Traveling in the US solo motorcycle securing and theft prevention advice needed

Discussion in 'Americas' started by The Raven, Feb 28, 2010.

  1. The Raven

    The Raven Banned

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    I'm sure there is a thread somewhere dealing with this topic so feel free to post a link...

    I was wondering, having only traveled with someone else and soon to take a solo ride myself in the US. What do I have to worry about on bike security and gear securing.

    Where do I park at hotels, cover or no cover. What about GPS units? always carry them with you or???

    I am paranoid, but any advice and real world experience will help a lot. What do I have to worry about, and what do I not?
    #1
  2. LeftCoastMan

    LeftCoastMan Been here awhile

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    I take my GPS unit with me even if I'm going to the head at a rest stop, or getting a drink at a gas station. I'm not too worried about my other luggage, since it's all locked.

    If you're staying at hotels, bring your soft luggage with you.
    #2
  3. kawasakifreak77

    kawasakifreak77 the Asphalt Cowboy

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    High test log chain through the frame around something nice & sturdy is my solution for securing my motorcycle.

    [​IMG]

    As for expensive stuff, I just carry my laptop with me most the time.
    #3
  4. shovelstrokeed

    shovelstrokeed Long timer

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    Probably 300K miles in the last 10 years or so and never a problem.

    Disk lock on the front wheel.

    Bike cover over the Tuono (gaudy paint job), nothing over the Sprint.

    Park under portico in front of hotel if only inside access to the room, otherwise, in front of room.

    At hotels, bags and GPS come inside for the night, rest or meal stops not so much. I just position my helmet on the tank and throw my jacket over top of everything and then make sure I am parked where I can see the bike.

    I have, on occasion, had to ride another 50-100 miles if I didn't like the looks of the hotel or neighborhood where I was staying. I tend to stay in the middle business level hotels so that isn't often a problem.
    #4
  5. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    When I first got my Harley I used a disc lock. But its been years since I have. I lock the bags, and carry in loose stuff. I don't leave anything to expensive in the bags, like cameras either.

    At motels, I usually park by the lobby, unless I can park in front of my room.

    I try not to go place that are bad either.

    My FLHR has a detachable windshield, I used to bring that in sometimes. I could put it in the shower then.

    I wouldn't leave anything mounted to bars.
    #5
  6. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day. Supporter

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    Rarely remove my GPS, radar jammer or garage door opener, except over night, then I put them in the hard bags. Park wherever, never cover it, disc lock if I think there may be a problem. Kind of odd I guess, I don't worry bout protecting the bike much, but I always carry a pistol to protect me. I've got my priorities.
    #6
  7. The Raven

    The Raven Banned

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    Good responses, I lack enough solo experience to clearly know what to do. All this is helpful. I have a steel wire cable that I put through my cover and wheels and make it obvious, but always can use additional info
    #7
  8. Vbird

    Vbird In Room 237

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    Lots of solo cross-country trips. Stayed in alot of dumps. Never had a problem.

    Just install a cheap alarm (I use Gorrilla) and take the bags in when you stop for the night. Put the gps in bags if you're going to be out of sight of the bike for awhile. I've never bothered with a cover (takes up too much space) and disc locks are easy to forget. I'll throw a cable lock around the back wheel and the frame if the place looks a little iffy.

    I'll always pick the motel where I can park in front of my room over the nicer looking places with interior hallways.
    #8
  9. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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    No one steals BMWs, Adam. Especially the ugly models.:lol3

    BTW, one of the things I like about bike camping is I never worry about the bike in a campground.

    Good luck on your trip.
    #9
  10. The Raven

    The Raven Banned

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    :linzi She is pretty, seriously, she is, she is my pretty girl. Though what you say is interesting. Hopefully she'll have the KLR syndrome. Great reliable bike that everyone thinks is not worth the time to steal
    #10
  11. emerson.biguns

    emerson.biguns All idiot, no savant

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    One simple thing is a cheap, thin cover.

    We'll typically cover all bikes and run a cable through the front wheels.

    "Out of sight, out of mind", seems to work pretty well. And it keeps stuff dry in humid climates from the morning dew.
    #11
  12. Blacknblue

    Blacknblue "I'm outa' here."

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    I used a New York noose chain and a very heavy small Kryptonite lock and secure it to the frame and an immovable object whenever possible. My valuable stuff is in the tank bag I never leave unattended, and the soft bags are locked with a cable to the bike and brought inside the room or tent.

