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travel tool box

Various Yamaha Virago Chit-Chat

Moderators: ViragoJoe, choppin

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jsyzdek
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
Location: Oakland CA
What Virago you Own: 1995 XV1100. My dad has a 1996 XV535. I also ride a 2008 SV650S and 2004 Yamaha TTR125. Currently restoring a 50cc Yamaha Champ moped

travel tool box

Post by jsyzdek » Tue Sep 13, 2022 2:22 pm

I wonder what tools and materials (if any) you guys carry when going on long rides, and if you were ever stuck on the side of the road with a particular issue, and you wished you had some tool that you didn't have with you.

Different bikes have different weak spots and parts that are more likely to break or get loose. Sometimes there are adjustments/maintenance operations that don't require tools, but in order to get there, you need to take something off that requires a tool.
I've been blessed with not facing major issues on my rides but the doomsday-er in me is worried that I may run out of my luck one day, so whenever I drive out of the 200 mile radius from my house (which is the limit of my AAA coverage), I worry about being stuck for some stupid reason. I like to pack light and so I don't want to carry tools that I am very unlikely to need. The reason I start this is topic is to help me (and others) to strike one's own balance between being prepared for anything and everything vs. overpacking. It for sure is a personal preference, but there are probably ways to go about it that are informed by the most common failure modes and the bike's construction.
Keep Calm and Ride On!

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ViragoJoe
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Re: travel tool box

Post by ViragoJoe » Tue Sep 13, 2022 4:18 pm

Yarek,

ON THE ROAD, 2-MUST HAVES

viewtopic.php?t=373

Also, place a pdf file of the Repair Manual on your phone.

Doesn't hurt to have a picture of your drivers license, registration, and Insurance. just say'n.

Small first aid kit. You can get a cut when on the side of the road trying to fix something.
And Beer money, after all you will need an anesthetic. :roll: :lol:
ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)


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jsyzdek
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
Location: Oakland CA
What Virago you Own: 1995 XV1100. My dad has a 1996 XV535. I also ride a 2008 SV650S and 2004 Yamaha TTR125. Currently restoring a 50cc Yamaha Champ moped

Re: travel tool box

Post by jsyzdek » Wed Sep 14, 2022 12:29 am

Thx Joe. I often hear about carrying a compressor and a tire plug kit, but I gotta say: in ~30k miles I have ridden on various motorcycles, I have never got a flat tire. The one time I had an issue with my tire was when after a 500 mile ride in a strong cross wind and in the burning sun, I literally ate through all the rubber and the plies inside the rubber which produced a large, long split in the middle of the tire which let the air out. No plug kit would fix that ;)

From my personal experience, the only thing I ever really needed was a JIS screwdriver and zip-ties. I wonder if I'm just extremely lucky, or is my low failure rate a product of good maintenance...
Keep Calm and Ride On!

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ViragoJoe
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Re: travel tool box

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed Sep 14, 2022 6:53 am

From my personal experience, the only thing I ever really needed was a JIS screwdriver and zip-ties. I wonder if I'm just extremely lucky, or is my low failure rate a product of good maintenance...
============

Well sir, It is a little of both extremely lucky and good maintenance. However, as for maintenance, you may have missed the mark on that tires condition. I only have two tires on the road. So, I stay away from soft compound tires for they wear out too quickly. Granted they do grip the road. But, only give minimal longevity about 8,000 miles if you are lucky.
My old Dunlop Elite II's wore like iron, 20,000 miles and tread still left on them. Their tread pattern, I disliked for they followed every crack in the payment. New Dunlop Elite 3's have a different tread pattern and grip the road much better and do not follow the cracks in the road. Just hope I get the same longevity out of them!

Years ago with a different bike, I was caught on the side of the road due to a nail. Tire tubed type, was that ever fun fixing road side.
Back then there weren't small pocket air compressors and I had to push the bike to inflate the tire. Luckily, I didn't have to push it far.

Although, my tires are next to new. Just a couple thousand miles on them. I always glance at the tires treads before every ride. That one flat tire was enough for me. I didn't like the feeling it gave me.

Now that I have tubeless tires, so far, so good, no issues. On a small group ride my pocket compressor saved a Harley rider's bacon. When his front tire was really low on air and my trusty air compressor saved the day for him. We were extremely far away from any service stations.

