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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.
Photo by Ellen Delis, Lagunas Ojos del Campo, Antofalla, Catamarca

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by Ellen Delis,
Lagunas Ojos del Campo,
Antofalla, Catamarca



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  #16  
Old 2 Feb 2014
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Very good point about thieves targeting "off road" bikes. I'm sure Oz is totally different than the USA ... but the theft of off road bikes here is probably nearly as prevalent as road bikes. Not endemic like the UK, but it IS a problem.

But believe it or not ... the cops here actually will go to popular dirt bike riding areas and do VIN checks. I ran into this at two public riding areas here in California. (Hollister and Carnegie) They also check your California Green Sticker license on the way in the gate ... and run the number through the computer.

Also, one time the local Sheriff set up a road block in the Mojave near California City (thousands ride dirt bikes there). They set up on the only road IN or OUT. Apparently, they were able to Nab several stolen bikes doing this.

Dirt bikes are often stolen out of pick up trucks at Motels or even at Camp grounds. A smart thief can ride his stolen dirt bike for years in off road areas and never be noticed. We do have a license program however, so every two years it must be renewed. Lots of stolen dirt bikes out there! At a Motel I lock up everything in my VAN. Vans are much safer than pick up trucks. Out of sight ... out of mind and all.
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  #17  
Old 21 Sep 2018
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Still all good advice. I'm planning an Eastern Euro tour next spring on what will be a 7-year-old RT which has fallen both sides more than once, and will look like its 90,000 km. I'll get a screaming disc lock - any other particular worries???
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  #18  
Old 22 Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by Newfoundland RT Riders View Post
I'm planning an Eastern Euro tour next spring on what will be a 7-year-old RT which has fallen both sides more than once, and will look like its 90,000 km. I'll get a screaming disc lock - any other particular worries???
No, based on my experience touring Eastern Europe many times on my Honda ST 1100, I don't think you need to worry too much about security of your bike.

If you plan to stay at hotels, B&B's, guest houses, etc. you will find that it is very common in Eastern Europe for these facilities to offer secure motorcycle storage. That might be a locked-up garage in a hotel, or inside the fenced-in back yard or the woodshed of a B&B.

If all else fails, just look around until you find a bunch of Harley-Davidsons parked. Put your old rat-bike beside the shiny Harleys... the thieves will be too busy stealing the Harleys to pay any attention to your machine.
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  #19  
Old 22 Sep 2018
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Well, it's not quite a rat bike yet - but I've been using that tactic successfully for decades.

cheers, thanx,
david
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  #20  
Old 22 Sep 2018
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And if u don't have an alarm, tape the horn button down.
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  #21  
Old 23 Sep 2018
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The bike theft scene has changed a lot since that was written, especially in the UK. In big cities like London it's a major problem. The biggest offenders are feral kids on scooters who ride in packs and threaten anyone with hammers and machetes if they try to intervene. The best defence against those is multiple layers of security, because if it takes them too long to steal a bike they know they cops will arrive. Big chains don't worry them because they don't use bolt cutters any more, it's all cordless angle grinders now. Got big disc locks? They don't cut them, they use a jack to lever them apart, or cut the disc. Bikes getting lifted into vans is relatively rare.

So yeah, put it somewhere anonymous, chain it to something solid, use disc locks, make it take too long. It's like running from a bear, you don't need to outrun the bear, just the other guy.
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  #22  
Old 23 Sep 2018
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Things have definitely moved on. The more subtle scum will learn how to open locks so in high risk areas like London an old lock is as bad as a cheap one. Trackers in the form of the basic GPMS/Sim card things from China or an old phone with "find my mobile" app are useful, but the sticker telling everyone they have to find and bin it is the big thing. Its another layer, something else the next blokes bike doesn't have.

Alarms are useless. They go off a hundred times a day and no Londoner will do anything just because they hear electronic noise.

The scooter scum cannot be defeated by the individual. There is no point getting stabbed over a bike. All you can do is keep an eye out for groups and if in doubt try to get to an area with CCTV or a police station. There is no logic to these, they are basically pointless youths wanting to thumb their noses at the authorities, so unlike the career criminal who want a new GS or Ducati, they may want your 20 year old KLR because its green.

Andy
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  #23  
Old 24 Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Trackers in the form of the basic GPMS/Sim card things from China or an old phone with "find my mobile" app are useful, but the sticker telling everyone they have to find and bin it is the big thing. Its another layer, something else the next blokes bike doesn't have.
I fitted a tracker and was wondering whether it was worth putting some sort of sticker on the bike, "tracker fitted" etc. On the plus side it may deter them due to the additional hassle, on the minus it tells them to look for a tracker straight away or could lead them to park it in a shipping container to similar to block the signal. On balance, I currently don't have a sticker.

Personal recommendation (I have no links to the company) www.monimoto.com
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  #24  
Old 24 Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by chris gale View Post
And if u don't have an alarm, tape the horn button down.

The simplest ideas work best, I drilled the side stand bracket on my ttr and simply put a padlock through it. Any thief trying to get away has the side stand locked into position yes they could try and break the lock but chances are theyll give up and go for the next bike also meant that the stand stayed down on ferry crossings
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  #25  
Old 24 Sep 2018
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Make sure the padlock is billet. The two spanner trick is very quick and almost silent



Andy
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  #26  
Old 25 Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Make sure the padlock is billet. The two spanner trick is very quick and almost silent true i just figured its something the average thief wouldnt be expecting



Andy
true I just think the average thief wouldnt be expecting it and hopefully they would walk away
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  #27  
Old 25 Sep 2018
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The bike theft scene has changed a lot since that was written, especially in the UK. In big cities like London it's a major problem.
Sadly, I think that motorcycle theft is a UK-specific problem. By that I mean it's not a big issue in continental (Western) Europe.

I've been touring Europe every summer since 2001 with my ST 1100, and I have never done anything more than just set the built-in fork lock with the ignition key. In the past 17 years, I have not heard of anyone else in the ST 1100 / FJR / Gold Wing community having a bike stolen in Europe.

Perhaps the currently fashionable "adventure touring" motorcycles are more attractive to thieves, though God only knows why. Every time I see a pristine BMW 1200 GS with $10,000 of Touratech options on it, I figure it must be yet another German dentist out on his annual 10 day ride on the pavement.

Michael
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  #28  
Old 27 Sep 2018
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Originally Posted by PanEuropean View Post
Sadly, I think that motorcycle theft is a UK-specific problem. By that I mean it's not a big issue in continental (Western) Europe.
this is weird one might think, on island should be harder to get rid off hot stuff...hence easier to find the thief.
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  #29  
Old 27 Sep 2018
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It doesn't stay on this island long.....Hello Lithuania.
I remember a spoof advert many years ago when German businessmen were urged to come to Romania, don't bother renting a car it said, yours is already here.
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  #30  
Old 27 Sep 2018
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Panigales and top spec Harleys go to Russia or the Gulf states.

UK law enforcement is too frightened chav scratters may claim to be part of a minority, or have some sob story about their childhood. They'd rather sit in their offices doing spreadsheets about inclusivity or manning the speed camera vans than risk the trouble if a thief cuts himself trying to get out of the hand cuffs. We need to change public attitudes in favour of the actual victim instead of people who know the language of victimhood.

Andy
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