Chicago to South America, Locking my bike.

Discussion in 'Americas' started by matatigres, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. matatigres

    matatigres endless summer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Chicago
    Hello, I currently reside in Chicago IL, and have been planing a trip for the last few years from here, down central america, followed by south america, leaving november 1st. No set routes really, just gas up and go kind of situation, see where the road takes me and my girl. Im going two up and rolling on a 00 r1150gs. I have backpacked quite a bit around the globe and have the packing scene pretty dialed when it comes to my backpack necessities, but the moto adventure is definitely a new one for me. even though I have been riding bikes for a while, I have never been out there traveling with a vehicle to deal with.
    I have been getting the moto gear in check in the last few months after the new bike purchase (new to me), Helmets, boots, jackets, pants, tools, racks etc etc. Now im a bit concerned with security of the actual bike and would love some input on that matter.

    I have the gnarliest chain Kryptonite makes, but the weight is ridiculous. What have some of you guys that are out there, or have been out there use? How about the securing the panniers?
    I am from south america and know how insecure it can be if not cautious. I obviously wont leave the bike on the street, but if i had to I would like to be ready.

    Thanks ahead.
    #1
  2. rider1150gsadv

    rider1150gsadv € Fl Keys Fishing Guide €

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    Oddometer:
    5,914
    Location:
    Florida Keys/Ft Likkertail , USA
    Most times you will park your bike inside your room or hotel/motel lobby so a big lock is not needed. Bring a disc lock instead and you should be fine...Just read some RR from S America..YMMV

    PS: Enjoy your trip!!:thumb
    #2
  3. BigBearRider

    BigBearRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2005
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I recently rode from LA to Lima. My friend and I always parked the bikes right by our hotel room, almost always in secured parking for the night. Finding a hotel with secure parking isn't hard, but was always priority number one.

    I had soft custom bags that slipped out of the panniers easily which made it a breeze to pack and unpack. I used a PacSafe metal net on some occasions for loose stuff on the bike. We locked the bikes together on the first night, but never thereafter. No issues. Only used the ignition lock and standard locks on panniers.

    I kept all important papers in a tankbag that I took with me every time I dismounted.
    #3
  4. Sjoerd Bakker

    Sjoerd Bakker Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,429
    As stated always find a hotel with a secure parking arrangement- lot,courtyard,lobby ,in room. Do the walking around town center with bike thus secured. Hotel rooms usually are yours unti noon so half the day could already be worry free.
    If needed park on street in front of a shop where you can buy a refreshment or fruit ,have a chat and the shopkeeper will be happy to keep an eye on your bike. If that is not practical, park in a well lit and travelled location and stay within eyesight distance. At attractions, supermarket/mall lots there will usually be "vigilancia" or if you really feel the need hire one of the kids to keep an eye on the bike, but pay up only after you come back ( and find the bike still there =)
    Dont leave any loose items, clothing, helmets on the bike. lock it down or at least bungee through the sleeves. for the really important documents, of which you will have only a few ( passport, ,drivers license ,bike regs., credit /bank cards ), best to carry them on your body at all times. In a tank bag they are sooner or later left on the bike when it is just for a little while , or you have to put the bag down for a few moments when you are inconv enienced , and chance is just then the bag get stolen.
    Using this approach and only the locks that are on steering and the side cases should easily keep you and your bike travelling along with no bad experiences.
    #4
  5. matatigres

    matatigres endless summer

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Oddometer:
    90
    Location:
    Chicago
    Really appreciate the input, I will definitely not be taking my huge chain. I like the safe pack idea, and obviously not making dumb moves will make the safety of the bike much higher. Thanks again.
    #5
  6. jabroka

    jabroka Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    338
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    In Argentina just dont leave the bike alone in the street in big cities.. Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Rosario, Santa Fe etc. etc... no matter how big your lock is, forget about it...

    Of course you´ll find many secure parkin lots.. hotels, big shopping centers etc.etc are all ok.. I always carry a big chain (and by big I mean "boat anchor chain BIG") with a cryptonite lock but let just say that i´m quite paranoid about my bikes, and I only carry it short distances..

    If you´re in medium-small towns, just use a disc lock or any other "small" lock and you´ll be fine..
    #6
  7. thetourist

    thetourist Just passing thru

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,407
    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    I carry a locking cable, but have rarely use it. Actually I don't think I ever used it in Mexico. The Motels always had secure parking.

    Motels in US are not so cycle friendly. Some don't even have outside rooms anymore, so the bike is left a long way from view.
    #7