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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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  • 1 Post By othalan
  • 3 Post By Toyark

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Old 22 Dec 2022
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How much do you have to worry about theft?

I am contemplating doing a trip on my dr650 from SE Asia to Europe. Along the way I want to stop in cities and stay in hostels (ex: Bangkok) as well as go on some multi-day backpacking trips (ex: Everest Base Camp Trek). Obviously, the motorcycle would be out of sight, so I have some general questions about leaving it and my belongings in different scenarios:

1. For just leaving the bike parked for a few hours to walk around, would it be safe if I just carry my important stuff in a big backpack and leave the bike parked? Would leave some bulky/heavy low value stuff (stove, hiking poles, pump, tools, some clothes) in soft panniers.

2. Parking overnight on the street when staying in a hostel, I would bring my backpack and panniers inside. Would it be safe to leave the bike parked on the street overnight? (planning on covering and using a ulock)

3. Leaving the bike to go on a multi-day trek (himalayas). Are there hotels/hostels or other resources willing to safely store the bike? Are they easy to find?

I love the idea of freely travelling the world on a bike, but I am worried I will have to sacrifice some freedom of being on foot because I can't let the bike out of my sight. Is this the case? Thanks much.
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Old 22 Dec 2022
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1) Yes - even in the middle of touristy cities in Europe But of course never leave something on your bike that you would really hate losing.

2 and 3) It should be possible almost anywhere to find a hostel/cheap hotel with secure off-street parking. Especially in places where the locals ride (small) motorbikes a lot. It'll just be a common need that's catered for by the hotel.
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Old 22 Dec 2022
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In three years of motorbike travel plus a few shorter journeys, the only locations where I found the motorbike limited my (on-foot) freedom were EU cities. Everywhere else it has been easy. The locals will help you find a secure parking space, police will let you park in front of their office, ticket stands will let you park behind them (and sometimes even store your gear), local riders will provide parking spaces, hotels will store your bike for a time, repair shops will store the bike for a small fee, etc. As already noted, it is easiest to find safe parking in countries where the locals ride a lot.

Sometimes the "safe place" might be a bit crazy sounding. I've parked in the lobby of more than one 5-star hotel (even staying elsewhere), ridden through kitchens to a courtyard, ridden up staircases (going down backwards is "fun"), and once parked in someone's living room.

I found parking on the street overnight was a very rare event, but it happened on occasion. When this is necessary, I try to park under a security camera. Or in a place the police are watching.
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Old 22 Dec 2022
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Opportunistic theft can happen anywhere. If possible lock anything you're leaving on a bike, even for a short time (cable locks normally enough). Overnight don't leave anything on that you're not prepared to lose. Most hotels will be able to offer somewhere reasonably secure, though I know of someone who had his bags slashed and emptied in a "safe" car park. Ironically it's wealthy European cities where bike theft is the greatest problem.
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Old 23 Dec 2022
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Bikes are certainly more susceptible to opportunistic theft than car or trucks so everyone else’s advice of never leaving anything on it you can’t afford to lose is good practice. That usually means stuff like documents, money, phone etc - things that are either expensive or whose loss will cause you significant trouble. If someone steals a T shirt or gloves it’s annoying but not the end of the world. In a lot of places people will go out of their way to look after your bike. I’ve been invited to bring the bike into the hotel lobby a number of times and once they even had someone sleeping next to it ‘just in case’. Even in Europe I’ve been told to park next to the hotel entrance and the receptionist will keep an eye on it. You are playing the odds though so trust your own judgement first and anyone else’s offered help second.
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Old 23 Dec 2022
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You don't say where you are from.

Perception of crime is just that and is based on what you are used to.

A London rider will never leave a helmet dropped over a mirror and will own a disc lock that costs more than a used bike in Bangkok. We have to deal with nitrogen sprays and battery powered angle grinders. It's the same mentality that makes South African riders fear van loads of big blokes with pick-axe handles and Americans feel oddly safer tooled up for the gunfight at the OK coral.

The actual threat is mostly the local druggie or street kid who will pocket your camera if you leave it on the seat. Just taking it with you is enough until you hit ****holes like London. A basic disc lock might place you a level of security above the locals.

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Old 26 Dec 2022
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Worry in western countries.

Don't worry in third world countries.

If you stay away from cities and large towns, I think you'll be very unlucky to lose anything at all.

If you must visit large urban areas, pay extra for secure parking or camp next to your bike outside of town.

Out of all my trips around the world, all I've ever lost was a mobile phone from a tank bag that I left open when I was distracted at a fuel station in Sudan.

Any trip I plan now will purposely avoid any large town or city. If you must visit them, leave yourself and bike outside of town and get public transport in.

Who wants to explore a city in their bike gear carrying a helment and tank bag anyway.

Security has come a long way now. There is no need to drag heavy chains about.

Look at these.

Did some trips.
Rode some bikes.
Fix them for a living.
Can't say anymore.
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Old 26 Dec 2022
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Don't worry too much about theft...
You can leave Touring Ted pretty much anywhere and he'll find his way to the nearest .

Just don't expect him to buy you one
Merry Xmas you old fruit!
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Old 10 Jan 2023
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Kathmandu for EBC

The owner of Elbrus Home in Kathmandu will let you leave your bike parked on the property while you're away trekking to Everest Base Camp if you stay there before and after the trek.
"To sleep, perchance to dream... of having the self-belief of an adult man whose forum contributions need to be moderated." Unknown
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