Tools & Things for the Trail

My tool kit has become an essential item in my bag these days, it'd changed a fair bit since I first started and  I keep finding some great little bits floating around which I either add or exchange as I go.

A lot depends upon your bike, your tyre filler choice and of course personal preference, weight is always a major factor too, but in some cases, lightweight tools are crap to use and you get frustrated so having something more solid is almost worth the extra weight...

I run ultra heavy duty tubes, so I carry the things I need to sort those out, so listed below are my current range of tools and other useful bits I generally have in my bag on any single or multi day trip. I'm also playing with things to get the right kit vs weight for longer trips, so anything with a * next to it is more aimed at longer trips with no back up.

First things first, what do I carry my tools in?

These days I have a Kriega Tool Roll, I bought two of these, one each for Lucy and for myself, they are really well made and easily store all the tools I like to carry, plus they can be strapped onto the bike pretty easily. It's not a waterproof things so needs a cover though.

Inside this I have a multitude of tools, with a preference for things that can be used in more ways than one, I've listed them below for ease...

Spanners - Open end & Ring 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19.
KTM specific spanners - Rear Axle, bottle opener & plug spanner
Tyre pressure guage
Specialized Allen Key folding tool
Halfords Mini Ratchet
Halfords T Bar
Sockets 3/8th - 6, 8, 10, 12, 13.
Screw driver head to fit Spinner Handle - Flat & Cross head
Short metal bar
Tyre Lever (Small x 1)
Wire Cutters
Needle Nosed Pliers
Long Allen Key No.5

Then in the pocket on the left I carry 3 x 10 amp fuses for the KTM, tyre valve keys x 2, some emery paper and that's about it for the tool roll.

Additional to this I also carry
Lots of cable ties
Some household electrical cable with some clips on either end to jump start bikes,
A mini hand pump,
1 x spare spark plug,
A headtorch,
A spare bike red light,
Some electrical tape,
Some puncture patches and glue
A tow rope made from blue poly prop rope.

For the tow rope, I have used this so many times and so learnt a few things, some tips below...

1. Always loop the ends onto opposing foot pegs on your bike, (with the rear bike on the right peg in the UK so it's on the inside effectively)
2. Practice before hand so you know what it feels like, both as a the lead and the rear.
3. Pay attention to both the front bike road position on bends and junctions and the rear bike position
4. The rear bike does the braking generally
5. Go for a lightweight cord that will snap under pressure so you can both be seperated easily
6. Teamwork and communication makes things much easier!

Here's a FILM I found on YouTube which might explain things better...

Tools for a much longer trip...
* Vernier Digital Caliper
* Digital Multi Meter
* Extra spark plug
* Wheel Bearings - front & rear
* Brake pads - front & rear
* KTM fuel filters replacements
* O rings
* Spare nuts & bolts specific to the bike
* Thread lock (223)
* Spare tubes - front & rear
* Spare headlight bulb - (if overseas)
* Bit of fuel hose
* Spare injector
* Spare brake/clutch levers
* Spare oil filter
* Spare air filter - (pre oiled)

So that's about the lot, and it is a lot when you pack it all into a pannier. It adds a fair chunk of weight to your bike and also takes up valuable space, however should any one of these fail, you're knackered until you can replace whatever it is.

I change the oil on the KTM's whenever I can and the air filter gets washed whenever I can. (NB: If I hit a particularly sandy bit I'll be more vigilant about the cleaning of this as it will affect the bike heavily. If I know I'm going into a big sandy area I''ll get hold of a sand filter to add to this).

Tools I've found and like the look of;
Motion Pro Chain Splitter
AFAM chain tool