We have always need to prepare for the unexpected when we ride because there’s no telling when something could go wrong, even on a short “breakfast ride.”
But the preparations do not have to be expensive. There are certain “shortcuts” for want of a better word to fix your current situation with whatever you have on hand. These hacks are aimed to get you back on the road again.
1. Cable ties are always your best friend
Cable ties can be used to fix almost anything, especially those that require fastening such as a loose fairing, number plate that’s missing a bolt, damaged brake lever and so forth. So, always bring along a bunch of different sizes, since they are cheap for aplenty.
2. Duct tape
The duct tape is another indispensable item for roadside fixes. You can tape up a cracked headlight, a boot/shoe that has opened up like a crocodile, a leaky radiator or oil pan, leaky hose, and so forth. Make sure you have a roll underneath the seat.
3. Wipe it down
Baby wipes (also known as wet wipes) are great for cleaning your leather gear and bike of grime, insect guts and bird droppings. It’s also great for personal hygiene. We recommend the unscented variety. Quick tip: Leave a piece or two on dried insect innards and bird droppings for a few minutes before wiping. The moisture in the wipe will soften the offending material, allowing you to remove it easier while minimizing the risk of scratching the paint.
4. Newspapers are absorbent
Got a pair of wet boots or shoes? Compress a few pieces of newspapers and stuff them into your footwear. Remember to replace with dry ones over the course over a night to remove more moisture.
5. Bungee cords are always useful
There is no beating the flexibility of bungee cords. You may pick up extra stuff during a ride or you can also use it to tie a part that’s broken loose. A cargo/helmet net is also a great addition.
6. Hang in there
Don’t fancy lugging your full-face helmet around? Get a sturdy chain or cable lock, loop it around the helmet’s chinbar and a sturdy place on the bike. We don’t guarantee the helmet’s safety, though.
7. Waterproof them all
Ever open up the tool pouch under the seat and find all the pieces rusted? Yup, that underseat compartment isn’t waterproof on virtually every bike. Get yourself a waterproof bag or pouch and drop the tools and other items in there.
8. Big footing
Have to park on soft ground? Crush a soft drink can and place it under the sidestand. The extra area will provide a larger footprint.
You can place your wet gloves in the vicinity of the still-hot engine to dry them out some.
10. Waterproof hands
Waterproof gloves may not be as easy to find in Malaysia, despite being a country with high humidity. Could be that they are bulkier and warmer on hot days due to lack of airflow. In any case, you can have dry hands while wearing your summer gloves. Slot your hands into disposable neoprene or surgical gloves, before pulling on your regular riding gloves.