Tools to Take: What You Need for Roadside Breakdowns

That stock tool kit on your motorcycle may not do you much good in common roadside breakdowns. These kits are often made of cheap material and cover only a small amount of maintenance you can perform. Putting together a tool kit for your machine can cut that endless breakdown in the middle of nowhere into just an hour delay.

All-purpose tools for roadside breakdowns:

●        Multi-tool

●        Zip ties (normal and a couple heavy duty)

●        Duct tape (unravel and re-roll around a pencil to make compact)

●        Hose Clamps

●        Parachute cord (paracord or 550 cord), at least 25 ft

Your multi-tool will be your best friend in most circumstances. Shell out the extra money for a quality brand like Gerbing or Leatherman. When the cheap one breaks under whatever crazy situation you are in, you won’t have any regrets.

Zip ties can be a nice substitute for the zipper handle that just broke off your jacket or tank bag. Duct tape can seal that tear in your riding gear or luggage when you hit a storm. The heavy duty zip ties can keeps things in place when fasteners for fairings or luggage break away. Same goes for hose clamps but they can bear a lot more weight.

Common roadside breakdown necessities:

●        Tire punctures

○   PocketTirePlugger, axel wrenches, tire irons and pump

●        Loose and/or unlubricated chain

○   Axel wrenches, chain slack adjustment wrenches, and chain lube

●        Loss of oil

○   Loctite Cold Weld for leaks, 1 liter spare for bikes that burn off oil

●        Running out of gas

○   Small hose to siphon gas

●        Blown fuses

○   More fuses. Take half a dozen, they don’t take up space.

●        Luggage issues

○   Get creative with zip ties, rope and hose clamps.

●        Bolts rattling loose

○   Loctite Threadlocker

For tire punctures, if you have tubed tires check out the PocketTirePlugger and a demo of how to use it. Bring a portable bicycle pump or small air compressor to pump up the tires. You can at least limp back to a gas station on half the recommended tire pressure. For tubed tires, consider bringing a spare if you can fit it. Besides that, a couple patch kits will get you back on the road.

Check common bolt sizes that are used around you motorcycle. Eight, 10, 12 and 14mm seem to be fairly common, although axel bolt sizes vary.

Storing your roadside breakdown kit

I am a fan of “tool tubes.” You can buy them or make one out of PVC pipe with end caps that screw closed. This allows you to pick the right diameter and length for the area you are storing it. Roam around the plumbing section of your local hardware store and use your imagination.

Use some hose clamps to secure it to the frame or other sturdy areas. The most popular place tends to be on the outside frame of your engine between your front wheel. Make sure you have enough clearance so that when your front forks are compressed the tire doesn’t rub against the tube!

This is by no means extensive, but it gives you a good start towards building your own tool kit. Over time and experience you will encounter situations you could not have predicted, and you can develop your kit more and more. You can never prepare for everything. When faced with a roadside breakdown, a helping hand from a stranger can be the most useful. Pack a smile and keep a cool head.

Allstate makes no warranties or representations and is not liable for any goods or services mentioned in this article.

Bill Dwyer is a guest blogger from  In exchange for sharing this content, the Allstate Community has compensated him via cash payment.