The Macgyver Collection: 5 Must Have Contingency Items for Your Garage
January 8, 2014
Any simpleton can perform rudimentary repairs on a motorcycle – provided they have proper parts, a clear set of instructions, and ample time. But for those eleventh hour emergency repairs, sometimes creative thinking and ingenuity are the only way to prevent your bike from being stuck on the service stand and your friends from riding off without you. However, the problem with resourcefulness is it tends to be limited by resources. Here’s 5 economical essentials to have stashed in the garage for all manner of emergency repairs:
#1 Zip Ties – This no-brainer should also be included in your bike’s onboard tool kit. Baling wire’s more upscale cosmopolitan cousin doesn’t require a tetanus shot and is perfect for quickly reattaching numerous bits and pieces on a bike or suturing a split fender that’s about to fall off. Also works well to fasten a broken backpack strap or cinch up boots that have a blown out buckle. Black zip ties tend to have better resistance to the damaging effects of UV light.
#2 Fusible Tape – Readily available at most auto parts stores, this alternative to classic electrical tape creates a seamless waterproof and environmentally sealed casing, with excellent high dielectric properties. Great for sealing electrical connections or protective wrapping to prevent chafing on frames and cable housings. Adheres to itself and is easily removed. Unlike duct tape leaves no trace of gooey residue on your children’s mouths. Comes in numerous color choices for that factory esthetic.
#3 Silicone – Great for making gaskets, breast augmentation, and turning Hollywood starlet’s lips into duck bills. Handy for filling holes and crevices on cracked seats or abused boots, or sealing the gaping hole where your speedometer cable once was, or reattaching goggle foam to your 20 year old pair of Smiths with an opaque lens. Also available in several color choices for the fashion conscious.
#4 Round Things with Holes – The owner of a motorcycle shop I used to frequent had a coffee can with this label on it. Inside contained a treasure trove of miscellaneous flat washers and plastic bushings of all shapes and sizes to be used as shims and spacers for a multitude of applications – like when you crash around a blind curve on a trail and the ‘friend’ behind you rides right over your bike, bending your exhaust into the swing arm path of the rear tire.
#5 Springs – Another item that should be accumulated in a wide variety. Easily manipulated to solve many issues, like holding a weak choke lever in the open position or helping getting an aging kickstand up and keeping it up (insert your own Viagra joke here).
Honorable MentionsFoam – Used extensively in Motocross and Supercross to prevent mud and debris from building up in nooks and crannies on race bikes, it can also help dampen vibrations in loose parts or be carved into a decorative hemorrhoid donut for your seat.
Fuel Line – Slice it thin to make rubber bushings. Slice it length wise and wrap around a chafed radiator hose or fuel line to create a protective sleeve, then fasten with silicone or Zip Ties. Not recommended for use as an emergency catheter.
Penetrating Oil – Another no-brainer that everyone should have on hand. It lubricates, loosens rusty parts, cleans asphalt tar off your skid plate, and when combined with a lighter can be a quick and easy way to light candles on a birthday cake.
Don’t get left behind – having just a few key resources on hand in the garage exponentially increases the odds being able to channel your inner MacGyver and get back in the dirt!