To our customers impacted by recent storms

We hope you and your family are safe. If you have been affected by one of the recent hurricanes and need to make an insurance claim, please call 1-800-362-7535 or click here to file your claim online.

Motorcycle toolkit essentials

Keeping a basic toolkit on your bike at all times can help you avoid small problems turning into big ones. Here’s Woody’s list of essential items for your motorcycle toolkit to help get you home safe if the unfortunate occurs.
To clear my head, one of my favorite things to do is take off and see where the road takes me. Generally, this is out in the country with nothing around except beautiful countryside and the occasional pungent herd of Wisconsin cows to clear my sinuses. In this article we are going to focus on a tech tip to help ensure you get home should something break while out on a ride.

There's a wide variety of tools and emergency items my customers keep in their bikes. As a technician with a bagger, I could suggest many tools/items, but storage space is always a consideration. Keeping it simple, but effective is the goal. At best, most OEM toolkits are not rider/bike friendly. And if purchased secondhand you may be missing the toolkit completely. Take the time to look at your bike and see if you have a toolkit and if it has everything you’d need to save the day in case of an emergency. Heck, I've saved the day for many broken down riders I didn't know, but as a motorcyclist, it’s what we do.

At minimum, I would recommend:

  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Assorted screw drivers (torx on newer bikes)
  • Electrical tape
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Allen wrench set
  • Flash light
  • Spare fuses
  • Tire repair/plug kit with Co2 bottles (saved me on a long ride and I was glad to have it!)
Each rider knows his/her own ability to handle a roadside emergency, but having some of these tools on hand can be a life saver. Every bike has specific needs for tools. Taking the time to look over your bike now before a problem occurs is time well spent!

Happy riding, Woody.

For additional peace of mind you can also join Markel’s 24-hour emergency roadside assistance program. For only $25 per year (per unit) or $50 per year (all private passenger, non-commercial, household vehicles), you can get 24-hour motorcycle emergency towing and road service, tire and battery service, trip interruption reimbursement, and more!

Woody Graves About the author:
John "Woody" Graves is one of those "been there, done that" motorcycle enthusiasts. Enthusiast is actually an understatement; it’s his passion and way of life. Woody’s passion dates back to 1971 when he started motocross racing. Since then he’s dedicated his life to restoring, fabricating, and repairing motorcycles. Today, Woody owns and operates his own motorcycle shop in Waukesha, WI. He’s also still racing and a promoter of the Midwest Vintage MX series. With five decades of experience working on his own bikes, building race bikes, and servicing customer’s bikes, he has the knowledge to help you enjoy your ride and stay safe on the road.

Next article

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.

Markel Customer Service
Hours of operation:
Mon.–Fri., 7:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. CST
Sat., 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. CST

smiling customer service representative wearing headset
Get a motorcycle insurance quote now!