It’s easy to go overboard while putting together a motorcycle toolkit. A lot of folks carry entire sets of spanners and sockets while travelling, with the justifying line – “You’ll never know what will break!”

It’s the long term travellers who tend to err on the side of caution over here, with trail riders more aware of how much of an inconvenience those unnecessary tools are.  So if you want to go lightweight, those are the guys you need to look at.

So depending on what you start you might just be burdened with way too much. In this scenario it’s easier to add tools to a kit than remove them. A good starting point is the OE Toolkit. Most of them are basic at best, and sometimes quality is suspect. Keeping that in mind, build from there. Get rid of the tools that will fail, and then start adding to your kit depending on the tasks you expect to encounter while on a trip or out on a trail.

This is how I typically put a Trail kit together.

I prioritise tasks that are most likely to happen as well as importance. So here goes.

List of your tools for:

  1. Handle/controls adjustment
  2. Removing body work
  3. Adjusting the chain/sprocket
  4. Removing the wheels.
  5. Replacing tires

That’s in order of highest to least frequent. Remove overlaps and you end up with a fairly small kit.. 

Here’s the toolkit i used for 6 months of Travel in South America. Weighing in at 5.5 lbs.

All the tools, with a “custom” denim tool bag

All I needed to strip the bike down to its engine ,frame and swingarm

I keep the Motion Pro MP Tool, adjustable spanner and Leatherman Charge TTi in my tankbag for easy access. I can change and remove most things with just those. Including clutch and cable changes. The bigger tools are in my bag. Mainly for flat tires and planned services..  Any if there is anything catastrophic, I’ll head into civilization (one way or another).

Edit /Update

Here’s the tool list.
– 14mm combination
– 12mm combination
– 10mm combination rachet

Tire levers
-Motion Pro Aluminum
-32mm to 24/27mm Adapter

1/4in drive pieces
– 8mm bit
– 1/4 swivel head
– 1/4 to 3/8 drive
– 10mm to 1/4drive (becomes a rachet drive, when coupled with the 10mm combination spanner)

3/8in drive pieces
– 3/8 sliding t-handle
– 12mm bit
– 14mm bit
– 17mm bit
– 3/8 6in extension
– 3/8 to 1/4in adapter

-7in Vise clamps
– 6in adjustable spanner (this has now been replaced by a Knipex 180mm Plier Wrench)
Assorted Zipties
Electrical tape
Duct tape
7.5a fuses
Velcro ties
Tire pressure gauge

This toolkit was more than sufficient to service the bike, change out the rotors and pads, trailside repairs and was all i used for 6 months and close to 15,000 kms of overland travel.

How would you build your travel toolkit?


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