The neighbourhood repair shop or OE service center is a blessing in cities, as much as nobody likes bidding time at the service center while his or her bike’s getting repaired or serviced. But touring the countryside is another story altogether, because you may not always find a mechanic at the time of need. Or the next village may be a good distance from where trouble strikes.
When on highways and in the mountains, not all service centers are trustworthy and not all mechanics are good. Therefore sometimes relying on oneself is all one can do, and hence it’s important to learn the basic mechanics of a motorcycle. It’s no rocket science! Even the most basic knowledge of how a motorcycle works and how the circuit connects is good enough for a rider to be able to fix his bike. You may not be able to fix all issues and may still need expert advice, but there are a few tools to always keep at hand that might just save the day. We at team HNP have curated a list of basic motorcycle tools and essentials to help you be your own mechanic-
1. Tyre pressure gauge and tyre inflator - With most motorcycles now coming with tubeless tyres, just having the basic tools for tyre care can save one a lot of trouble when the inevitable puncture happens.
2. Multi-purpose tool kit – A compact tool kit is something a rider should carry at all times, as you never know when it could come handy.
The Oxford tool kit Pro is a comprehensive 27-piece motorcycle tool kit with essentials like an adjustable mini spanner, 10-piece screwdriver set, nose pliers, wire cutters, sockets, cable ties. On long tours, this is an absolute must-have.
3. Battery cables: A pair of battery cables rolled up and stashed in your bag can be a saving grace if you end up with a flat battery. Simply connect them to another motorcycle’s battery or to a car and that should give you enough juice to start your vehicle.
4. Spares (fuses, bulbs, spark plug, accelerator and clutch cables/levers): Electrical components can fuse at any time during a ride. Cables can and do snap at any moment. And levers are usually the first to break or bend due to a fall. Spares barely take any space owing to their small size, hence must be carried along. Riding without any of these in working condition is unsafe and unwise, and should be avoided at all cost.
5. Duct Tape and Zip ties: On the road, not every broken part can be replaced. At times it’s wise to use some trustworthy duct tape and zip ties to hold things in place till they can be taken care of.
6. Bungee cords: Bungee cords are a great tool to have while riding with luggage and Oxford TUV/GS Bungee Xtra serve the purpose really well.
Attach these to secure mounting points, such as dedicated luggage hooks, solid footrest brackets or part of the frame.
A couple of other essentials a rider must carry on long tours – i. Pocketknife-: this can work as a tool kit while fixing the bike and is handy otherwise too, ii. Headlamp / torch - as the sun goes down, making fixes can get even tougher. The last thing you want to do is to drain your phone battery by using the inbuilt flash for light. That’s when the headlamp/torch comes handy.
Most of the above essentials are extremely versatile and can be used for multiple purposes while touring. So next time you face a minor problem with your bike, just roll up those sleeves and get your hands all greasy and dirty!