Noob advice on basic repair skills

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by marvology, Apr 15, 2013.

  1. marvology

    marvology 2014 F800GS

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I'm hopefully going to get my first opportunity to do multiple-day rides this summer and I'll probably be riding solo. I've done all the basic work on my bike, but I'm curious about what are suggested repair tasks I should be prepared for before I go.
    #1
  2. Taarne

    Taarne Hello World!

    Joined:
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    Helsinki, Finland
    Unless you're going far away from civilization, not much I'd say. Perhaps patch a tire, tighten the chain, maybe even change/clean spark plugs, if they're accessible?

    I'd carry a few basic tools so you can tighten up anything that might be in danger of falling off plus a roll of duct tape and some sturdy cable ties. The last two mentioned are awesome and useful for anything. Especially if you happen to crash.

    Just make sure the bike is serviced before you go, and you should be fine. Know who to call for help if something should happen, though.
    #2
  3. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    If your bike is in good condition, flat tires will be by far your most likely problem. These can be simple to fix (tubeless tires, you just plug the puncture, inflate the tire and be on your way) Or they can be impossible to fix, if you have a large heavy bike with tube type tires and no centerstand. If that is what you have, make sure you have a cell phone and a good road service plan. Even the best mechanic cannot fix things without tools, and the tools necessary to repair a flat on a bike with tube type tires are to big and heavy to take with you. You have to have some way to SECURELY support the bike while removing the wheels.
    #3
  4. marvology

    marvology 2014 F800GS

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    Feb 5, 2011
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    Location:
    Kansas City
    Thanks for the responses, I'm probably good to go then.
    #4
  5. Jason KLR

    Jason KLR Mostly Slab

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    North Vancouver
    I second what's already been said and would add a little more.

    I have two tool kits on my KLR depending on how far I'm venturing from home. I HATE changing tubed tires but I forced myself to do it in my garage in case I had to on the road one day

    Anyways, for day to day stuff I keep the following tools in a tool tube made from 3" pvc piping secured to my skid plate:

    - 2x 10" tire spoons;
    - 1 small tire spoon;
    - valve core remover;
    - bead buddy (3rd hand for tire reinstall)
    - Eagle Mike trail jack (props up the bike to remove either tire)
    - bicycle tire inflator

    All this fits neatly in the tool tube! The stock kit under the rear rack holds the wrenches needed to remove either wheel.

    I keep a 21" spare tube (you can use it in a 21 or 17" wheel short term) in a small Tusk front fender bag with tube patches.

    For longer trips I take all that plus a tool roll containing (but not limited to)

    - T handle socket tool with all sizes needed to access anything on the bike including oil changes (8,10,12,14,17mm)
    - box end wrenches in the same size
    - cable ties
    - multitool
    - 12ga wire long enough from front to rear
    - duct tape/electrical tape wrapped around the tire tools to save space
    - crescent wrench
    - needle nose vice grips
    - file
    - JB weld
    - LED flashlight
    - screwdriver bits that fit in the T handle socket

    Theres more but I'm going from memory That kit is a little overkill so for a few days out Id make sure you have the tools needed to fix a flat, remove plastics, access the spark plug and secure anything that may vibrate/break loose
    #5
  6. Flashmo

    Flashmo Whatever...

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    You must be new here...
    #6
  7. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    Jul 23, 2010
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    I carry way more tools than my bike knowledge supports...

    if I break down, and I can't figure it out.... I hope the guy that stops to help knows more than me :evil

    Pretty complete set of metric wrenches in a tool roll always on my bike, Craftsman 1/4 drive socket set with an added (longer) extension, decent multi-bit screw driver, small channel lock brand channel locks, spare metric nuts and bolts in the sizes and flavors that fall off my bike most frequently, and blue Loctite. Combo aluminum tire iron wheel axel nut wrenches are great in the sizes your bike needs to get the wheels off. Spare spark plug and means of changing it. Most of my stuff other than the socket set fits into two tool tube bags from Brady Storm.

    Aerostich has some great ideas for your toolkit that you can source elsewhere if found cheaper.

    And an LED flashlight. And a container of those baby bum wipes are great after conducting repairs.
    #7
  8. sailah

    sailah Lampin' it

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    I've fixed plenty of tubes type repairs on heavy bikes in the field. You'll want two minimum tire irons like the motion pro. In addition I strongly recommend their tire spoon/axle wrench. I also have their t6 ratchet adapter which saves you from bringing a ratchet as the iron is now your ratchet.

    All those tools roll up into a tiny bundle maybe 10" long.

    You also don't have to have a center stand. It's nice but believe me, you'll get creative in the middle of black fly season using rocks and logs or just kicking the damn bike on it's side and going for it if it means you aren't walking:deal

    necessity is the mother of invention. Try repairing your next flat using only the tools on your bike when you are at home. It's a little different than pulling out the monster irons etc.
    #8
  9. kantuckid

    kantuckid Long timer

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    Kentucky-Eastern that is!
    The bike shown in your profile-2008 YZF? miles?Tire age? etc...
    #9
  10. S/W

    S/W Been here awhile

    Joined:
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    Massachusetts
    Tools are important,but a few other things to carry are; spare fuses, brake and clutch cables (if your make bike eats these), epoxy putty ( will fix many things including gas tank leaks),
    self fusing tape (fixes leaking coolant hoses or electrical problems),silicone gasket sealer, and mechanics wire, loctite, and some assorted screws and bolts.
    The are probably many posts here about what people have repaired with mechanics wire, my personal best use was to sew my car back together. I had an old Datsun which on my way home from work one day, started to break in half just in front of the rear suspension. The short story is, I jacked up the car until the break was closed,then drilled lots of holes on each side and stiched the crack tight with the mechanics wire.I then drove at least another thirty miles home. The joint was still tight when I got home!! I took it to the junk yard next.
    #10
  11. Unstable Rider

    Unstable Rider Moto Fotografist

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    For those of us that work on our own bikes frequently (KLR owners :evil) I think of the tools I am most comfortable having handy when I typically remove my plastics, seat, gas tank and upper and lower fairings and service my battery as well as the stuff I like to use to adjust or replace my chain, pull my wheels, etc., when in the comfort of the garage. For the most part, I want that grade of tools with me, within reason. I also value having a center stand, maybe that's just me (I don't carry a breaker bar, any 1/2" drive sockets or torque wrench though..)

    It may all seem "extreme", but I have had to start pulling plastics when chasing an electrical harness failure while off road once. That is when you are glad to have at least Craftsman grade sockets and combo wrenches and not that grizzly stuff with the sharp corners from the stock tool kit that turns your hands black when you take it out of the kit.

    Zip ties also can be quite handy. I also think JB has a fast cure putty-weld product that a guy should get familiar with.
    #11
  12. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

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    Jumper cables.

    You can find some at most auto parts stores called "ATV Jumper cables". They are smaller than automotive style cables and come in a little package small enough to fit most anywhere.
    #12
  13. marvology

    marvology 2014 F800GS

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Sorry, late reply but I've got about 6K on the bike and tires, stock.
    #13