Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 14 Dec 2004
richardb's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: guildford, surrey, UK
Posts: 139
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


Reply With Quote
Old 15 Dec 2004
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Taupo, New Zealand
Posts: 194
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.


[This message has been edited by JamesCo (edited 15 December 2004).]
James Courtier
Reply With Quote
Old 15 Dec 2004
Steve Pickford's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Oxford, UK
Posts: 1,025
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?
My photos: www.possu.smugmug.com
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 12:38.