Security of Unattended Gear While Travelling

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by rckendall, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. rckendall

    rckendall Adventurer

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    I have a new Versys that I plan to use for a trip "around the country". I will have small lockable panniers and use a dry duffle for my clothes/ motel stays (I will not be camping). Since I will be alone for most of the trip, I am a little concerned about the security of my duffle bag, if I am having lunch, for instance, and cannot keep my eye on the bike. Should I bring the duffle with me?

    I have very limited experience with extended trips, especially travelling alone. I would appreciate any advice.

    Thanks,
    Richard
    #1
  2. kneeslider

    kneeslider Long timer

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    lockable steel mesh, like pac-safe?
    #2
  3. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    I don't know about where you're going, it'll be different if you're going to all the major cities for the "culture" or headed to small towns. I stay away from cities and it really is different out there.

    If you're going to small cities and towns:

    Many restaurants have windows -- park so you can see your motorcycle. Even if you cannot get a table by the window, simply parking where OTHER people can see your motorcycle will deter many thieves. The thief cannot tell that you cannot see the motorcycle or that you won't stand and look.

    If your handlebars are decorated with lots of high-tech mounts for electronics, anyone can see that you have disposable income. The appearance of the duffel, too, makes a difference -- Louis Viton (sp?) duffels may get more attention than a surplus green one or an old whitewater dry-bag.

    I have one bike with all hard luggage and others with all soft. With soft luggage I will take the camera and GPS inside for lunch. For my hard luggage I often put the camera and GPS in the most-easily-lockable top box and leave the side cases unlocked. In a few places I've used a cable and padlock to lock up my helmet, but it's usually perched right in view.

    I spent several weeks in a city of 1.5 million and locked all the luggage all the time and my helmet too.

    I don't know how to make motorcycle travel 100% theft-proof. If someone wants my SW Motech footpegs I can do nothing to prevent it. My hard luggage is lockable, but can be opened in a few loud minutes by someone determined to get in. My soft luggage is simply vulnerable.

    There have been threads asking if people have had thefts from soft luggage. I have not, but other people have. I don't think it's common in smaller towns.

    I'd rather have a relaxed time with grungy looking equipment than have all the newest shiny stuff and worry about it during the trip. I hope that you can enjoy too.
    #3
  4. rckendall

    rckendall Adventurer

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    Thanks for the responses. I will certainly invest in the pacsafe and I generally try to stay away from big cities also. I am old school and don't have a lot of gadgets, so that is in my favor too.

    Thanks again,
    Richard
    #4
  5. flei

    flei cycletherapist

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    throw a cheap bike cover ($25) over the lot and stop worrying about it...
    #5
  6. CollinsB

    CollinsB Been here awhile

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    + 1
    #6
  7. bush pilot

    bush pilot Long timer

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    Yea the bike cover works well, also when shopping like at wallyworld don't park in the parking lot pull up on the sidewalk next to the building where the workers stage the shopping carts and have thier smoke breaks, less chance there of something walking away than sitting in the parking lot obscured from view by the parked cars.
    At motels I would also chain the bike to something solid like a concrete post. Don't leave gear on the bike overnight. The only time I lost anything was my brand new bike cover I bought at wallyworld in Miami. I just arrived in Bogata and I forgot to strap the cover on as Ieft the parking. I realized after arriving in Medellin. Fortunately I found an even nicer cover in Medellin.


    Sent from my SM-T211 using Tapatalk
    #7
  8. c-m

    c-m Been here awhile

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    Take a tank bag, and keep your valuables in that. e.g Camera, laptop etc.. It doesn't really matter about your clothes, if the worst happened it's not like you couldn't pop to a Walmart (adsa in the UK) type store and pick up some on the cheap.

    Lockable panniers are great when touring on-road, as you can lock your stuff up even the in the hotel.

    It's impossible in any decent city to always to have your bike in sight especially in Europe (I don't know about the US) where most city centres are pedestrian only. That's something you'll just have to used to.
    #8
  9. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    I spent 3 weeks last summer riding around in the west/northwest states, my only luggage was a dry duffel strapped to the back seat. It would have been very simple for someone to steal the whole kit but I never once had any issues. Stay out of the cities and the odds of trouble are far less. I'm sure it could still happen, but I never worried about someone taking my stuff when I was in a diner in some podunk town off a little-used state highway. At night, the bag comes inside the tent or motel room.
    #9
  10. PlznMySoul

    PlznMySoul Been here awhile

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    Here is my set up.

