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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.
Photo by Michael Jordan, enjoying a meal at sunset, Zangskar Valley, India

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Michael Jordan
enjoying a meal at sunset,
Zangskar Valley, India



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  #1  
Old 26 Aug 2006
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Tools to Take

This may be a bit of a novice question, but what do people tend to take in terms of tools? I'm planning an Africa trip and I would like to travel as light as possible. Has anyone gone with no tools but simply crossed their fingers (not that I am planning to do that!)? Is a pencilcase sized toolbox with a few basic tools sufficient?

I am still deciding on a bike but it is looking like a CCM 404, CCM 644 or a Suzuki DRZ400.

I do not have much experience in bike repairs but I would like to think I will be able to maintain the bike and if there are any problems beyond my small scope of repairs, surely we can tow the bike (two of us going) or 'stick it on the back of a truck'. Also, in terms of punctures, does anyone have suggestions of how many to expect, particularly for Africa - as offroad as possible.

What have people found with experience and what would you recommend?

Thanks,

Chris
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  #2  
Old 26 Aug 2006
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Patrick's Tool Kits

important but what really counts is good technique.
Research this.
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Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:26.
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  #3  
Old 27 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris of Motocross Africa
This may be a bit of a novice question, but what do people tend to take in terms of tools? I'm planning an Africa trip and I would like to travel as light as possible. Has anyone gone with no tools but simply crossed their fingers (not that I am planning to do that!)? Is a pencilcase sized toolbox with a few basic tools sufficient?

I am still deciding on a bike but it is looking like a CCM 404, CCM 644 or a Suzuki DRZ400.

I do not have much experience in bike repairs but I would like to think I will be able to maintain the bike and if there are any problems beyond my small scope of repairs, surely we can tow the bike (two of us going) or 'stick it on the back of a truck'. Also, in terms of punctures, does anyone have suggestions of how many to expect, particularly for Africa - as offroad as possible.

What have people found with experience and what would you recommend?

Thanks,

Chris
I suggest buying your bike, riding it for a few months (if you're unfamiliar with that basic style of bike) and performing 'all' basic maintenance yourself. There will also be other tools you might/should/will need that go beyond regular maintenance and you should source that information from many people (not just one) that reguarly ride that specific machine.

As Patrick alluded to, the bike will be your lifeline to the trip. Sure, you can put a dead horse in the back of a truck...or just bury it where it fell due to lack of care...or whatever. Sht happens anyway....

What's most important? Cool trip via bike, or just cool trip thru Afrika?

You didn't say how long the trip will be....
Under 10,000 miles...skip the valve clearance feeler gauges...saves weight.
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  #4  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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Talking

Hey Molly, im guessing you`re a boy scout?
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  #5  
Old 28 Aug 2006
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Molly is my dogs name.
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  #6  
Old 30 Aug 2006
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Tools to Take?

I ride a different bike (BMW), but here is what I suggest you do. Perform every type of maintence you can think of on your bike in your own garage using only the tools that come with your bike. Every time you use a tool from your tool box or one from somewhere other than the factory tool kit, put it aside to be included in your kit. Do not take sets of anything, period! Only take the tools you actually need.

Definitely dismount and remount your tires/tubes multiple times in your garage, even do it in the dark using only a flashlight (or whatever type light you will be taking). Make sure you can do it almost entirely by feel, much easier to learn in your garage.

Cheers, Dennis
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Old 30 Aug 2006
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For RTW or Africa I'd run 1 to 1 lbs in dirt, 2 to
2 lbs. on pavement. (knobbies or semi-knobs)
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  #8  
Old 31 Aug 2006
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allen keys - I have found the allen key sockets and a Universal joint are about as easy to get in any spot as a regular allen key, are faster and take up even less space.
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Old 31 Aug 2006
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This sounds good. I can't afford them
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Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 05:28.
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  #10  
Old 31 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
Chris asks about the likelyhood of flats. I'd say with good HD knobbies and HD
tubes it will be rare to get a flat at all. I've ridden for over 20 years in the Mojave desert. In all this time I've had maybe three flats....nearly always from Cactus. Keep in mind, if you are not too heavily loaded you can ride a flat
for miles and miles if you are using the right tires. (stiff walled enduro type).
If it is extremly rocky and you are travelling at speeds over 40 mph you may want to run higher pressures to avoid pinch flats. In normal recreational dirt riding I run 12 to 14 lbs. For RTW or Africa I'd run 15 to 17 lbs in dirt, 24 to
26 lbs. on pavement. (knobbies or semi-knobs)

