Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What's in your motorcycle tool kit?

Classic Royal Enfield Bullet motorcycles came with two spacious tool boxes. The factory supplied a tool kit, one spare fuse and some bikes even carried a spare inner tube when customers picked them up.

Experience quickly taught riders that more was needed. I learned fast that it was essential to carry a spare clutch cable. But that wasn't all I found necessary. I recently inventoried my tool boxes to discover that the main thing I had added was rags for wiping up after roadside repairs!

Although the list of things I carry is long, it is by no means satisfactory. I notice that I have left out at least three essentials. Can you guess what they are? Here's what I DO have:

Left tool box

  • Leather fanny pack to contain tools.
  • 1 rag to cushion fanny pack inside tool box.
  • 3 additional rags.
  • Factory Whitworth wrenches.
  • Tube sockets and bar to turn them.
  • Adjustable spanner.
  • Pliers.
  • Spark plug gaping tool.
  • Bent bit of metal for feeling for piston at TDC.
  • Tire prying irons.
  • Screwdriver socket for adjusting points set.
  • Tiny bottle of motor oil.
  • Bungee cord.
  • See-through plastic pouch to contain supplies.
  • Allen wrench for tightening controls on handlebars.
  • Wet wipe (probably long since dried up).
  • 2 paper rags.
  • Box of 20 Amp fuses (5).
  • Chain master link.
  • Tire valve cap with wrench end.
  • Spark plug (pre-gapped).
  • Bolt for left-side shift bodge.
  • Clutch lever cable retainer.

Right tool box

  • Owner's manual.
  • Insurance card.
  • Registration.
  • Wet wipe (probably long since dried up).
  • Throttle cable.
  • Clutch cable.
  • Plastic bags to keep these dry.

Next time: What's missing? If you'd like to guess what I have in mind, let me just add that I always wear a Leatherman tool, which provides standard and Phillip's screwdrivers, another pliers and a knife.


  1. Wow David, this is why I read this blog daily. I've been traveling dangerously light! I only carry the factory wrench set, bungee cords, registration, insurance, flashlight, a brake cable and some rags. I like the fannypack idea too (I can't believe I just typed that sentence). Thanks again for the list and pics. Can't wait to read the "missing" items.

  2. Nicely done sir. The only additional items I regularly carry are: zip-tie assortment, electrical crimp-connector assortment (and crimp tool), feeler gauge for the points, an actual TDC tool, tube patch and tire inflation kit, and a first aid kit.
    Of course with the Military, I have a little more room to tote around the whole shop with me! ;)

  3. Nice post mostly of these are important during riding but i have missed mostly but thanks for sharing the post now i will upgrade my kit.

  4. Looks like you got most of the basic needs. For those in the U.S. with a fannypack issue like Chris, you can always go to intergalacticshipping.com and pick up an inexpensive Motorcycle tool kit. It's about the size of the FP. It has some handy things and you can trade out some for the items on David's list. Also, make sure you have some burn ointment in that First Aid Kit, won't hurt to include a surgical glove or two (makes cleanup easier), and lastly you might be able to squeeze in an crank or windup flashlight/radio.

    If you're like me, you can continue to tweak the list till you'll need to add a 40 foot trailer! Roll Safe.

  5. A GPS and some spare batteries, small flashlight, matches or lighter, a small aluminum pot and some dried soup or rice and a space blanket.


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