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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know I can easily get a generic tool bag but they are not model-specific to our Ninja.

Perhaps, let's list down the possible component failures/seizures/breakage that can throw our trip into a grinding halt in the middle of nowhere. I have put in whatever tools that I know are needed. Please provide the necessary tools you know for each scenario.

Damage/breakage scenarioTools needed
tire puncturegeneric tire patch (plug and go type)
chain slackwrench + 8mm + 12mm hex nut
axle loosenesstwo wrenches : 8mm + 12mm hex nut (Both have to be engaged at the same time)
Engine oil drainage plugs came loose17mm socket + wrench
chain jumped off sprocket
fork stem looseness
clutch cable breakage or cable-ends breaks off
handle-bar levers breakage (due to bike drop)
radiator leak - due to road debris puncturing radiator
Rim of wheel got bent (perhaps going over deep pot-hole) - causing tire to leak
Alternator failure - causing battery to have no charge

Any other common show-stoppers and tools?
 

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Arthur, one part that is very hard to find, on the road, is the items needed to loosen the axles. A car tire shop can help, but finding large, metric stuff can be a nightmare.

The other nightmare we have is lack of a centerstand. The kickstand is usually too long to support the bike with a flat tire.
 

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I know I can easily get a generic tool bag but they are not model-specific to our Ninja.

Perhaps, let's list down the possible component failures/seizures/breakage that can throw our trip into a grinding halt in the middle of nowhere. I have put in whatever tools that I know are needed. Please provide the necessary tools you know for each scenario.

Damage/breakage scenarioTools needed
tire puncturegeneric tire patch (plug and go type) AIR PUMP, Pressure gauge
chain slackwrench + 8mm + 12mm hex nut + piece of tubing 8" long for leverage (if using tool kit hex wrenches).
axle loosenesstwo wrenches : 8mm + 12mm hex nut (Both have to be engaged at the same time)
Engine oil drainage plugs came loose*17mm socket + wrench
chain jumped off sprocket*
fork stem looseness* Waits until I get home.
clutch cable breakage or cable-ends breaks off* Vice grips (maybe).
handle-bar levers breakage (due to bike drop)*
radiator leak - due to road debris puncturing radiator*
Rim of wheel got bent (perhaps going over deep pot-hole) - causing tire to leak*
Alternator failure - causing battery to have no charge*

Any other common show-stoppers and tools?
* Things that have never happened in my 54 years of riding. Frankly, other than a loose chain (old days), burned out bulbs, an R/R that gracefully died and took the stator with it, a couple blown fuses and several punctured tires, my Honda & Kawasaki & Yamaha motorcycles have been stone reliable. I've had a couple of accidents far from home and the vice grips replaced a clutch lever and shift lever once.

I have fuses, pliers, spare bulbs, small vice grips, screw driver, some wire, etc. in the tool kit. The tire repair stuff has to fit under the seat because I leave the bags home or in the motel some times. And I must say I've used my tools/tire repair more for fellow riders than for myself.

The "gracefully" dying R/R & stator I noticed on a trip because I have a voltmeter mounted. Turned off the heated gear and high beams and finished the trip.

And RC's right, the Ninja better be extra reliable since they neglected the center stand. Harder than heck to fix a flat (my most common roadside repair) without one.
 
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In the past I’ve carried more than I needed. As stated above, now I just carry tools that may not be common tools out in the middle of nowhere. And as others have said, it’s usually for tire changes. Most shops of any kind will have all the ratchet wrenches and extensions, and even common size metric wrenches and sockets.
 

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A Black 2019 N1K
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What tools and spare parts I carry depends on how long the trip is for.
  • For an easy 2 day / 1 night ride in the more populated country areas, then I carry Stop-N-Go tyre kit & air compressor, an air pressure gauge, my Touring Jack to lift the rear wheel, a spare clutch cable, some fuses, assortment of cable ties and duct tape.

