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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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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 3 May 2008
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Soft luggage security?

I would like to hear from fellow travellers who have experienced theft of or from soft luggage.

I am travelling around Spain soon and would like to pack light with soft luggage but I am bit worried my stuff may get stolen. I won't be leaving my bike unattended over night or for hours on end in a city center so can people who use soft luggage tell me their experience good or bad regarding security.

I have some hard pannier boxes as well but I want to try soft panniers due to their light weight.

Thanks for any input.
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  #2  
Old 3 May 2008
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You will have to leave your bike unattended eventually.
When you do, put a cover on. A cover with holes and cable, and lock it with XENA disc-lock (one with alarm).
NEVER leave your original documents on the bike!

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Old 3 May 2008
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put a cover over it and that will put of 99,9% of all thieves.

remember that most thefts are done because it is "easy". leaving your gps on the bike while buying cigarettes is stupid, as is leaving the camera on the table while going to the bathroom (in a cafe)

But when you put a cover over the bike it is much harder for the thieves to do it unnoticed and this will usually put of most thieves.

The profesional thieves don't care if you have soft luggage or aluboxes, it can all be opened easily. The security of aluboxes is highly overrated IMHO
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Old 6 May 2008
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You cant stop a professional thief.. it is the snatch and grabs thiefs that you can stop.. if soft luggage I used a wire cage like these (although i did make them my self.)
Pacsafe Anti-Theft Bags & Travel Security Products
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Old 7 May 2008
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Thanks for the advice on reducing the chance of theft, but I really wanted to know how many people have actually had something stolen.
It seems nobody but I find that incredable.
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Old 8 May 2008
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The places/situations that I have heard off, where someone has had something stolen have been:

1. hotel room in a backpacker place or dodgy place. Fellow backpackers unfortunately don't always respect mine and yours. Mp3 players, books and all manner of thing have dissapeared this way.
If you have some intuition then you know when you hit a dodgy hotel and there it is a good idea to secure the belongings in the room.

2. people who have had their whole bike stolen. Usually during the night.

again. intuition and care. lock the bike to something even when it is in the hotel courtyard.

I have never heard of anyone losing something directly from the bike.

Well ok, gatogato had his tools stolen by a bunch of kids (hehe, no offence man) while doing roadside repairs. But you can hardly use him as an example because he always seems to be in trouble.
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Old 8 May 2008
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Question

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Originally Posted by xr200 View Post
but I really wanted to know how many people have actually had something stolen.
Why? I mean what is the point in knowing if someone somewhere had something stolen? You cannot gather enough data to make conclusions.

e.g. I had a soft bag, with some food in it and helmet stolen off the back of my bike in Greece. I was not with the bike at the time - just before midday. How does that help?

Insurance componiews have far more data than you can gather here - they don't cover things in vehicles left unattended overnight. Now that says the most dangerous thing for loss is overnight and unattended. So you are avoiding that .. leaving you to a lower level of risk. Fit a vibration alarm ... Fit wire mesh .. Fit a guard dog .. armed guard .. how secure do you want to be? Sorry I don't see the point.
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Last edited by Frank Warner; 8 May 2008 at 05:55.
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Old 8 May 2008
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[quote=Frank Warner;188523]Why? I mean what is the point in knowing if someone somewhere had something stolen? You cannot gather enough data to make conclusions.

I am not trying to conduct a survey here, just want to know peoples experience as Peters last message.
If for example lots of people said "never had a problem" then that would be great but if they all said "I had such and such stolen" I would think twice about soft luggage.

Scientific survey? no, interesting? yes.
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Old 8 May 2008
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I have had stuff stolen (and fallen) from hard panniers. Does that help?

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Old 11 May 2008
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With soft luggage for me it's not so much getting it stolen because you can work on that, but the damage they would do trying to steal it in the case they fail. You're left with broken gear.
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Old 11 May 2008
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I general I agree with Frank here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Warner View Post
Why? I mean what is the point in knowing if someone somewhere had something stolen? You cannot gather enough data to make conclusions.

e.g. I had a soft bag, with some food in it and helmet stolen off the back of my bike in Greece. I was not with the bike at the time - just before midday. How does that help?

Insurance componiews have far more data than you can gather here - they don't cover things in vehicles left unattended overnight. Now that says the most dangerous thing for loss is overnight and unattended. So you are avoiding that .. leaving you to a lower level of risk. Fit a vibration alarm ... Fit wire mesh .. Fit a guard dog .. armed guard .. how secure do you want to be? Sorry I don't see the point.
But I can see this point, if there is something to be recognised in the issue:

[quote=xr200;188533]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Warner View Post
I am not trying to conduct a survey here, just want to know peoples experience as Peters last message.
If for example lots of people said "never had a problem" then that would be great but if they all said "I had such and such stolen" I would think twice about soft luggage.

Scientific survey? no, interesting? yes.
For example, I would not use the typical bike helmet holder on many modern bikes to "secure" a helmet, especially an expensive looking version that looks "attractive"; and certainly not by the fabric strap of the helmet.
A stanley (box cutter) knife will remove the helmet from the bike in a flash (I mean slash of course!)*. The thief is not bothered that the helmet does not have a strap thereafter.
If you can "think" like a thief - for instance, not overly concerned about damage to the bike etc - then you will probably be on the right lines in arriving at the methods that work for you.
A temptation is to cut corners in using security devices and procedures; you have to get it right time after time, the thief has to get lucky only once -thieves always have the initiative in what they do next.

Peters' references are of interest: Gatogato is getting a series of lessons in life that may stand him in good stead for the future, assuming that he remembers and learns from them!

* This has happened in Mediterranean countries from my discussions with other riders.

Soft luggage: I have used it a few times around Europe - I always carry away with me the tank bag; this contains everything of value to me, including things like paperwork.
My attitude to the soft panniers is that they are "dispensible": I won't like having them stolen but I could get by until getting replacements of the panniers and the bits inside. However, there are loads of other threads about looking after soft panniers including, for example, carrying them into visitor centres and the like wherever you stop.
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