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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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  #1  
Old 14 Dec 2004
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tools and spares

Other than your standard tool kits and leatherman (we all love them), what extra tools have people found useful to take on a long trip? And what spares?

I started with a standard BMW kit, some bulbs and fuses. My best addition being a 12V air compressor - heavy but worth it. I added tyre levers along the way though thankfully never needed them.

Preparing for a new trip, and now being more comfortable doing my own work on the bike - I'm thinking about a torque wrench, there are a number of standard bolts on the bike as well that the standard kit doesn't cover.

I think a few oil filters would also have saved me some money.

How do others balance tools/spares against their size and weight? Any anyone have any good tool storage soultions?

Many thanks

Richard

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Old 15 Dec 2004
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Would take a cleanable oil-filter next time. At 6-12 times the price of disposable ones it would have saved a wee bit of money. More importantly, filters were sometimes a hassle to track down, and the spares tended to get battered and dirty before use.

I found two ways of choosing tools:
1) Before you leave, do the work you could reasonably expect to do on the bike while on the road, and take the tools you've used.
2) Have your tools stolen while on the road. By then you know what you really need

Went with the tool-tube bolted to the bashplate myself myself, ABS plastic plumbing pipe, 16 inches x 3 inch diametre. Works very well, but don't open it when people are watching unless you're moving on (see 2 above...) Stock tool kits are generally poor quality but very handy.

Vendors offer bolt & screw 'upgrade kits' - put them on and keep the originals as handy spares.

James

[This message has been edited by JamesCo (edited 15 December 2004).]
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Old 15 Dec 2004
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Service the bike before you go etc.

Make life a little by converting the assortment of fastener types found on modern bikes to one sort - daft Torx bolts on BMW oilheads! I prefer Allen bolts myself. Added benefit is that you can replace them with stainless rather than the cheesy monkey metal that some are made of these days. Don't replace caliper & suspension bolts with stainless unless it's A4 grade or better, it's hard but brittle & can snap under load.

As said earlier, make a lists of the tools used when servicing the bike & of the torque settings against each operation.

A lot of what you take is determined by your mechanical skills - if you struggle to replace a brake lever, no point in taking tools to adjust the valve clearances. Practice before you go to gain familiarity, especailly with repairing punctures etc.

If not planning on carrying a manual, then a (colour?) copy of the bikes wiring diagram is a great idea, along with the above mentioned tool & torque lists, it takes up no space - keep in a waterproof pouch along with other vital docs.

For me, insulating tape, stainless lockwire, cable ties (ziplocks), spare fasteners & plastic film containers filled with grease etc. Bulbs, spare cables & levers also handy.

I've drawn up a list that I refer to before each trip & take from it what I need according to the bike I'm using, where I'm going & the duration (time & mileage) - let me know if you want a copy e-mailed to you?
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