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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy Folks,

I was replying to a post about fairing buzz where a variety of effective solutions were offered by forum members, and ended up offering something of an exhortation to the membership to be willing to work on their own bikes.

I have purchased (at what I think is an exorbitant price for something that could be offered as a $15 down-load) an Official Indian Service Manual. By necessity and preference I do my own maintenance, yea, unto mounting and balancing tires.

I also habitually carry in a saddlebag, a tire plug kit w/ electric air compressor, a well-stocked army-surplus canvas tool roll, my owner's manual, a pair of motorcycle tie-downs, as well as the tiny factory tool pouch and contents. How 'bout y'all?

--- Randall
 

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I have a set of Bluepoint metric 1/4" drive sockets that I carry as well as small vise grips and cresent wrench, and bunge cords. Until I got the Vintage I also carried a plug kit, considering a can of green slime for emergencies, although I'm not sure it will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Howdy buck,
Slime or similar sealants may work, depending on whether its a simple puncture or a tear. Be aware that once sealants have been used, inner tube patches generally won't stick. I've broken down 16" tires mounted on safety rims on the side of the road, but only by getting someone with a truck to let me slide the wheel under the bumper and use the foot of a jack to break the bead; its pretty near impossible to break one by standing on the sidewall the way you can with 18 or 19 inch tires.

If you do much traveling there's a lot to be said for being able to plug a puncture and inflate the tire without having to pull the wheel off the bike which can be done with cast wheels and tubeless tires.
--- Randall
 

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Well, I've been around this country of ours 4 times, needless to say other than the Swiss Army style kit Harley gives you which is pretty useless, and the 4 days of clothing that's it! I do have the 1-800 come and get it if I were to break down... If you tour, it's a must to have...Get the extended warranty. On another note, does Indian give you any tools with their bikes?
 

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Until I get my saddle bags and handle bar bag I'm limited to the small kit given by Indian. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Howdy Chas,
The tool kit that came with Chieftain #873 includes:
a small kidney-shaped zippered nylon pouch
a 10-amp fuse, a 15-amp fuse, & a plastic fuse puller
a plastic spanner for the oil dip stick
6 mm, 5 mm, & 4 mm Allen wrenches; the 4 & 5 mm have ball-end hexes on the long arm; the 6 mm has a Phillips screwdriver on the long arm
a pen-type tire pressure gauge
A very nice air pump w/ attached pressure gauge for adjusting the air-shock pressure (I don't carry this on the bike for fear of what vibration might do to it)

--- Randall
 

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If I am going on a long trip, I will pack the necessary tools for maintenance like wrenches and allen keys. I always carry a multi-tool, a cable kit with ferrules (the doodads on the end of your cables), wire snips, screwdriver, and flashlight. The cable kit is about the size of a dip canister, and the rest packs pretty well.

I also keep a couple of crushed soda cans in case I have to park somewhere that doesn't have good parking or the asphalt may give way to my kickstand. If you buy the kick stand hockey puck, you are guaranteed to spend too much on it and to consequently lose it. :) If I leave behind a crushed soda can, the most I lose is a little self-respect for littering. . . and it's easy to replace.

No matter where you go, you should always have a towel. I keep one on my bike in case I will be leaving it in the sun and need to protect from burning myself when I mount up, or if it rains, etc. It isn't very big, but it is good to have.
 

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Zip ties and duct tape. You can carry enough to rebuild an engine but you need the parts. I tend to take a lot of tools on a long trip . I always carry a plug kit and an electric compressor .
 

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Hey Randall!
That's a lot better than what Harley gives you. Some kind of multi tool...At least that what they call it. LOL
 

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I saw something cool the other day. Amazon has a tire kit with plugs and CO2 cylinders for inflating the tire. One comment stated that he needed 4 of the little cylinders to inflate his tire, but it got him down the road.
 

