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.

Tool Kits

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 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.

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.

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.

Other Supplies

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.