Trail riding offers some serious fun that can be both exhilarating and physically challenging. It varies greatly from the MX track in its unpredictability and risk further adding to the excitement.
Like motocross riding however, preparation is the first rule of thumb. Unlike motocross riding, everything you need goes with you rather than in the bed of the truck.
Since you can't take a 50 pound tool box along for the ride you need to be judicious in deciding what goes and what stays. As you'll see, it's not all about tools either. Your bike can't ride without proper fuel and maintenance and neither can you. The next time you plan a day on the trail with riding buddies consider the following as a checklist to bring all you need for a great day of fun.
- Socket and Allen Wrench Sets
- Flat Tire Repair Kit
- Tire Irons
- Spare Spark Plug
- First Aid Kit
The last thing you want is for dehydration to set in 50 miles from nowhere. Thanks to some cool innovations, you won't need a fanny pack with water bottles attached to the side nor will you need an overstuffed backpack weight you down with a bulky water bottle inside sticking in your spine. Grab a hydration pack. The ride like a backpack but you'll never know it's there. And you can take a sip whenever you want.
Socket and Allen Wrench Sets
Dirt bikes have a lot of removable parts. Just the very act of riding can loosen screws, nuts and bolts over time. If something breaks you'll need the correct tools to remove it. It's easy to do this when you're a five minute walk from your truck or trailer. If you run into trouble on the trail the last thing you want to be doing is walking home or using your fingers as metal tools.
The following sets are compact and ready-made for trail riding. The Tool Kits are more expensive but offer everything needed in a compact and secure pack.
Socket Wrench Set
Allen Wrench Set
Wrench and Tool Kits
It's often said the screwdriver is the most abused tool in a garage. Now we don't expect you to use a screwdriver for anything other than its intended purpose which is many on a dirt bike. But just in case you get into a bind a screwdriver can quickly become your best friend.
Dirt bike riding is intense exercise. Like water for dehydration you'll need food to keep your energy levels up. Obviously you can't pack a steak dinner but with some creative thinking you can pack a decent lunch/snack to keep you alert and fight through any fatigue which is especially important near the end of the day.
Energy and candy bars are perfect rest stop snacks. Quick and easy they offer a high amount of calories and are ready to eat. Sandwiches are also a good option but avoid refrigerated edibles. You won't carry a refrigerator and an ice pack is just one more item to weigh you down. Trail mix is also a great way to fuel up.
Flat Tire Repair Kit
A flat tire is not inevitable but to take off down any type of trail without a back-up plan is asking for trouble. Sharp stones and needle-like sticks lurk everywhere and if you're blazing through a leaf-covered forest you'll have no idea what you're riding over. A flat tire repair kit not only keeps your riding but prevents you from having to walk your dirt bike back who knows how many miles on a flat tire.
That flat tire repair kit won't do you much good if you can't remove the tire. Yes, you'll need a tire iron or spoon. Changing a flat is no cake-walk in the comfort of your garage with all the correct tools so don't expect to be up and riding within five minutes if you do encounter a flat. It'll take some time and patience but consider the alternative.
Spare Spark Plug
Need we say more?
Carrying extra fuel not only extends your ride allowing you to explore more but eliminates the worry of running out of gas miles from camp. Two schools of thought exist when it comes to carrying extra fuel. Strap an extra gas tank to your bike and fill when needed or simply install a bigger fuel tank. The safer option is to install a bigger fuel tank.
First Aid Kit
This is a no-brainer here. Sooner or later you're going to crash. Usually, you'll be able to get up, brush yourself off and jump right back on. But sometimes you'll need some patch work before either continuing your ride or calling it a day and getting back to better tend to your injuries.
First Aid Kit
One final note about trail riding. Always go with at least one other person. First off, it's never fun to ride alone! But most importantly, if you do get seriously hurt a second or third person can help tend to your injuries and get you safely back to camp.
Written By: AndrewT