  • For a 5 ~ 7 day ride, I will add a spray can of chain lube, and a 8 & 12mm allen wrench for chain adjust. Mind you in over 200,000 kms of motorcycle travel over the last 10 years, I have never had to adjust a chain while on a trip. Do it before you leave home and forget about it. Modern o-ring chains don't wear that fast.
A couple of things you have not mentions . . .
  • a spare ignition key hidden somewhere on the bike. Loose the key or snap the key off in the petrol tank lock and you are toast. Of course you should have modified the petrol tank lock for keyless closing before you left home.
  • $20 in coins in case you loose your wallet and need petrol. Your wife/girl-friend/boy-friend/other can wire you some money overnight.
As for you table, we here you go . . .

Damage/breakage scenarioTools needed
tire punctureStop N Go Tyre Plugs + Stop N Go 12V air compressor stored in luggage bags
chain slackCheck and adjust before you leave home. It will then be good for 5,000 kms. If you must take some tools, then a 8mm + 12mm allen key.
axle loosenessIf the rear axle is torqued correctly (74 ft-lbs), it is not going to come loose on a trip. Check and adjust before you leave.
Engine oil drainage plugs came looseSafety wire it before the trip. Just cross drill the sump bolt head and one of the oil pan bolt heads. Easy job in home garage
chain jumped off sprocketAssuming you have not punched a hole in the crankcase and/or locked up the rear wheel and crashed, then use the same tools as the chain slack above.
fork stem loosenessSeriously ?? Check at home every 20,000 kms.
clutch cable breakage or cable-ends breaks offspare cable stored in luggage bags
handle-bar levers breakage (due to bike drop)You cant swap left to right as they are different. Broken brake lever = ride slow and use rear brake. Broken clutch lever = spare lever stored in luggage bags
radiator leak - due to road debris puncturing radiatorRecoverMyRide roadside towing membership. I think the AMA has something similar in the USA. Failing that, a mobile phone & credit card for a tow truck.
Rim of wheel got bent (perhaps going over deep pot-hole) - causing tire to leakRecoverMyRide roadside towing membership. I think the AMA has something similar in the USA. Failing that, a mobile phone & credit card for a tow truck.
Alternator failure - causing battery to have no chargeSeriously ?? RecoverMyRide roadside membership. Failing that, a mobile phone & credit card for a tow truck. There is no way you will fix an alternator failure at the side of the road.
 

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All good comments above me.

This is really a distance and comfort question. You have to carry all the gear, you have to know how to use it, and you have to have a demanding distance and timetable to support that.

If you are going a long way, you should bring some small things and simple easy failure items. Light bulbs (where possible) area n easy one and you will thank yourself 1000x over if you need one at night on the road.

I also have a small jump box that doubles as power source and flashlight/emergency light that can be useful.

Don't carry more than you can manage or use; the likelihood of many of these failures is low, and lower depending on the type of trip.

Have FUN!
 

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My carried tools are everything needed to remove wheels, fix a flat, lube the chain, remove body panels, and repair wiring. To be sure you have what you need, remove your wheels at home using only the tools on your bike.
In my 400k plus miles of riding over 50 years, it's been only a half dozen flats and one rubbed wire causing a short. I had to remove the battery to do that repair on the interstate shoulder.
If you crash, you'll have other things to worry about. Make sure your cell phone is always charged in case you're stranded.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the contributions, I'll make a summary later as a reference card for others as well.

By the way, @Murphyau brought up a good recommendation which I have not seen much here in the US and that is membership for towing motorcycles. Here in WA state, even the regular AAA (Plus or Regular) will not cover motorcycles. The last time I talked to them, they require me to get a membership for RV towing, which will include motorcycles.

  1. For the US riders, what kind of memberships do you subscribe to for towing?
  2. Where would you ask the tow truck to tow it to? Nearest bike shop (if you have enough cell coverage to find such a service)?
  3. Do towing service also allow you to bump a ride to the drop-off destination? Or you are on your own?
  4. What do you do if you have no cell coverage and you are completely stuck? Carry a satellite device with 2-way communications?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
[...]
The other nightmare we have is lack of a centerstand. The kickstand is usually too long to support the bike with a flat tire.
@rcannon409 ,
Is it possible to locate the hole with just a kickstand? My last experience with my current '21 Ninja would be a terror on a road because the hole was not visible to the naked eye. I had to put the bike on a rear stand and apply soapy solution and look for a bubble. I guess those kinds of holes are probably small enough that I can top off the air and ride to the nearby service shop.
Tell us what are your major concerns for fixing punctures on the current kickstand design.
 

