essential tools for dual sportin

Good afternoon all,

I would like to get your opinions and thoughts about the proper general tools and spare parts for me to get a kit started for dual sport outings, mostly fire breaks jeep trails and hopefully weekend camping trips on the bike. I want to make sure i dont leave anything out of a proper tool kit. Thanks for the help

Since you didn't say ... so I'll assume you've got an XR400R ?

It's been over 10 years since I had my XR400 ... don't recall many specifics about it. Mine never had any problems and IIRC, was very easy maintenance.

(unlike my current WR250F)

I would focus mostly on flat repair. If you have a street legal Baja design kit, make sure your batteries are good. If you've done all proper maintenance BEFORE your ride, you should have no real problems and very basic tools will suffice. Starting with New tires, good chain and sprockets is a must as well as a freshly cleaned and oiled air filter.

I'm a tool/parts nut so I tend to carry more than I need. My unprepared buddies are the usual beneficiaries.

I carry a basic tool kit (see pics below) . You don't need everything shown but a few things are mandatory:

Wrenches for wheel removal

Tire irons (3)

Vise Grips (small)

8, 10, 12, 13 (?) 14, 17 and possibly 19 mm open/box combo and

the same sizes in 1/4" drive sockets.

1/4" drive ratchet and extensions

Magnet ... telescoping

Lighter (for emergencies)

At least ONE spare tube. (I carry 2)

LED Headlamp (goes on your head for night work)

Proper tools to remove float bowl and get to jets. (jet tool is good)

Spare air filter (pre oiled, keep in plastic bag) this only needed if riding BIG

miles (like 200 mile days in Baja) and very dusty conditions (group rides or BIG dual sport events)

Spare levers (clutch and brake)


The above kit would be overkill for a weekend camp out. This was my basic kit for a 3 month Mexico trip.

I would add Quik Aluminum, Epoxy, Super glue, Master link, spare links, chain tools, Allen/Hex wrenches (where needed),

and very important: Valve stem tool!

I also carry a nice little ... but very comprehensive Nut & Bolt kit. Most all OEM sizes of nuts and bolts, washers, screws, washers, springs. Take the most common sizes. If you don't need it ... one or two of your buddies probably will! :smirk:

Some other Ideas are:

small cresent wrench

Wrap duct tape around wrenches to save space

Bring some small terry cloth towels

Spare master link

I use a 3/8 breaker ratchet instead of a 3/8 ratchet -saves wieght and space. Looks like a small breaker bar.

bailing wire

liquid steel (whatever they call it)

Bring a first aid kit too-just in case

these 2 posts alone will get me covered thanks so much for the responses I tend to be overprepared as well so my kit will be extensive to say the least

thanks again

I also have a tire inflator w/ multiple CO2 cartridges, tire pressure gauge, and spare spark plug (carry over from my 2 stroke days lol).

I run slime in my tires and so far haven't had any problems. If there's holes in my tubes I wouldn't know it. I keep my air pressure up so I don't have to worry about pinch flats as much.

A first aid kit is a good idea. As a 16 year paramedic I would say you could cover most anything with an ace bandage, some 4x4 gauze, a roll of medical tape, trauma shears, and maybe a couple of those little metal/foam cage finger splints. They also sell something called a SAM splint, it's a rolled up piece of aluminum covered in orange foam. You flatten it out and can use it to splint a broken hand, wrist, forearm, elbow, ankle, or foot. I'm sure you can buy them online somewhere. Maybe if you really have a lot of extra room you could throw in a chemical ice pack. You really don't need much else, because anything requiring more medical supplies than that means you're probably getting medevac'd lol.

Thanks for the addition of the medical kit items. I know many riders (myself included) neglect a first aid kit. But I've been carrying a basic kit for a couple years now, I'm always trying to add small things that could be useful.

One useful thing I found was this clear skin "glue" to "paint" over a wound. Sometimes called "liquid Skin", this stuff is amazing! It's like some sort of Super Glue but OK for human skin/blood.

You clean the wound best you can then you paint this super glue right on it, extending the coverage onto undamaged areas if possible.

It forms a seal around the whole wound, stops bleeding and keeps the wound protected from dirt. So far I have only used it on fairly minor cuts and scrapes.

It really sticks on there and stays put ... you can even shower with it on.

I've only used it once riding. I learned about from a Carpenter friend. We were about to use it on this guys scrape until Para Medics showed up. If something needs to be stitched up the glue can sort of hold things together until you get to hospital for stitching.


This guy fell off on the road between dirt sections. His knee pad did NOT do it's job ... obviously. The Para medics taped on a bandage but in an hour of riding it came off and he bled all over.

Seems to me the "Glue" would have sealed this wound up and kept it sealed and protected. Tape and bandages rarely stay put with riding pants on them.

As a pro, what do you think of this stuff?

not an expert, just crash courses in the Army and hanging out with medics/docs but I feel safe telling you that you need to be careful actually closing up a wound with glue or sutures. It has to be absolutely clean otherwise you risk sealing in stuff that can and will cause very nasty infections.

With that said I carry dermabond and steri-strips to deal with bad lacerations. I use the glue as last resort and very sparingly - get back to the truck, get down the road, get a professional to deal with it properly sorta thing. Steri-strips work great though and are stupid easy to have on hand, they work very well.

That pic above coulda been dealt with a 4x4 or two, maybe a steri strip on the cut (hard to tell if its deep), ace bandage and some quality duct tape - that should get you back to the truck/end of trail.

Thanks for the advice!

The Paramedics on the scene in that pic put on some 4x4 gauze pads and taped it all up. Later, (as I mentioned) it came off! (pants rubbing it riding off road) We put the old pads back on and DID USE duct tape! :ride: Held him long enough to get back to the truck.

All good! No infection ... nice scar though.

Good afternoon all,

I would like to get your opinions and thoughts about the proper general tools and spare parts for me to get a kit started for dual sport outings, mostly fire breaks jeep trails and hopefully weekend camping trips on the bike. I want to make sure i dont leave anything out of a proper tool kit. Thanks for the help

Duct tape, zip tyes, flat repair kit and water (That's the esentials IMO). I also carry vaious tools. My whole theory is I want to get back to camp or my truck. I can fix things later. However, I've never done a multi day ride before either. I'm sure I'd take a lot more on an extended ride.

It's also funny how different experiences make you grab extra things. A buddy installed a larger gas tank and went on his first ride. When he ran the gas line, he installed it too close to the exhaust and it melted. I always carry a small piece of fuel line now too. BTW, a vent hose will get you back to camp :ride:.

Add an Israeli Battle Dressing, aka IBD to the 1st aid kit. 4x4's are not a fix and play item. IBD's will stay put until the wound needs a cleaning and re-dressing.

Stuff I didnt see listed so far - tow strap/rope, a few links of chain & a master link, and another option aside from CO2 cartriges is a compact bicycle tire pump. It helps a lot to air down if youre having trouble & digging in on a soft hillclimb, so the advantage of a pump is obvious. Also, I try to only carry tools relevent to my bike. A couple rags are good to have also.

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