Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Advisories and Urgent Information > Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road

Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Like Tree1Likes

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 9 Dec 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,579
If you think they´re gonna be able to ride away with your bike, how about reversing the wiring in your killswitch (so that it needs to be in "OFF" position for the engine to run??) And then you naturally leave it in the normal "ON" position, when you leave the bike.

That could be something that´s easily usable (for you), but just might take the thief some time to figure out.

Also, I once installed an alarm unit into my Vstrom, and noticed there´s a jumper wire on the back, that needs to be connected in a certain way, or the bike will be immobilized (ignition circuit off). Would be easy to add a switch there, and hide it from view somewhere near the subframe.

Personally I believe that good-quality disc or chain locks will in reality be enough to deter 99% of the occasional jerks (means that they´ll go look for something easier to steal & ride away with). And the pros with a van or a truck are still gonna make the bike disappear, no matter how many "tricks" or extra locks you´re using.

Now that I think of it, I find it kind-of strange, that I can very easily buy insurance against theft for my bike, that´ll be valid in Europe, or the US, or Australia. And yet there doesnt seem to be (or at least I havent found) any company offering proper insurance against theft, that would be valid more or less all around the globe. Strange because the areas, where I think the possibility of theft will actually be HIGHEST, are Europe, US and Oz!! I would also think that RTW-travellers will often be more careful about their bikes than "normal" riders, because insured or not, their big trip will be ruined, if they lose their bike.
Reply With Quote
Old 31 Dec 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 164
Great response! Cheers all. I have a loud (painful) disc-lock, will look into a chain and pac-safes and probably most definitely add a waterproof killswitch somewhere near the airbox. I think thats a great idea!
'10 Suzuki DR650. 2011+ RTW trip. Currently Coen, Cape York Peninsula. www.followtheakubra.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
Old 23 Jul 2011
lynch180's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Ireland.
Posts: 115
Originally Posted by Knight of the Holy Graal View Post
All the above advices are wise and absolutely right.

I'd only add my suggestion which is to park your bike in front of some crowded places such as restaurants, bars and so on.
Possible thieves cannot know if the owner is inside drinking a coffee or having a meal.
I always use to do like this and I can walk around more relaxed (of course, after locking the bike).
I do the very same thing.
Reply With Quote
Old 16 Sep 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: campbell river b.c.
Posts: 4
bike nicked

not yet!my secuerty system is a xena disc lock,,bear spray+amachete,,bear spray works on pit bulls+helmet thieves,machete is handy wood chopper,,xena is a very sturdy lock worth the money.
Reply With Quote
Old 18 Sep 2011
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2
In Nottingham, UK, a few months ago. Had an overland preped XT600E that was targeted by an organised gang. Was chained up and in the 15mins I left it they had sliced through it and off it was in the back of a van.

Police response was good and immediate but unfortunately never got anywhere. Apparently had been watched for a while and were waiting for me to leave it. Not much could be done I guess. If they really want it they will probably find a way.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Sep 2011
gixxer.rob's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Back in Melb
Posts: 292
I had a sports bike that was stolen from outside my house, three locks and in a quiet area. They just crept up picked it up and carried it off.

While on a trip I do the following depending on how long I will be away.

In the street it was always cabled with a big thick stainless braid cable and alarm lock through parts of the chassis and luggage then up high on a light post or other tall big pole.

While camping it was parked either next to the tent with a cover or next the main office out of site from the road with a cover and locked up with the above cable setup.

I also didn't wash it on the trip (which meant I had to look harder for any faults) just to give it that junk look..But if they want it they will take it.
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Sep 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 301
Hi, i have had the misfortune to have had 2 bikes stolen (once my fault as i left the keys in the seat lock) but will tell you a story that saved me a lot of money.
a friend came out his house to see his bike being pushed away, he gave chase immediately, the thief saw him, dropped the bike and legged it. As it was a fully faired sports bike the cosmetic damage was considerable and expensive.
About a year later i came out my mothers house to see 2 men pushing away my bike and rather than give chase i shouted to them to put the bike on the stand and i would let them go, 1 legged it and the other stopped put the bike on the stand before legging it.
i didn't get the satisfaction of catching the thiefs but i did same myself a lot of money. Andy
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Sep 2011
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Sheffield
Posts: 1,037
I rode my first bike 20,000 miles or so around central asia and back through Russia, left it a few times including chained to a tree in Turkmenistan for a week, no problems.

I got back to the UK, rebuilt my pride and joy (I'd crashed a lot while away and it was a bit bent or snapped in a few places), then some git knicked it from in front of my house and torched it at the bottom of my road when it wouldn't bump start. The police did sweet FA, even when I had the hooded top of one of them and a suspects name!!

It had an oxford chain on it through the back wheel which the thieves took. I now keep all my bikes in my house with a few dogs in the room with them. Although highly effective it helps being single for this approach, I personally love the smell of two stroke in the morning!
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Sep 2011
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 258

As with others, I've had a few bikes nicked and each one in a different way..!

1981 RD350LC, which had the clutch cover plate off and the innards covered with a taped plastic bag whilst I went to pick up clutch plates, suddenly 'disappeared'! Obviously chucked in a van never to be seen again!

