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ADV Products10 Essential Tools to Handle Nearly Any Trailside Repair

10 Essential Tools to Handle Nearly Any Trailside Repair

Be prepared for almost any situation with light, compact, multi-purpose tools.

Published on 09.07.2016

Essential Tools to prepare you for any situation

When it comes to tools, there’s a fine line between being prepared and overpacking. You want to keep your kit as light as possible by carrying only what you’ll need. But how do you know what you’ll need until something breaks?

The answer is try to anticipate the mechanical issues that can crop up on a ride, then pack appropriate tools that are light, small and serve multiple functions to address them. You also want to bring along a few items that can provide a fix for situations that you can never anticipate.


Below are 10 essential tools that will help ensure you are prepared for nearly any situation on an Adventure Ride.

Courtesy Alfonse Palaima

1. Tire irons

Motion Pro BeadPro – $58.49

Essential Tools: Motion Pro BeadPro beak breaker aluminum

Ride long enough and you will get a flat. And on larger adventure bikes, repairing a tire often involves breaking a very stubborn bead. Motion Pro’s BeadPro levers combine tire spoons on one end with a unique bead breaker on the other. Just slip one of the BeadPros inside the other, squeeze, and you’ll (usually) conquer the most reluctant bead. Flip them around and spoon the tire off just like a regular set of levers. At just 9 ounces (255 grams) a set and 9.8″ (249 mm) long each, the forged 7075-T6 Aluminum BeadPro levers are sized for carrying in your tool kit. Motion Pro also makes a forged steel version which are more durable and a little longer, but we recommend the aluminum BeadPro Bead Breakers for carrying on the bike.

2. Tire Repair kits

Dynaplug Pro Tubeless Patch Kit – $53.99; Slime Tube Patch Kit – $4.33

Essential Tools: Dyna Pro and Slime patch kits

How you repair your flats depends on whether you have tubeless or tube-type tires. For tubeless tires, the Dynaplug Pro is quick, easy and very compact. Just load a brass-tipped plug into the tool, insert it into the puncture, pull the tool out and you’re done. Pre-load the tool before you pull out a nail out of your tire, for example, and you won’t even lose much air. It’s that fast. The Dynaplug comes in several variations, but the Pro puts everything you need in one small package, making it the best choice for riders. Tube-type tires are more involved. You take the wheel off the bike, break the bead, and pull out the tube. Some people insist on a new tube every time they get a puncture but if you don’t have that luxury, Slime’s time-tested patch kit has everything you need: pre-cut patches, a small grater to rough up the tube, and rubber cement.

3. Tire Pump

MotoPumps Mini Pro – $53.99

Essential Tools: MotoPumps Mini Pro Tire Inflator

Some riders swear by the lightweight and simplicity of bicycle pumps, others like the ease and convenience of Co2 cartridges. But if you’ve got a bike with a 12-volt plug, a mini air compressor makes pumping up your tires a whole lot faster. The MotoPumps Mini Pro is designed for bikes with features such as 10 feet of power cord, a combo cigarette/BMW/SAE connector, a coiled air hose to save space, an LED work light, and a backlit pressure gauge you can see at night. It weighs 18 ounces (510 grams) and can crank out 50 PSI. For a cheaper option without all the features, try the Slime Power Sport Tire Inflator. It weighs a little more, but it’s powerful and costs about half as much as the MotoPumps unit.

4. Multipurpose Tool

Leatherman Wave – $89.85

Essential Tools: Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool

Leatherman’s most popular model, the Wave is a compact, handheld toolbox featuring 17 things you might need for trailside repairs including pliers (needle nose and regular pliers), files, wire strippers, a saw, etc. Many of the bigger tools, including the three-inch knife blade, are accessible without opening the tool. The Leatherman Wave weighs in at a petite 8.5 ounces (241 grams), and could save your bacon, or cut it up into bite-sized pieces.

