Ride Prep

Things you should know before you go out...

  The purpose of this page is to discuss safety issues and to stress the importance of self reliance.   Off-road motorcycles (and OHVs) have the ability to take you very far distances very fast.  If you break, you either fix the problem or start walking or wait till help arrives.  Never go out unprepared.  Your tool pack should include everything that would be needed for most minor fixes.   

  Most of this information can be found with a simple Google search, but since you're here, we may as well go over some important points that everyone should address before a long day on the scoot (especially in unfamiliar terrain).  these points will be in order of importance.


1.  A friend, especially one that's prepared. 

2.  Detailing your sweet bike is NOT the most important thing you can do before a big ride in the Eastern Sierra, but packing a good supply of water is.  Water is number one on the list.  The extreme elevation of the Mammoth Lakes area will suck the water right out of your body - and you wont even know it.  Beer isn't water, not even Coorslight.  

3.  Tools...  Because you can fix something if it's broken.  The list of appropriate tools will change depending on who you ask.  Some guys I know don't even have a plug wrench (not naming names).  Personally, I carry lots of tools.  Whenever I'm working on my bike at home I ONLY use what's in my fender packs/ back pack - that way I know that I'm always carrying the right stuff. 
 My tool pack is heavy... And  In my opinion, yours should be too.  Things to consider:

An 8mm,10mm 12mm and a 14mm wrenches (get the ratcheting style wrench( like this).  As far as sockets go, I carry a 1/4 inch drive ratchet, a 6" extension, and an 8mm and a 10mm socket.  I haven't really found the need for any other sockets.
  
A spare spark plug and tools to change it.  I keep the plug in a plastic carrying case Some bikes require special extensions and adapters, etc.  So make sure you've got the right tools for the job before you head out.
  
A tube (1 front) and ALL the tools  needed to change it (that includes front and rear axle wrenches).  In a jam, a front tube can be used in the rear -  but on multiple day rides (longer rides) I like to carry a rear as well.  Keep in mind, that a tube left in a fender pack for too long will develop small holes - it's a good idea to wrap it in a sock.  Before you store your tube (in a backpack or fender bag), remember to tape up the valve stem with electrical tape to prevent it from rubbing and causing punctures while riding.  

Your going to need some tire irons too!  I carry 2 motion pro tire irons (16").  Yeah, I know they're huge, but I love em, and I'm much faster/efficient with them than the smaller ones.  My girlfriend carries a bead buddy II tool - they're supposed to be very helpful, and light!  Also, don't forget to pack a patch kit and extra valve cores and a valve core tool.
  
Your also going to need an inflation tool and come CO2 canisters.  You might be tempted to buy a cheap plastic inflater like this one.  They cheap ones don't require a threaded canister - but they suck.  They break easily, and waste CO2.  Spend the extra cash and buy an aluminum/metal one that requires the threaded CO2 canisters instead. I purchased the Genuine Innovations air chuck SL.      The SL is an amazing product - easy to use, rugged, and it does NOT waste CO2.  coming from someone who'e tried many inflators, I cannot recommend it enough.
 
- I carry a chain breaker tool from motion pro.  A must have for those "far from camp" rides.  I also carry 2 spare master links anda few short sections of old chain.  Buy it and learn how to use it before you go.
  
-spare lever, zip ties, wire, electrical tape - probably a good idea.

-locking pliers.  1 medium and 1 small needle nose..I NEVER leave home without them.  I seem to use locking pliers more than any other tool.  I just find a spot on the subframe of the bike and clamp them for fast easy access. 
  
-pliers.  The Leatherman skeletool is a good one - its lightweight (5 oz) and basic.  it also has the knife you need, the wirecutter, and the screwdriver.
  
-4 in 1 screwdriver.   If you dont have a multitool,  Get a Swiss Tech tool to take care of your screwing needs.  Its super light (1 oz) and small.
 
 
-allen wrenches.  I wouldnt recommend getting those cheezy allen head inserts for a screwdriver - not enough leverage.  I use a Lezine Allen Block like this.

Now, where the fu** are you going to put all these tools?  Well, some people dont like them, but I use front and rear fender packs.  I bought mine from dirt-bike-gear.com.  These suckers are made of 1050 Ballistic nylon... "one of the strongest and best materials you can buy." Personally, Ive put appoximately 7000 off-road miles on mine, and they're still in perfect shape.  I have the "Regular Ballistic Bag" for the front (fits one heavy duty front tube), and a "Large Fender Bag" for the rear (Fits ALL of my tools except my tire irons).


    **** If your riding with a friend, it's not advisable to divide the tools to save weight.  If
you lose your friend, you'll lose your tools (it happened to me once). 


4.  bring a map (if they're available), or a compass, or a gps device like this one.  They'll help you figure out where you are going and how to get back once you get there. 



6.  pack snacks.  Food for the long night, or the hike out.  

7.  Cell phone - might not work (AT&T), but Verizon works pretty good up here. If you have a SPOT, bring it.

8.
 Now...It's a good idea to get your bike in as good a shape as you can.  Check the chain, oil level, coolant, air filter, cables, nuts and bolts, etc 


9.  MORE LATER...


















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