Tools & Other Important Supplies
Every rider has his "must haves" when on the road. My must haves are a tool kit, first aid kit, tire repair kit, and a small pack of spares. Here's what's in them.
When I sold my R1100GS & started riding an R1200GS, I had to overhaul my tool kit for one pretty simple reason: Torx bolts. The 1200 generation is rife with them while the 1100 generation is mostly (if not all) hex bolts. Much of my 1100 kit will work for my K1200RS, though, so now I keep 2 completely separate kits.
Many thanks to the proprietor of R1200GS.info for advice & info on building an appropriate R12GS kit.
R1200GS Tool Kit
I keep all the above in a custom-made tool roll; I had the guy make it with a pouch on one end that holds all the standard sockets, Torx sockets, T10 wrench, and Dual Tool. The rest of it is like a regular tool roll.
- box wrenches (all mm): 8, 10-13
- sockets (all mm): 8 (1/4" drive), 10-13 (3/8" drive)
- Torx sockets: T20, T25, T27 (1/4" drive), T30, T40, T45, T50, T55 (3/8" drive). The T55 only gets used to adjust the stock R12GS hand guards - that's it.
- ratchet driver, 3/8": I like a somewhat stubby one; mine has an angle-adjustable handle
- 4 to 6" "wobble" or flex extension, 3/8" drive
- 4 to 6" "wobble" or flex extension, 1/4" drive
- 3/8" to 1/4" drive adapter
- Promach Dual Tool: this might be the coolest tool in my entire kit. It is used to take the front wheel axle off (stick the 22mm end in the hole, use a 3/8" ratchet driver to turn), pull the spark plug wires off the plugs, and the 19mm end is for the oil filler cap.
- Allen wrenches, long handle (all mm): 3-5, 6, 8
- Torx wrench, T10 "safety": this is used only to lock my GPS unit in its cradle
- vice grips, a 5 or 6" pair should do
- wire cutters, 4" pair
- 8" adjustable (crescent) wrench
- a decent multi-tool: mine has pliers, a knife blade, saw blade, bottle opener & a little LED flashlight
- feeler gauges, .15mm & .3mm: for adjusting valve clearances
- oil filter wrench
- spark plug tool from the stock tool kit
- shock adjuster tool: either from the stock tool kit or specific for your shocks
- screwdriver handle & interchangeable blades: phillips #1, #2; flat 3/16", 1/4" (make sure at least one blade shaft will fit through the hole at the end of the spark plug tool)
K1200RS Tool Kit
Tire Repair Kit
A good tire repair kit can save your vacation - and a lot of money. Most (if not all) tire manufacturers will tell you not to exceed 40 mph on a plugged tire, but most riders that have plugged tires will tell you a plugged tire is 90% as good as a new one. Your mileage (literally) may vary. Use your brain when it comes to riding on a repaired tire.
First Aid Kit
First aid is the kind of thing you need to know, but hope you never have to use. Take a good first aid course that includes CPR. You may just save a life.
The most powerful first aid tool you have is a telephone. Call 9-1-1; many states also have emergency numbers you can call with your cell phone. I know in Virginia you can dial #77 and get connected straight to the State Police.
Know what first aid is for. You're not treating an injury so much as assessing the situation & stabilizing the wound until it can be treated by a professional. Stop the bleeding, splint the bone, cover the scrape or burn as best you can - and then get the hell to a hospital.
- disposable gloves, 5-6 pair: keep in mind some people are allergic to latex - in a real pinch, you can put your motorcycle gloves on over latex gloves, which protects them from an allergic reaction & you from blood contact, but could get dirt in an open wound
- bandages, large, 2-3
- bandages, small, 5-7 (not band-aids)
- band-aids (a handful will do)
- belly bandages, 2 (can substitute w/"feminine hygiene" pads)
- sterile gauze, roll or pack
- EMT scissors (cut through straps, webbing, belts, etc.)
- sling/triangle bandage
- medicated burn bandages, 2-3
- bandage or athletic tape
- a couple of clamps - I think the pro name for them is "hemostats"
- anti-bacterial cream, wipes or spray
- clotting agent such as QuikClot: this is a pretty hard-core first aid supply, but it can (and I have seen it) save a life in an otherwise untenable situation. Expensive, but worth it when you need it.
As a final bit of advice, I would say that if you ride, you need to know how - and more importantly WHEN - to use a tourniquet. A friend of mine was hit by a drunk driver while out riding; her leg was severed by the collision. If her husband had not known how to make a tourinquet, she would have bled out & died in a matter of minutes.
There's no real comprehensive list - take what you think you might need on the side of the road 200 miles from anywhere to get to the next gas station. Here's some of what I carry.
- oil sight glass
- replacement bulbs - H7 (headlight), turn signal, brake, & 1 each for both sets of PIAAs
- short length of FI hose
- fuel injection-rated hose clamps, screw-type (can be used for lots of things)
- several lengths of different-colored braided copper wire
You can't anticipate every malfunction when on the road away from your garage & tool box. You might find some of these things handy as well.
Some other handy stuff to have tucked away in a saddlebag or under your seat.
- zip ties, various sizes
- duct tape
- electrical tape
- safety wire
- JB Weld (or similar 2-part epoxy)
- threadlock, small tube
- dielectric grease, small tube
- spare motorcycle key
- spare house key
- copy of motorcycle registration
- copy of insurance card/statement
- list of medical issues, including allergies & eyeglasses prescription
- list of emergency contact phone numbers
- stash of cash - up to you, but $100 can go a long way if you lose your wallet
- granola or energy bar (it'll probably be stale when you need it... but if it's been 20 hours since you last ate, you won't care!)