Pro tips: Where Mani Lettenbichler stores tools on his bike
Enduro21 catches five with Hard Enduro World Champion Mani Lettenbichler to find out what tools and spares he carries and where he puts them on his bike during races.
If your ride Hard Enduro, or even if you’re a prone to the more challenging trails out there, you’re most likely going break or bend something while you’re riding. Regardless of your experience or skills this is simply a fact of dirt bike life.
Which is why carrying spare parts and tools to repair the most common issues can mean the difference between make it back home or to the finish line.
Enduro21 caught up with the recently crowned 2023 Hard Enduro World Champion, Manuel Lettenbichler, to find out how he deals with this and spot his solutions about where to put spare parts on his bike.
“If something goes wrong in some races, you have to get creative,” says Mani a we start looking around his KTM 300 EXC, quickly adding that having everything in easy reach will make life easier. Lettenbichler subscribes to the idea that spare parts attached to the bike rather than your backpack is better for reducing fatigue.
Cable ties always come handy
No matter how long you have been riding off-road, everyone knows that cable ties can fix loads of things and so carrying a good amount of them is a must. From holding a snapped clutch or brake master cylinder to the handlebars, fixing broken fenders to maintaining something that has come loose – they are the strong, quick fix used over decades.
Mani uses the little holes on both sides of the steering tube of his KTM chassis to hold “10 or 15 zip ties”. This way they’re in an easy to reach spot and you have enough of them to hold basically anything.
We also suggest carrying a range of sizes, specifically some that are not too thick because it can be hard to get them through tight places or holes. You can always tie two together to make them longer or stronger.
Spot the brake and gear shift levers
Foot brake and shift levers don’t tend to break as easy as handlebar levers, as a general rule, but you can smash their tips quite easily which can make it hard to carry on riding. In hard enduro you can get by with a bust gear lever tip but it’s better to carry spares just in case and no rear brake is can be a real problem.
Lettenbichler doesn’t make it easy to spot them but if you look closely, he has a gear and brake lever attached to the frame of the bike, just above the engine on the inside.
They’re fixed in place with a couple of cable ties to be sure they don’t move around. Again, another tip would be to attach them with not the strongest cable ties, this way you’ll be able to detach them easier.
Making good use of the 2024 KTM EXC design
“This new feature is actually pretty cool.” Says Mani about the ’24 model KTM design. “I didn't really know what they were going to do with it. It is more of a design thing, but we kind of figured it out”, said Mani describing how the Red Bull Factory Racing KTM team took advantage of the new design on the MY24 KTM EXCs to store more essentials.
They used a sponge block to holds a clutch and brake lever which basically slides under the seat. So, if he needs to change a lever he pushes it out one side, mounts a new lever, puts the damaged one in and slides the block back under the seat.
Tools and duct tape in easy reach
This is nothing new, you’ll see loads of riders using the air box of their bikes because it is a handy space so long as you don’t restrict airflow. If it’s one that you can access easily then all the better.
Among the items stowed in here are a small, sharp blade attached to the cover, just in case Mani needs to cut anything.
The KTM crew also uses the tools you get with the new bike and then, with the use of another cable tie and a small piece of fuel line, they roll a bit of duct tape on it and then attach it to the ‘leg’ visible down tube of the subframe inside the airbox.
Mani’s ‘onboard tool kit’ (the one you get when you buy a new EXC), plus a couple of extra items, includes:
- Combination Wrench 17/21mm – 27/32mm
- Spanners 10mm and 13mm
- 6mm/10mm/8mm sockets, Torx 45 sockets, flat and cross head (screw driver type) sockets, allen sockets
- Cutter blade stick to the inside of the air box cover
- Spark plug*
- Spare chain link*
*Mani wasn’t carrying these two spares when we did this feature but we believe that he does carry them in longer or multi-day races like Romaniacs.
Mani explains for himself on our IG...
Photo Credit: Future7Media I Nicki Martinez