It doesn't matter whether you're riding 5 miles, or 5000 miles, a dirt bike tool kit is essential; and you should never ride without one. In this post we'll find out exactly which tools and spares you should always pack. You'll discover how to carry these tools, and we'll also look at some purpose made dirt bike tool kits that are ready to mount to your bike.
I'll never forget the time my dirt bike suddenly quit on me while I was riding in the middle of nowhere. After a long push in the sweltering heat, and a long wait for rescue, we fixed the bike in around two minutes!
A simple blown spark plug had caused me a heap of trouble, and if I was prepared with a basic tool kit I wouldn't have missed an awesome day of riding. After that day I always carry a tool kit while trail riding, and I also pack the necessary tools for basic repairs when I'm at the track.
Before we get to the tools, you'll need something tough to put them in, and a way to keep them packed safe during your trip, and you have a few options.
How to carry your dirt bike tool kit
A backpack - A small to medium sized rucksack works great, but a standard backpack has a couple of downsides. So you'll wan't a purpose made riding backpack like the Camelback M.U.L.E (link to Amazon) pictured above.
A standard backpack can be a pain over jumps, as it will try to leave your back. The heavier the rucksack the more noticeable this gets, especially when heavy items come back down and whack you in the back. Camelback have added a waist strap to their M.U.L.E backpack to stop this happening, and to keep the bag in place.
Another downside is that sharp tools like screwdrivers could injure you in the event of a crash. Being in a bag that's attached to you, you could easily fall onto them. For this reason I would recommend keeping the rucksack for spanners, sockets, inner tubes etc, and keep the sharp tools separate.
Every bump will put stress on the shoulder straps, and the stitching on the average backpack will easily give way under the weight of heavy tools. So Instead of concentrating pack weight on your shoulders, the M.U.L.E shifts the load to your hips for a lower centre of gravity, and more freedom of movement.
As a bonus to an awesome tool bag, the M.U.L.E also has an hydration system to keep you hydrated during those long rides!
A belt bag - This is a great option as it's small and out of the way, but still big enough to carry all of the essential tools. There's still a risk of screwdrivers causing injury, so sharp tools are best kept separate.
I've been using an older version of the KTM comp belt bag (link to Amazon) pictured above for five years and it's been great. They're made by Ogio so you know you're getting a quality product, and I can confirm they are really tough.
My version has 8 holders in the centre pocket where you can put your sockets, and 5 more elastic pouches where I put ratchets. There's another 5 pockets for screw drivers, but I keep mine in my fender bag. It also has a mesh pocket, and a large pocket that can easily hold a spare tube. Like I said mine is an older version, but I believe they are still very similar, and perfect for serious enduro riders.
A fender mount bag - fender bags and pouches are purpose made, so you can be sure they'll hold all of the essentials. This is a better option than the previous two for carrying tools, as it's fixed solid, meaning it wont jump around over bumps and jumps. Plus, there is no risk of sharp tools causing you any injuries in the event of a crash.
Look for a fender bag like the Wolfman tool holder (link to Amazon) pictured above. These bags have a bolt-on plastic plate to stabilize the bag, this keeps it in place over rough ground, jumps, etc. Fender bags can also be fixed to the front fender, and there is also plenty of choice on Amazon.
These bags are big enough to hold your essential tools, spare tubes, tyre levers, etc, and they can easily be removed for quick access. They are also super tough, meaning the material will handle the abuse it will face during trail riding.
Purpose made dirt bike tool kit
Ready to mount dirt bike tool kit
If you're looking for a purpose made, ready to ride dirt bike tool kit, the highly rated CruzTools DMX2 pictured above, is a perfect fender mounted option. The pouch has separate holders for each tool to prevent them rattling around, and comes with many essentials.
The kit includes a mini T-driver and socket set, combination wrenches, hex keys, low-range tire gauge, adjustable wrench, forged tire levers, locking and needle nose pliers, and more. The tools are well built, the case is solid, and there is even space in the pouch to add a few more of your own tools.
Check out the awesome reviews and check the current price on Amazon by clicking here > CruzTOOLS DMX2.
Already have your own fender bag?
If you already have your own backpack, fender bag, or pouch, there are some great ready made tool kits that you can put in there. Look for a kit that comes in a holder to prevent them rattling around. Rattling around not only gets annoying, but it will also chip the plating off the tools and cause them to rust.
Create your own dirt bike tool kit
If you'd rather make your own dirt bike tool kit, you'll need to make a good decision on what tools to add to your bag. We'll go through all of the essential tools, and some important extras to pack below.