    Now, if I could just stop leaving my wallet on the seat, the keys in the ignition, and my change on the counter, I'd really be set.
    #12
  13. Zerk

    Zerk DILLIGAF

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    I am not sure what good a bike cover really does. I suppose if your just cruising the lot, you might not get out to look.

    Get a Honda cover.:lol3
    #13
  14. rocker59

    rocker59 diplomatico di moto

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    [​IMG]
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  15. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    This is the good advice. What the eye can't see, it can't covet. Sure, there's a motorcycle under there, but someone out scouting or someone coming upon an opportunity won't know exactly what's there and how (or not) it's locked down. It keeps wandering hands off of it too, no switches thrown, knobs turned, covers lifted, etc. etc.

    The other part of this after covering the bike, is to park it where it is under random surveillance all the time - immediately outside your hotel room, by the lobby, the entrance to a restuarant. Worst place would be something like an apartment complex.

    Use all the locks you want. The best ones are heavy and a pain to take on the road. Most people that take them realize they're only there to slow the thief down. Lot's of bike thefts are done by teams - 4 guys who show up with a truck and throw the bike in the back.

    Use a mix and match of techniques, but I'll recommend the bike cover first, every time. The rest is up to you and your risk management style.
    #15
  16. Wreckchecker

    Wreckchecker Ungeneer to broked stuff. Supporter

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    A lot of good ideas, but just use a little common sense, don't encourage people to be thieves, and you'll be fine anywhere in the world.

    If you're knocking knees show and you bring your Beemer to run down hotel next to a gang-banger bar in the worst part of some inner-city neighborhood where you're already on pins & needles just to be there, guess what? Duh. Go to a shopping mall anywhere in the world and park in a dark corner with your soft bags and gps on the bike, guess what? Same outcome.

    Park where you're not looking over your shoulder, fit in with the people, and you've found a place to stash/lock your bags, and theres a steady flow of people past your bike in a light and guess what? Duh. Of course there won't be a problem.

    There is some risk in travel and exploring. But just a little common sense mitigates it.

    Or stay at home and dream about it.

    Checks
    #16
  17. hateithere

    hateithere anytime now

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    I usually just make all grab-n-go items (gps etc...) no so grab-n-go.

    If you have to stay in places where you are constantly worried about theft,it's no vacation. take shorter, nicer trips if the added security of better accomodations will give you piece of mind.
    #17
  18. CCjon

    CCjon Gypsy Rider Supporter

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    A+++ However regular bike covers are heavy, bulky and hard to take off.

    At a Army Navy surplus store I found a used lightweight camo poncho, perfect size to cover the seat and hard gear at night, to keep the morning dew and preying eyes off. Couple of velcro strips to tie it on, and nobody wants to mess with any ex-military nut who covers his dirty ride with camo. He might be armed, or a sniper... or Rambo :eek1 :eek1 :eek1 :eek1

    Can also use as a poncho, ground cover, tarp when camping, or ???? lightweight, thin, sturdy and packs well. And the price was right. TMHO:D
    #18
  19. Benjava

    Benjava ?

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    Bike cover #1
    A little ratty and grimy is good
    I also carry a small retractable cable lock for jacket and helmet to the bike if I have to walk away for long.
    #19
  20. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    - Carry insurance coverage for your bike and belongings.

    - Park in decent well-lit areas.

    - Get a thin $20 cover from Walmart or Target. My Large covers a bike about the size of a DR650, but packs small enough to fit in a large cargo pocket when stuffed in it's pouch. Use it for long-term/overnight parking.

    - Get a 15-30ft security cable from Home Depot. Use it to lock your bike's frame and wheels to an immovable object like a huge streetlamp. You can also run it through your helmet, pants, and/or jacket. Secure it with an alarmed lock through a wheel/disc. Xena is decent, but expensive. You may also just put an alarm on the bike and use a regular U or disc lock. This isn't gonna deter EVERY thief, but it'll make 99% of them look for easier targets.

    - Don't leave stuff like a GPS or soft bags on the bike for even a moment when walking away from it. That's just asking for something to get taken.

    - Use Pacsafe items like their locking tankbag, locking duffel, steel net, etc. if you want soft luggage. Otherwise, use lockable hard luggage. Still, take it all with you into the hotel room overnight.

    - Don't stay in dodgy areas.
    #20