All the parts in the world won't do a bit of difference if the liquid refreshment keeping your bike functioning runs out.
"Just bring extra" certainly makes for an appropriate slogan when riding dirt bikes or ATVs. Extra applies to tools, parts, oils and fluids. Crashes, worn parts and measurement mistakes typify the most common reasons why the dipstick shows low oil level, the coolant leaks or brake fluid runs dry. Gas, or lack of it, probably ranks #1 in terms of what ends a ride day quicker than anything else.
But so much more involves the use of petroleum distillates that keeps your bike in tip-top shape while running cool under pressure. Therefore, when stocking your tool box full of parts and tools don't forget the beverages and other condiments.
The standard pre-ride checklist includes all fluids so you probably (hopefully) fix low levels before heading out anyway or at least make a note and top off at the track or trails. But a day of riding sometimes requires an oil change and even a small spillover can knock a hose loose emptying your bike of vital sustenance.
So, we have compiled a list of liquids (along with links) we recommend you bring on every riding day which address straightforward issues and mostly uncomplicated repairs that don't require the necessary range and scope a garage provides.
We told you it's #1. So don't leave home without a jug of fuel. Hauling five gallon containers filled with gas makes a dirt bike rider. If fact, if you see a truck or trailer hauling a dirt bike or ATV expect to see a jug or two strapped along the side. But keep an eye on the fuel levels. Nothing worse than thinking you have five gallons of extra fuel only to have a few sips.
Grab a quart or two of motor oil and throw those in the bottom drawer or the top storage space. Sometimes we think the dipstick displayed full to only later realize you need a top-off. Changing the oil between Motos does not borderline on the absurd but what does is not having the extra quart at your disposal. Engines that burn oil also require regular topping off so if you ride an oil guzzler make sure you have more to feed the beast.
All the gas in the world won't do a bit of good if you have no premix and ride a 2-stroke. Also known as 2-stroke oil, premix combined with gas makes the fuel that runs the engine. Wait so what about the engine oil?
Hopefully we haven't bored the veteran riders so just some quick education for new riders. Engine oil for 2-strokes is not the same as the premix 2-stroke oil. You want transmission oil for your 2-stroke and like a 4-stroke the oil, or in this case the transmission oil, might need changing between Motos or the morning and afternoon runs. If you burn through it pretty good make sure you have extra to top off.
Seems like if something can go wrong with the radiator something will go wrong. You need extra coolant in the case of overheating, tubes that inexplicably pop off, or for aggressive riding on a hot day that evaporates enough radiator fluid. Optimum amounts of fresh coolant keeps your bike's radiator from boiling over. And, if it does overheat you need to replace the ruined coolant with the extra half gallon sitting in your tool box.
Chances are...you won't need brake fluid. But seriously look at the size of the container. A can of Coors Light takes up more room. So throw this in your tool box and if by chance the brake fluid boils or you clip a branch that snaps the fluid hose off you won't sit on the sidelines for long.
Even if you run one of those fancy dance O-ring chains we recently wrote about always have a can of chain lube available. Most riders add a quick spray just before heading out anyway so give in to this most acceptable habit and a muddy day at the track or trips thru high water or sand always require extra lubrication.
Brake or Contact Cleaner (or some type of cleaner)
Removing oil, grease and grime while on the road doesn't work so well sans a garden hose. If you blow a fork seal, leak motor oil or need to clean some parts brake cleaner works well, especially brakes and without leaving residue, but most riders use some type of contact cleaner which powers off grease and oil residue from just about anything.
Both cleaner and lubricant WD-40 completes a tool box. We don't recommend using WD-40 for many dirt bike or ATV applications as you can read on "WD-40 and Dirt Bikes - Yes or No?". However, lots of riders swear by its use as a chain lubricant so if you belong to that camp and we can't convince you otherwise, don't forget your chain lube.
WD-40 also helps loosen stuck bolts and if you expect lots of mud on your ride spray down the fenders with WD-40. If you get bored the blow torch properties of WD-40 have entertained teenagers and adults since the dawn of the product however we cannot recommend this favorite pastime between giggly pyro friends.
Quart sized containers, jugs and aerosol spray cans don't exactly Tetris well in your tool box but most should fit inside the larger drawers. The gas cans of course fit in the cargo hold of your truck or trailer strapped in tight and any other large items use a truck bed utility box or tether to something else.
What else should you stock your toolbox with? Check out the articles below for more suggestions.