Putting together the best motorcycle tool kit for your bike doesn’t have to be complicated.
Tool kits used to be included in just about every bike that rolled off the factory line. Manufacturers put them under the seat, beside the battery, or alongside the owner’s manual, and included all the basic tools you’d need for day-to-day maintenance.
Nowadays, you’ll be lucky to find a motorcycle tool kit of any description on your bike. Even if you do, the quality isn’t going to be anything you’d want to bet your safety on in the event of a roadside emergency.
It’s not unheard of for an OEM wrench to destroy a bolt or vice versa although it was the “exact tool for the job” according to the manufacturer.
So, whether your bike came with a factory tool kit or not, one of the best investments you can make - both for keeping your bike running and keeping cash in your pocket - is going to be investing in the best motorcycle tool kit for your specific bike.
Here’s a guide to building your own kit. Plus, we’ll even include our favorite picks for the best motorcycle tool kits available online pre-assembled.
What should the best motorcycle tool kit include?
The actual tools in a good motorcycle tool kit are going to vary by model, but for any bike, there are some staples for roadside motorcycle maintenance that are universal.
We recommend having at least four - if not six - of the most common wrench sizes for your bike, as well as the common hex or Torx wrench sizes used on your motorcycle.
The hex and Torx wrenches will be individual bits or wrenches. However, the best motorcycle tool kits do a good job of keeping things light by making the open- or closed-end wrenches with two sizes per tool. A mix of open- and closed-end wrenches is often best, but if you have to choose one, stick with open-end wrenches as they’re easier to fit in tight spaces.
A combination screwdriver is essential here as well, so reversible bits with both Phillips and flat heads are ideal. Many motorcycle tool kits will include two sizes of each in a single tool, further reducing size while improving utility.
Flat Tire Repair Kit
Any useful kit should also include a flat tire repair system - whether that’s sealant, patches, or plugs - and the tools to utilize them. These kits aren’t included in the hand tool kits we discuss below, so just know that you should look for one to add to your riding gear.
Simply plugging the hole isn’t going to do you a lot of good if you can’t inflate the tire. We recommend including a small electric pump, or - if you don’t have reliable auxiliary power on your bike - a hand pump or portable CO2 system will get you back up and rolling to the nearest town.
You may also need to consider adding whatever tools you need to get your tire off your rim - which means getting your rim off your bike, too. That can include everything from a wrench or socket that matches your rear axle, wrenches to back out your chain tensioners, and tire irons to get a tire off a rim to address a leaking tube or major puncture.
Pliers and Vice Grips
Whether it’s getting hose clamps loose, grabbing a stuck bolt, or pinching a tough electrical connection, pliers and vice grips definitely have their place in your motorcycle toolkit.
You’ll be glad to have both if the unthinkable happens and you round a crucial bolt or fastener. Pliers and vice grips can get the job done now, and you can worry about replacing the hardware later.
Zip Ties, Tape, Magnets, etc.
In addition to the tools themselves, there are some miscellaneous items that you might not think of that can be just as important.
Zip ties can hold bodywork in place, keep cables out of the way, or allow you to suspend sensitive parts like brake lines while you work.
Tape, especially duct tape and electrical, are essential for some of those electric gremlins you may encounter from time to time, and let’s be honest: a few lengths of good ol’ fashioned duct tape will always find a way to make itself useful.
No need to bring the whole roll with you every time you leave the house though, just wrap several lengths of tape around something narrow like a tool handle, a pen, a flashlight, whatever, and you’ll thank yourself later.
Word to the wise: a small telescoping pick-up magnet can also be a godsend when you drop that tiny nut or bolt into the bottomless abyss between your cylinder heads or inside your bodywork. Small, lightweight, inexpensive, and worth every penny for the skinned knuckles it prevents.
Our Favorite Picks for the Best Motorcycle Tool Kits
Best Compact Motorcycle Tool Kit: CruzTOOLS SPEEDKIT
The CruzTOOLS SPEEDKIT is designed to be an OEM-style tool kit, but with much more robust tools. It includes all of our recommendations for basic roadside hand tools.
Hex keys, four wrench sizes, two screwdrivers, Torx bits, a spark plug tool, slip-joint pliers, a nut driver, and even a bonus tire pressure gauge all fit into a 7”x2”x2” pouch.
This is the perfect start to a well-rounded tool kit, you’ll just need to add in your tire-repair system of choice and hit the road.
The CruzTOOLS SPEEDKIT is offered in multiple variations for metric and European bikes as well as Harley Davidsons.
Best Deluxe Motorcycle Tool Kit: CruzTOOLS RoadTech Tool Kit
Overachieving big brother to the SPEEDKIT above, the CruzTOOLS RoadTech is a handsome roll-up style motorcycle tool kit that checks every box we’ve got for the tool kit essentials list.
Two additional combination wrenches plus a sizable adjustable wrench, vice grips, a mini-ratchet with sockets, hex keys, screwdrivers, you name it.
The RoadTech even throws in duct tape, threadlocker, zip ties, and a spark plug gauge to boot.
While it isn’t likely to fit under your seat, CruzTOOLS does a great job of keeping this kit to a portable size once rolled back up, and even backs the quality of its tools with a lifetime guarantee.
The Roadtech motorcycle tool kit also comes in specific models to ensure you’ve got the right tools to fit your bike.
Best Harley Davidson Tool Kit: Biker’s Choice Roll-Up Tool Kit
An essential motorcycle tool kit with style, the Biker’s Choice Roll-Up Tool Kit is a deluxe kit designed to handle just about every roadside situation your hog might fall victim to.
Essential hand tool duty is provided in the form of six different open-ended wrench sizes plus an adjustable wrench, a ⅜ drive ratchet with two spark plug sockets, ten hex keys, a set of vice grips, and a 6-in-1 screwdriver.
Bikers choice also throws in a few bonus items to sweeten the deal - including a flashlight, a tire gauge, electrical tape, and a spark plug gauge.
All this packs down (or rolls up) into a small enough package to fit in your average Sportster fork bag, so you won’t need to worry about adding saddlebags or having to lash anything to your sissy bar to bring the Biker’s Choice along for the ride.
Best Budget Motorcycle Tool Kit: Hyper Tough Auto and Motorcycle Tool Kit
At under $30 for a 51-piece kit, the Hyper Tough motorcycle tool kit deserves a second glance.
This kit includes open-end wrenches for the common imperial and domestic sizes as well as matching sockets and a ratchet.
A combination 20-in-1 screwdriver handles flathead, Phillips, and hex duties, and an 8-bit folding tool carries the most popular Torx sizes.
A little bulkier than the CruzTOOLS options, but still portable and incredibly versatile, take a look at the Hyper Tough kit if you’re working on a tight budget.
Grypmat Motorcycle Tool Organizer
Once you’ve decided on a motorcycle tool kit, protect your new tools (and your motorcycle) by investing in a Grypmat.
Grypmats feature a super-grippy silicone-polymer that will stick to your tank, seat, subframe, or workspace without leaving a residue or damaging the finish underneath.
They come in high-viz colorways that will allow you to easily keep track of your tools and hardware. They pay for themselves quickly with the amount of time, tools, and hardware they save.
Final Thoughts: Is It Worth It?
The best motorcycle tool kit should be seen as an investment. Tow truck services START at $50 a pop. Most motorcycle mechanics won’t bat an eye about charging you $100 an hour. A good motorcycle tool kit, and an organizer like a Grypmat to keep your tools from going missing, will cost less than either one of those. Plus, it will save you many times more over the life of your motorcycle. Do yourself a favor today and pick up both.