Essentials for a Motorcycle Emergency
By Sam Perry
Emergencies. They're never much fun, but they happen, and the best thing we can do to make them less hazardous is to be prepared. With that thought in mind, I've spent the evening preparing an emergency kit to keep in my bike. This is intended to help you out if you find yourself stranded, as well as give some tools to help any other people in distress you may happen to come upon.
Granted, I'm making this up as I go along, but I thought I'd share the contents so far with you, and let you in on my thought process. Anyway, here goes:
1. First Aid Kit- This is a fairly basic one. It's got bandaids, some antibotic ointment, a few sterile gauze patches. There's a good chance that I'll upgrade it one day, particularly if and when I start taking longer trips, but we'll save that for another entry.
2. Space blanket- There are few things that can make your life much harder than cold. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can make simple tasks a lot harder pretty quickly. Basically, the $1.50 you'll probably spend on one of these will be well worth it if you ever need to use it.
3. Extra Batteries- These go in the flashlight that we'll get to later.
4. Tape- Seriously, what can't you do with tape. Duct tape would be just as useful here, if not more so, but it doesn't fit in my little case, so electrical tape it is.
5. Multi-tool- If anything in this kit reaches "never leave home without it" status, it's this. I won't get into the specific uses of the multi-tool, but trust me, they're almost limitless. I've even used the outer shell of this thing as a blunt object to hit nails in before. It wasn't the easiest way, but it got the job done at the time.
6. Extra Flashlight- I keep a LED headlamp in the bike at all times as well, and that's the one I'll use in most situations, but lights have a tendency to break at the most inconvenient times possible, and it never hurts to have a backup. This one and the headlamp use the same batteries, so they can serve as backups for eachother, and the extra set can go wherever it's needed.
7. Utility Knife- Honestly, this one's probably not a necessity. The multi-tool will cover most of the same jobs this one will. I think that, in many situations, a utility knife is just the best tool for the job, and it's small enough that it doesn't hurt to have it around.
8. Emergency Information- This is in case something happens that prevents you from being able to communicate with whoever happens to come along. Mine is typed up, and kept in a plastic baggy to protect it from moisture. I've made a pdf document that you can fill out with your information if you'd like. You can find it here.
9. Fuses- These could go in the toolkit, which I'll cover in another entry, but either way, you should have some. I had the signaling system fuse go out just a little while after I got my bike, due to an error I made in installing an accessory outlet. Let's just say I don't reccomend riding like that. They're small, inexpensive, and easy to change out. Better to fix the problem than drive with it.
10. Case- the one I used is actually a belly bag that I cut the straps off of for use somewhere else.
They're are a few other things that I'd like to add eventually, for example, a lighter. I just don't happen to have one right now. I'll update if I think of anything else as well. Does anyone else out there carry an emergency kit? If so, what do you keep in it?
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