Here is a list of tools I always carry:
1) basic combination wrenches (1/2 inch,9/16, etc)
2) ratchet type screwdriver with storage in handle(torx bits,regular slotted screwdriver bit,etc)
3) 10 mm wrench(for battery terminal)
5) regular & needlenose pliers
6) plastic zip ties
7) electrical tape
8) bailing wire
9) spark plug wrench or socket
10) leatherman type pocket tool
11) adjustable wrench
12) a rag
A fresh set of spark plugs wouldn't hurt either.Maybe one of these days I'll get around to adding a couple to my kit !
All this fits neatly into a zippered pouch which fits into a teardrop tool box ( I ride a softail ).
I'm sure the many knowledgable members will add items to the list.
Generally speaking you would adapt the toolkit to the specific bike and the capabilities of the rider.
The one thing that never leaves the bike is a tire plug gun and a small compressor. Don't laugh, I built a 250 psi electric compressor that is the size of a pack of smokes. Timed it and it pumps a 16" tire from 0 to 40 psi in 7 minutes.
As far as hand tools I carry less then Guido, but I have no concern whatsoever of a mechanical breakdown on my personal bike. With the new bikes there is more of an electrical concern and the toolkit is heavily biased in this direction and includes some small wiring pigtails with connectors to bypass selected failed electrical components.
To tie $hit down I prefer stainless steel safety wire, and I have another small homemade tool where you can make any type of clamp with the wire.
If you are only going to carry one thing, carry a rabbit's foot. Better lucky then good any day of the week.
I use to carry tools but now I carry none,
I check my old shovelhead from tip to toe,
Something might loosen up in 300 miles or more,
But I'm back to camp or home by then.
I would suggest a rain suit and extra clothing.
cause I'm a Yankee and lives up Nort.
Thanks all. I'm think I'm hearing that Harley's are reliable enough now that carrying a bunch of tools is'nt necessary. I think I'll take Hippo's advice about the Rabbit's foot and I'll carry a cell phone. I stopped to help a bro' Sunday that was stopped on the side of a very busy four lane. When I pulled up behind him it was obvious he had a flat rear tire. I didn't have any tools but offered my cell phone. He said he had a cell phone and had called a buddy to come and haul the bike. Thanked me for stopping and asked where he could buy a tube other than the local dealer. I suggested a couple of places and went on my way. Sooooo, I guess a cell phone, Rabbit's foot, grey poupon, and a twelve pack should just about do it. Thanks again guys, this place is great.
If you need something to hold all those tools, or credit cards and cell phones, I found that a canvas type shaving kit works great. It holds all the tools that I need (knock on wood! ) and doesn't take up much space in the saddle bag.
I like Snap On tools. Used to buy quite a few of them. I totalled up my receipts years ago and found that in the course of fifteen years or so I had given that big white truck about $10,000 of my hard earned cash!! Now I can't find a friggin screwdriver when I need one. Any of you guys borrow any of my tools?