Category Archives: Gear

Essentials: Tool Kit

Every trip is different, every bike is different and every rider is different but everyone should have some sort of tool kit while they are riding.  Tool kits are a tricky thing because you want to be prepared but you don’t want to get ridiculous with the items you are bringing along when space is such a premium.  Some riders have condensed their tool kits down to just what can fit in the space beneath the seat while others have pounds worth of spares weighing down their rides.  It all comes down to what you think you need, what you are comfortable doing, how far off the beaten path you will be going and how much space and weight you have to spare.

Hopefully I will be adding a short video of my tool kit for this trip but in the meantime I have compiled a few resources I used to get a handle on what makes sense to take when bombing around on an adventure bike.  Pick and choose what works best for you and then get out there and test it.

First we have a great thread on ADVRider.com about a well stocked tool kit from hilslamer here.

I also really enjoyed watching videos of people walking through their kit because most of the time they also include the reasons why they did or did not bring certain items.

Rocky Mountain ADV put together a solid, well used kit here.

Wandering Beast has a video about tools specifically for the KLR but it is a great reference for getting ideas.

Once you get through all that you will have a solid start at building your own kit.  You can continue watching videos or just start and figure it out.  Ultimately, it isn’t an adventure if everything goes perfectly so have some fun and expect to be flexible.

SW Motech Trax Adventure Side Cases

They are finally here!  I settled on these cases after much deliberation between hard and soft panniers.  I decided it was more important to have locking structured cases over the weight gains and collision dampening aspects of soft luggage.  The mounting was exceptionally easy once the right hardware was in hand.

I will caution you to make sure you are getting the right racks and mounting hardware for whatever cases you get as it will save you a lot of headaches at installation time.

The cases come without locks on the latches but a <$30 kit will solve all those issues with multiple locks all keyed the same.  Now I can open and remove my cases with just a single key and I still have a couple locks left over if I ever decide to get the matching top case (summer 2017 likely).

The cases arrived and almost immediately Mother Nature decided to drop about three inches of snow and sleet on us.  In NC, that is a death sentence so it may be quite a few days before I am able to get out and properly shoot these cases for proper documentation.  Until then you will just have to do with these taken from my garage.

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