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Multi-Tool Giveaway (rules)


Tool kits are very subjective and should be based upon individual bikes and rides. The following list is filled with suggestions that have been compiled by Tim Hillsamer, ADV participant with many years of trail, dirt, dual sport, racing (desert/enduros/scrambles/GP’s) and trials riding experience; and Nicole Espinosa, founder of Rugged Rider, to assist enthusiasts in their quest for building the most efficient customized kits. See Tim’s matching ADV tool kit thread link below for more detailed descriptions and reasoning behind the choices, as well as a fantastic photo journal.

Disclaimer: Rugged Rider assumes no responsibility for injuries associated with utilizing the below tool kit suggestions. Prices and links below are subject to change at any time.

Hot Tips:

Make sure the tools match your bike. Use them at home before you need to depend on them on the trail.

Free Tool Kit List download (pdf)

ADV rider tool kit thread by Tim Hillsamer (Hilslamer)

Packing List (Word doc)

Bike Parts
Tool/Product/Link to buy

Quicksteel or equivalent Epoxy putty


Purchase Quicksteel


• Best way to patch an engine case or sidecover with a hole/crack in it, even if you can’t find all the pieces.

• Tolerates incredible heat and bonds well to almost anything, but plastic.

• Not strong enough to use as a major structure repair.

• In sufficient quantities will hold on chain guides & hold a severed cable into a lever where barrel end pulled out, etc.

• See Tim’s photo journal for tips on patching engine case.

Motion Pro T-6 Chain Tool

Purchase Motion Pro T-6 Chain Tool 


• Easiest & lightest tool for breaking & reassembling an o-ring chain in the field.

• Small & compact with zippered case & elastic straps for snug fit.

• Works with all 520 & 525 chains.

Enough storage room for spare links. 

2 spare master links (minimum) 

Purchase Master Link Sport Chain


• A single random chain link repair usually means you'll need two master links.

2 spare links of chain (minimum) 

Purchase Regina gold o-ring 100 links


• This means two inner & two outer in a continuous precut piece.

• You can cut what you need on the spot or cut one link for an o-ring lost in the process, etc (use imagination)

Lubricant/White Lightning Epic (brand) 

 Purchase White Lightning Epic


• Small bottle of silicone-based chain lube.

• Attracts some dust, but works everywhere and lasts!

• Will not dry up like WD-40.


Chapman tools:

  • Driver handle
  • 4" Driver handle
  • Metric Allen bits (2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm)
  • 1/4" Drive adapter
  • #2, #3, Phillips bits*
  • #2 Flathead bit*

*Keep these stored in a small Altoids tin protected by thin felt.

Purchase 16 pc Chapman kit


• Chapman tools, bits, extension plus the sturdier Husky ratchet make for a very versatile and capable set.

Husky tools:

  • 1/4" and 5/16" reversible mini ratchet 

• Compliments good parts of Chapman stuff. 

• Provides well-retained snap-in 1/4" drive adapter for the larger ratchet for higher torque capacity.

• Robust & reversible (dead sell over other designs in Tim's opinion).

Craftsman tools:

  • Stubby combo wrenches (8, 10, 12, 13, 14mm sizes)
  • Duckbill Shorty Crescent wrench
  • Short 6-point sockets with 1/4" drive (6, 8, 10, 12, 14mm standard) & (8, 10mm deep sockets) 

Purchase Craftsman socket & ratcheting tools

• Combo wrenches are strong enough for wrench-on-wrench (to save on weight).

• Thick chrome plating resists abrasion, scratching & rusting from soaked tool bag.

• This Duckbill Crescent opens very wide. Enough for a 28mm hex fastener. Also, has narrow jaws for tighter spaces.

• This Crescent will also work as a 3rd tire iron if needed.

• Keep 6-point sockets (for fine Husky ratchet indexing) on a shortened & lightened socket rail (see Tim's photo journal).

• Watch out for bikes with odd-ball 7, 13, 15mm hex head fateners.

Check your bike for critical fasteners that might need attention in the field then stock appropriate tools!

14 & 17 combo open end wrench 

*Tim carries the Yamaha issue wrench mentioned above, because it works for his bike in a minimalist manner.

**This illustrates the point that it is very important to know your bike's needs & stock the appropriate tools.

• Most rear brake master cylinder adjustments require TWO 14mm wrenches, and there are occasionally 17mm hex heads on bolts that need attention on various bikes.

Allen wrench assortment (quality ball-end) 


Purchase 13 pc premium grade hex wrench set


• Carry as many sizes as you can.