If you prefer to rely on luck, that's okay. Me, I carry the compressor and tire plug kit. Just in case my luck runs out again.
ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)


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jsyzdek
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
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What Virago you Own: 1995 XV1100. My dad has a 1996 XV535. I also ride a 2008 SV650S and 2004 Yamaha TTR125. Currently restoring a 50cc Yamaha Champ moped

Re: travel tool box

Post by jsyzdek » Wed Sep 14, 2022 2:48 pm

well, I did check the tires the morning of the event. There was still plenty of rubber but the weather was hot (>100F), I had a lot of crosswind along the way, lots of hill climbing and a lot of hard cornering for the entire 500 miles. I wish I checked the rear tire for wear on my gas stops. If I rode the last 200 miles easier, I probably would've made it home just fine. But yours truly was riding hard up until the air was let out :)

Definitely I don't want to rely on luck hence the desire to ask the community about what issues people have faced over the years, that aren't related to the bikes sitting in a barn for 20 years ;) My motivation for starting a few such topics over the years is to see what I should be looking for when I maintain the bike at home, and what things are most likely to break unexpectedly while on the road.

Coming back to tires: apart from that one situation on the bike I only got one flat in my car after running into a large metal object on the road at night. Between the different vehicles I drove over the years, including 18-wheelers, I only had two tire-related events. I should probably count myself as a lucky one :) but I also watch the road like a hawk and avoid each and every foreign object that I can avoid, even if it looks benign. I take it as an opportunity to practice swerving and other emergency maneuvers :)
Keep Calm and Ride On!

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ViragoJoe
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Re: travel tool box

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed Sep 14, 2022 4:06 pm

Yarek,

What brand of tires were you running on that day?

Dunlop 404's by chance?
ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)


NOTE TO ALL:
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User avatar
jsyzdek
Posts: 304
Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2020 5:31 pm
Location: Oakland CA
What Virago you Own: 1995 XV1100. My dad has a 1996 XV535. I also ride a 2008 SV650S and 2004 Yamaha TTR125. Currently restoring a 50cc Yamaha Champ moped

Re: travel tool box

Post by jsyzdek » Wed Sep 14, 2022 10:16 pm

yes sir!

I am planning to go with some nicer tires in the future, but for now, with my front tire at ~50%, I replaced the rear with a new 404, except this time I went with 150/90 size. Mostly because it has a higher load rating. Once it wears out, I will put on a matching pair of something better.

When I bought the bike I didn't expect to ride it as much as I do, or as hard as I do ;) I'm actually impressed that the tire just wore through all the rubber and the nylon plies, and held the air in until the very end, even though I was doing close to 90mph, with loaded saddle bags, in gusty crosswind. So sure, they wore out faster than I thought, but I didn't have to deal with a catastrophic blow-out. Instead, I was able to safely bring the bike to a stop on the shoulder. A plug kit wouldn't have saved me there. AAA membership did :)
Keep Calm and Ride On!

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ViragoJoe
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Re: travel tool box

Post by ViragoJoe » Thu Sep 15, 2022 5:22 am

From what I have read on the Dunlop 404's is that they are a good traction tire and hug the road surfaces wet/dry. Provide a smoother ride overall.

However, for aggressive riding like you do they are somewhat inferior for that type of riding.

Not to forget to mention their softer rubber compounds can't take the kind of heat you ride in (>100F).

This year in Michigan the summer temperatures were in the mid 90's. My Dunlop Elite 3's seem to grab the road better than in cool temps. I'm not an aggressive rider like you and don't need that softer rubber compound to really grip the road. My Virago was made to be a cruiser and that's the way I ride it. Some days I may hotdog a little. But, mostly I'm a cruiser kind of guy. Less chance of catching road rash that way. That S#^t hurts during and after the incident of acquiring it! My bike is 26 years old and in pristine shape. I sure don't want to scratch her up!

Miss Behaven takes me from point A to point B and we both like to get there safely!

For the 14 years that I have owned this bike. This year has been the best year for riding and engine performance. I think she has finally gotten broken in. No deceleration backing-firing period. Of course, she never did much of that anyway. Throttle is always responsive. Twist the throttle for more ponies and they are there and ready to run.

You are right about an air compressor and tire plug kit not working for your tire deflation situation. I too carry a AAA membership card (don't leave home without it). Your American Express card too! You never know when you might need them. Especially, when you can't plug a flat tire.

Ride safe my friend.
ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)


NOTE TO ALL:
:arrow: Please edit your profile with location (State/Country) & Bike Information. It will aid us in assisting you!


All topics are archived by vehicle families for easy perusing and to find answers.

Also: If this website was helpful, please consider donating to help keep this site here for yourself and future Virago owners.

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