Tools, Spares and other equipment
Tools and spares for your bike.
Adventure riding can take you places not frequented by car or motorcycle travellers, and often not covered by recovery services. Being able to resolve mechanical issues or accident damage could save you a long walk or a cold wait. A toolkit is insurance as much as anything, don’t take one and you’ll need it, pack a comprehensive one and you’ll never open it.
I have been in situations where bent levers have been restored to a usable position using natural debris found on the side of the track, through to a hole smashed through the underside of a motor which was only able to be temporarily repaired due to a group member carrying a tube of metal putty. The metal putty enabled us to seal the hole in the motor and stop all the oil from draining out. Had the metal putty not been available that bike would have had to be left where it was and a local farmer engaged to retrieve it with a 4×4 or quad bike at a later date.
For more adventurous riders your tool kit should at least enable you to remove and fix a flat tyre, de-water a drowned bike, straighten bent foot brake and gear levers and straighten twisted forks or adjust a chain, and you should have some familiarity with using them. Don’t rely on the stock factory tool kit to provide tools to do this as you may find it lacking when you really need it.
A basic tool and spares kit might contain a Philips and flat head screwdriver, sockets and allen keys for common bolts and cap screws on your bike, appropriate tools to remove spark plugs and possibly even spare spark plugs. Tools to remove the front and rear wheels, tyre levers and tyre patches or spare tubes, and a pump. A pocket knife and insulation tape can also temporarily fix all sorts of issues and cable ties can be extremely handy. If you are riding a long distance or wet terrain then chain lube is a good idea.
Ultimately whether you take a tool kit, and what and how many tools you carry is a personal decision. How long you are going, and how far off the beaten track you intend to go are all considerations and your tool kit could range from an vehicle recovery membership to enough tools to completely dismantle and rebuild your bike.
Spares and other equipment for you
As well as making sure you can take care of your bike, riders need to ensure they take care of themselves.
While adventure riding conditions can change rapidly due to a change in weather conditions changes in altitude, environment and exposure to the conditions. Riding from a sheltered valley or enclosed bush track for example onto an exposed hillside can mean a drastic change of temperature and wind conditions. Adventure riders should be prepared to cater for significant temperature variations, rain or even snow depending on your location and season. Even in mid-summer if you are caught in rain and your gear gets wet your body temperature can drop which can impact your riding ability and lead to exhaustion, illness and an increased risk of an accident.
Dehydration and energy levels must also be considered if you are heading well off the beaten track or over rough terrain. Any track could take longer to traverse than anticipated due to varying conditions and you will use far more energy than if you were road riding. A suitable quantity of water should be carried and an energy snack or packed lunch. Water can be carried bottled in your luggage or by using a water bladder worn on your back.