• By: Graham Sutliff
  • Published: August 2022

This should go without saying, but when you hit the road, you need to be prepared for anything. Weather, other drivers, and potential road hazards are just the tip of the iceberg for cyclists. To be ready for anything, cyclists need to plan ahead. motorcycle on highway

Taking inventory of what equipment you have on your bike is key to a safe journey. The question is, where do you start? What should you carry? What is considered essential? For those asking questions like these, we at Sutliff & Stout hope this serves as a brief refresher to proper safety equipment. Even if some of these things seem redundant, or obvious, its always best to review the basics! Below is a compilation of a handful of critical pieces of safety equipment that can help you if you find yourself in a pinch.

Emergency First Aid Kit

Probably the most obvious item that will appear on this list, a first aid kit should be stored on your motorcycle at all times. Because of the nature of riding a motorcycle, one is more susceptible to the elements. This can range anywhere from a bug bite, to heat rash, to extreme cases stemming from an accident or a collision.

Any good first aid kit should come with band-aids, Gauss, basic medicines like ibuprofen, alcohol wipes, tweezers, safety pins, an arm sling, sting relief, and scissors.We recommend a first aid kit that has all of this, and more.

All of this should be stored in a highly visible, and clearly marked bag. Look for first aid kids that are red, yellow, orange in color. Most first aid kits will come in some sort of storage bag or a protective shell. To ensure that this equipment is kept protected at all times, we recommend placing your first-aid kit into a dry bag.

A dry bag will ensure that all critical items are protected from the elements. Dry bags typically run in sizes from 3 liters to 35 liters. Finding the right size for your bike will depend on your available storage. It is important to note that in addition to placing your first-aid kit in here, you will likely want to put some of the other items in your dry bag as well. We suggest getting two dry bags, one for a first-aid kit, so access is quick, and another for your remaining items that need to be protected from rain or snow.

Multi-Tool

Cyclists, and drivers in general, should carry a multi-tool in their vehicle at all times. Regardless of what you need, a screwdriver, pliers, can opener, file, and an assortment of other useful gadgets.

This compact tool should be stored in a secure and convenient location.

Headlamp

Savvy cyclists will likely already have a headlamp, but if you don’t have one, that’s OK. Headlamps can come in handy in the event of an emergency. Remember, emergencies can arise at any time of day, not just when the sun is up. If the worst happens while traveling at night, you’ll be thankful you have this simple device.

When shopping for a headlamp though, you will likely see dozens of options. It can be overwhelming. We recommend paying attention to two important data points when deciding on a headlamp, lumen count & battery type.

Modern headlamps preliminary run either off of a rechargeable battery or disposable. Both are a solid option. If you go with a rechargeable battery type, try to ensure that the battery can be recharged off of a USB or USB-C port. These two port types are the most common and can likely be charged off a backup battery or directly from a motorcycle. For those wanting a traditional disposable battery, look for a headlamp that supports AA batteries. These are among the most common types of batteries. Be sure to keep an extra handful on your bike too!

The other point of debate when selecting a headlamp will be how many lumen to get. Lumen, in simple terms, refers to the brightness of the light. The higher your lumen count, the brighter your light will be. 1000 lumen is likely bright enough to fill any of your needs.

Tire Patch/Plug Kit

If you’ve ever had a flat or popped a tire, you will know being stranded on the side of the road is not where you want to be. To avoid this potential issue, we here at Sutliff & Stout recommend carrying a patch/plug kit.

A high percentage of modern motorcycles come equipped with tubeless tires. This makes repairing roadside issues a relative ease. Most repairs can be made with a plug kit. Most patch/plug kits are relatively compact, making storage easy.

Satellite GPS

In the modern age of smartphones, carrying a GPS may seem unnecessary, but having a backup is essential. If an emergency arises, you will not regret having this. Admittedly, having an external GPS is not the cheapest option. Although you may find yourself doing mostly city driving, it’s best to plan ahead.

If you’re planning to “go off the grid”, you may want to reconsider picking up a GPS. Phone service away from the city isn’t always the most reliable, and you need to be prepared.

An Experienced Lawyer

If you run into trouble on the road, and the unthinkable happens, remember to contact the experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Sutliff & Stout. Our team has decades of experience fighting on behalf of those injured because of the carelessness of another.

The Board-Certified attorneys at Sutliff & Stout have helped thousands of victims in Texas get the justice that they deserve, and we can help you, too. If you are ready to move forward with your case, give us a call at (713) 987-7111 or contact us online today to get started.

Let us tell your story and fight for justice.

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About the Author

Graham Sutliff is a founding partner at Sutliff & Stout, Injury & Accident Law Firm. Among other awards and certifications, he is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law and has been recognized by Thomson Reuters as a Super Lawyer for the past decade. In 2019 alone, Graham recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients who were injured by others. To learn more about Graham, click here.

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