Best

Patrick
A good trick when running knobbies, especially at lower tire pressures is to zip tie them between the knobs around the rim, if you get a flat you will probably never know it until you stop.

Dennis
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Old 31 Aug 2006
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This is a great trick for keeping the tire ON THE RIM with a flat.
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  #12  
Old 31 Aug 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog
This sounds good. Can you post a picture of this tool? Probably is a much
more elegant solution than either individual allen keys or a set. But if
Sear's doesn't sell them, then I can't afford them!

Patrick
"Every" place sells them! Here is the link to Sears' page http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/searc...&gobutton=find

and the universal joint socket

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...seBVCookie=Yes

If you wait for a sale, the price will drop by 40% or more.
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  #13  
Old 1 Sep 2006
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Thanks for the replies guy, like the zip-tie trick on knobblies too
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  #14  
Old 29 May 2007
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Not only "what" but "what brand"

Over the years I have built up a tool-kit for off-road bikes. It changes slightly as the bikes change but not too much.
My penn'orth is to use good quality tools. The difference in weight between a Stahlwille brand and a cheapo brand can be 50%. Not only that the thinner walls on the ring means it will get in anywhere and the tolerances are better meaning less chance of damaging heads. If you own a Euro bike you will need a thin-walled ringspanner for a few critical items. Same goes for side-cutters. Lindstrom brand are tiny for the same rated capacity and they last. We used them in production environments and the person wore out before the cutters.
I replace all the fasteners with stainless Allen-head type. They look good, last forever and are good quality (use 304 or 316 if you have money). Good quality Allen wrenches are a must (avoid the ball end type, when you put a spanner on them they can damage the head) Also the bolt sits on the end of a normal allen head but falls off the ball-end type.
Tire irons are another weighty item. I have a set that are thin and they sure bend on a tough tire, but they always spring back. I bought another set and they don't bend at all but weigh twice as much! In the bin with those!
I have chosen all my tools for weight not speed. I know that the ratchet-wrenches are fast but unless you are racing, that's not an issue. You carry the tools all the time but use them seldom so after function, weight is the important criterion.
What they say about using your tools in the shop is dead right. For this trip (Japan to Greece), I was able to do a complete engine rebuild using my tool kit (except for the KTM special tools)
The other thing is a chain breaker. I searched the shops and the web and couldn't find a compact breaker and link press. You need to be able to press out a complete link to repair a chain or alternatively press out the master link on an O-ring chain. A press of some kind is also needed to refit the master link on an O-ring chain. I have used vice grips but it is easy to bend the link plate.
The ones on the net all pushed the pin right through so that even when removing the master link, the link became unserviceable. I was able to modify a commonly available chain breaker to do all the tasks. Contact me and I will detail how.
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  #15  
Old 29 May 2007
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And another thing

CO2 bottles. Great competition item, not so good overland. You are carrying a steel cylinder only for it's meagre contents. For the weight of just a few CO2 bottles, you can carry a good quality bicycle pump. It will pump up hundreds of tyres. If you have tubeless tyres then sure use CO2 to get it on the rim.
Gone are the days when the only pump you could buy was made in China and they fell apart after one use. There are heaps of MTB pumps that are quality items, light-weight and effective. If it takes more than 3 minutes to pump up a tyre then it's still got a hole in it. I have carried an MTB pump for years and use it whenever I change a tyre on the trail or in the workshop (for the practice). I have CO2 bottles but they stay in the shed where they belong.
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