Owning a motorcycle can be tough. Unlike cars, parts aren’t always readily available and if your bike is your only mode of transportation, you can find yourself begging rides for a week while waiting on parts. Even if you’re only stuck by the side of the road until you can get home, it’s still a major inconvenience. The reality is that stuff breaks.
In order to keep you on the road to survival instead of stuck on the side of it, we’ve composed a list of must-have irreplaceable spare parts to hoard for your motorcycle.
We’re going to break these down into two lists: one list of motorcycle parts to always carry with you, and one list of parts to always keep on hand at home.
Must-Have Spare Parts to Hoard on the Bike
- Batteries for your Keyless Ignition Fob – Many of the newer motorcycles have a keyless ignition fob that only allows you to start the bike if you’re within a certain distance of the bike. If the battery in the fob goes dead, you’re stuck. Most of them take a standard watch battery that only costs a few bucks and they’re easy to change. Toss an extra into your bag.
- Spare Bulbs – Spare bulbs for your headlamp and taillights are always a good idea because they’re not only required, they’re also necessary to keep you safe. Since they don’t take up much space, throw them into your bag and you’ll always have them when you need them.
- Tire Repair Kit – Though technically not a spare part, these can be a huge time-saver. If you notice a leak while on the road, it’s much easier and safer to pull over and fix it than it is to try to keep going or to wait on a tow.
- Spark Plugs – Most bikes offer easy access to the plugs and if one suddenly stops working or you blow it, having one on hand will keep you moving. You’ll need your tool kit but that’s something that you should always carry anyway.
Must-Have Spare Parts to Hoard in the Garage
- Oil Drain Plug Gasket – This is the bane to many home-wrencher’s existence. When you change your oil, there’s a little gasket at the drain that seems to always fall into the oil or get gunked up when it accidentally hits the dirt. It’s a good idea to keep several on hand in case you lose it or forget to buy it when you pick up your oil and filter. While we’re talking about it, extra oil and filters are handy to keep on hand, too.
- Seat Bolts – For some reason, seat bolts seem to have an irritating habit of walking off when you’re working on your bike. Keep a few extras handy and you won’t have to worry about the errant ones that can’t seem to stay where you put them.
- Plastic Push Rivets – If you take your fender off on a semi-regular basis, you know how pesky those plastic rivets can be. Whether they break or whether they wander off, it’s best to keep a few on hand as spare parts just in case.
- Spare Fan and Motor – If you ride a water-cooled bike, fans and fan motors can be hard to come by, especially if you ride an older or less-popular bike. You can be down for up to 10 days while waiting for one to be shipped in. Keep spares on hand.
- Replaced Stock Parts – If you mod your bike, keep those replaced parts on hand just in case something goes wrong with the new ones. After all, unless you replaced them when they wore out, there’s nothing wrong with them and they’ll work until your new part arrives. Also, especially with pipes, your state may change laws in such a way that your new pipes won’t be legal. If you keep your stock pipes, you have a set to fall back on.
These are only a few irreplaceable spare parts to hoard for your motorcycle but they’re a good place to start.
It’s also handy to have such things as extra electrical wiring and gas treatment lying around. This list will vary based upon what kind of motorcycle you ride and how you ride it so if there’s a part that you seem to need on a regular basis, add that to your list of spare motorcycle parts to keep handy too.
Don’t forget you tools and keep the shiny side up!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
Todd | January 14, 2014
I restore motorcycles. THE most important items are #1 a new, dry, lead acid battery for your bike and a bag of battery acid. the battery will store for decades dry. no battery, no start, no run. and #2 tires and tubes with a hand or foot operated air pump. if your bike has a keyless ignition fob, your bike is too new. the newer the bike, the harder to keep running in hard times.
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Grant Harper | April 28, 2015
It is good to know about these spare parts that are good to have. I would like to be sure that if anything ever happens to my bike that I can fix it. However, there seem to be quite a few parts that I will need on hand. It might be a good idea for me to start looking for these parts, and see if I can get some of them second hand. Thanks for the post, I will start collecting all these different spare parts!
kevin | June 27, 2016
I would add spare levers, a chain tool and master link, and spare brake reservoirs to the list.
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