Mechanics bag o’ tricks

I’m nearly done packing up the Mobile Bluepoof Garage for the Alaska trip. I think we’re pretty much set for anything that won’t require a hoist to lift the engine.

Helimot’s large toolbag rocks. It’s sturdy, folds up compactly, and holds a ton of crap. Definitely designed by riders. Plus, they had a blue one in stock that perfectly matches the blue leather on my riding suit.


The bag, fully stocked and velcro’ed up


With a DVD for scale (any other ATHF fans in the house?)


Opening up the bag…


And fully unfolded.


Stuff! Stuff!


The current contents

Here’s the Mobile Bluepoof Garage checklist:

Helimot large toolbag:

  • Lefthand (clear) pocket of the toolbag:

    • 6 feet of 16ga electrical wire
    • electrical tape
    • spare fuses (glass and mini-blade)
    • pocket multimeter

  • Socket Pocket:

    • 3/8″ drive set of sockets, 10mm – 18mm

  • Main pocket:

    • Metric hex key set
    • 2 extra sparkplugs for the SVS
    • JB Weld (quick-set formula)
    • 3/8″ drive ratchet
    • box wrenches
    • 10″ of 1/4″ ID clear vinyl tubing
    • cable ties
    • Xacto knife
    • Loctite
    • 2 1157 bulbs
    • small fleece bag, containing:
      • various electrical connectors
      • various sized screws, nuts, bolts, washers
      • various sized cotter pins

Ziplock bag in the saddlebag:

  • travel-sized WD-40
  • travel-sized chain lube
  • clean rags
  • another ziplock bag to put rags in after they cease being clean
  • waterless hand cleaner

Self-contained kits:

  • small-sized jumper cables
  • tire repair kit
  • mini 12v air compressor

Leatherman, which includes, amongst other things:

  • pliers
  • wire cutters
  • screwdriver (both flathead and philips)

The only things I still need to get are road flares that last longer than 15 minutes and extra master link clips for my chain.

Anyone have any suggestions for things I may have forgotten?

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18 Responses to Mechanics bag o’ tricks

  1. rjsjr says:

    Nice kit, I should get something like this (need to go down and visit helimot). Duct tape is very useful as it holds a lot better than electrical tape (you can get mini-rolls at camping stores). A light of some sort is mandatory imo (for night-time roadside repairs), I have a Petzl Zipka (4 led headlamp that I use for camping that’s wonderfully compact and easy to use).
    If the SV only has one bulb lit on low/high you might want to bring an extra. A couple extra fairing fasteners probably might not be a bad idea either. If you think you’ll put in enough miles you could also throw in an oil filter since its usually pretty easy to find a oil and a place to change, but not always a specific filter. You can make do without those, but they can be handy.

  2. carolyn says:

    Oh, an extra headlight bulb is a good idea. I do have a flashlight; I forgot to mention it because it’s always in my tankbag. 😀

  3. Geoff says:

    hmmmm.. maybe a spare clutch/front brake lever?

  4. carolyn says:

    Ah! Good idea! I think I actually have spares lying around, too…*makes mental note to dig those up*

  5. cat says:

    Hrm. Do you have a socket for your wheels? I rather like having both duct tape and electrical tape. An inline fuel filter is always useful [and small]. Call it paranoia on my part, but an extra oil drain bolt would make my list… and I’d definitely suggest a tube of RTV. I’d probably grab a set of screwdriver heads to plug into your sockets, and have flat, philips and hex, just because it’s sometimes easier to use that than the leatherman/hex key combination.
    Beyond that – they make single-wipe sized packets of hand degreaser, as well as small packs of baby wipes, which I find less grotty than the dry hand cleaner.
    An extra key for the bike probably wouldn’t hurt 🙂

  6. carolyn says:

    Ah, yeah, i have baby wipes in the toiletries bag already.
    I bought a small roll of duct tape and made a spare bike key at the hardware store today (gotta go back again, though, dammit; they didn’t cut one of the grooves deeply enough….)
    I do need to bring a socket for Steph’s axle, at the very least.
    *writing more notes….*

  7. Geoff says:

    Poor Carolyn… By the time all of us get through making suggestions on what you should take with you on your trip, you’re going to need a U-Haul trailer to carry it all! 🙂

  8. rusbravo says:

    Shift lever. Dropping the bike on the left side and busting off the shifter could ruin your whole day, especially if you are someplace “Scenic.”

  9. curtis says:

    Suggestions? If proper maintenance and a good pre-flight inspection is performed, a minimum of extra parts and accessories are imoh the only things necessary. You will only be lugging along a lot of “anxious materials”. If you think you will wipe out on a curve in the middle of nowhere and the bike is disabled beyond your ability to repair, do you hire a chase vehicle to follow you to the Great White North and beyond to sooth your nerves? Very good suggestions so far on what to cart along. Don’t overthink your trip. If you asked long enough I imagine you would get enough suggestions to nearly rebuild the bike..:) Love your stuff – C

  10. carolyn says:

    Ah, but overthinking is part of the fun! 😉 I think that between Steph (who’s in charge of the first aid kit) and I, we’ll be able to perform open-heart surgery on one another while rebuilding our engines along the side of the road. 😉

  11. SteveK says:

    You could save a lot of room by pulling the ATHF DVD out of the case, and just keeping it in a sinple sleeve. This will come in handy when future season DVD sets come out.

  12. carolyn says:

    Season 2’s coming out at the end of July! 😀 Woo!

  13. Michael says:

    Getting one or two glowsticks wouldn’t be a bad idea…flashlights have that terrible tendency not to work when you actually need them. 🙂

  14. tom lloret says:

    I just fould your site, I and 4 otheres are going on June 28 08 and are in the planing stage. You have no plan for a ripped tire or a failed charging system on one of the bikes? We are taking a new front and rear tire (we all use the same size tire) and we have the plan and equipment to change in the field. In the case of a failed charging system, we would share the drawn down batt to a bike with a carb and recharge that batt as we ride and reswap back as needed. As far as tools I would also take a can of carb cleaner, safty wire, vise grip, spare assortment of nut-bolts-and washers.
    there more.

  15. carolyn says:

    > You have no plan for a ripped tire or a failed charging system on one of the bikes
    I had a tire plugging kit with me. No sense in taking whole tires as two of the three of us had tubeless tires and we were sticking to paved roads.
    I did have some charging problems and were able to bump start the bike when needed.
    Carb cleaner isn’t necessary for this type of ride, IMHO. There are more than enough towns along the way that would carry it if you absolutely needed it and….I can’t really think of a situation in which you’d absolutely need it.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Hahaha! I remember those bump starts, particularly the one in Grant’s Pass where the parking lot was so vertical I almost had a heart attack just watching the process. Ah, I’m glad these posts resurfaced.
    Thanks for the nostalgiafest, it makes me want to ride north tomorrow. I guess the Yukon isn’t 99 degrees right now, though. But it always will be in my mind.

  17. Victoria says:

    I love reading your site. I found your site after we decided the Alaska trip was a must. There is so much to learn and consider when planning a trip and I like to learn from other travelers. Other than the wealth of information I have been reading, what advice would you give a newbie to the motorcycle world? We are planning several trips, but the biggy is July 2009 – North to Anchorage.

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