6 items to have on your next motorcycle ride

Whether you’re planning that upcoming ride or if you’re heading out this weekend, there are six must-have items to always carry in your motorcycle’s saddlebag or trunk. These important items are crucial if your bike breaks down or you find yourself in another situation. I take these things with me when I go on a solo trip. If you are traveling with multiple riders, each person does not need to carry all these items, just make sure to delegate who is bringing what.

1. I always travel with a small first-aid kit that includes some flares. There are compact kits made for motorcyclists now that pack very well. If you have a kit that is 10 years old, it may be time to get a new one. Components, ingredients or parts get old and ineffective such as the sticky stuff on the Band-aids, which might not be tacky anymore.

2. We always make sure that someone has a set of small jumper cables. We sell a set at D&D that are made for jumping a motorcycle. If you are using a car to jump your motorcycle always make sure the car is not running. The car battery is large enough to get your Gold Wing going when the car is turned off. Jumping a motorcycle with a car when it is running can wreak havoc on your motorcycle’s electrical system.

3. A good plug kit is always essential. There are fancy ones that will insert a mushroom-type plug in the tire and there are rope-style plugs that work well also. Whichever one you use, remember that a plug is to get you to the motorcycle shop to get your bike’s tire changed. It is not a permanent fix.

4. You will need a way to get some air into the tire once you have plugged it, so carry a small, compact compressor that hooks directly to the battery. If you plug it into the accessory plug in a pocket you will probably pop the accessory fuse. Most compressors draw 8-12 amps and the accessory plug circuit has a 5-amp fuse in it. You can also bring a handpump or another good option is a carbon dioxide cartridge inflator that packs very small and works well. If you have a GL1500 Gold Wing Aspencade or SE, they are equipped with an onboard compressor that you can hook a hose up to.

5. Out here in The West there are roads where you may not see a fuel station for 100 miles or so. I carry a siphon device that can get some gas out of another vehicle. Some people carry extra fuel with them, but I like the siphon device. To me it seems that there is always one person in the group that insists on filling up their motorcycle on a different schedule then everyone else. We all pull up to the pumps to fill up and that one person always goes to the bathroom and insists that they have plenty of gas. Then they run out 75 miles up the road. It has saved us many times.

6. Someone should also have a tool kit on their bike. There are many kits that are made for motorcycles only, which pack very well in a saddlebag.

I am sure there are other things that people bring, but these are the six items that I make sure someone in my group has when we ride.

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