RoadRUNNER Zen Motorcyclist

Little Things

Feb 17, 2013 View Comments by


A decade of daily commuting has taught me many lessons, not the least of which is to be prepared for anything and to pack accordingly. Bringing clothing for any and all types of weather conditions is important, especially at certain times of the year when weather can fluctuate over a 10-hour period. Tools are (of course) a necessity as well, along with spare fuses and master link, first aid kit, air pump, and patch kit.

Daily commuting has also taught me that the smallest and least expensive item can sometimes be the difference between making it to work on time and calling for a ride. If you’re a motorcycle commuter and haven’t stowed away a package of zip ties and a roll of duct tape you may want to consider doing so. A pre-ride walk-around can catch some things but you obviously can’t check every nut and bolt and these two simple items can be invaluable should the need arise. Bolts come loose, straps break and on a few occasions these simple items have saved the day for me.

On one occasion the bolt for a brake line clamp magically removed itself from my V-Strom leaving my front brake line loose and flapping around against the front fender. Should the line have broken, caught on something, or split I may have been left without front brakes. Another time, my forward saddlebag mount worked its way out. In each incident a simple zip tie fix had me back on the road within five minutes.

You can get 200 zip ties for around $5 and a roll of tape for about $10, and these can easily be stowed under your seat or in a saddlebag. You never know when they may come in handy. Another thing I’ve learned is to get extras whenever ordering some of the cheaper bolts and plastic rivets that inevitably will need replacing. It never hurts to have spares.

What item has saved you on a ride? What do you carry on a daily basis?


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About the author

I have been motorcycle commuting since 1998. I created Zen Motorcyclist (formerly Commuting Motorcyclist) in 2011 and work as a motojournalist, software developer, CAD designer and IT/CAD manager in the Surveying and Civil Engineering field.