Motorcycle Tools & Cleaners

Tools

We don’t claim to be, nor do we want to be motorcycle mechanics. However, there are some situations in which you would rather be able to save yourself than sit by the road waiting for a tow.  We carry just a few motorcycle tools & cleaners along on every ride. The entire list of what to take on a motorcycle ride can be found here.

Flat Tire

Slime is not a good Choice
Flat tires are the most common, and easily repairable breakdown you’ll experience.  Everyone who rides should be prepared to Fix a flat.
Most of the time, even for a nail in the tire, you’re going to want to put in a plug. If you decide to use, “Slime” be prepared….. when you get to a shop and the mechanic takes off your tire and finds it full of that nasty, sticky goop……yes always tip mechanics.
Carry a plug kit
Now the plugging is fairly straight forward and you should watch some YouTube videos on how to get it done…..before you need to on the side of the road. After the hole is fixed and your tire will hold air….. you have a few choices to get back up to correct riding pressure. You need not only pressure, but a pretty large volume of air.
One option is to carry CO2 cartridges, they’re fairly inexpensive, will build pressure and if you have enough of them you’ll get the volume too. So here’s the warning; figure out how many cartridges you’ll need and add a few for good measure. Make sure they match your nozzle, I think the threaded type are best and get a nozzle with a valve so you have control over the inflation. Get the 16oz cartridges.
Get a nozzle that fits your CO2

We started with CO2, but now have a compressor. That decision was made mostly because we don’t have a compressor at home and it was a real pain to go find a gas station with air….remember when all stations had free air?  So before riding, when you check your tires….with a gauge….you DO check your tires before you ride don’t you?

So you’re a few pounds low and now your first destination is the nearest station with air. We were tired of that so we bought a Cycle Pump  MADE IN THE USA compressor, now we can top off the tires before we ride.. The storage bag is big enough to carry some other emergency tools.

Get some 90° valve stems
These things are easily one of the best changes we made to the bike.  90° stems make checking the air pressure so much easier.  With these you’re more likely to check the pressure, rather than kicking the tire (useless).
Dead Battery
XP Batteries Micro-Start
This seems like a unlikely event, so I would say most people don’t worry about it.  We have used ours to assist someone with a dead car battery . If we make a car trip we toss the jump-start unit in the glove box…..we have had dead car batteries and this is smaller than carrying jumper cables and walking around asking someone to help. You can also charge phones, etc.
Hand Tools
Leatherman “Wingman”

Again, some things are to make us feel better, but may never be used and that is the case with our tools.  The tool kit that is probably under your seat, the one that came from the factory is really limited.

We choose just a couple of simple, “Multi-Tools.”  I used to have to remember to get the Leatherman tool, which is in my jeans pocket 365 days a year…… every day we rode, I put it in my riding pants and then back to my jeans after the ride.  Inevitably it gets forgotten and I need it at work and it’s in the riding pants or vice versa, enter second Leatherman.

I put velcro on it and on the inside of a saddle bag way back in a corner.  It’s always there, but it’s out of the way.  I tend to use a Leatherman fairly often for one reason or another.  Now, if it’s needed I just reach back in there and peel it off the wall.

Cruz Tools M’14 Outbacker

No multi-tool is as good as regular wrenches or a rachet.  However, for space saving and an emergency tool, we like the Cruz Tools Outbacker.  Ours is Metric, they come in SAE as well.

You’ll get 14 tools – four hex keys (3, 4, 5, and 6mm), two screwdrivers, a socket driver with 8, 10, and 12mm sockets, 13 and 14mm open-end wrenches, and three spoke wrenches – all in a nine ounce unit that’s only 3.5” long.  We have Vlecro sticking this onto a saddlebag wall as well.

Cleaners

Bikes get dirty and no one wants to ride a dirty bike!  How about those bugs that cover your windshield and faceshield on every ride?  We have tried many products and have found the best cleaners.  A clean bike deserves it photo taken, we talk about photography here.

Windshield & Helmet

Camco 210
Motorcycle windshields are not glass and if you try to clean them like you do your auto windshield you can do permanent damage.  Never use Windex or cleaners that contain ammonia.  Plexiglas requires it’s own special cleaners, we like Camco 210.
Bugslide

Bugslide is an amazing product. I wish I would have tried it years ago.  There is nothing I have found that will take bugs off the bike like Bugslide.

It is a detailing spray and using it, you almost never need to wash your bike.  If you’re not covered in heavy dirt, but just need to get the bugs and road spray off…..this is it.  Yes, it’s cheaper to wet a towel and let it sit on the bike while the bugs soften.  But this stuff is just as it says, “Spray it on and wipe the bugs off.”

It’s also a polish.  I wipe down after every ride and I am no longer washing the bike every weekend.

3M Synthetic Wax
I try a lot of products looking for the very best.  I think 3M is an outstanding innovator and they make incredible products.  Professionals use 3M products and when I can get 3M I’m never disappointed.  I first found this wax as a sample packet with another 3M product and Wow.   It goes on and off easier and it leaves a better shine. Nuff said.
3M Polishing Compound
What can I say? It’s 3M.  I’m not skilled enough to use power polishing tools, so for me this only goes on by hand.  I also have 3M rubbing compound but it’s used so rarely, I didn’t want to list it.  Rubbing compound helps to get out scratches and we try not to have too many of those.