. The 440 stainless steel blade resists corrosion and the olive wood handle, well, just looks bitchin'.
The foldable blade is priced at $89, and worth every cent