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Old 09-02-2007, 07:01 PM   #3
hilslamer OP
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Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Chch, EnZed
Oddometer: 1,786
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Radiator StopLeak - a small, motorcycle-sized portion stashed in a 35mm film cannister. This stuff can save a long trip or a short ride where a stick, pebble or complete all-out getoff mangles a radiator but leaves it jut weeping or leaking. Dump it in and keep riding/racing! It's light, useful and the 35mm cannister will come in handy for something at some poitn even if you have to dump out the stopleak. Just remember to get it out of there ASAP as it's very hard on waterpump seals and the like...

BIC lighter - you never know when you'll need fire, whether it be for signal or warmth or both. Put it someplace in your toolpack where the button can;t get held on accidentally, and it will be there, ready to go, for a looooong time.

Allen Wrench assortment - Socket head capscrews have become more and more common on motocycles, both for their weight-savings and also because the look really cool! Allen wrenches can be great little leverage devices, cheaters, etc. so carry as many sizes as you can - even ones you think you might not need.

I prefer the ball-end type, and buy the good ones because these are some of the most highly-stressed tools in your toolkit - especially when used at odd angles.

Hemastat or equivalent - Otherwise known as a "roach clip," although tey can be used much more constructively! These can be used for many things, from holding something in place while glue dries to pincing off fuel lines that dangle from a gas tank that's been removed. They are $5 at the fishing store and come in handier than you might think.

Roll of wire - 12 guage or larger, enough to get from the handlebars to the rear of the bike in case of a short or switch issue or etc. This is another one that has a million uses - you can use one strand of copper to clean a clogged carburetor jet out, tie off somethign really tiny, etc.

Duckbill Shorty Crescent Wrench - these models from Craftsman open very wide, enough for a 28mm hex fastener, and also have narrowed jaws for getting into tight spaces and small fasteners. Will also work as a 3rd tire iron should you need it.

Zip Ties - Everone knows how handy these little guys are, and also how versatile, and light! I carry a variety of sizes, from teeny tiny ones for wiring harness repairs through mondo ones that can hold major compnents of a wrecked bike in place, or used as handcuffs like they do in Mexico!

Here is a place where you DO NOT want to skimp - sure, you can get the jar of 10,000 colored cheap-o zipties in a giant jar at DollarMart, but do you really want to rely on those in a desperate situation? I buy only Thomas & Betts High-Performance UV-resistant models when I can, and in specific the versions you see here with an overmolded stainless steel tang that will NOT release and is infinitely adjustable - no tugging the lead ont he ty-rap for that last click only to have the ratchet mechanism slip back three notches like a cheap-o zip tie will:

Duct and Electrical tape - This is pretty common knowledge, add bubblegum and you can fix anythign right? It can all come in very handy, as long as it's stored so that when you go to use it, it's still sticky and functional. Seen here stored on a tire lever, with zip ties to prevent this from happening:

Lubricant, cable/pivot/kickstarter arm/footpeg etc. - I carry a small dropper bottle of WhiteLightning Epic silicone-based chain lube, because it works everywhere and while it attracts dust it works very well and LASTS. It can be used for anything that squeaks and shouldn't, and will not dry up like WD-40 - nor is it aerosol that will get bumped in your toolkit and soak everything with oil.

Miniature Hacksaw blades - How many times have you seen somethign so magled that you could not get it out of the way just to ride back to safety? I have see such predicaments many times, so I carry a couple of two-dollar mini hacksaw blades for just such occasions. They can be held by hand or in pliers, bent for use in a tight space, used for tough material or spacers/shims, used as a brace or stent for busted fenders..the list goes on. Cheap, and handy.

I prefer the 32 tooth-per-inch variety in the case I need to cut steel. They will load up if used on aluminum unless you stick them down intot he crankcase and dope them with oil before you bgin your cut.

I'm out of time right now - I'll finish this up tomorrow. I have many more things to discuss!

back at it:

Whats this? Isn't that a bicycle cable of some sort? Why yes, in fact it is. You can buy a bicycle deraileur cable at any bike shop on your way home from work anytime for a meager sum, and it will double as any cable on your bike(although most modern bikes have only a throttle cable anymore...). Should you break a throttle(or clutch, or ?) cable, you can anchor each end of a temporary replacement with clever use of the aforementioned Quiksteel by simply using your pliers to put a kink in each end and casting the quicksteel into place around it, on the throttle or carburetor pulley, or even in the slide as I have done on many occasions. The same goes for a temporary clutch cable. For whatever reason, bicycle deraileur cable is VERY strong for it's OD, and is usually smaller than most cables on a bike. This means it's easy to cut, and thread through the old housing without removing the housing/adjusters/etc. from the bike. I also used a length of cable recently to hold the flywheel still on a YZ125 while I retightened a flywheel nut come loose - long story - but carrying aything this strong with this sort of versatility for a minimal weight penalty is justified IMO.

Tire Tools

A tire iron is a tire iron...except when it isn't iron. I passed my old forged steel tire ironson the day I got these in the mail from MotionPro - forged, 7075 aluminum tire "irons," complete with hex ends for loosening axles and rimlock nuts. They flex less and are stronger than any steel iron I've ever found, are 1/3 the weight and are easier to hold onto with gloves on your hands. The spooned tip of the one on the left in theis picture even has a lip forged into it, for biting the rim on that last pull that gets the bead of the tire over the rim. I've owned quite a few tire tools over my riding career, and these ones take the cake over all others - even the Titanium ones a freind of mine has.

There's no point in carrying tools to remove a tube if you can't patch it - so of course I carry a patch kit. Nothing too special here, other than that I always carry more vulcanizing compound that I know will be neccessary in case I need to make some sort of special repair due to a rock slash or the like. A variety of patches is always good too, of all sizes. Also, carry spare Scraeder valve cores and valve stem nuts - they always get lost at some point it seems.

If you use Michelin airstop tubes by chance, or they came in your new Euro bike, you must buy special patches for these. This is yet another case of proving the tools/repair items you carry out BEFORE you need to use them in a pinch...

In the dirt world, a CO2 cannister will fill a tire - I know this isn't neccessarily true with an Aventure bike, and I'll be changing this up when I get my 990...but int he mean time, any of the CO2 kits out there these days are pretty good. I find a lot of variability in the quality in the pumps ont he market, though, so be sure yours works before you haul it out into the wilderness and find it doesn't work fast enough or get pressure high enough to seat beads, etc...

Everyone probably knows already that this is a towstrap. The can also probably see that the end loops of this one are held fast with pop-rivets. Yeah, I know, you're probably all skeptical but this strap material is better known as "mule tape" - and it's tubular nylon webbing with extremely big strands that can have a rivet popped through them without ever really compromising the tensile strength of the webbing. This one is about 15 feet long, and while I only ever tow a motorcycle with a motorcycle as a very last resort, it is handy enough for it's weight that I carry it for other reasons too. Reasons like: many of the places I ride have trails that traverse inclines so steep that a bike ridden accidentally off of the trail can be an all-day job to get back on the trail - unless you have a strap that two or three people can tam on to pull the bike back up the hill. There are a million other ways to use this item too - think of it as a bike-sized version of the bicycle cable I recommended carrying earlier.

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hilslamer screwed with this post 02-05-2009 at 03:09 PM Reason: finishing up....
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