• Great leverage devices, cheaters, etc, so also carry ones you think you might not need.

• Quality is important, because these are some of the most highly stressed tools in your kit (especially at odd angles).

SOG Paratool multi-tool or equivalent (like Leatherman Wave or Crunch below) 

Purchase SOG paratool (black oxide)


Purchase SOG paratool (silver)


Tools included:

• Powerful needle-nose pliers (due to doubler mechanism...SOG unique).

• Wire cutters

• Knife (straight/serrated)

• Single/double cut file

• Screwdrivers: Flat & Phillips (usually not a long enough reach, hence Chapman bits)

• Awl

• Bottle opener

Leatherman Wave 

Purchase Leatherman Wave multi-tool


Tools included:

• knife (straight/serrated)

• Needlenose pliers

• Regular pliers

• Wire Cutters

• Hard-wire Cutters

• Wire Stripper

• Large Screwdriver

• Large/Small Bit Drivers

• Scissors

• Wood/Metal File 

• Diamond-coated File 

• Saw

• Bottle Opener

• Can Opener 

• Bits: Phillips/Flat Tip Eyeglass Screwdriver bit; Phillips #1, 2 & 3/16" bit

Leatherman Crunch 

*If you purchase a multi-tool that does not have locking pliers then it might be a good idea to include vise grips in your kit in addition to the multi-tool.

Purchase Leatherman Crunch multi-tool


Purchase vise grips


Tools included:

• Locking pliers (or Vise Grips, which can be used on a broken shift/brake lever or stripped shift shaft to get you off the trail)

• Wire Cutters

• Hard-wire Cutters

• Serrated Knife

• Wood/Metal File 

• Screwdrivers (Flatheads sm, med, lg) 

• Phillip's Screwdrivers (#1, 2) 

• Hex Bit Driver 

• Wire Stripper


Sandpaper (200, 400 & 600 grit/Testor's brand) 








Purchase Testor's sandpaper


• Tim prefers the Testor's variety (model car/airplane shops).

• Abrasive bonded to Mylar backing that will tolerate oil, water, coolant and brake cleaners (petroleum distillates) without becoming a useless gritty pulp.

Many uses: Preps engine cases for Quicksteel; smoothes out fork stanchion gouges from falls, etc.


Sparkplug Caddy with plug (Acerbis) 

Purchase Acerbis Spark Plug Caddy with plug


• Pack end of cap with open-cell foam to keep the plug from moving.

• If you ride a twin cylinder, or more, carry that many plugs.

Sparkplug Wrench 

• Tim uses a stock Sherco sparkplug wrench for his 2007 5.1 Sherco (it's light and simple).

• There are many varieties. Just make sure it fits your bike.


Radiator Stop-Leak 


Purchase Silver Seal Radiator Stop Leak


• Keep a motorcycle-sized portion stashed in a 35mm film canister.

• This can save a long trip or short ride where a stick or pebble jams into a radiator and leaves it weeping or leaking.

• Dump it in and keep riding.

• Just remember to get it out of there ASAP, because it's hard on waterpump seals and the like.

Standard Misc.

Hemostat or equivalent (roach clip) 

Purchase Hemostat

$3.17 (5.5" straight locking)

• Handy for holding something in place while glue dries.

• Can pinch off fuel lines from a removed gas tank.

Miniature Hacksaw blades 

Purchase 6" Mini Hacksaw Blade


• Can be held in hand or with pliers or bent for tight spaces.

• Can get mangled parts out of the way to ride back to safety.

• Can be used on tough material or as spacers/shims.

• Can also be used as a brace.

Zip Ties (Thomas & Betts brand) 





Purchase Thomas & Betts Cable Ties

$22.70 for 4" 100pack

• High performance & UV resistant with stainless steel tang (for strong ratcheting system).

• Carry variety of sizes.

• Tiny ones for wiring harness repairs.

• Large ones can hold major components of wrecked bike in place.

Tow Strap 





Purchase 25' Heavy Duty Tow Strap


• In Tim's photo journal the end loops are held fast by pop rivets.

• Better known as "mule tape" with big strands that can take rivets without compromising the tensile strength of webbing.

Duct & Electrical Tape 

Purchase 2 rolls Miniature Travel Duct Tape                                         


Purchase Premium Grade 1/2" x 22 yds Electrical Tape                       


 • Keep a handy amount wrapped around a tire lever sandwiched between zip ties to keep them from slipping.

