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Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by JoeFab, Nov 10, 2017.
Works best for hot chicks, I reckon
I used to keep my phone & wallet in my tank bag on longer trips.
But recently I hear about bike jackings: some guys stop next to you at a red traffic light. Then one pulls you off your bike and another rides off with it.
(Surprise is essential for succes).
Fortunately I've never experienced this myself.
But, on future trips, I'll make sure that my phone and wallet are inside my coat.
If you have comprehensive insurance on your motorcycle in Ontario, it's covered for theft in N.A. For Mexico, you can buy theft insurance for your bike when you purchase collision insurance but there is a maximum limit of coverage (if my memory is correct). South of that and anywhere else in the world you are S.O.L. with an Ontario plated bike. That said, on trips where you are outside N.A. you have to mentally prepare for the unlikely scenario of getting your bike stolen or having a total loss. The first can be mostly avoided by common sense and the second by riding way within your limits.
Didn't have one stolen, but did get rear ended and bike and girlfriend got banged up enough that we ended up spending a week in a hotel recouping. Then a Uhaul to load the bike up and drive home. Sort of puts you into your place and how lucky you are when everything in life is going smoothly.
Big thing is to see if your insurance covers storage fees in a tow lot. Got hit for $50 a day, and $50 for hotel a day... Plus $600 or so for the Uhaul ride.
Always have a thousand bucks liquid outside of what you've got for planned expenses. I've always figured a one way rental car ride or one way airplane ride would do the trick... But it still sucks.
If you have state farm for insurance coverage, find someone else... They don't cover medical very easily on bikes. Only way we got covered was it was a hit and run.
Go on a rampage
If I can't find happiness wielding baseball bats at random kneecaps or other such jolly stuff....
Well essentially I treat all my stuff as just that: stuff. sure bummer if it's stolen, broken, lost or destroyed in any other fashion.
I think in most situations, prioritising is what you're after:
- WHAT NEEDS to be done...
- CAN YOU REPLACE IT?
So say you're in a foreign place, definitely spent quality time with the local authorities. Will it get your bike back? nope. 99,999% not... will it make you as happy as archer on a rampage? certainly not... (and if you haven't been in rampage mood before, you certainly will after four hours of silly forms and questions).
But it will DOCUMENT the theft... it will also make sure that when you leave the country other than in a coffin because your rampage didn't go as planned, you will not be accused of having SOLD your bike (or other item)... which can become VERY costly... so having proper doucmentation is important in case of a bike theft.
Depending on your insurance company at home, there's some options of financial reimbursement... again, not without good documentation.
Depending on where you are and what your plans were, the bike-theft has the certain possibility to derail your travel plans, itinerary, time-frame etc... take necessary arrangements and decide IF you want to push on with your trip by different means... I would....
afterall it's not a proper adventure if nothing has gone "south".
Options for replacing... sure a beat up 400cc Honda will not make a jolly replacement for that 1200GS... nope. and you may look ridiculous in a 1500$ Adventure suit on a 250cc bike... but so what.
Any bike is better than no bike, and often something beat can be had for a small sum.
Maybe consider that EXPORTING IT may be a huge problem! (or rather re-Importing it into your home country)...
Other than that... the best option is not to get shit stolen from you.
I know, shit advice - especially in hindsight.
but in essence, being vigilant about what you do, where you park, how you "lock it down" etc can go a LONG way.
Also riding something that is a bit old, beat and thus doesn't provide a good resale value, has its merits in terms of theft-safety.
a good idea (I've been doing that for a long while) is to keep DIGITAL COPIES of your ID-Cards, Passport, VISAS, Carnets, Insurance card, title, etc... somewhere "safe".
There's a lot of good cloud storage options ... you could mail the stuff as a pdf to your own email (albeit it's not my recommended method).