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The most important tool I carry on long rides is my AAA membership card. AAA Premier allows for a 200 mile tow, so that'll cover just about any place I'd want to ride in the lower 48.

I do carry a basic kit that takes care of things that don't rise to that level:

1. Basic adjustments. This depends on the bike. BMW needs a torx bit assortment. Most other bikes take a multi-bit screwdriver and allen-key set.

2. Tire patch and wheel removal. This one is why I much prefer SSSA for a touring bike. Makes it so much easier to take off the rear wheel, which is always the one that gets hit. I've yet to have any front wheel trouble... not even once. So, other than minimum tools needed to remove rear wheel, I just carry a string patch kit and a 12V inflator. If the tire need more than that... AAA.

3. Electrical. A compact multimeter and small fuse assortment.

4. Small vise grip. Other than tire trouble, broken lever and footpeg (after an off) are probably the second most common bike trouble. A visegrip can quite often make the bike somewhat operable, so it can limp to civilization... or at least cell coverage.
 
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I carry the standard toolkit with a couple smaller allen wrenches, zipties, tiny roll of duct tape, plug kit + inflator, and AAA RV+ to get my bike towed 150 miles. If I can't figure it out with the standard toolkit it's not something I want to do on the side of the road.

If you have the regular dynaplug kit, add some kind of reamer to it. I could not for the life of me get a plug in my tire just practicing at home before a tire swap. I had to break out the car plug kit with the full bore reaming tool to finally get a plug in.
 
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I'll also add that if you ride in a group that likes to ride far from home, make sure at least two people have AAA RV +. Then you can make a chain all the way back home if you're close enough. You get 2-3 150 miles tows per year and then a reduced rate after that. We've done it once. One person does 150 mile tow to a point, the next person calls in their tow, then switch back. Got a bike 550 miles home that way once after a radiator exploded.
 
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Wondering if anyone could elaborate on this?
You can get race caps which are just twist offs, no key needed. I wouldn't use one in public, too many tweakers that would suck that gas out with a straw if they had the opportunity. Or asshats that would sugar a gas tank because a bike cut them off two years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think we can also add a multi-tool such as a Leatherman into the mix.
 

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You can get race caps which are just twist offs, no key needed. I wouldn't use one in public, too many tweakers that would suck that gas out with a straw if they had the opportunity. Or asshats that would sugar a gas tank because a bike cut them off two years ago.
Oh... for sure. I thought there was something that could be done to the OEM cap that would allow you to remove the key once unlocked and opened. As you know, the key is stuck in there until you close the cap.
 

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Oh... for sure. I thought there was something that could be done to the OEM cap that would allow you to remove the key once unlocked and opened. As you know, the key is stuck in there until you close the cap.
The modification I mentioned, and which I posted on the forum on 12 Feb 2020 (the Search function is your friend), is done the the stock N1K gas cap. I have provided the instruction to you via PM.
 

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The other item I always carry on the bike is a small USB thumb drive. The thumb drive is stored in a plastic zip-lock bag, inside a second plastic zip-lock bag to ensure that the drive stays waterproof. On that drive I have :--
  • a complete electronic copy of the N1K Service Manual
  • a complete electronic copy of the wiring diagram for my specific model of the N1K
  • a complete electronic copy of the 2019 N1K Parts catalog
  • a copy of Jonathan Long's excellent YouTube video on how to remove the N1K fairings
When you non-functioning N1K is towed to the nearest motorcycle workshop (in Oz that would be Back of Nowhere Yamaha, and in the US it would probably be Back Woods Harley), their highly trained mechanic probably recognizes the name "Kawasaki", but has never seen a N1K, let alone worked on one.

The video, and Service manual will give him a "fighting chance" to get you up & running again, without breaking too many parts in the process.
 

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Thanks for all the contributions, I'll make a summary later as a reference card for others as well.

By the way, @Murphyau brought up a good recommendation which I have not seen much here in the US and that is membership for towing motorcycles. Here in WA state, even the regular AAA (Plus or Regular) will not cover motorcycles. The last time I talked to them, they require me to get a membership for RV towing, which will include motorcycles.
Here you go . . . American Motorcyclist Association Roadside Service American Motorcyclist Association Roadside Service
 
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