Things happen when you’re riding. Tires go flat, parts come loose, and worse. Here are a few tips for some of the more common occurrences when riding the trails – many of which can also apply to street.

Flat tire – no pump, patch kit or tube. Try sage brush, rags, newspapers. The idea is to pry off one tire bead and start stuffing it with anything handy to give you a shot at a slow ride home. If you’ve got some cable ties, you can use those to secure knobby tires to a rim — with or without stuffing.

Loose handlebar — this is more of a preventive fix but still works on the road or trail. Remove the clamps holding the handlebars, cut some shims from an aluminum beer can, put them between the clam the handlebar, then reinstall and tighten them. Aluminum is a soft metal and will provide a tight grip to both the bar and clamp. Of course, you’ll have to have an aluminum can and something to cut it with.

Cracked case — this happens more often when dirt bike riding in rocks. Although, we’ve seen it happen to street riders who accidentally run over some crap in the middle of the road. Get the bike over on it’s side, (probably not a good idea with most street bikes!), clean the crack with gasoline or a contact cleaner if available. Mix some two-part epoxy and patch it over the crack. Wait 20 minutes and ride back to camp. If you don’t have any epoxy handy, you use pine pitch mixed with charcoal.

Obviously, all of these require some set of tools and other items to make them work. So tip number one – bring tools, tubes, epoxy and cable ties whereever you might be riding!

Thanks to The Total Motorcycling Manual for this tip.