Whether you’re hitting the road for a long, exciting road trip or just doing the normal morning commute there are a few essential items that should be carried with you in your motorcycle tank bag.
Yes, if the laptop and work clothes take priority you might not have the space for all of these. However, to be safe rather than sorry on any journey it is good to have peace of mind with the following provisions.
Let’s take a look.
1. A motorcycle tool kit
Short trip adventure, off-road madness, even a little bit of city riding; a trusted tool kit is one of the most important items to carry in your tank bag.
And if space is limited, you could whittle the kit down to some bare essentials. A hex key, a couple of screwdrivers and an adjustable wrench will all prove themselves worthwhile at a time of mechanical need.
Another space saving, yet highly versatile piece of kit is a multi-tool knife, with pliers, cutters and bottle opener if you have to wait a while for road service rescue to arrive.
2. A Phone with Battery Life (+Charger)
Essential item number two, is a working phone that has been charged before you hit the road.
In case the battery runs out you should also have the relevant charger on standby.
The reason for a phone is quite obvious. Whether you’re on a crazy adventure to the middle of nowhere, or just riding out do some shopping, if things go wrong you have the ability to call for assistance immediately.
Being stuck by the site of the road because of motorcycle failure is never fun; at least knowing that someone is on the way can make it bearable.
And in case of an accident, having a working phone available in your tank bag could make the difference between life and death.
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3. Spare pair of gloves
Wearing the right gloves while on the road is fundamental to your riding comfort.
And while it might not be practical to have a complete set of spare leather riding gloves in your tank bag, (they do take up space), an extra pair of latex gloves to put on should the temperature drop is always a good idea.
If you are confident with your own ‘on the fly’ repairs, a scrappy old pair of gloves could also be thrown in the bag for any oily work you might encounter.
4. Tire Repair Kit
Being prepared for when you get a flat tire is another variable you should consider.
For that your tank bag should be packed with a flat fix kit.
This will help you get back on the road without the stress of finding an autoshop to rectify the situation for you.
A flat fix kit does need to be checked every now and then however. If it sits in your tank bag for too long the kit will not work as well as it should.
5. First Aid Kit
A small, lightweight first aid kit packed with essentials is another great thing to pack in your tank bag.
As with the tool kit, space may be an issue so the most important first aid items should take priority.
We’re talking bandages, some safety pins and gauze, a soothing disinfectant cream and in order to keep functioning should a headache or aches and pains kick in, a few hundred milligrams of ibuprofen could do the trick.
6. A Good LED Flashlight
Mechanical breakdown, lost on the road, looking for items in your tank bag. All of these could easily happen while riding at night or in low visibility conditions.
Having a good LED flashlight as part of your gear will be very useful in this situation.
And if you have to undertake some repairs or fix a tire in the dark, you’ll be cursing the fact a flashlight isn’t available.
Have one tucked away in your bag as you never know when you might need it.
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7. Visor Cleaner & wipes
A clean visor is an essential element for any comfortable ride.
On a long journey, bugs, dirt, dust and other nuisances can end up smeared across your vision.
The best way to keep all of that at bay is to be able to periodically give things a clean.
And for that, a micro-fibre towel and some lens cleaner are the best items to use. Naturally, you should have them in your tank bag.
The cleaning towel can be used for all sorts of other scenarios too, so having one on standby will always be beneficial.
8. Wet weather gear
The weather for any journey can start one way and take a turn for the worse when you least expect it.
The key to this scenario is to always be prepared. Unless you live somewhere with very little annual rain; being caught in wet weather is something that will inevitably happen from time to time.
The answer? Well a good set of wet weather clothes tucked away in your tank bag.
A full rain suit is the best option if you have the space. A heated jacket is also a great thing to have, especially if you have other forms of storage such as a tail bag or saddle bags.
Even the most lightweight, rain proof jacket to keep your main clothes dry will make a huge difference when those storm clouds gather.
9. Sun Protection
On the flip side of potential weather conditions, it can get very uncomfortable if you’re out under the hot sun on a very long journey.
There’s little shade on some stretches of road, and even a single hour in midday sun could leave your skin sunburnt and blistered if not properly protected.
If you live in an area or it is the time of year when sunshine might present a problem, it takes no space at all to have a little tube of SPF 50 tucked away at the bottom of the tank bag.
To prevent cracked lips a small moisturizing chap-stick is another worthwhile addition. Better yet, opt for one with UV protection built in.
10. A healthy Snack
Having a couple of snack items available should hunger strike is our final entry into essential tank bag items.
While fruit and such like is tasty and full of nutrients, the danger here is that you forget about it and then it starts to rot in your bag.
The squishy remains are never a good thing.
Instead opt for a healthy granola bar or something similar. This will stop the hunger until you stop for a proper meal.
An available snack will also be much appreciated during times when you have broken down and need to wait around for help.
Once the food has been eaten, try to remember to restock next time you hit the gas station or 7/11.