How to Buy Tools and Equipment for a Long Motorbike Trip

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How to Buy Tools and Equipment for a Long Motorbike Trip

A long motorbike trip can be the experience of a lifetime, when planned and prepared for correctly. One of the key difficulties of long motorbike trips is the fact that there is so little storage space, meaning that individuals planning such a trip should critically consider which items are necessary for their journey. When considering what tools or equipment they should bring, motorbikers should determine if any cost can be saved by purchasing used equipment.

Buying the tools and equipment for a long motorbike trip should not be terribly difficult, thankfully, or even very expensive. However, savvy shoppers are able to mitigate the cost by searching for the items they need online at websites such as eBay. But wherever they decide to shop, individuals should be sure to take stock of the condition of their motorbike well before the trip, should determine which tools or equipment to bring, and whether or not they should purchase their tools and equipment used or new.

Judging the Condition of a Motorbike

Judging the condition of a motorbike for a long trip can be more tricky than one might expect, and requires more than a quick once-over. To ensure that the motorbikers have enough time to make any repairs or adjustments, individuals should examine their motorbike at least one month before their scheduled trip. When motorbikers know that some maintenance or repairs must be made, it is recommended to complete them even earlier, so that unexpected costs do not interfere with the planned trip.

Regular Maintenance

Firstly, the riders should determine whether their motorbike's regular maintenance schedule has been properly followed. If not, maintenance should be caught up at this time. Generally, referring to the maintenance records and user manual helps a motorbike owner determine if any such maintenance should be undertaken. These include the replacement of tyres, brake mechanisms and parts, or essential fluids. For a list of the most common maintenance tasks, consider the chart below.

Maintenance Task

When to Complete

Check and maintain fluid levels

Every 600 kilometres

Check and/or change fuel hoses and pipes

Annually

Check tyre tread wear

Every 7,000 kilometres

Replace motorbike battery

Every three years

Replace air filter

Every 7,000 kilometres

Check chain and sprockets

Every 20,000 kilometres

Replace brake pads

Every 18,000 kilometres

Some of these tasks, such as checking fluid levels, are likely to need to be re-done following a long bike trip. Maintaining accurate records and referring to the motorbike's owner's manual are the best ways to determine when to complete maintenance tasks.

Tyre Replacement

If the tyres are wearing low on their tread, the motorbike owner should purchase replacements. This ensures that a bike is in top travelling condition before the beginning of a long motorbike trip. Motorbike tyres are sometimes difficult to find, and may be quite expensive. One should select tyres suitable to the conditions expected on the trip, even if this may make the total more expensive than cheaper road tyres.

Lights and Signals

One should also determine if the motorbike ' s lights and signals are functioning properly. This is easily done at home, though it is encouraged that the bike owner test the headlamp, brakes, and turning lights all after dark. If any of the bulbs to these lights have not been replaced in recent memory, one should purchase new ones to be installed as a precautionary measure before the trip.

Determine Which Tools and Equipment to Bring

Anyone travelling by motorbike for a long trip should familiarise themselves with just how little storage space they will have during their trip. There are several tools which should be considered essentials of a motorbike trip, long or short, which most should ensure to bring with them, including rain and storage gear. When determining which tools and equipment are needed, shoppers should consider the nature of their trip. For example, camping trips require the use of tents and sleeping bags.

Saddlebags

Saddlebags are essential items for a long motorbike trip because they double or triple the available storage space. Saddle bags are made of various sizes and materials, with some requiring bolts to mount them to the frame, while others can simply be set over the back of the bike. In some cases, depending on the make and model of the motorbike, additional rear luggage units can be purchased for use in tandem with saddlebags. For a long trip, motorbikers should ensure that their saddlebags are weatherproof.

Rain Jackets

Jackets rated for rain or heavy mist can be invaluable over a long motorbike trip. Though driving in rain is particularly dangerous for motorbikers, it is certainly possible that they may encounter rain which must be driven through to make trip deadlines or mile markers. Rain jackets can protect leathers from the damaging effects of too much water. Along the same vein, some shoppers may wish to purchase protective waterproof covers for the leather of the motorbike seat.

Gloves

Gloves are necessary for a long motorbike trip because they protect hands from the numbing sensation which the vibration of the handlebars can imbue. Gloves also protect hands from wind chill or scrapes and abrasions in the event of a collision.

Tyre Patch Kit

A tyre patch kit can be a lifesaver on a long motorbike trip. Tyre patch kits allow individuals to quickly plug a hole in a tyre to prevent any leakage until a trained technician can repair or replace the tyre. Most tyre patch kits feature simple tools and instructions which can be easily used by individuals with little to no mechanical acuity.

Flashlight

A flashlight is essential on any long trip as a safety tool, and can also be used to help see punctures or holes in a tyre, or to examine any possible causes of mechanical failures. It is easy to acquire powerful pocket-sized flashlights which save on the limited storage space. However, the last thing travellers want is to need a flashlight, only to find the one they brought has no battery power. They should always double-check a flashlight's battery power before travelling, and purchase extras just in case.

New vs. Used Tools and Equipment

Many motorbikers find that they can save substantially by purchasing used tools or equipment for their trip. However, there are some cases where purchasing used is not likely to provide any additional benefits, and in fact may be more trouble than it is worth. Being able to successfully judge when to purchase new and when to purchase used can be quite tricky, but in most cases, there are a few simple rules of thumb to follow.

When to Buy New Equipment

New equipment should be considered an investment, and when longevity of a product is an issue, shoppers should ensure that they purchase new. For example, shoppers should always ensure that they purchase new signal bulbs, tyre patching kits, and tyres. Most motorbike parts required for any repairs or maintenance necessary to the bike before the beginning of a trip, such as brake pads, should be purchased new. To ensure shoppers get the best price for new tools or equipment, it is recommended to price-check parts at local auto shops and retailers.

When to Buy Used Equipment

Buying used equipment is almost always cheaper than purchasing new equipment, and luckily, much of the tools and equipment necessary for a long motorbike trip can be bought used. Some good examples include saddlebags or motorbike luggage, gloves, motorbiker leathers, and flashlights. For those intending to camp over their trip, tents and other camping equipment can be purchased used at a fraction of retail costs. But to ensure shoppers get a good deal, it is recommended that they price-check new items at local retailers before purchasing tools or equipment used. If the prices are similar, it may be better to simply purchase the items new.

Conclusion

Buying motorbike tools and equipment for a long trip should be focused on improving the readiness of the motorbike for the trip, maximising storage space, and maximising rider safety and comfort. To begin, one should first examine the condition of the bike, and purchase any replacement parts necessary and complete any repairs needed. Doing this well ahead of the scheduled trip ensures that the expense and time required do not interfere with the trip. Following that, motorbikers should determine which tools and equipment they need for the journey. Saddlebags, rain gear, and gloves should all be considered necessary items. Many motorbikers may be able to save substantially on the gear they need by finding used options.

Whatever equipment or gear is needed for a long motorbike trip, shoppers can find new and used items using eBay. Shopping on eBay itself is likely to save shoppers money compared to shopping at more traditional retail locations, even on new items.

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