How To Build a Motorcycle Tool Kit at RevZilla.com
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How To Build a Motorcycle Tool Kit at RevZilla.com

October 30, 2019


Howdy. This is Lem with Revzilla. And I’m Spurge. And we’re here to talk to you
about how to put a tool roll together for your motorcycle. So most modern
motorcycles don’t even have the basic tools included
with them to do simple tasks on the side of the road. So the point of this
video is to break down some of the items you might want
to consider bringing with you as you’re building
out your own toolkit. It’s true. We get lots of questions from
riders who are wondering what to put in their tool rolls. And because there’s lots of
different riding disciplines, as well as lots of
different motorcycles, and even wildly varying skill
levels, it’s really hard for us to give out one size
fits all answers. So what we’re going
to do in this video is actually show you
some of our own tools that we use we’re on the road. And some of the things
that we think about are going to come
up in discussion. And hopefully, they sort
of spur you to think about some things as well. So keep in mind, there’s more
than one way to skin a cat. And you can see even in the
way that Lemmy and I pack our tools down, it’s
going to be a completely different approach. I have one universal bag,
and I change out my tools depending on the
bike that I’m on and the type of
riding that I’m doing. Lem, on the other
hand, clearly takes a much different approach. It’s true. I actually have three
main components. And I’ll switch them in
and out for various things that I have laying around. The first component is
usually a fuel bottle. I tend to be on either
choppers with tiny, tiny tanks, or on off-road
and dirt machines, also with tiny, tiny tanks. So I have either a
bottle a four-stroke fuel or two-stroke fuel
that will come with me. The next component I
usually have with me is what I’ll call
my universal pack. There’s some stuff
in here that I’m going to bring with me
almost regardless of what kind of motorcycle I’m on. I’ve got things in here
like a Throttlemeister and then I’ve also got
parkie pucks, ROK Straps– things that I’m
going to use when I’m just out there on the road– Chapstick, tire tools,
stuff that I’m going to use irrespective of motorcycle. Now, the third component to my
kit is the tool roll itself. And this is probably the bulk of
what I’m going to be carrying. Today, I brought
with me the tool roll that I carry when I’m out
on my old Harleys and choppers. However, I have other ones, too. I have metric tool rolls,
stuff for modern bikes. I also have some
for dirt machines. I’ve got a tool roll for just
about everything in my garage, customized to the particular
machine I’m going to be riding. Which makes it really important
for you to know your bike. For example, I’m not
riding old Harleys, so I have no SAE tools with me. I’m primarily packing
mostly metric tools. And these are going to
help out myself my bike as well as my buddies–
folks that are primarily on Triumphs or BMWs or KTMs. They’ll work across the board. So at this point in the
video, what we’re going to do is we’re going to
take our tool bags. We’re going to open them up. And we’re going to
show you exactly what Lem and I are packing as
far as tools are concerned. Spurgeon, show me your tools. So you’re going to see a
swath of tools spread out all over this table, but the
number one fix you’re probably going to run into
the side of the road is going to be tire repair. So having the right items
with you to fix a flat tire is going to be paramount
when you’re on a motorcycle. Now, we’ve got some varying
degrees of how we do this. I have my kit set up
specifically for off-road bikes that are going to using tubes. So I’m not going to have plug
kits or anything like that. Instead, I’m going to
carry a spare tube. And you’re going to notice this
is packed a little bit odd, a little bit differently
than you might have seen. So what I do is, I
actually take a tube and I pack it up in plastic
with a bit of Anti Monkey Butt powder. That acts as a
lubricant, really easy to get the tube in on the side
of the road, I’m on the trail. And I wrapped the entire
thing in gaff tape. Now, I do that so
I don’t have to run the risk of actually
getting a pinch flat before I ever put this
in the motorcycle. And it’s just
something I’ve learned through many, many errors
along the side of the road. Now, Lem, I think you
have a different approach for how you tackle this. Indeed, I do. This is crazy. This thing takes up a bunch
of room, and not all of us have an Adventure bike
