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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Old 22 Mar 2005
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Bike security - lock/chain and alarm?

Hi all!

After a bit of advice...off to south america in a few months. In terms of security for the bikes we're taking a decent lock and chain, and a cheap bike cover each.

Is it worth fitting a cheap alarm to stop people fiddling with the bikes? panniers and gps (etc) are removable - we thought it might be a good idea to have something to alert us to people trying to tamper with the bikes?

Any advice appreciated!


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Old 22 Mar 2005
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Hi matte, for peace of mind i would fit a cheap alarm, nothing to sophisticated as it may go wrong and you may need to rip it out and trash it like i did once on my travels.

Failing that a low tech alternative is a personal alarm. I bought three in B&Q last year i think they were about a tenner each. There about the size of a packet of ciggys (box of ten) powered by alkaline batteries (AAA or PP3 i can't remember) they are operated by a push button key pad on the front (cant remember if it was 3 or 4 digits) on which you set your own number code. There is a lanyard which you can pull out to trigger the alarm for personal protection, or you can set it as a motion sensor alarm by the flick of a switch. The sensitivity on the motion dector can be adjusted as well. I purchased three and i used them to put them loosly in the panniers or hide them somewhere on my bike when it was left unnatended. I used to put one in my tent amongst my luggage when i left it unnocupied as well. If you stay in any dodgy hotels anywhere you can hang one on the doorhandle of your room by the lanyard whilst your sleeping. The only disadvantage of them is that i used to forget they were in my tent, and when i used to enter my tent at night after a few s i would forget the alarm was there and set it off, much to the amusement/dismay to the other campers.

The advanteges are, that they are independant of your bikes electics (one less thing to go wrong)so they do not drain your bikes battery. I cant remember the loudness of the alarm in decibals but they are very loud. I was up in a fourth floor hotel room in St P'burg in Russia when someboy was tampering with my bike and i heard it no problem.

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Old 22 Mar 2005
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Excellent advice - thanks! The personal alarms does sound like a good idea...apart from leaving them in the tent...!

Thanks again!

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Old 20 Oct 2005
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Location: Lake Mathews, CA 92570, USA
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In addition to the alarms, I think the best security device is a simple lightweight black bike cover to keep from attracting the opportunistic thief. Out of sight, out of mind.

Something like this:
Ride On!

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Old 29 Mar 2012
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I'm going to bump this one up - it didn't get enough attention. I'd like to know a little more about it myself.

I'm heading to SA in a year with a friend. We will have 2 KLRs. He's already got an alarm so I fugure we will use that, 2 cable locks to lock the bikes together/to something, and possibly disc locks as well (nice an small). I'm going to toss in a cover as well (brilliant idea!

Sounds like a lot, but the bikes will be our everything. Any other genius solutions? How do you guys find 'hiding' the bike? Was it easy to find spots? We will be camping/sleeping in hostels...so bringing the bike into the room might be a bit difficult. What do you guys do in SA?
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Old 29 Mar 2012
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Location: Rockhampton, Australia
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Rode there via Mexico in 09/10 and never used an alarm nor disc lock, chain or anything like that. The last alarm system I used, the NON waterproof remote played up, so I had to remove it all on the side of the road.

Alarms in SA do not really work imho. You personally will be sick of the many car alarms that are going off every minute of the day, most people ignore them!!! You can buy cheap ones down there, people do and they are so sensitive, they go off for no reason, they are very musical though

I stayed in hotels, cheap as, usually less than $40, mostly around 20-25, and these had secure parking, or if not, the bikes were brought into the hotel foyer.

I never felt unsafe doing things this way.

Saying that, I do like the idea of a personal alarm that is NOT attached to the bikes system.

I sometimes used a bike cover, mine was big heavy and silver(the cover from rjays), so it took a lot of space, but I rarely used it.

I am now having made a dark(black, but dark green or camo would be better) cover made from RIPSTOP. This is light and compact, is waterproof(not that I care) and will just be thrown over the bike when I camp, which will be more often this trip.

Hope that helps

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Old 30 Mar 2012
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Short answer on a big subject:

Immobiliser: Does what it says. At some point it will stop the bike been ridden. Chances are it'll you who wants to ride it.

Alarm: No one will give a stuff about some wailing bike except you. Most people will be happy when the battery goes flat and it shuts up. You wont' of course.

Dirty great big chain with a UK 5-minute rating or US/SA equivalent: This is space age technology to some chap who lives in a tin roof shack and owns a chisel. He'll go nick his next door neighbours Honda 50. Sarf Landin wideboys (that's British Criminals to those not familiar with the area) who own cans of liquid nitrogen and vans full of angle grinders or their South African equivalents steal Harleys and Ducatis not XT's with half a million miles on the clock. If they want a bike they'll get it, which is where the ratty cover comes in.

I'd go with a serious chain and maybe one of those cheap nasty disc locks that has a mercury switch alarm. Avoid anything electronic that will ruin your day.

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Old 1 Apr 2012
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Also, don't fall into the trap that is so easy to fall into....hiding the bike to keep it safe. That gives peace of mind if a potential thief starts to work on it. Better to put it in full view. Lindsay.
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