1997 MZ Mastiff, chained and padlocked went missing outside my flat (Edinburgh) and was found 3 days later 3 miles away. The bike had stopped working the day earlier due to the R/R failing and couldn't be started. The thieving gits had pushed it 3 miles down the riverside and gave up when they couln't start it! Kids eh!?

2003 Yamaha XT600e, again robbed outside the flat with a dirty great (and expensive!) chain and padlock! I was really miffed as it was a gift to my girlfriend and rode our two XTs to Morrocco just weeks before and had other trips planned. We got it back, having been used as a kids scrambler, got it repaired and the same theiving little sh*t robbed it again! It was found in his shed with numerous other stolen bikes!

I now have a well secured lock-up, alarmed and when I leave my bike it's chained, has the factory immobiliser and the alarm texts my mobile! The texts work as when it went off a month ago, I dropped what I was doing in town, ran the two blocks to where it was parked and scared the shit out of a delivery driver who'd hit the front wheel with a box! I saw the van and went nuts thinking it would be chucked inside but believed him as it was full of boxes for delivery!!!

After being on a few adventures I do believe there's more chance of it being nicked in a western country rather than a third world country.

'Security is a product of one's own imagination, it does not exist in nature as a rule, life is either a daring adventure or nothing.'
Reply With Quote
Old 19 Sep 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Kapellen/Antwerp
Posts: 97
Another tip,

Pro 's who are looking for your bike, steel it very short afther you left it.
So lock it very well and leave the place, wait a few minutes around the corner and than come back. If you see a truck or anything/ onyone that you don't trust. Stay for a while.

If you don't see anything "special" it might be more safe.

And as people say... if the wants your bike, the will get him, no matter what you try to do.

Reply With Quote
Old 19 Sep 2011
*Touring Ted*'s Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wirral, England.
Posts: 4,382
Out of sight deters the opportunist. Use a bike cover. Weighs nothing and takes very little space. Stuff it where you can grab it in a rush.

If a potential thief hasn't seen your luggage and fancy bolt on's they can't target them. It also makes any tampering much more obvious and time consuming.

I always carry a "Kaybul" tyre hollow lock. They look really thick and heavy but are actually hollow, fairly light and don't rattle on the bike.

As for bike theft, I've only had a bike stolen or tampered with in the U.K.
1994 XR650L
2001 NX650 Dominator.

BMW Dealer Technician

Ushuaia - Colombia 2007/8
UK- South Africa 2010/11
India 2012
Yukon 2012
S.E Asia 2014
U.K - Magadan 2015
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Oct 2011
Registered Users
HUBB regular
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: tenerife
Posts: 70
bike theft

Its too easy to just pick a bike up and shove it in the back of a van....I always use a big loop lock and pass it round a lamp post or similar, helps make it more difficult than just pick it up and take it....through the front wheel is ok for short stays, through the frame if leaving it there a while....
Reply With Quote
Old 20 Nov 2011
Tenere99's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 137

For 13 months I rebuilt the engine of my 1vj in a bedroom with no facilities under a 100 watt bulb and then I went east. Rode the no-road in Kazakstan through the karakum desert in summer. It started every time even in torrential storms in Russia. Never let me down until some spokes broke in Karaganda. Couldn,t fix it so shipped it to manchester for $3,000 but I loved the bike so that's ok.
Two months after a friend said " yeah I'll look after it in my backyard " it went. Every tool I had and $500 worth of spares went with it. Ex-friend. Cut the bastards hands off? No, cut the bastards throat. Never trust anyone! York u.k.
Reply With Quote
Old 24 Nov 2011
Gipper's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Banff,Canada/Poole,UK
Posts: 719
Not had any problems anywhere other than UK in 1998:

1995 DR650 RSE nicked from outside my girlfriends flat in Sunderland, thick good quality chain through frame/rear wheel and a thick wrought iron fence, thieving Bas*&^%s cut chain with a hacksaw/angle grinder while we were down the pub about 500 yards away and probably shoved it into the back of a Transit - never seen again.

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Just bought a bike with stickers on the panniers, what's its story? joshoisasleep After the big trip 3 26 Jun 2011 08:01
Bike Theft in the UAE - High Risk Stephano Middle East 20 12 Aug 2010 07:32
Insuring bike (theft or fire)? pecha72 Trip Paperwork 4 27 Jul 2007 16:35
Is bike theft a problem in Ecuador and Peru? MotoQuito South America 3 13 Jun 2007 07:05
antipodean bike, european insurance-a success story seanh Trip Paperwork 4 21 Sep 2005 09:59


Grant & Susan's Europe Ride 2014.

Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

The weather has finally turned, so Gear Up for your motorcycle travel adventure! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - Gear Up! 2-DVD set until June 30 only. Gear Up! for your motorcycle travel adventure! Get all the info you need to hit the road!

Which bike, how to prepare it, what else to take, how to pack it all in! 6 hours!

"It's another great job, informative and entertaining."

"It's really professional and full of useful information, a must for any traveler."

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GEARUP' on your order when you checkout.

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 14:47.