DIY Repairs and Motorcycle Emergencies: 20 Must Have Motorcycle Tools for the Road and Home

Whether you ride a sport bike, a chopper, or even a 3 wheel motorcycle, being able to do some standard repairs on your bike is a worthwhile thing to learn. However, you can read or watch as many repair videos as you want when you buy a new motorcycle, but if you lack the correct tools, you will never be able to make these fixes or effectively complete maintenance at home.

You also want to have a tool roll with you that travels on the bike when you take trips in case of emergencies and hassles such as a flat tire. Tires are the most common issue most motorcyclists will experience on the side of the road but preparing yourself for a variety of scenarios can keep you from getting stranded or needing to call a tow truck or deal with insurance, particularly if you educate yourself on how to make repairs to your bike.

Emergencies and Hand Tools

We strongly recommend that you carry at least a basic tool kit or tool roll on the road for emergency repairs. While the list of tools you might need could go on for days, you need to pick some of the essential items for the limited space you have on a either a new or used motorcycle. Fifteen of the most crucial basics for a tool kit, much of which you can keep with you if you have a storage compartment or a sack for your bike, include:

1. Ratcheting Combination Wrenches

Ratcheting combo wrenches can be a lifesaver with small spaces, so a set of these is worth checking out. A collection of these can come in handy in so many different ways on a motorcycle you’ll probably be surprised how often you use them.

2. Axle Tool or Tire Iron

A hollow axle tool can be a massive help in removing tires on a variety of bikes. If you have the room and prefer a tire iron, so be it. Just make sure you have a way to remove your wheel if necessary.

3. Tire Pressure Gauge

You don’t necessarily need to keep a tire pressure gauge with you on quick trips, but if you are taking a long road trip on your motorcycle, having one of these with you can help you to monitor proper tire pressure. Keeping one at home for standard maintenance is also crucial to avoid over-inflation or under-inflation of your tires.

4. Torque Wrench

Torque wrenches can be pricey, but they are usually worth the cost if you do any regular repairs to your bike. Tolerances in the modern-day designs of motorcycles are tighter than in bygone eras, and a torque wrench can help make sure everything is secure when putting your bike back together.

5. Screwdrivers

Screwdrivers are an absolute necessity for any tool kit, and a motorcycle is no exception. Test out screwdriver sizes for your bike before hitting the road.

6. Ratchet and Socket Set

If you end up doing several repairs on your motorcycle over the years, you could find that a ratchet and socket set ends up being one of your most-used items. These range from budget to expensive with every size you could ever need.

7. Hex Key Head Kit

Removing or loosening parts on your bike will require either socket wrenches, screwdrivers, hex keys, or a torque wrench. Inspect your bike and make sure you have tools in a variety of sizes you might need for different parts of your bike. All of these items can be crucial for various motorcycle repairs.

8. A Multimeter with DC Voltage, Continuity, and Resistance

When it comes to electrical issues, a multimeter is essential for troubleshooting.

9. Compressed C02 Cartridges to Inflate Tires

Compressed C02 cartridges can be a massive help when it comes to a flat on the side of the road. One 68-gram cartridge is capable of filling up to 22 psi in your tires. The cartridges are small and easy to stow in a bike’s storage compartment if you have one. You don’t want to fill your tires regularly this way, but in the case of a flat, these can be a lifesaver.

10. Hammer

A hammer is a staple of any tool kit, even if you can’t initially think of a reason you might need one. When you are attempting to budge a bike part and don’t have the strength in your hands, or need to pry up something, a hammer is essential. Small hammers are available if you want to keep one with your bike.

11. Pliers

Pliers can come in handy in so many ways that you should have at least one pair on any ride that might require a fix. Not only can they grip and pull in tricky spots, but they can also grab a stripped bolt or screw to loosen it manually.

12. Zip Ties

Zip ties are a somewhat vague repair item but are incredibly helpful in a pinch for securing items together or holding things down. Keeping at least a few of these in a tool roll or storage area of your motorcycle is recommended.

13. Electrical Tape

Another general repair item that we consider essential for a motorcycle tool kit is some electrical tape. Again, this is something that can perform so many tasks to help get you home or to a repair shop without a tow truck. We think it should be in every repair set.

14. Fuses in Different Styles/Sizes for Your Specific Motorcycle

For electrical issues, it is smart to have some spare fuses for your motorcycle with you. If you blow a fuse in the middle of nowhere, you’ll be grateful you had extras on hand.

15. Your Motorcycle’s Owner’s Manual

One of the more essential items to keep in your motorcycle tool kit—having your factory owner’s manual with you at all times can help you figure out many problems, even if you’re pretty handy with a bike. Motorcycle manufacturers offer a lot of solutions to common issues in these guides. They give them out with bikes for a reason, so use it when needed!

Additional At-Home Repair Tools

In addition to the tools, you should carry with you while riding, having some heftier repair tools in the garage can make all sorts of maintenance and repairs at home a breeze. Five more at-home items that are brilliant to have in your tool kit are:

16. A Rear Stand

New motorcycles are being designed with center stands again, but if yours requires a lift, a rear stand will be needed to lift your bike.

17. An Impact Driver

Items such as an impact driver can be a massive help if you are going to do more severe repairs on your bike.

18. A cable Luber

A cable luber is also an affordable tool but makes lubing cables on your motorcycle far easier.

19. Chain Breaker/Riveter

If you need to repair your chain, many motorcycles will come with a lot of extra, but you still need a way to break it and rivet together the new chain. Fixing this part is a time when a chain breaker and riveter set is crucial.

20. Brake Bleeder

A brake bleeder might sound unnecessary, but with more advanced ABS systems, they are becoming a requirement for the at-home motorcycle mechanic.

Know Your Motorcycle

Just as every bike has its own VIN, it will require some variances in tools. You will inevitably find that you will need specific tools for your particular bike. With some Harley-Davidsons, for instance, you might need a large hex key to check the drum bolts for a Harley wheel.

Whether making repairs or fixing up a motorcycle to sell it, you’ll need some unique additions to your tool kit.

Add in Some Spares

Having some additional tools in your roll to help fellow bikers is also a good idea if you have space. If you can carry some items to help a friend out while riding, it can make for a much smoother trip if something goes wrong.

If you spend a lot of time on your bike, especially in remote areas, you want to think through all sorts of situations in which you could find yourself. Keeping a spare clutch cable in your pack, for instance, might be smart if you do adventure touring and run the risk of getting stranded in the middle of nowhere.