I for one have it on my google drive and on my drop box... I store those documents as ENCRYPTED PDF Files (pdf can only be opened with a password - can be cracked, but only known method for newer PDF versions is through brute force and if you've got a proper complex password that would take MASSIVE computing power...)
so even if ALL your shit gets stolen, at least you can easily enough get copies of your ID / Documents etc... will make all the shit with the authorities and embassies etc. much much easier and faster.
Last but not least, think about BACKUP options before you head out..
backup (not as in DIGITAL DATA) but as for a plan...
your bike can break down, suffer a fatal ending ... etc... it doesn't need to be stolen to become a useless paperweight.
planning for such an eventuality will make your decision on what to do if the shit hits the proverbial fan, much quicker and easier.
and last but not least: RAMPAGE MODE
I think about this all the time when I travel. I usually pay a little extra for a hotel with a nicer location. I try to park by the door when possible. I also remove all the tempting stuff off the bike and pull it in for the evening. I figure that's what insurance is for. call insurance and see what they pay for. plane ticket, rental car... some people aren't nice but most are. I always chat up the front desk for a couple of minutes, then ask if they would keep an eye on my bike. They usually tell me where the best place is to park or where to park so it's in line with their cameras. I have never had a problem. I figure if I come out and don't see my bike, that just means I get to go shopping for a newer model.
Insurance if applicable.
Price rental cars and airlines depending on distance involved.
Depending on what the first two phone calls yield and financial situation I'll decide whether to give it a day or two for the cops to recover, shop a replacement, or drive/fly home.
Regardless of the value of your bike, and whether or not you have theft insurance, if you aren’t in your home country and something happens, I would make sure the theft is reported and a police file created so that sometime down the road your bike shows up at DMV for a license, you don’t get accused of selling it without properly importing it.
Bike wasn't stolen but I hit a family of deer second day of 3 week trip 400+ miles from home. Got out of the hospital few hours later, rented car come home.
I heard a story from a friend who's work buddy decided to take a long planned trip on a brand new bike. At the first gas station he stopped at his bike was stolen, and the entire trip was cancelled. Not sure what the details were, but you have to be careful out there and I never hop off my bike without locking the handle bars up. Especially at gas stations, which are a notorious spot for criminals and idiots despite the quality of security cameras these days.
Riding solo makes you a bigger target. It can be a hassle to stop and make sure you got everything you need whenever you walk away from the bike for a minute, but my tank bag doubled as a backpack so I knew that I could keep my valuables in it because any time I stopped I'd remove it and wear it. My tablet, phone, backup ID's, go pro, and sometimes wallet were stored in it... If you leave that stuff on the bike and it gets stolen you're really fucked.
I don't loose any sleep over it, if it happens, it happens. Like some have said, have extra funds available for air or buss fare make a police report and deal with insurance when you get home. I love my bike but it's replaceable. I worry more about someone walking off with my jacket or helmet on trips. If your in a sate that requires a helmet and it walks off your kind of screwed if there is nowhere near by to replace it. Albeit most stores like walmart will have some cheap option to get you buy.
I was riding across eastern europe a few years ago, got to Poland in the rain and stopped at a combo gas station/restaurant-bar/hotel place - tired of the rain on a long day. Middle of nowhere farm country....went in and got a (tiny but cool) room, went downstairs for a meal (pirogi) and on the way back to room desk clerk told me to roll the bike (huge R1200GSA with the works) into the tile floored lobby (soaking wet, etc). She said, if you don't it will be taken overnight. 'Nuff said.
In Albania on the way to Kosovo/Serbia/Macedonia/Bulgaria/Turkey/Georgia (don't ask), I stopped at a scary looking gas station for fuel, ended up getting a just-completed room over the gas station as it was getting late and I was totally terrified. Gas attendant/Manager/Money Changer/Local Guide guy hired a neighborhood kid to watch the bike for me for cheap. No sign of him in the morning, but bike was there.