with 973-liter panniers. 74-liters, Lem. Instead, what I do is,
I just carry patches. They’re much, much smaller. And they’re usually
fine for getting a tube back into service. Now note, too, the other
thing I’ve got as well are tire plugs. Now, even though these are
for tubeless type tires, I wind up riding some bikes that
have tubeless type tires when I’m testing out motorcycles. And I ride with a lot of
people who are on modern bikes. And most modern bikes do
have a tubeless setup. And I’ve found that a lot of
the times, the fastest way to get off the side of the road
is to just fix my buddy’s bike. Yeah. One time, I let him fix my bike. One time. But I had the tools. And one of the tools that I had
with me was an electric pump. And this actually fits perfectly
underneath the back seat of my bike. And I can pull this out,
plug it into the battery, and then I’m set to go. And it’s usually
going to be faster than using something
like, you know, 25 pounds of CO2 cartridges. Now, again, this is an
area where we differ. That thing’s really cool, only
a lot of my choppers and dirt bikes don’t have the
electrical system to support something like that. So that’s not really
that helpful to me. So instead, as Spurgeon
noted, I use CO2 cartridges. These, again, don’t
take up too much space. I have enough CO2 with me to
fill up all sorts of tires. Add in a small inflator
head, and I’m pretty much set to rock and roll. Now, the other tools I have
for tires in my kit really are pretty simple. It’s a pair of
mismatched tire irons. I’ve had them for a long time. They work just fine. Spurge has something similar. So I’ve got a set
of spoons as well, but you’ll notice that mine
are a little bit more specific. And they’ve actually
got special hexes on the back, which allow me to
remove the axles, which takes us right into the next point. Before you can ever actually
start working on your tire, you need the tools
to be able to remove the wheel from the motorcycle. So there’s a variety
of different tools that you’re going see
on the table right now. And there’s two
different ways you can go to building these out. For example, you
can go my route, where I bought a prefab
toolkit, and then I supplemented in the
extra tools that I knew I was going to need. Or you can go the old cheapskate
McGee route over here. Get a hodgepodge of crappy
tools, throw them into a pile, and just duct tape
them together, I guess. You know, Spurge
has a great point. There is something to be said,
though, for kind of piecing your toolkit together. So as Spurge mentioned,
these are cheapo tools. But A, I have a lot less money
in my toolkit than Spurge does. And B, I don’t
really feel so bad if I happen to leave one
of these crappy wrenches behind on the side of the road
when I’m performing a repair. Now, the other reason I like to
kind of piece my kits together is because I need
a lot of tools that are just very vehicle-specific. Let me show you
a couple of them. First is this huge hex key. You’re not going find one
of these in a hardware store on the road or a
Wal-Mart somewhere. But that’s used for checking
the drum bolts that hold the drum to a Harley wheel. It’s a really
important piece of kit. Another one is this
puppy right here. This is a little
tiny T27 torx driver. Now, this is used on
much, much newer Harleys, but I do ride with
people who need help who are on newer Harley Davidsons. That’s a really weird size, and
it’s not found in most kits. So if you don’t have one,
you’re kind of hosed, because Harley uses them
all over the newer bikes. Another important tool to have
that’s not going to be included in any kit that I’ve
seen from an OEM is going to be this
hollow axle tool. And there’s a lot
of bikes out there that utilize this
to actually get the wheel off the motorcycle. If you’re trying
to fix a flat tire and you don’t have this
little guy with you, you’re going to be up a
[bleep] creek without a paddle. That’s entirely true. Now, of course, too,
there’s some tools that you can just make that
will work really well for you. For instance, check out this
spark plug socket I have. I welded this piece of
scrap steel onto a cut down spark plug socket. This allows me to easily
access the spark plugs on an older Harley
that’s still wearing its original Fat Bob tanks. That’s not always possible
with a standard toolkit. Note, too, I also have this
wrench here with the bottom cut off. Nope, it doesn’t help
the tool work any better, but does help it fit
easily into my tool roll. Regardless of whose pile
you’re looking at, though, you’ll notice one theme– Lem and I carry enough tools
not just to fix our bike, but to also fix our
