When you head out for a day of dirt biking on wilderness roads, packing the right gear can be the difference between the best day of braaap-fueled exploration and complete misery. You can imagine, on one hand, you and your riding buddies standing triumphantly atop a local mountain, taking in 360º views after hours of navigating exhilarating terrain. On the other hand, you can imagine a day full of digging your bike out of mud by hand, struggling to replace a punctured tire, and the long, defeated walk back to the trailhead after you decided to bail on the day’s mission due to unforeseen obstacles. The thing is, these two scenarios can happen on the same day to the same person, the only difference being their preparedness and adaptability.
In an effort to be Triumphant Person #1 and not Defeated Person #2, there are things you always pack, right? Your boots and helmet, goggles, protective outerwear, mechanical repair kit, backpack, first aid essentials, navigation—these are always with you. Well, add the COMBAR Pro to your list of dirt biking essentials.
The COMBAR Pro is a large-format multitool that combines the functionality of a heavy-duty hammer, hatchet, spade, knife, and saw into a single, compact device. You can imagine how useful it is across any number of unpredictable dirt biking scenarios. In this article, we explore six crucial uses for the COMBAR when dirt biking—compelling reasons why you should never hit the dirt bike trail without one. Let’s get to it.
1. Clearing Trail Obstacles
Dirt bike trails are often filled with fallen branches, overgrown foliage, and other obstacles that can impede your progress. With its hatchet and saw, the COMBAR equips you with the necessary tools to clear your path. The saw easily rips through thick branches or small logs, while the hatchet enables you to cut through even larger obstacles, or get a head start on a downed tree before finishing the job with the saw. If you need extra oomph to roll something off the trail, like a stump, log, or rock, the titanium spade on the COMBAR can be deployed 180º into a straight position, giving you the leverage you need. Especially during early-season rides, trail obstacles are abundant. While the COMBAR can’t manage massive trees like a chainsaw can, it’s a lightweight alternative to larger hatchets and saws you might otherwise lug out there.
2. Fixing Taco’ed Rims
Dirt bike rims are susceptible to damage when subjected to intense off-road conditions, like that rock you didn’t see coming and bashed into at thirty miles an hour. A bent (or taco’ed) rim can compromise your bike's performance and pose safety risks. If it’s bad enough, you’ll have to stop and fix it on the spot, at least getting it into a rideable shape. The COMBAR's heavy-duty hammer provides the ideal solution for straightening a taco’ed rim. Its robust construction allows you to exert sufficient force to reshape the rim, enabling you to continue your ride. And you can be way more precise than with a rock.
3. Getting Unstuck & Using Traction Boards
Getting stuck in mud, sand, or other boggy terrain is a common occurrence when dirt biking, especially in the spring or fall months, or in naturally damp environments. COMBAR comes to the rescue yet again, offering a versatile solution. The spade can be easily deployed to dig out a stuck tire or create a runway behind a tire that’s buried in sand. You can also use it to flatten an area for a traction board. The heavy-duty hammer can be used as a mallet to drive traction boards into the ground, providing your bike with the necessary grip to escape.
4. Changing Tires (Improvised Jack + Tire Lever)
A flat tire is an unfortunate but not uncommon mishap when off-roading. In this situation, the COMBAR can be used as an improvised jack and tire lever. It can also be used as a bike stand. If you don’t want to lay your heavy, expensive bike against the ground, you can lean it against the COMBAR (beats looking for a stick). And if you need to keep a tire off the ground, you can extend the spade 180º and wedge it between the bike and the ground to create a lift. Its robust construction allows you to lift your bike off the ground securely, providing the necessary clearance to replace the tire. The spade on the COMBAR can also double as a tire lever, assisting you in removing the old tire and mounting the new one quickly and efficiently.
5. Other Bike Repairs & Maintenance
If you’re riding hard (or, also, if you’re not, tbh) your bike will be subject to intense vibrations and impacts. This can jostle things loose, bust things open, and bend things sideways. On-the-go repairs are essential to keep your bike in optimal condition. The COMBAR's set of tools, especially the hammer, knife and spade, can assist in performing various bike maintenance tasks. It can be used to cut zip ties, trim excess material, or even remove debris lodged in hard-to-reach places. The hammer can come in especially handy for gently tapping components back into alignment or un-bending certain parts when needed.
6. Emergency Shelter Construction
If your day on trail goes really sideways, like really sideways, you should be prepared to survive a night outdoors. Dirt bikes can take you a long way in a short amount of time, which means you can get lost quick. Plus, unexpected weather changes or accidents can leave dirt bike riders stranded in remote areas for extended periods. In such situations, having the ability to construct a temporary shelter can be crucial for survival. The hatchet and saw on the COMBAR allow you to gather wood and branches to build a rudimentary shelter. With its spade, you can also dig a small trench around the shelter to divert water or create a fire pit for warmth and cooking. Hopefully you have a lighter or matches but if not, these alternative fire starting methods might save your life (and there are a couple that require a motor). These improvisations can provide protection, comfort, and essential resources until help arrives or until you can safely continue your journey. Let’s try to avoid this scenario, though, okay?
CONCLUSION: Dealing With the Unexpected
Prep, practice, and the right gear will help you navigate all these scenarios, but the fact remains that you never know what you might encounter when riding. Nature is inherently unpredictable. So are bike breakdowns and crashes. You don’t know what problem the trail will ask you to solve next. You never do. And that’s the biggest reason to carry your COMBAR at all times when dirt biking—it makes you more adaptable, more capable. It takes your most valuable tool, your mind, and multiplies what it can do in the physical world.
Did we miss a use case that had you screaming at your screen? Let us know on social media: @aclim8gear. And make sure to sign up for our email newsletter (sign up below) so you never miss a pro tip or trip report.
Want more motorbike content? Check out Why the COMBAR is an Essential Piece of ADV Gear, explained by an ADVer).
Want to get inspired to take a multi-night motorbike mission? Check out Overlanding Down Under: An Adventure Motorbike Trip Across Australia.
Don’t just take our word for it, The COMBAR Is In Overland Expo’s Ultimate Motorcycle Overlanding Build explains why they picked the COMBAR for their ultimate 2022 ADV setup.
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