As we’ve mentioned in our previous article, there are a couple of things a biker needs to have. It’s not just about buying a motorcycle, and possibly some proper clothes, but there are elementary things you need to function as a biker.
If you are lucky enough to have your own garage, then there are a couple of items you will really need, and some that would be nice to have. They will not cost you an arm and a leg, but having them will make your life so much easier, meaning you will be able to get your motorcycle up and running, enjoying your rides.
The already mentioned (see previous article) HD-40 oil and duct tape, two indispensable “tools” of the trade. Also put a window cleaner spray and some paper towels (best is a kitchen roll) to clean your helmet.
If your motorcycle has a chain (in other words not a belt or shaft drive), you’ll need chain lube. You can get them in nice & easy sprays.
Bugs are bad for your bike, so get a bug cleaner, usually a spray. Make sure you have a proper soft cleaning cloth, preferably a microfiber one. Some cloths may scratch your bike, so make sure you get a good one.
Wax for the bike, wax for the leather. Wax protects your motorcycle from the elements. Rain and sun will slowly deteriorate the metal and leather parts of your bike. Wax your bike at least once a month.
A battery charger will go a long way for making sure you can ride. If you ride everyday, there’s no need, but if there are intervals of several weeks before the bike is fired up, you might want to invest in a trickle charger and hook up your motorcycle every time it gets pulled into the garage.
Not only is a tire pressure gauge essential, but a small electrically powered air compressor is very handy. You can get them relatively cheap, and they will work on 12V, so powered by your motorcycle. Depending on whether you ride alone, with a pillion and/or with cargo, you will need to adjust your tire pressure.
Another essential piece of equipment is a strong light that you can use to inspect your motorcycle. Even if your garage is well lit, you’ll still need to inspect at times the lower parts of your bike, and with a handheld torch, or light, it will make your life so much easier.
And the last item you’ll want in your garage is a motorcycle cover. Just because your bike sleeps in the garage does not mean dust will not get on your ride. So cover it properly. Unless of course you like cleaning your bike (I prefer to ride mine).
If you plan to do maintenance yourself, then you’ll need quite a lot of stuff. Obviously, all the tools to open up your bike and perform open-heart surgery, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, you name it, the list is long. But apart from that, you will be well served with the following:
Gloves. Unless you love scrubbing your hands to clean off the grease, mechanic gloves will save you wear & tear of your hands.
Trays for parts, and trays for oil. If you’re going to change oil, you’ll need to catch the old oil. The parts you take off your bike when working on them should go in a good sized tray, because if you don’t you’ll be spending more time looking for them then actually wrenching.
Good solid shoes. Don’t wrench while wearing flip-flops. You can easily skid and hurt yourself in a garage. You need shoes that are solid, with a good ankle support.
Obviously a motorcycle lift would be great to work on your bike, but that does cost a lot of money. But if you are planing to do a lot of work, it might be a worthwhile investment, since it will make working a lot easier. You can get quite elaborate lifts, but there are simple, manually operated lifts available. It also makes changing tires os much easier.