    Rock straps, bungee net and a nice 4 ft thick cable with Key lock. I strapped my dry bag to my rack with the rock straps. Then covered it with the net and then wrapped the cable around all ensuring to loop in and around a secure part of the bike (ie grab rails, etc) and locked it on top. I made sure it was tight enough (via routing under over etc.) where a little man handling was needed to lock it. Worked like a charm and is very visible. (My stuff is attached and locked... leave it alone!) Now like anything, this is merely a deterrent. If they really wanted it, then a cable cutter would cut it all off.

    This set up is easy off when it's time to go inside the hotel. Bungee net works great for any drying needed with wet clothes. I did not pack my panniers full and I would stuff my jacket in the pannier if/when needed. I also attached my helmet to the cable with another lock when needed.

    Hope this helps.

    [​IMG]

    Closer look at gauge thickness of cable
    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    Locking tires with locking cable. BIG DRYSACK is full of clothes...

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. Pongo

    Pongo Been here awhile

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    hmm
    We had this issue in Europe last year, not with our normal gear it was all locked up in cases and paniers, but our riding gear was way to hot to really walk around in and way too expensive to leave on the bike.
    I was looking at one of those lockable metal nets for this July.
    Should be able to put one street guard jacket in, then both pants and both pairs of boots inside, then the other jacket, bundle it tight and lock it.
    Sure would make the lunch break more fun if we could walk around for an hour or two.
    #12
  13. PlznMySoul

    PlznMySoul Been here awhile

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    Sounds like it will take you longer than your lunch just to take all that off and to put back on. A cable through the jacket is another option I used here local. I kept / keep my pants on as I did not have anything under them except my undies.
    #13
  14. c-m

    c-m Been here awhile

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    Yep I use a small cable lock through the sleeve of my stuff if I have to park up in a busy city centre.
    #14
  15. Swashbuckler

    Swashbuckler Been here awhile

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    Instead of buying a pacsafe net I bought a longer security chord and wrapped it around my wolfman rollie soft bags and wolfman luggage rack frame. I spent 2 hours trying every kind of way to lock it, and every time I was able to move the soft bags around enough to eventually get the lock off. I finally came up with a way to lock them using the chord but it requires a lot of work to put on, and takes even more work to take off. It's completely impractical if I need to gain access to the bag with my rain gear or other quickly needed items.

    To sum it up - Pacsafe is definitely the way to go!
    #15
  16. justafurnaceman

    justafurnaceman Imaginary

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    I've never had an issue with leaving my stuff. My rucksack is tied to my sissy and my GPS and GoPro are mounted on my hanglebars. If it was a quick trip into the convenience store I just threw my jacket over the GPS and GoPro so no one could see it, removing it from temptation. If I was going to be longer I would throw them in my pocket, but leave my rucksack were it was. I try to stay away from bigger towns/cities and stick to smaller places and I tend to not be bothered. In fact I've had a few people ask me about my travels. Besides the GPS and GoPro my other stuff isn't too valuable, except for the rucksack, but that's going to change. I've picked up an old Molle rucksack which I hope to start using.
    #16
  17. jfman

    jfman Long timer

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    This is Harlem and it worked perfectly for 5 hours :rofl

    Sorry for size of them pics.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. Pongo

    Pongo Been here awhile

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    The take it off time and the put it on time are constant. But if I can secure the stuff I can take my time and have a two hour visit were ever we are instead of just having to sit near our gear. I think the 70 liter mesh bad would be perfect.
    #18
  19. David13

    David13 Been here awhile

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    I use a cable lock thru' the sleeve and thru' the helmet, if I'm having lunch.
    I watch the back pack and travel bag, and definitely take that in at night.
    They don't steal BMWs so not much worry there.
    I think a cover does no good. There should not be anything removable of value under a cover.
    Usually a bike doesn't get stolen in one night. Because the thieves don't yet know it's there. Unless it's some custom Harley or something.
    And in cases like that, you couldn't stop them if you were standing there with a gun. Unless you were to shoot them, and I think you need a permit or something in most areas, to do that.
    dc
    #19