Riding the trails generally offers a more solitary venue than hanging out at the Motocross track. As such, any mechanical failures or other issues arising from a general breakdown or even a crash proves a bit difficult to remedy.
You can't bring the garage with you to the trails a fact seasoned trail riders know all too well, usually from past experience(s). Therefore they've learned to fill their dirt bike trail pack or saddlebag with the necessary tools to prevent getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere.
So what's in your trail pack?
We'll tell you what's in ours. If you're a regular trail rider wanting a bit more security or looking to start this highly addictive activity with your bases covered you've come to the right place. We'll show you the best tools and gear that every trail rider should take on their ride. But first things first - you need a bag!
Best Dirt Bike Trail Riding Bags
Trail bags or packs or saddlebags, whatever you want to call them come in different shapes, sizes and locations on the bag. Think of them as the trunk or glove box for your dirt bike.
A saddlebag wraps over your seat and hangs off the side of the bike similar to hanging a bag off a horse - hence the name saddlebag. Saddlebags work best with adventure or dual-sport riders not for ripping trails therefore we recommend more compact and less intrusive bags for trail riding.
The fender bag mounts securely to the rear fender and is out of your way. The GYTR is quite popular among trail riders who prefer this style.
The Handlebar bag fits securely on the cross bar. It's smaller than other options but still big enough to hold the necessary items needed on the trail in the event of trouble. However, we'd suggest a second bag worn on the body in additional to this one especially for long rides.
Growing in popularity is the fanny pack and it's a lot cooler than it sounds. The fanny pack fits securely around you and eliminates any worry about a bag secured to the bike falling off. It also serves as a second pack to one you've attached to your bike (securely of course!) like the handlebar bag.
The fanny pack is easy to wear and you'll never know it's on. It wraps around your waist much like a kidney belt and the bag positions to your backside rather than the front like you see people wearing at Disneyland.
The most popular trail riding bag is the hydration pack that offers storage capacity for tools. It's worn like a backpack, provides the necessary hydration for hours of riding and carries all the tools needed to address any problems.
Best Tools for Trail Riding
Now that you've got your bag(s) it's time to fill it. When deciding what tools to bring, think practical. It's unlikely you'll need a Fork Cap Wrench while on the trails so don't bring one. Instead, grab what addresses the most likely scenario you'll face. Nuts and bolts fall off, and tires get punctured, right?
BikeMaster makes a compact T-Handle set that also utilizes a #2 Philips socket. So you've got the wrenches and most applicable screwdriver covered. This set is convenient when nuts and bolts jostle loose during a ride but is mostly worthless without the replacement parts. Therefore bring a hardware kit containing a hodgepodge of factory nuts and bolts. If you're riding Japanese bike check out this trail kit from Turner and for you KTM/Husky guys Turner offers this one.
A flat tire ends a day faster than running out of gas. There's no way you'll fit or want to carry a large tire iron but a small compact set does the trick. Don't forget your tube - it's not technically a tool so we're not including it. But you'll need air so grab a tire and tube flat repair kit which covers tubeless tires and fit in your pack, plus you'll need this compact tire pressure gauge.
Finally, when situations arise you simply want a quick patch that gets you safely back to camp where you can properly focus on the bigger issue. These final items weigh little and easily fit inside the smallest bag:
- Zip ties
- Safety wire
- Quick steel or quick aluminum
If your trail pack still has room, it's not a bad idea to toss in additional screwdrivers, pliers and even Allen wrenches. They don't add that much weight and cover further scenarios you might encounter while riding.