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Old 16 Dec 2009
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Ship personal items with bike?

I will be air frieghting my bike from Miami to Buenos Aires and would appreciate any advice regarding shipping my personal belongings with the bike or pay the extra cost of bringing it along on my flight.

I have enough stuff to exceed the carry on baggage allowance for my flight so I'd like to stuff the panniers and tank bag full. I'm concerned about customs allowing these personal items into the county with the bike (i.e. computer, camera, etc.)

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old 16 Dec 2009
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I would strongly advise you to take all your valuables, camera, laptop, etc. etc. with you as carry on luggage. anything that you can afford to lose goes with the bike or as checked in, other than that, carry it, much safer.
Graham & Elaine

GL1800 Motor Trike 2+2, one here, one there.

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Old 16 Dec 2009
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Yep, rather keep the valuables in your flight luggage. Other stuff is OK in the panniers. I always did it and never had any probs with customs (Africa and OZ).
Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
(Rod McKuen)
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Old 17 Dec 2009
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Good advice! I hadn't thought about theft during transport of the bike. I'll take the electronics with me and store everything else on the bike.

Yahoo...48 hours and the six month adventure finally begins after a full year of planning and waiting!!!!

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Old 17 Dec 2009
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Ditto on the advice to never, ever ship valuables such as electronics (camera, GPS, computer) with your bike.

It is easy to think that the bike and the passessions will be safe when in the hands of shippers and passing through customs but in reality they will be shipped and stored in warehouses and areas that see an incredible amount of traffic and are susceptible to theft of anything not locked down.

Depends a lot on the countries that you are shipping from and to, and if it would be crated or not, but if not crated I wouldn't leave anything on my bike that wasn't locked down. You may think that this is a bit of an exageration but even in North America, crime in large ports and airports is a major problem.

If you can, I would lock the panniers but keep in mind that sometimes they ask that these be left open for customs inspections. As for the tank bag, I would take the whole thing with me unless it was the dirtiest,smelliest bag and it was affixed very well. I usually check as much luggage as much as possible and carry my tank bag, backpack with electronics and helmet on board. If it's your bike gear that is filling up your luggage, wear it all and take it off once you get on the plane. Or you could just pay the few bucks for excess luggage, small price to pay to have all your gear in South America

Happy travels.
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Old 17 Dec 2009
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to save some bucks, put yourself the heaviest clothes for the flight, like the motorcycle jacket, pants and boots... that weights a lot!!! and the air company doesn't charge you that weight if you use it on yourself
Santiago-Ushuaia-Alaska Right Now!!!
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