buddies’ bikes as well. So if you look at
my toolkit, you’ll notice that I’ve got the
torx heads for those of you out there on BMWs or KTMs. I could help anybody with
roadside repairs with that. If you’ve got a
Triumph, I’ve got the hex heads, which–
because a lot of their bolts will use that. So, really, it’s going to be
a variety of different tools that we have to fix a
variety of different options. Now, Spurge, let’s not forget
why we have all these tools, and that’s specifically to hold
parts onto our motorcycles. And we’re both going to have
different parts with us. I mean, I’m riding
adventure bikes off road, and normally I’m crashing
and breaking things– things like levers and controls. And having these in my bag setup
is going to make it really easy to make a trail-side fix
and get that bike out of the middle of nowhere. Now, I don’t really
carry those things. Well, in my dirt bike
kit, I don’t need them, because my bikes are
a little bit tougher than some of the more
delicate adventure bikes that Spurge is flogging
and beating on the reg. Crashing. And in my old Harley kit
here, well, I don’t really run over tree branches
and baby head rocks, so I’m not really too
concerned about snapping off levers and pedals and such. Instead, what I’m trying
to do with my old Harleys is kind of keep them running
keep them on the road. So I have things to help prevent
against mechanical breakdowns. Note that I have a set
of spark plugs here. These fit flatheads,
knuckleheads, panheads. So even if I don’t need these,
a buddy might get out of hock if I have a set in there. Another thing I carry, again,
that’s fairly universal among me and some of
my riding buddies, are spare points and
condenser for a magneto. A lot of us run
mag-fired bikes, and it can be helpful to
have those parts sort of in somebody’s tool
roll if we’re out for a ride. Now, one of the specifics that
I am not going to show you on the table right now, because
this is my adventure kit, is going to be a
spare clutch cable. Now, when I’m out
there on my T100, I always have a spare
clutch cable with me, because if you blow a clutch
cable in the middle of nowhere, having that spare with you
is just cheap insurance to get you home. Now, that’s going to be
some of the specific parts that you’re going to see on
the table that Lem and I have. But there’s also
some generic stuff. For example, I see
that, Lem, you’ve got some zip ties over there. I mean, these are just cheap
plastic pieces that can get you out of a jam really quickly. I’ve got some baling wire. I’ve got some electrical tape. This is all going to be
stuff that if you need to, you can fasten stuff down
in emergency to your bike. Man, when it gets down to
using that stuff in the kit, it can be a little bit ugly. However, it can also be the
stuff that gets you home. In addition to a handful
of, say, somewhat generic and specific
hardware, I might also encourage you to carry another
piece in your tool roll that straddles that line
between generic and specific. And that’s fuses. Fuses can be the thing that
make a minor electrical snafu, a minor electrical snafu,
rather than an item that makes you call a tow truck. Now, the reason I say
these straddle the line between generic and specific is
because I carry a wide variety of different amperages here. I’m not exactly sure what
fuse might blow at any time. But they are kind of specific
in that you do need to know what style of fuse your bike uses. So, hopefully, by this
point in the video you’re catching a theme. And that theme is
the fact that you need to know your
motorcycle, but then you also might want to
carry a few extra parts for your buddy’s bike as well. But really knowing
what tools you’re going to need to make that
repair on the side of the road is going to be the real first
step in being able to put your toolkit together. Now, you should
remember, your tool set is probably going to grow as
your skill set grows as well. The most important tool you have
doesn’t live in your tool roll. It lives between your ears. Now, if you want to educate
yourself a little bit further on this, check out
Common Tread, where we’ve got an article covering
a little bit more in-depth some of
the philosophies we have regarding
our tool rolls. Remember, too, we’ve got
lots of other cool videos. Subscribe to us on YouTube so
you can check out those videos as we roll them out. I’m Lem. And I’m Spurge. Enjoy the ride.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Good stuff guys. Curious about the air pump. I carry co2. How does the pump connect to the battery? Is it something that can connect the tender plug?

