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Old 24 Aug 2009
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Motorcycle Safety at Borders

i am planning a solo overland trip from London to SA. One thing that has been concerning me is what do you do with your bike when you arrive at border posts. the bike will need to be left un-attended while you get paperwork sorted, surely this is an invitation to get your kit knicked. please share your experiences.
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Old 24 Aug 2009
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That's a good question. I would like to know too.

I'm thinking of getting a PAC safe duffel to secure my riding gear whenever I get off the bike and need to walk around. There isn't enough space to add the jacket, boots and the riding pants to the saddle bags.

I guess you could also use it to secure the gear in a hostel or hotel room.

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Old 24 Aug 2009
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I met a Russian guy on a huge GS1200ADV at the San Salvador border who was literally riding round the world in only 12 months and it looked like it. He was obviously sustained by considerable amounts of caffine.

Anyway, he had a large machete fixed to top of his pannier. If anyone bothered him or his bike, he would wield this machete and wave it about like a madman shouting obscenities at anybody within a 10m radius until they left him alone.

I had an alarm though.

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Old 24 Aug 2009
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Heh heh heh. That's a great image!

On the other hand, no one's ever bothered me terribly at border crossings (or, for the most part, elsewhere), and this might be be because I lack the machete and the attitude. But then again, maybe my time is coming.

FWIW, I use hard panniers, a packsafe mesh sack (awkward, but I seldom need to load or unload it), and eternal vigilance. If in serious doubt, I'll pay someone a bit to guard my bike. Mostly I trust dumb luck (and never, ever leave anything unsecured on the bike).

As was said by someone else, these are not pros who carry bolt cutters, freon bottles and grinders; they're opportunists, and generally operate in the shadows. Therefore I also try to park in spots in clear view of people in uniform, whether this is strictly allowed or not. Sometimes this requires riding up on sidewalks or leaning the bike against guard kiosks.

Hope that helps.

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Old 24 Aug 2009
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motorcycle safety anywhere

Hi, same as Markhaf, and I have a steel wire spiral with a loop at each end to secure helmet to pannier with a dinky little combination padlock. This works. I store it on the handlebar, weighs nothing. Have seen people commenting it, but no one has tried to steal helmet.....yet ! Golden rule - always park where your bike can be seen if you can't find more secure parking. Say 'hello', maybe ask directions, to locals, usually works. I also carry a grey fabric cover for the bike, again it works wonders, the machine literally disappears. Needless to say the rolled up cover was stolen on beach road in northern Goa. If there are "guardien de voiture" you have to negociate, a place in the shade costs more.
Asked a newspaper man with a cart to watch my kit in Copenhagen when I went to change money at the Hovedbanegård, railway station, this was early '70's, when I came back he was gone, and so was my gear. Wonder who went first ?
I think you have to develop a routine, nothing loose, and say a prayer.
Peter, in Oslo
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Old 25 Aug 2009
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I say pack wisely... keep tempting things out of sight and the really important things with you. I've always used soft bags strapped down securely and never had a problem. I think thieves are generally opportunists, if your helmet is just sitting on your seat it might be taken. I like the parking up close concept and smiling alot too.
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Old 4 Sep 2009
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I keep all valuables or non-replacable stuff in my hard panniers or on my person. The tank bag just has food/water/extra petrol, the duffle bag some clothes. That's all replacable, and if it looks scruffy enough noone ever bothers looking. In addition I have a 2m x 6mm cable to secure my helmet, jacket (run through sleeves) and other small things against quick theft if needed. All the cabled up things go on the seat, and are then covered by the well filthy looking jacket. I don't think anyone has ever bothered touching the thing ;-)
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Old 5 Sep 2009
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I have crossed many borders from the US down through South America solo and never had any problems.
Try to avoid the large Interamericana type crossings anyway.
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Old 5 Sep 2009
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Making many trips over the years through Central America and back I have never had the misfortune of getting stuff stolen.¨Same was for a trip into Morocco .And I don´t take extreme measures- jacket just bungeed thru the sleeves and onto the bike seat helmet fastened to the handlebar with a cobination lock.Extra clothes and bits in a soft pack and some more stuff in the hard paniers, and tankbag.Valuable documents always on my person.
This has been at various crossings, Panamericana and small roads.
Funny thing about the Panamerican crossings the busy-ness depends a lot on what the local vacation calander says.This year going south the CA borders were often masses of people, start of Supertstition week I think. Loads of bus passengers forming ques at the Hon-NIc-CR-Panama borders. Then on the return leg it was absolutely dead at the Nic-Honduras border, I was the second one in a line of two.
So, keep packing simple and pick the time of crossing to be early in the day before the big buses arrive and avoid if possible crossing during ¨¨special ¨¨ weekends.Early so that if it does turn out hectic you will not be struggling thru after dark sets in
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Old 8 Sep 2009
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no problem at all

Now in Quito Equador got here today. I never had any trouble leaving the bike un atendent. close the boxes take the tank bag and helmet and they will not tuch a thing. that is my experiance in central america. (in Honduras border i paid a kid 1$ to wach the bike)
dont worry just go!

My ride from Dead horse to Ushuaia 2009 is at
It's in hebrew but lots of pics and some translation

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