Listen to the podcast

There’s no need for you to put everything and the kitchen sink with you inside your motorcycle tool kit. 

But which items are absolutely essential? Which items are the ones you never want to leave home without – whether you’re popping off to the store, or all the way to the other side of the world?

Tune in to discover:

  • 8 essential items any motorcycle tool kit should include – and what you can do with them
  • What the difference is between a tool kit and a tool box


Hello, and welcome to another episode of 30-minute Motorcycling – a podcast for those riders who are at the beginning of their own Dual Wheel Journey, where you’ll discover something new about how your motorcycle, moped, or scooter works – in less than 30 minutes.


And no matter if you’re just heading down to the local shop or going on a cross-country trip, a breakdown can occur at any time.


That’s why you should always keep a well-equipped tool kit on your bike at all times – it can be a helping hand when you find yourself on the side of the road.


But what should actually be inside your tool kit? That’s what you’re about to discover in this episode – you’re going to discover 8 essential items to keep in your tool kit. 


First, though, perhaps you’re as confused about the difference between a tool kit and a toolbox as I was at one point.


Is there even a difference between a tool kit and a tool box


Again,, I can relate to this – at one point I didn’t know there was difference. They both store tools – they’re the same thing, right?


Well, not exactly – it’s not practical to carry around a big toolbox all the time, but you cannot do many repairs with your hands. 


That’s why a toolkit should contain only the most essential tools to do the most essential repairs while you’re out and about. 


But having a toolkit doesn’t mean you should dispose of your toolbox or the tools inside it. It’s not uncommon that the tools inside many pre-assembled toolkits are of worse quality than the tools inside a toolbox.


In that sense – the difference between a tool kit and a toolbox can be compared to that between a first aid kit and a doctor. One will help you take care of minor cuts and bruises – and the other one is there for more serious stuff.


Now, let’s get to the main point of this episode – the 8 essential items of any tool kit.


The first one is a spanner set. Spanners might be some of the most basic tools around, but you could write a laundry list of all the repairs you can do with a single spanner. Some of these repairs include:

  • Adjusting a side mirror
  • Removing and installing a clutch cable
  • Tightening dull spokes


Keep in mind that spanners have non-adjustable grips, so remember to include a wide variety of spanner sizes.


The second item is just as basic as a spanner, if not more so – it’s a screwdriver set. 


With just a screwdriver set, you can do everything from:

  • Adjusting headlight alignment 
  • Installing a phone handlebar mount 
  • And removing a broken fairing


Let’s now move on to the third item – the tire repair kit.


It doesn’t matter if you’ve got tubed or tubeless tires or if your tires are properly inflated – a flat tire can happen anytime. And when they do, you’ll be grateful for your tire repair kit.


A typical tire repair kit usually consists of:

  • Tire plugs for sealing the puncture
  • Insertion tools for inserting the tire plug
  • Rubber cement, which is applied to the tire plug before you insert it


But as valuable as a tire repair kit is, it’s not meant to be a permanent solution – after that tire has been patched, you shouldn’t keep riding on your tires.


As soon as you can, get the tire changed – either by yourself or by a professional tire repair shop. 


The fourth essential tool kit item is a spare spark plug. Not really a tool, but remember – a tool kit is more than just tools. And a spark plug is a perfect example.


If you need to replace a spark plug at some point, you’ve got one ready to go. That’s great and all, but how are you going to remove the old one?


With your hands? No way. That’s what the fifth essential tool kit item is for – the spark plug socket and socket wrench.


With it, removing the old spark plug and installing a new one is as easy as using a regular socket wrench. 


The sixth essential tool kit item is a handful of spare fuses. 


They may be as small as they are colorful, but your electrical system needs them for protection. 


Of course, if a fuse should blow, it means that a part of your electrical system won’t work – whether it’s the indicators, brake light, or anything else that relies on electricity.


So just like the spark plug, having a handful of spare fuses in your toolkit is essential in case you need to replace one (or several) fuses.


But unlike the spark plug, having just one spare fuse in your tool kit isn’t enough – not every electrical circuit has the same amount of current – a 15 amp fuse is no replacement for a 20 Amp circuit.


And since you can’t tell which fuse will blow in advance, you should ideally have one of each fuse color.


If you’re unsure of the different fuse color codes, I highly recommend that you check out episode 28, which you can find a link to in the episode description of this episode. 


Anyway, let’s move on to the 7th tool kit item – the pliers. 


Just like how the spark plug socket removes a spark plug, a pair of pliers are essential – especially when you’re trying to remove an old, burnt-out fuse – regardless of its Amp rating may be.


But that’s not all that a pair of pliers are good for – they’re also great for:

  • Cutting off zip ties or cable ties
  • Bending a misaligned or crooked lever back into place
  • Removing coolant hose clamps (seriously – try doing that task by hand, and you’ll see what I mean)


Next, we’ve got the eighth and final essential item for your tool kit – and just like this list started with a basic tool, it also ends with one – and that tool is the Allen key (AKA the Hex key).


Like the screwdriver, many tasks you can do with an Allen key are identical to those you can do with a screwdriver. As a reminder, these tasks include:

  • Adjusting headlight alignment
  • Installing a phone handlebar mount 
  • Removing a broken fairing stop


And those are the 8 essential items to include inside your motorcycle tool kit. 


But depending on what type of bike you’ve got, there are some additional items you should consider including.


If you’d like to find out what two of those are, please check out the full post on The Dual Wheel Journey about tool kits – the link is in the episode description.


Either way, I hope you enjoyed listening and, above all, that you learned something new. 


Until next time, keep your helmet on and your eyes on the road. Bye!