What to take riding

This was Gordon Banks' (author of the fantastic "Gordon Mods" for Honda XR 400's) reply to an email list when asked about what he carries on his rides. As it is and excellent list, i've included it here.


Honda Rides: The Honda multi-wrench and spark-plug socket

KTM Rides: Extra spark plugs
Motion-Pro spark plug ratchet wrench
2.5 oz. of two-stroke oil

All Rides

  1. Large Vice-grips (w/built-in wire cutters) to serve as large wrenches for axles, etc., a hammering tool, temporary clamp, etc.
    And ever since a friend got his bike badly entangled in some unseen barbed wire, which wrapped tightly around his rear axle and sprocket, I've liked having some hefty wire cutters along. The Vice-Grips are carried clamped tightly onto the skid plate, not on my body.
  2. Motion-Pro MP (Multi-Purpose) Tool set, which take the place of many small wrenches and sockets. (Chaparral cat #51, pg. 681, $39.99) (Dennis Kirk cat 504, pg. 258, $43.99)
  3. Small flat-tip screwdriver for air screw adjustments, etc.
  4. Small clean cloth towel and 3-4 clean paper towels for goggles, eyes, carb work, cleaning wounds, etc.
  5. 18' tow rope for towing, off-trail retrievals, splints, etc.
  6. Home-rolled 10' length of duct tape (gotta have it!)
  7. Spare master-link for 520 chain
  8. 3' of 12 gauge electrical wire
  9. One single-edge razor blade to cut tape, rope, fuel line, trim wires, and dissect Suzuki riders.
  10. Two 1/4" fuel line connectors to connect 2 or 3 fuel tank vent lines into a a long fuel line for bike-to-bike fuel transfers
  11. Several nylon wire-ties.
  12. One med and one large plastic bag, folded to a small size. These can be used as ground cloths while working on a bike, the large bag can be worn as an emergency parka, and other uses. A guy's fanny pack buckle broke one day, so we rolled up the large plastic bag like a rope, and he used it as a make-shift belt!
  13. Cigarette lighter for emergency fires, signal fires, and roasting wounded Kawasaki riders.
  14. Small gold cross to ward off vampires and Yamaha riders.

Aside from the Vice-Grips and drink system, my 'tool pack' weighs about 4 lbs.

And when riding alone or with just one other rider, I like to carry a cel phone.