  2. Great video as usual. Last year I bought a tire repair kit and mini compressor from Revzilla before a 2,000 mile road trip to the Grand Canyon…sure enough my sport bike ran over a large nail 50 miles from any type of service on the South Rim. Needless to say I had a big smile on my face knowing I had the gear to fix the tire. My son was also riding his motorcycle on the trip and initially wondered why we needed the extra tools when we began. Needless to say he built his own tool kit when the trip ended. Great video guys 😁

  3. Thanks, buds. 🙂 I still gotta get that air compressor sometime. But thankfully the tool kit I made holds up to what you guys showed. Only thing is I keep it under the back seat of my sv650 so space is super limited. Had to prioritize what to take.

  4. Jiminy Cricket, I put a bottle or two of Ride-On in the tires. If that should ever fail, I have a phone and one and half legs.

  5. Excellent video today guys, when riding you never know when that odd tool may be just the ticket to get you out of the middle of no where and back home to a hot dinner.. lol

  6. Great video guys. These kinds of videos are what we are looking for, keep it up! I didn’t notice any chain items in your kits, I’m assuming for the dirt/adv crowd would have a master link and related tools in the kit. For the Harley, a cell phone and road side assistance coverage is the best item in tool kit. 🤣

  7. I stopped all at once carrying all the tools cause no one else would and when I'd help my tools would get lost and I'd get jack shit at the end. Yet when I don't carry the tools and I break down there is a $charge$ before ANYONE lends me their tools. Now I ONLY carry tools when I ride alone.

  8. Great video and ideas. I'd ditch the co2 bottles, I used to carry three or four just in case. I had to do a tire repair once in my back yard and tried using the co2 bottles just to see how many it would take to top up from a plug repair. There wasn't enough pressure in the bottles to get the tires up to a level where I would want to ride.

    TLDR: dump the co2 and convert a small pump to work with the quick disconnect for the battery tender.

  9. Great entertainment, and even useful.

    When's revzilla buying a UK bike parts shop so we can easily show you love (i.e. cash & credit)?

  10. Why is it that motorcycle riders carry all these tools and supplies and people in cars carry nothing more than a cell phone and an owners manual that tells them not to drink the contents of the battery. Hmmm

  11. 1. A good insurance contract.
    2. a good phone.
    3. credit card.
    4. Kit to repair a flat tire.
    And is enough to go around the planet!!!!
    How much does it weigh and what space does this stuff occupy in the motorcycle?

  12. sssoooooo….. what you're saying is…. you just need tools to keep a Harley running… but you need tools to fix ADV bikes because you break things while riding hard?…. i need to sell this Harley….

  13. My 17 Africa Twin tool kit just has a phillips/flat screwdriver. Guess honda thinks thats all you need to fix the africa twin on the road.

  14. Good video guy's. The one thing that you left out that I keep in my bikes is a portable battery jumper. There is always that guy who we ride with who leaves his ignition on or he has an  older battery that needs to be replaced. With all the electronics on these newer bikes unless you put them on a battery tender when you don't ride them for a while you could be stuck.

  15. Hey Revzilla,

    Im about to buy a new motorcycle and I would like to know which wold be your choice and why. Im between the CB650F or the GSX-S 750. I like a lot both of them but I would like more power for the CB 650F, i think 90cv is a bit low. I will use it for every day use and rotuing on weekends.

  16. Shout out to the Revzilla marketing department who allocates a budget to put out videos like this. You're here to help all riders, not those who only buy from you.

    Although I'm sure everyone has been, or will be a Revzilla customer.

  17. huh…im totaly different than both of these guys…i just carry a cell phone and a AAA type road side service that usually comes with insurance…i ride a ducati and drive toyotas, so its been so long since i have worked on anything. im sure id break something and i have a pro that works on the duke

  18. My KTM 1390 SA had a surprisingly good OEM kit, but I bought a Wera cyclops kit which is super compact and great for European bikes. I packed it into a Kriega tool roll, which is a fantastic bit of kit. I even have a 6” torque wrench to nip up those torx fasteners just right and rule out possible oil leaks

  19. You guys are great. Great chummy chemistry, giving each other shit but sticking to the topic at hand. Super informative. Thank you

  20. Dear Lemmy , I seen the old YouTube video of the dual sport tire and been on the website but having a hard time with the size chart . I seen there's metric and standard inches. I have metric bike that's not meant to go off road but I live in Tx and there's everthing that my street tires can't handle. Loose gravel, muddy backyard and driveway,potholes ,bumps and splits in the road. Now I have a 15" rear and 18" front. I'm planning of taking fenders off for now cause it seems I need a 16" rear for a dual sport tire. Any help would be appreciated. Long time subscriber and like masher. We talked on 87 Honda Rebel and the new one that was released. I know you guys are busy hope to hear from you soon.
    Thank you ,Nate [email protected]

  21. This is a great video. Cars are what I fix for a living and when I get a side job , it could be the smallest side job but I always bring a crap ton of tools with me !

