If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.
And, when putting a dirt bike or ATV through the wringer on the track or trails don't expect nothing to go wrong. Parts break or fail even without carnage happening but add in a get-off or two, something often busts.
When riding we often state dress for the crash. In the same respects, prepare for complications. Most auto manufacturers equip cars with a spare tire, just in case. But how often have you used the one in your car? Some people drive for decades without ever encountering a flat. Unfortunately the same can't be said when riding dirt bikes or ATVs. Most riders eventually encounter a problem, some even expect it. Of course, you can't prepare for every problem nor expect to fix major issues like a blown rod or failed cylinder.
Repairs to extensive issues involving the engine, clutch, and suspension usually require the garage, special tools and replacement parts you need to order rather than have on stand-by. Besides, routine maintenance and pre-ride checks often prevent or find issues before these serious complications happen.
A bent rod doesn't occur every day but a flat tire? Sometimes twice in an hour! Both prevent you from riding but only one necessitates 15 minutes and a new tube to going. Therefore, when heading out for a ride you want an assembly of those spare parts to quickly repair minor issues that otherwise make riding more difficult or sometimes impossible.
So, we have compiled a list of parts (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.
Inexpensive, small and easily stores away in your portable tool box. Most riders install a spark plug and forget it. Then one day the bike fails to start. Spark plug. Quick and easy fix or go home.
Even new chains snap. Removing the carcass of the dead beat proves quite easy, if it's not already lying on the ground. Snap on a replacement and get back to riding. Or kick yourself (or the bike) for not having a spare chain in your tool box.
Mousse riders need not apply but for the majority of dirt bike riders a flat tire means a hole in the inner tube. Switching out the inner tube is far less complicated than a patch job. Mastering tire removal and install gets you riding faster, too. If you forget everything on this lost except one, remember the inner tubes.
Grips don't wear out during an hour of riding however a well-articulated crash can certainly inflict enough damage to require replacement. Additionally, if you like stretching your dollars then it is possible to end the life of already well-handled grips in one ride day. This often happens during the pre-ride check when the grips look on the verge of tattered shards but instead of spending the time replacing them you think "one more ride then I'll change them." Turns out it's half a ride.
A small tip over, that lands just right, breaks the strongest of levers. Even those that flex or fold. Trail riding poses the bigger danger here with tree trunks winning 100 percent of the fights. Bent or broken levers don't happen all the time but probably rank second among the issues you will encounter on a given ride day. The small size allows you to easily store away one of each lever in your tool box.
Nuts and Bolts
The loss of a nut or bolt usually doesn't prevent you from riding - depending on which one. However a missing fixture impacts the overall safety of the bike and knowing a bolt or nut has fallen off prevents you from riding at a high level. Forget trying to find the lost bolt, stock your bag with a hardware kit specific to your bike model that offers a selection of replacement hardware.
Trail riders have less an issue with burning through brake pads in a day then those who ride aggressively on the Motocross track. But damage to pads happens to anyone from rocks, sticks and other debris that gets caught between the pad and rotor. Brake pads replace quite easily, just a few minutes, and fit conveniently inside your tool box.
Obviously you can't stuff a set of handlebars inside a tool box, maybe a gear bag, but regardless bring a replacement set of handlebars. Unlike levers, handlebars need a pretty good crunch to end a ride, but like levers, trail riding poses far significant dangers to the health and well-being of your handlebars. A misguided line through a set of trees can crack the bars in half. You might need a break after a gut-wrenching collision but once you take a breather the rest of the day awaits...unless you failed to pack an extra set of handlebars.
All of these parts except the handlebars fit in a tool box or gear bag along with the necessary tools you need for installation. Routine maintenance prevents most problems from arising on ride day so if you stay ahead of general wear and tear issues you might never need an emergency spare part. But always prepare for the unexpected so you don't get left waiting around.
So what tools should stock your tool box? Check out "Stock Your Portable Tool Box With These Dirt Bike or ATV Tools."
Written By: AndrewT