Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Essential Motorcycle Gear - Every Day Carry

As motorcyclists, there is gear we all have in common. Boots. Helmets. Armor. Gloves.

Then there’s the stuff that’s a little more personal, stuff that makes riding a little easier, or a little more comfortable. The stuff most people don't see unless we point it out.

Here’s the stuff I carry every day.

#1. Ziploc bag with insurance and registration information in my jacket pocket. I also kept a card with vital information such as who the hell I am and who to contact in case I can’t talk. That card wore out, but I’m working on a new one.

#2. Tools. When I rode the VX800 every day, I carried a lot more tools. I generally carried a few wrenches in sizes I knew I would need, a pair of vise grips, a box-cutter, a flat head screwdriver and a phillips head screwdriver. On the Triumph, I carry the factory toolkit, and a tire plug kit with a C02 inflator. Those are both kept under the seat. I also carry my trusty Leatherman PST on my belt or in a pocket, because it’s saved my butt many times. I keep a flashlight and a tire gauge in my courier bag. When it’s hot out, or if I know I’m going to park on something soft, I also carry a plastic puck to keep the kickstand from sinking in to the ground.

#3. Cell phone. I’ve come to realize I don’t hate cell phones, I hate rude assholes. I go out of my way to avoid talking on my phone in public, because I don’t want to be one of those assholes you see talking on their cellphone about nothing important. That said, I really like being able to check the current temperature (do I need all my layers?), being able to search for directions, and I’ve even got a flashlight app, in case I get caught in the dark with no light... I don’t rely on the phone in the least - I always keep a couple of quarters on my person for a payphone, and a winning smile in case I need to ask to use someone’s land line.

#4 Pen and paper. Apart from being able to jot down notes when I have a brilliant idea, sometimes it’s good to be able to make notes for driving directions, appointments, phone numbers, you get the idea.

So, that about sums up the stuff I always have with me. Any essentials I’m missing?