  22. Storing a tool kit is the thing. I’m guessing this would be carried on long distance runs but for short runs I don’t have a place for a tool kit that size

  23. would it not be better to just pull a shop trailer behind you with 'ALL' the stuff needed?
    you know… engines to throw rods, frames and handle bars bend, belts and
    chains snap, mirrors fall off, master cylinders collapse, break lines pop when unexpected,
    wind shields fall off and break, just total catastrophe…! . . . >.>
    the hex key , is actually a allen wrench that came from a smitty set., but still good to know.

  24. I have a 2012 Harley Davidson Night Rod special. Just started riding. Besides Tire plug kit and maybe a pump what's some other common tools that I should carry. Just for those roadside repairs that can get me to a shop or home like a flat tire?

  25. Removing the rubber from a wheel is almost impossible for me in my garage with all my tools. How you guys do this on the side of a road is amazing to me. Patching a tubeless seems doable enough. You guys should make a roadside tire video.

  26. Can you please do a video on how to change brake, clutch and throttle cables on a Dyan?!???? Pleaseeeeeeeeee

  27. One of the things to consider when you get an expensive pre-fab toolkit is that it's an obvious target for thieves, so there's a good argument for carrying a set of "throwaway tools" on the road.

  28. You could grind the cut off wrench in to one tire spoon… so you only need to Carry one in your roll….

  29. So what tricks do you have for holding up the bike while you take a tire off? Do don't just lay it down, do you?

  30. zip tie your new cables to the old ones. that way when they break you don't have to spend time routing the new cable

  31. not too long ago on 1 of my days off i was riding through town, swung by the harley davidson dealership to see some of my buddies that work there, and i was pulling out ready to leave this guy was on the side of the rode messing with his bike, i stopped to see if he needed help, turns out the screws i had in 2009 kawasaki vulcan 500 were the right screws he needed to do the small repair on his bike, his battery wires were all screwed up, so he needed to re screw them down

  32. lol only thing i have in my toolbox is a screw driver, lenkey, wrench spare headlight bulbs and tail lightbulbs only thing im missing i reckon is probably a tubeless tyre repair thingy

  33. Or just buy a Honda and you don't have to worry about breaking down…. Harley sparkplugs… seriously…

  34. How are you able to remove the wheel on the side of the road if the bike only has a side stand???

  35. I didn’t see assembly lube. What are ya gonna do when one of the crappy bikes you guys ride snaps a connecting rod and you have to do an engine rebuild in the woods? LOL

  36. Thanks for great video! A great video idea is first aid stuff! I don’t mean bandaids and such but … perhaps tourniquets and such… Y’all carry first aid stuff? What ?

  37. I just carry a sparkplug, a few tools (5mm allen key, adjustable wrench, OEM screwdriver, leatherman) and zipties.
    The only problem I've not been able to fix this far is a flat tire.
    I guess a bent gear pedal would leave me on the side of the road too..

  38. Tool pouch suggestion: Silver Solder and a torch lighter will nearly permanently weld anything including exhaust pipe, heads or brackets with just less then actual weld strength.
    There’s a couple of mountain biking multi tools that would be quite useful for Motor cycles.

  39. The fact that you guys not only shared this video of your tool kits but also packing tools for your friends (that are not so smart to pack their own shit) is so relieving. I feel like when I do anything, including riding or even going to the grocery store, I include my friends. That is so rare.
    You guys both rule 🤘🏻and I will admit I’m going to steal both of your ideas from your tool kits and make my own for my bikes and offroad brapps.
    If you guys have youre own channel, ill subscribe. Fuck these corporate muppets.

  40. 3:00 "a little bit of Monkey Butt powder that acts like a lubricant, really seasy to get the tube in"
    Wait what?

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