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I saw something cool the other day. Amazon has a tire kit with plugs and CO2 cylinders for inflating the tire. One comment stated that he needed 4 of the little cylinders to inflate his tire, but it got him down the road.
Do you have a link? Sounds promising.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Howdy Folks,
It is very difficult to pull the rear wheel out of that skirted fender without a lift table with a drop-leaf, you pretty much have to lay the bike over on it's side. Being able to plug and inflate the tire on the bike may be the only practical way to make a roadside repair. The little CO2 cylinders will work (J&P Cycle sells them among others) and so will a small electric compressor that plugs into the power outlet (be aware that the little compressors have a limited use-life and may only be good for 2 or 3 tires).
--- Randall
 

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I would only add that I save some saddlebag space for a small multi-meter. Have yet to use it on my bike but have helped 2 others with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Howdy All,

OK, so road-side assistance is a great thing and I have it myself, both through Indian and Dairyland Insurance of whom I am a long-time customer. Yet, I am a long time cross country motorcycling tourist and I have often found, that, having the right combination wrenches, Vice-Grip pliers, screw drivers, Torx-wrenches, or Allen wrenches can make all the difference between proceeding down the road and calling for a wrecker (results may vary). True or no?
--- Randall
 

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Howdy All,

OK, so road-side assistance is a great thing and I have it myself, both through Indian and Dairyland Insurance of whom I am a long-time customer. Yet, I am a long time cross country motorcycling tourist and I have often found, that, having the right combination wrenches, Vice-Grip pliers, screw drivers, Torx-wrenches, or Allen wrenches can make all the difference between proceeding down the road and calling for a wrecker (results may vary). True or no?
--- Randall
Getting the things together to make a repair, can be some what convoluted, how many items and which ones ? The only way I figure it out usually, is when I need it and don't have it, it then goes on the bike for next time, which inevitably never comes, because I fix stuff for good if possible the first time they need to be addressed, looking the bike over in depth every few rides, is some thing most wont do, but it sure can save your ass out in the middle of no where. Eventually, you end up with a tool roll from hell that weighs 20lbs.
 

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What I always carry:

Flashlight
Tiny air compressor (wondering if I can ditch this or the little air pump that came with the bike)
Plug kit. I replace this every riding season as they get old.
A multi-tool (leatherman)
Gorilla tape
A spool of electrical wire. Can be used for electronics or used like bailing wire.
One of them screwdrivers that have all kinds of bits in the handle
Small crescent wrench
Electrical tape
shop rag
2 bungee cords
Fuses and fuse puller
A small multi-meter
The factory toolkit
First aid kit
 

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I was hesitant to add my 2-cents, but here it goes...after 50+ years of riding, I guess you learn that the best "tool" is preventive maintenance and a good pre-ride check. Of course, all that depends on what type of riding you do...touring on the slabs or hitting the little used secondary roads that may be tar-and-chip at best. I've found that the tools kit that HD used to supply with their FLH's is a good start, and I would add electrical tape and baler twine. If you have tubeless tires, then add a plug kit. That's about it for me.

I used to ride from Cleveland to Bradenton once a year with a guy that neglected the routine maintenance and even "fiddled" with his bike by adding accessories that frequently required plugging into the bikes electrical system. He just wasn't a mechanic by any stretch. Well, you guessed it...he ALWAYS had trouble with his bike on every trip out of town. He never knew how to troubleshoot a problem on the side of the road...he left that up to me. No tool in anybody's kit would be enough to save the day with this type of rider. The final straw came when he broke down on I-75 just south of Ocala with a fried battery caused by a bad wiring splice he made. A FL Highway Patrol officer stopped to see what was wrong and quickly told me to tell my friend to return to his bike (just off the Interstate berm) from the place he was standing at the barrier fence. The officer said he was ************** as that area he was occupying was mating grounds and that was happening NOW! I didn't see any alligators, but who am I to doubt the cop? The officer called the HD dealer in Ocala to trailer my friend's bike in for repairs. That was the last time I rode with him and it was a great reminder for why you always keep your bike in good repair (and not to work on your ride if you are not capable).
 

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Spending many years as a Harley mechanic, I never carried much in the form of tools with me. When I rode with others, I cringed when someone in the group was having a problem and tried to stay back and out of site. Then someone would always say, "Builder is a Harley mechanic" and then I would have to go over and try to fix the bike with no tools or with what everyone had compiled. When I take a trip, the last thing I wanted to do was go to work. There is a saying, "A mechanic is only as good as his tools." $h!t! I would need a 3/4 ton van to carry my tools. :confused:
 
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