Trail Tips


You hit the nail on the head! Breaking down miles from anywhere can be a disaster for you & your riding buddies. Being self-sufficient is the key.

I am not sure of any web sites specifically that covers survival techniques on the trail although the following suggestions on things to bring on every ride from our club may assist albeit very comprehensive) in your selection:

“Small personal First Aid Kit, front and rear (or 19”) tubes, puncture repair kit, tire levers and pump, set of spanners to suit your bike, throttle and brake cables (if appropriate), clutch and front brake levers, gear lever, epoxy repair kit, tape, short length of wire, tow rope, small length of chain, joining link and chain breaker, waterproof matches or lighter and DWF fluid.

All these items can be stored on the bike and take up little room if packed properly”.

I certainly don't take ALL this stuff although basics such as wheel nut spanners, tire levers (Metzler are the best) & a tube (usually a front as it will fit in the back) is essential. You can share the load by splitting up all you carry between your group of riders although there is nothing better than being fully self sufficient.

Prevention in the first place is the best advise, as it will diminish the risk of any problems on the trail because if the bike is well maintained & all items lubricated, failures are likely. Make sure all spokes are adjusted & bolts & nuts are tight. I use Loctite 222 on all threads as it is still easy to undo although won’t shake or vibrate loose. I changed a lot of bolts & nuts all over to stainless Allen screws (socket headed cap screws) so I could get away with as few tools as possible. I keep these in a small roll in a small tool bag on the rear fender. Alternatively, many riders use a fanny (bum) pack. If you’re handy with a welder, you can cut & shunt some spanners & tools together to make your own custom multi tool that fits your bike. I carry a spare clutch & brake lever - takes up little room & light. You can Zip-Tie to the bike frame somewhere also. Same with spare cable(s). Just route them under the tank & seat so there out of the way. Then again a well-maintained cable shouldn’t break. Run heavy-duty tubes (Metzler or Bridgestones) & keep air pressure appropriate for the conditions (higher in rocks) & you are less likely to get a flat.

I carry a few Power Bars & a space blanket in case the worst happens & you’re stuck over night. These things are small & light & could save you life.

As a real test, use only the tools you carry on every ride to do the basic service work on your bike. If you can do this then you know you’ll be able to look after your baby blue in the middle of nowhere. If not, reassess what you carry.

Also, to test your skills a little further, & to build your confidence, do this: Next time its raining at home, take your bike out of the shed & let the air out of one of the tires. Then, in the rain, proceed to use the tools you have on the bike or in your pack to change the tube. It’s a **** of a job although if you can do it you won’t be so worried about it happening on the trail!!

Good luck!

Where can I find info. on trial tips when things go wrong miles from anywhere. I recently had a front flat and the tire rolled off the rim, I rememdered reading somewhere you can remove your front brake lever and use it to put the tire back on the rim. Worked great and got me back to the truck. The more you know about these survial technics you are less likely to be stranded in the middle of knowhere. Any Tips would be great.


NEV has some great advice!

1.) Go over your bike well before you go out, prevention of the problem is key.

2.) Slime + HD tubes will minimize flats, although not all of them.

3.) best advice-build a trail tool kit and actually try to use them as mentioned!

4.) The Moose Dual sport fender pack (a little larger than just the spare tube pack) is the perfect size for a small tool kit, some powerbars, etc. You can mount them on the front or rear, I use two of them sometimes when I'm out in the boonies (extra gas, food, water, tools, extra bolts, etc).

5.) There's some good books out there on survival written by the Army (find them out Gun shows).

Don't forget the cell phone wrapped in packing material!

That's why I always bring a teenager and an ATV Pack Mule. The Kid enjoys the ATV ride and carries the tools and the tow rope just in case. I tried the backpack routine and it sucks when you go over big jumps. Last weekend we outfitted a cigarette lighter socket to the ATV so that we can carry the electric pump instead of the old bicycle pump.

Bonzai grin.gif


1999 WR 400F:

Headlight Removed,Odo Removed,Gray Wire - Cut,Throttle Stop - Trimmed,YZ Timing,GYT-R Pro-Bend Hand Guards /Tripple Clamp Mounts,YZ Front/Rear Fender,YZ Number Plate,Race Tech Suspension(by MXTuner),Dunlop 756 Front and Rear,Renthal Fat Bars W/GYT-R Pad,Renthal 14/53 Gearing,DID Race Chain,Custom Grips,Graphics by CEET,White Brothers E-Series Exhaust,Modified Compression Release,Acerbis Frame Guards,12 oz Flywheel Weight;Polaris 400 Sport,Polaris 250 Trailblazer

Great tips. First on my list is heavy duty tubes w/ slime wink.gif

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now