“I’m going on a long road trip for the first time, on my motorcycle, what all spares shall I carry?” If you are having the above question, then read ahead.
How many times and which all parts in recent past (1month/1year/3years/10years), on your bike have failed you? Normally your answer would be “none” (that’s what it will be in most of cases). But if there are some parts that have failed more than once, in recent past, add them to the list as the first items (for example HT coil on one of my motorcycle). On a well maintained (regularly serviced & with all parts replaced whenever the need arises) bike, you shouldn’t have parts that would have failed frequently (here I’m talking about a bone stock bike).
So, if no part has failed, so far, on my bike why should I even bother to carry any spares? Well, there are certain spares that aren’t very expensive and don’t occupy too much space and aren’t too difficult to replace either BUT if they fail can land your bike in an unusable state. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry and carry them.
Following is a list of such spare parts:
- Spark Plug
- Spark Plug Cap
- Chain Link
- Clutch lever
- Clutch lever mounting clamp
- Brake Lever
- Brake lever mounting clamp
- Cables: Accelerator, Clutch and Brake (if your bike runs on front drum brakes)
- Headlamp bulb
- Engine oil (if you are using one that is not easily available and you think during trip it will require to be changed)
Other than the above mentioned carry spare set of tubes (if your bike runs on tube type tire). Even if your bike runs tubeless tire, it is better to carry a spare tube just in case the alloy wheel is damaged and starts to leak air, fitting with tube can fix the problem.
One point to note is that, it’s important to know how to replace the spare part that you are carrying else often it would be as good as not carrying one. So, learn to change these parts and practice before you head out on that ride which you always dreamt off.
Though the following items are not exactly spare parts, one should also be carrying them:
- Electrical wire
- Electrical tape
One might ask, for a long road trip the above mentioned list is fine but what about Ladakh? My answer is, Ladakh is no different than any long road trip. Yes, the terrain is different, so is the altitude and the help on road side is rare but other than how does it matter what all parts one should carry?
The list is kept short to only those parts that one can carry easily and don’t need much skill to change them and if they fail you might be left stranded. Though one can carry much more parts than the above listed but then are you preparing yourself for the worse? Than what about the “adventure” part of the road trip? In that case may be use a backup vehicle or better use some other mode of travel.
Now, if you wonder where in my city I can find a good place to get my motorcycle prepared or learn how to replace the above mentioned parts. Though I don’t have information for many cities but I can help you with Mumbai. In Mumbai Arpan & Reddy conduct sessions for leh riders free of cost and teach you basics of motorcycle maintenance. For all my long trips (including 3 Ladakh rides), my bike(s) were prepared by them.