Dirt bikes are temperamental pieces of machinery – one weekend they’ll be running flawlessly, and then the next, not so much. It’s why packing a selection of essentials each and every time we load up the bike and head out to the track or trail is a must to ensure your day isn’t ruined by something that can be easily fixed or replaced. Here are six must-have essentials our Vietnam motorcycle tour guides take to the track to make sure your day doesn’t end in misery.
1) Toolbox/bumbag with tools
First things first, a toolbox or a bumbag with tools with at least the essentials is a must. We all know things can get pretty wild on a dirt bike, and when they do go south, it generally means something’s gonna’ need to be straightened out, pulled apart, or tightened up. The bare basics to bring along with you would be a range of size appropriate (to your bike) T-bars, a selection of spanners, pliers, screwdrivers, rubber mallet/hammer, socket set, plus a set of allen keys. These are the basics that will get out of trouble on most occasions. On our Vietnam motorcycle tour, we can easily find a mechanic shop, in case we need more tools!
Save yourself the embarrassment of ‘borrowing’ fuel from your mates, or worse, having to leave your bike on the trail. If you are on a motorcycle tour in Vietnam, gasoline station is almost at every 50km. Our fleet of Kawasaki KLX 250s has a 7.5L fuel tank, enough to explore many miles of challenging dirt roads, mountain passes. But, just ask your Vietnam motorcycle tour guide to stop to fuel you bike while we can. Better be prepared than sorry!
3) Spare clutch/brake lever
A broken clutch or brake lever is a common way to cut your day of riding short, but it’s such a cheap and easy fix. We always store one of each in our toolbox. It’s an affordable way to ensure you can continue putting in motos. On day 8 our north Vietnam motorcycle tour last month, a bush mechanic replaced our Honda CRF250L broken clutch lever by the one from his little semi automatic bike. Not a perfect spare but enough to get back to Ha Noi!
4) Front/rear tubes
You just never know when a flat tire is about to strike, and it’s a sure-fire way of packing up the bike and heading home early. Save yourself the heartache and pack a front and rear tube, but only that will not be enough. Make sure you’ve got a set of tire levers, wrenches (to remove the wheel), and of course, a hand pump to get you rolling again. We got a flat tire at 5pm on 2 day dirt bike tour, Nam Cat Tien park and surrounds and a spare rear tube brought us back to the hot shower and mattress of Green bamboo lodge!
5) Additional spark plug
Regardless if you ride a modern four-stroke or are still ripping around on a two-stroke, packing a spare spark plug suitable for dirt bike is always ideal. In a lot of cases, a faulty spark plug can be the difference between your dirt bike firing up or not, especially on a two-stroke, so to have a spare on hand is convenient and could save the day.
6) Notable extras
A couple of notable extras that can be easily packed in your toolbox are a packet of cable ties and a roll of duct tape. These can really save the day when you need to make a quick and temporary fix. Also, a bolt kit suited for your bike is another must-pack in your toolbox.
Saigon Riders provides motorcycle tours in all over Vietnam, from north Vietnam to central Vietnam, Mekong delta, and Cuchi tunnels
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