Be sure to get yourself some good solid reliable tools, you don't want anything cheap and nasty that could break and leave you stranded. Cheap tools are tempting, but they will wear fast, which will lead to damaged, unremovable nuts and bolt heads.
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED
1. Sockets and wrench
A sockets set is important, but look for a stubby wrench to save on space. All modern dirt bikes are using metric sizes, so be sure to buy a metric set. A 3/8" drive will cater for smaller bolts like panel and seat bolts, but a stronger 1/2" wrench will be needed for high torque bolts like wheel nuts.
2. Spark plug spanner / socket
As we learned at the beginning, spark plugs can suddenly quit, especially if you're riding a 2-stroke bike! So a spark plug spanner, or socket to fit your wrench is essential.
Look for a good quality metric spanner set, ratchet spanners are really handy and can make repairs much quicker. Look around your bike to see what size nuts and bolts are used, and pack all of the necessary sizes. An 8-19mm set will include the most common dirt bike sizes.
4. Allen keys
There will be multiple cap screws used on modern bikes, so a set of metric Allen keys will be essential. Look for a set with all sizes from 1- 10mm. Keep these in good condition, as worn Allen keys can easily round off bolt heads making them a nightmare to remove.
5. Ratchet screwdriver
A screwdriver is essential, but look for a ratchet screwdriver with multiple easy change attachments, as this will save lots of space. You'll want flat head, Phillips, and Pozidriv bits in various sizes, and if your dirt bike uses Torx bolts you will need to pack all of the necessary sizes.
It's essential to carry multiple screwdriver bits, and always use the correct bit size to avoid damaging your bolt heads. Rounded bolt heads are not only a pain to remove, but they could prevent removal and leave you stranded.
6. Flat and long nose pliers
Flat and long nose pliers are always handy for dirt bike repairs. Long nose pliers are great for reaching inaccessible areas and retrieving dropped nuts. Flat nose pliers will be necessary for gripping and removing pipe clips etc. Both types also come in really handy for chain split link removal and reassembly.
7. Tire levers
A blowout could really ruin your day, so always be prepared with a set of good reliable tire levers. Check the size of the levers before buying, small tire levers make dirt bike tire removal very difficult. A large set are essential, but they may not fit into fender bags, so these will need to go in your backpack.
Other essentials for your dirt bike tool kit
8. Spark plug
You've got your plug spanner, don't forget your spare spark plug. Be sure to match the number with your existing plug to keep your engine happy.
9. Inner tube
Punctures can easily happen anywhere, so a spare tube should always be packed. You've packed your tire levers so changing the tube should be a breeze.
10. Puncture repair kit
If you don't have space for a spare inner tube, you should pack a puncture repair kit. A puncture repair kit is a good idea even if you do carry a spare inner tube. The tire could puncture again, or you could pinch the new tube while fitting it!
You'll obviously need a way of re-inflating the tire after repair, so you'll need to pack a pump. If your dirt bike has a battery, you can use a 12 volt compressor, and use crocodile clips to quickly connect it to the battery. Even a cheap compressor will inflate your tire in under two minutes, and they're small and light.
12. Split links
When you're riding over things like twigs and tree branches, the split link clip can easily get caught and become detached. If it falls off it's unlikely you'll find it, so always carry a spare link.
13. Nitrile gloves
You can't wash your hands out in the middle of nowhere. If you're repairing a chain, or any other oily part of the dirt bike, you'll be glad of a pair of nitrile gloves to keep them clean.
14. Cable ties
Cable ties can come in handy for so many things. They'll temporarily replace lost or sheered bolts, hold broken panels in place, and even prevent a punctured tire spinning on the rim if you have no way of repairing it. Pack various sizes, you'll definitely be glad of them at some point.
Pack a bright LED flashlight, and don't rely on your phone like many riders do. Even the best phone flashlights don't compare to a good LED torch, and having a bright light to help you with repairs in the dark is essential.
Your dirt bike tool kit is complete!
By packing all of these tools you will be prepared for anything a tough enduro could throw at you. Packing all of these tools will seem heavy to begin with, but you really can't be without them, so try to spread the weight by using multiple bags.
A good setup is a front and rear fender bags for medium sized tools, a belt bag for smaller tools and essentials, and a backpack for bigger tools, food, and water. You could even use something like the Ogio flight vest that's packed with storage space so you can carry even more tools.
Now that your dirt bike tool kit is complete, check out some awesome protective gear, and the top 10 things you'll need to keep you safe by clicking HERE.