Octane Booster (Lucas brand) 






Purchase 15 oz Lucas Octane Booster


• Stuck in the boonies with only a gallon of PeMex from someone on a beach? No problem. Just add the foil-sealed container to revive even the worst gas.

• May need more than one for an Exxon Valdez sized tank on an XR650R.

Empty Mylar Bladder (from Starbucks coffee traveler) 

• Minimizes bulk for carrying fuel.

• Stick in gallon-size Ziploc bag to prevent abrasion, holes or scars.

• Has double layer with thread off cap.

• Holds about 1.2 gallons of gas.

• Can buy one with coffee in it & clean out after guzzling or ask a cutie behind the counter nicely for free empty one.

Bic Lighter 

Purchase box of 50 Bic style Lighters


• You never know when you'll need fire for signal or warmth.

• Put it somewhere in your tool pack where the button can't be pushed down accidentally.

Tweezerman Tweezer Kit 

Purchase Tweezerman petite Tweezer kit

$22.50 (red or green pouch)

• Stainless steel with many uses.

• Make sure they are in a position that cannot poke through the tool bag and into you if you dump the bike. They are sharp!

Pre-Moistened Cleaning Towelettes 


Purchase Radians box of 100 safety cleaning towelettes


• Anti-fog and anti-dust/static.

• Fit anywhere. Try in your helmet pads for quick access, even with gloves on.

Bicycle Derailleur Cable 








Purchase Jagwire teflon/stainless Derailleur Wire


• Doubles as any cable on your bike (throttle, clutch, etc).

• Very strong & usually thinner than moto cables.

• Can be threaded through old housing/adjusters.

• Anchor each end of temporary replacement cable w/Quicksteel.

• Easy to cut.

Inconel 600 Tire Wire (.025 or .032) 




Purchase McMaster Inconel 600 Wire

$23.31 for .025” 1/4lb spool

• Expensive nickel super alloy.

• 200% better than bailing wire and lighter & 3x stronger.

• Strong at high temperatures, so can be used to hold bent exhaust pipes, etc.

• Doesn't rust.

6' roll of Electrical Wire (12 gauge or larger) 

Purchase 50' 12 gauge TXL Wire


• Can be used in case of short/switch issue.

• Can use one strand of copper wire to clean clogged carburetor jet.

• Use for tying off small things.


• Any small comb with fine enough teeth to pull out an entire chunk of Cholla cactus, or the like.

• Also doubles as a way to sift through sand should you drop a bolt, etc.

Headlamp or flashlight (Petzle Zipka Plus) 

Purchase Petzle Zipka Headlamp


• Headlamps leave you hands free to tackle maintenance in the dark.

• Zipka can flash SOS.


Axle Wrench (Motion Pro 7075 aluminum combo lever tire irons)









Purchase Motion Pro Forged Tire Iron


• Also has a 6-point hex axle nut wrench on one end.

• Very light (1/3 weight) and strong.

• Easier to hold with gloves on.

• Spooned tip on one end has a lip forged into it for biting the rim on last pull that gets the bead of the tire over the rim.

• Make sure it fits your bike!

Spare 21" Tube 

Purchase Kenda Tuff-Tube 2.5mm heavy duty Butyl-rubber


• Can be used for front or rear.

Patch Kit 

  • Vulcanizing compound
  • Variety of patches
  • Spare Scraeder valve cores
  • Spare valve stem nuts

Purchase Park Tool Vulcanizing Patch Kit


• Carry extra vulcanizing compound in case you need to make a slash repair.

• Valve stem nuts are easy to lose.

Slime Power Tire Inflator 

Purchase Slime Power Tire Inflator


• Small, lightweight, effective and reliable.

• Electric pump. Can run off SAE plug directly to battery.

CO2 Canister Kit 

Purchase Genuine Innovations Microflate CO2 Inflator w/16 oz cartridge


• The Genuine Innovations kit has all-metal nozzles that are not prone to getting crushed or failing in cold temperatures like plastic nozzle pieces. 

Tool Pack 

Ogio MX 450 

*This is Tim's choice in a tool pack. Your needs and priorities may be differenct.

*Try to think ahead to how you're going to use the pack and look for those types of features.






Purchase Ogio 450 Moto Bag


Tim's choice because of: 

Fit: Able to fit a small waist.

Security: Zippers are larger & sturdier. Able to use with gloves.

Flexibility: Side pockets have expanding bottoms to carry the likes of an oil bottle for versatility.

"Stay-puttedness": There is "grippy" material all the way around the pack where it makes contact with your body. Doesn't slide.


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