Going Nuts For Bolts

Every bolt on a bike is vital to creating a whole, safe machine. Yet there are some that are more vital than others. We are talking about bolts that hold on your levers, pedals, footpegs, subframe, etc. If any of those break, fall out, or otherwise become nonfunctional, you’d be in for some hard going. But there are some other bolts on a bike that, if absent, wouldn’t result in a catastrophic failure or major safety hazard.

Fender plastic missing bolt

This tip came to us by way of legendary desert racer Johnny Campbell, who knows a thing or two about poaching a bike for bolts to limp into the next pit. While every bike is different, here are some examples that he has used: If one of the bolts holding on the clutch or brake lever or the perches goes missing, check to see if one of your front fender bolts will work. Since there are four, you’d still be left with three, which will do the job. Also, Johnny has found that if a bolt holding on the front brake caliper is gone, try one of the pinch bolts holding your fork legs in the triple clamps. We (and Johnny) want to reiterate that these are not everyday fixes; these are for emergency situations and are to get a rider back to camp, the truck, or the next pit stop. Also, it goes without saying that a small container of assorted spare bolts would be a wise addition to any trail pack.

Motorcycle Bolts

So if you find yourself up the creek without a bolt, use some creativity and look for similar bolts holding on plastics or redundant bolts. Just make sure you’re not making your bike any less safe to ride, and don’t forget to replace it when you get back!