The open road beckons. It’s now spring and soon summer.
Touring or long-distance riding isn’t the same as hopping on the bike to your favorite bar a couple of miles away: it needs some careful planning and an inventory of items you shouldn’t leave without, for example a GPS.
1. Zip Ties
The zip tie is probably the most useful item in your inventory, as it’s a multi-purpose tool for a myriad of emergency repairs, such as tying up loose number plate, levers, bodywork, cables and wires, etc.
2. Duct Tape
MacGyver’s favorite tool had worked for us in many instances and even incidences. For example, leaking rain gear could be patched up with duct tape, pending stitches. Or riding boots that have split open. We’ve once used it to tape a splint to a fractured leg as we didn’t have bandages at the time.
3. Bungee Cord
What’s a motorcyclist without the bungee cord? Cheap, widely available and easy to use, the bungee cord is useful for tying down luggage. Used together with the cargo net, you could carry even more luggage safely, including a spare helmet. You could also loop a bungee cord around each pannier to further secure it.
Bungee cords and cargo net - Courtesy of bikebandit.com
Most manufacturers don’t provide enough tools with your bike so it’s up to you to pack a good set on your ride. You don’t need everything in that tool chest, as there are now accessories makers such as Cruz Tools and Oxford who offer compact sets.
Cruz toolkit - Courtesy of revzilla.com
5. Tire Repair Kit
This is definitely something you don’t want to ride without, much less tour. A flat tire in the middle of nowhere is as convenient as a toilet without toilet paper. There are kits available with CO2 inflation canisters if you don’t want to lug a compact air compressor.
X02 tyre repair kit - Courtesy of firestormmotorcycles.com.au
6. First Aid Kit
We never carried one with us before until the said accident when we had to use duct tape in place of a bandage. As with tools, there are many who offer compact first aid kits. You could Google for them and add in more stuff that may be important to you and buddies.
Held First Aid Kit - courtesy of www.sportbikeshop.co.uk
7. Chain Lube
Unless you ride a bike with a belt final drive, you need to lubricate the drive chain every 300 miles or so. Small cans are available these days, which you could store under your seat. A properly lubed chain minimizes power loss and fuel consumption.
Maxima chain lube - courtesy of www.motokeidas.com
Sure, sure, cellphones have flashlights too, but holding it while attempting to work on your bike is banking on the impossible. Best to get a headband flashlight so you could use both hands. You’d need one even when you don’t plan on riding at night as those nooks and crannies around the engine are pretty dark even under bright sunshine.
Headlamp - courtesy of homedepot.com
9. Extra Earplugs
Any rider who wears earplugs can attest to losing them during a trip. Always bring an extra set on a trip. And oh, please wear earplugs all the time when you ride. You could get those special ones that filter out wind noise but allows other sounds to pass through.
Motosafe Tour earplugs - courtesy of www.alpinehearing.com
10. Rain Gear
Getting wet during a trip could turn a whole trip miserable when you ride all soggy and cold. There are many brands in the market these days. Choose a set that’s breathable.
Held Rainblock top - courtesy of www.bikeme.tv