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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.
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  #1  
Old 28 Aug 2007
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Chain/Cable and lock

I'm in the process of gathering the gear I'll need for a trip through Central and South America. I've read in several posts that a heavy chain and lock is both a good way to deter and prevent theft. I've been looking around, and it seems that most chain and lock combos run close to 10 lbs/4.5 kg or more. (This is for lengths that would allow you to go around another fixed object) Do most people actually bring a 10 lb chain on a long trip? I've also seen some armored cable locks by ONGUARD and they run about half the weight of a heavy chain of equal length. I know that the chains are better protection and the heavier the better, so I guess my question is, would the armored cable locks be sufficient and a heavy chain overkill? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 28 Aug 2007
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Jeff,

Chains are dirty and heavy and a general pain in the ass. An ratty old bike cover (thin/light) is the trick. Keeps the casual thief off. I also park where I can see my bike while I'm stopped for a cerveza.

If they are determined to steal your bike they will steal your chain too. Use your fork lock and/or a cable lock if you feel the need.

Most hotels/motels I've been stayed at in Mexico and CA have had armed guards or a secure parking area or they let me park in their lobbys.
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Old 28 Aug 2007
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When forced to I have left the bike on the street in CA and SA. I use a long cable (6-10 feet, can't remember), heavy padlock (both purchased at Lowe's Home Improvement), fork lock, and disc lock. I strap a cover on it and lock it to a post or tree. No problems. Once, at a hotel, some guys tried to move it to take my space. They jammed the disc lock into the chain adjuster and broke it, but were unable to move it. Yes, it is a lot of weight, but it allows me to sleep.
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Old 28 Aug 2007
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XENA Alarmed Disclock

I'm about to go on a trip and being weight concious, I am only taking one lock. It is a disc lock, but also has a loud alarm in it, which senses movement.

Mine is a XENA alarm, google them. Fairly small, lightweight, easy to use and hopefully should do the trick.

Chris
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  #5  
Old 29 Aug 2007
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If it's important enough to you, you can always get your bike off the street and into safe quarters.

Security for motos is understood and appreciated.
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Old 29 Aug 2007
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I hope your Xena works better than mine. First use, the alarm would not stop (in the hotel!). By the time I got home the warranty was expired. Big bucks for what turned out to be a basic dic lock
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Old 29 Aug 2007
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old tent

Most thefs is opertunists if thay can get get something for nothing thay will. However thay are not going to work too hard at it. Most locks and chains will not stop somone who REALY wants your bike. I have used bolt cutters, Sawsall (like a big jig saw), drils, hack saws, cut off disc on dremils, even liquid hydrogen once. Thay all cut or brake locks and chans or what thay are chained to. A disk lock gust means thay need to pick the bike up, thay probly will do that any way to get it in to a van.

What you want to do is just make you bike less of a target. Get a old tent and cut it up to fit around the bike and bags you will have get it sown up so it covers the bike up. Get your new cover good and wet and stor it so it molds up real good, so it smells and stains wash it and rewaterproff it on the inside. Now for the fun part pee on it! Get a cat and dogs to pee on it. No thef in there right mind is going to spend there time and chance geting cought trying to steal what ever pice of crap is under that tarp. In South America people take pride in what thay have and beleve others do the same.

Most small town thefs wont steal your bike, its to grate a risk thay wont beable to move it and probly dont know people that can fence, your geer is that there after. Small, expensive, eazy to move, prfitible. The odd pro that is set up to steal bikes and cars has fences and will likly already know where your bike is how much its worth may gust part it out, old beat up muddy over land bikes dont tend to sell well, most people see a bike like yours will know its stolen.

If all this fails gust get a bike in SA like a 400cc job there cheap, easy to fix, small, and all you realy need. A bit more of a target but you pee tarp will help that.

The pee tarp works for me in citys in the USA, I put on a light cable and a lock for looks
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Old 29 Aug 2007
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Hi Jeff
At the end of the day its the opportunist you are trying to safe-guard your bike from, professinal thiefs don't seem to worry what type of lock you have if they want your bike no lock will stop them. So chain strong but heavy, cable light but can be cut. Go with the one you feel best with. Myself i have carryed a chain and padlock all through the North and South America and now around Australia its not the best on the market but dose the job.
Just to say disklocks i never use them as when i had one i always forgot to take it off, many a time i ended up laying on myside with the bike on me and always it happened in front of a crowd..... Hope this helps skip
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  #9  
Old 30 Aug 2007
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Thanks for the replies

Thanks for all of your input. I'm relieved to hear that toting around a 10lb chain isn't the norm. I haven't decided what I'm going to go with, but knowing what all of you have done helps alot.
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Old 30 Aug 2007
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The bike cover is the best and please seek secure parking. Good Luck.
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  #11  
Old 31 Aug 2007
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Met a Swiss rider (Mathias?) who keeps a small tarp (5x6'? 8x10'?) under his waterproof duffel. Using simple stationary clips he covers his bike up good enough almost everywhere. Easy to do, cheap to replace. That's what I think I'm gonna do.

Mitch
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  #12  
Old 4 Sep 2007
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I've always believed the ol' military poncho as a tarp combined with a brake disk lock (and reminder stringy) and alarm (Gorilla @ Aerostich; worth it's weight in gold. Survided the Kazakh and Mongolian roads and very loud) work well.

Gorilla Remote Alarm :: Alarms :: Locks and Alarms :: Prevent Or Repair :: Aerostich/RiderWearHouse Motorcycle Jackets, Suits, Clothing, & Gear

Plus a poncho can be shade in the desert, a ground sheet, tent, bag, etc, etc...

We also use one of those cheap lockable carabiners to 'connect' the two bikes together so both alarms go off, and just to make things more awkward. We used this to have them both parked onto an Almaty steet for a few days.
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