Does anyone carry tools anymore? With everyone packing smartphones, credit cards and roadside assistance, not to mention the reliability of modern motorcycles, some folks just hope for the best. But if you’re a touring rider who logs days or weeks on your motorcycle, especially if you venture far from home or off-road into remote areas, then you know that an ounce of preparation can save you a pounding headache.
These days most motorcycles come with woefully inadequate toolkits. There may be a cheapo screwdriver and perhaps a wrench or two, but that’s about it. You won’t be repairing your throttle-by-wire system out in the field, but you might need to tighten a mirror or a bolt that has vibrated loose. And, just as packing a rain suit seems to keep the rain at bay, carrying a well-stocked toolkit — and staying on top of your motorcycle’s maintenance schedule — may help you avoid problems in the first place.
The best way to carry tools is in a tool roll, like this one from Nelson-Rigg. Made of abrasion-resistant UltraMax polyester, it’s black on the outside but has a high-visibility orange interior that makes it easy to see what’s what. The main compartment has pockets of varying widths with elastic loops to hold tools in place, and there are separate elastic loops to hold CO2 tire-inflation cartridges or tightly rolled stacks of $100 bills. There’s also a small, zippered mesh pocket to hold easy-to-lose items like extra bolts, nuts, etc. A large flap folds over the main compartment, and when spread out it’s a convenient place to put removed hardware or parts so they’re easy to see. The rolled-up roll secures with a long hook-and-loop strap that adjusts to accommodate whatever you decide to pack in there.
My tool roll is stocked with what I need for dual-sport rides, including combo tire iron/axle wrenches, rim protectors, a Leatherman multi-tool with extra bits and a bit driver extender, wrenches and sockets specific to my bike, vice grips, a JB Weld seal stick, zip ties, nitrile gloves, a tow strap and other odds and ends. Spend some time assembling a set of tools that includes only the essentials, and keep your tool roll, flat-repair kit, pump and first-aid kit in your saddlebag.
Nelson Rigg’s Rigg Gear Adventure Tool Roll measures 13.75 x 10.5 inches, costs $24.95 and comes with a lifetime warranty. Also available is a Rear Fender Bag ($55.95) that includes the tool roll.
For more information, see your dealer or visit nelsonrigg.com.