5. Universal Wrenches

4-IN-1 Ratcheting Wrenches – $29.99, Snap N Grip Universal Wrenches – $11.26

Essential Tools: Craftsman 4-in-1 ratcheting wrench and Snap n Grip Universal Wrenches

Having a set of universal wrenches will allow you to handle a variety of different sized bolts you might find on a bike. While you may be diligent enough to pack every sized wrench that fits on your bike, you can’t always be assured your riding buddies will do the same. And when your riding buddy has a problem in the middle of nowhere, their problem becomes your problem. The Craftsman 4 IN 1 is great for the smaller nuts and bolts common to dual sport and adventure bikes. It’s a box-end, ratcheting wrench for 8, 10, 12, and 13 mm sizes that takes up the space of one standard wrench and weighs only 9 ounces (255 grams). The Snap N Grip is a universal wrench good for larger applications, like axle nuts. Both universal wrenches come in sets of two (smaller and larger versions) but you can get away with carrying just the small 4-IN-1 and the large Snap N Grip.

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Author: Bob Whitby

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September 7, 2016 2:22 pm

Great article. I love those irons from Motion Pro as well as the Motopump. What I really need is a chain tool. 😉

September 7, 2016 5:54 pm

I think one important thing should be include in the list: A jumper cable or a micro-starter battery. I don’t think we can push start a 500+ motorcycle : )

Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor
May 15, 2018 5:48 am
Reply to  Phil

In 2017 a friend and I rented motorcycles and took a week long trip around Northern California, Oregon, Nevada. I had a 2017 Ducati multistrada and my friend had a BMW gs 1200. When I got the bike from the rental agency it had 500 miles on the odometer, on day three of the trip we had to bump start the Ducati in the parking lot of the hotel we stayed in. Not as big a fan of Ducati after the trip but it is possible to push start big bikes!

September 7, 2016 10:38 pm

Good article. I’d have to add bailing wire to the misc. items. Saved my butt a number of times!

Ian Haynes
Ian Haynes
September 14, 2017 10:53 pm
Reply to  Sully

Cable ties,t he good ones made of nylon, duct tape and fencing wire. Every big trip, always.

6 Off-Road Riding Tips You Don't Need to Learn the Hard Way - ADV Pulse
May 26, 2017 9:15 am

[…] ADV riding is called an adventure because things will break, so pack the unthought-of. Some of the most useful in a pinch are things that are not often for sale, such as a spare inner tube that can be used as a rescue bag, as a tourniquet, or even as a sacrificial material in a high wear area. Bailing wire has untold solutions, and used oil cans can be used as tool holders, oil funnels or to transfer gas and hide cash. A small file can turn a broken bolt shaft into a slotted drive screw head. You’d be surprised how “worthless” slightly corroded fuses just need a little bit of love — emery cloth can do wonders. The proper use of JB Weld with an aluminum can or rock have closed massive holes in engine cases. Watching MacGyver episodes from 1986-1989 definitely helps. For more tips on essential tools to carry, go here. […]

September 16, 2017 11:05 pm

great list….although this list covers most of the essentials, hope you write a part 2 soon as you might have missed some items…….which may not be so much essential or might be to some.

……valve stem tool, some stem locks and cores, better chain repair kit/guide, starter batteries/cables, small roll of wiring replacement, tie wires/strings, plug socket, some radiator stopleak, fuel hose, Quiksteel, a cig lighter…..cheers!!

Howard M. Weekley
Howard M. Weekley
March 27, 2018 5:20 am

Few days ago I was in trouble on a Trailside. After that I was looking for a list will help me. I found you and I am impressed at you. I was thinking something like you. Hope this tool list will help to all.

Quick Tips: How To Avoid Wire-Spoke Wheel Disasters - ADV Pulse
May 4, 2018 9:06 am

[…] if you take this advice, don’t forget to carry tire tools as well. A tube alone won’t do any good if you don’t have a wrench to take off your wheel, tire […]

Dean Henthorn
Dean Henthorn
August 22, 2018 12:10 pm

Good list. Thanks for that… now I have to go shopping..LOL

April 25, 2020 6:27 am

Excellent list, I carry a short piece of fuel line, clamps, and short piece of SS tube to make a temporary repair. Lesson learned after having a line rupture in the sticks on a FI bike.


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