In Turkey, rear ESA shock puked out all of its oil overnight (overloaded bike and 46,000 miles) and bike reverted to a pogo-stick. No local services in the small towns or even larger towns. Language quite a barrier. Not interested in spending time ordering replacement item while waiting in hotel, etc, so I rode the rest of the way on to Georgia with no rear rebound damping. Unpleasant. Left the bike in Tbilisi with a friendly local for a while and went home to US and returned with a replacement rear shock to install weeks later.
When riding in Europe (last 5 or 6 years) I buy annual ADAC road insurance, for breakdown/bad-event coverage. They get you and/or the bike back to home base (Heidelberg, DE), including hotel, train, etc and cover any emergency expenses (with limits) for you and the bike. Some piece of mind. $125 or so annual cost.
Related: A few years ago I was driving my 15 year old BMW 330i from NY to Florida and on I-95 it overheated in South Carolina with an exploding fan belt. Got a tow truck to come out and the driver saw my last name was Hendrick, maybe assumed I was part of the Southern Nascar Racing dynasty, and quickly towed me in, got a mechanic to look at it, got the parts needed (belts, and related spinning bits) and over the course of a few hours with me sitting reading a novel on my iPad in a southern-country-end of a dirt road repair shop - fixed my car right then and got me back on the road (after raping my MasterCard).
These rides, with pleasant and not so pleasant surprises are what I recall on those days when I'm sitting in my chair at home now, staring off into space.....smiling
Never happened to me but my order would be:
2. Ins company.
3. Then get to the airport, car rental, bus stop whatever... any way you can.
My order would be
1- Large beer
2- Small Tequila
3- Alternate transport
4- Cops if available for insurance
5- Keep calm and carry on
Well it´s no guarantee (..nothing is). But it can be surprisingly effective. The crooks need to first get up close to have a look, what bike it is, and do they even want it. Many of the professional gangs who steal bikes, usually have a van, and they don´t just drive around looking for something to steal. They are looking for specific brands and types of motorcycles, that they know are easy to sell as spare parts, as an example.
When you travel, you normally do not stay at one place for a long time. So the gang may not actually know, what bike is under that tarp. If they have to get up close, lift the tarp and see what it is, and then decide if it will be stolen or not, the chance goes up that they won´t bother. They don´t want to hang around the scene any longer than they have to, they don´t know if the owner of the bike is close by, if a police patrol car will soon drive by, etc. They may already see something more promising uncovered close by, and go for that.
I work in the field of GPS trackers for vehicles and I had at least once event where a car has been stolen and everybody knew where it was yet nobody including the police wanted to attempt to recover it. The car was in the middle of a drug-cartel controlled area in south America, probably used by the drug cartel itself with armed people inside and around it.
So there's that, situations where you know where it is but cannot recover it, and other situations (especially in developping countries) where the bike is quickly moved (intentionally or not) to an area with no GSM coverage, so you can't communicate with the tracker and locate the bike. Or, if the bike is stolen for parts, it could be disassembled so quickly that you won't even get a chance to locate the bike.
I would still recommend installing a GPS tracker if you can get one with international coverage (the ones I know are not available retail unfortunately), but don't count 100% on it. Don't get me wrong - they work fine most of the time, and are a great tool for theft recovery but you need a B plan.
What happens if you have a caret? I.e. you paid $$ into an escrow to prove that when you enter a country with your bike you're not going to sell it. Bike gets stolen. Do you get your escrow'd $$ back?
The cover actually does help with theft. Its a great way to make the theft more risky for the thief.
Whats under the cover ? Is it locked to the bike and how much noise will it make to take it off. The cover is just a deterrent like the disc lock etc...
I actually had this happen to me in 1974 while on a "failed" solo cross country trip.
I had no credit card . Cash was king.
My Dad told me to hide cash in different places so I wouldn't loose it all if something was to happen so I had some under the seat, some taped behind the side cover, some in my saddle bags , some in my wallet , some in a money belt Dad gave me and some in my boot.
I hitched a ride to the airport and bought a plane ticket home.
I hate thieves!