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Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

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Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby Ridge runner » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:09 pm

I want to start riding my dual sport to some trailheads, but I was wondering what other people do with their motorcylce and riding gear at the trailhead while they are out hiking. I have a fairly secure cable lock that I can use to lock my bike to a tree, which I think should be sufficient at most trailheads here. But has anyone had issues with people tampering with your bike?

And what do other riders do with their gear (helmet, riding pads, etc.)? I obviously don't want to lug those around hiking, so options are to either hide them off in the trees, with the risk of animals getting to them, or having another locking storage device that I can attach to my bike. I've seen a few locking travel bins but they are a bit big for my bike.

Just curious what others riders do. Thanks!

Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby dannyg23 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:34 pm

I've heard of removing the(a) spark plug. If you can get to it easy, that's an easy way to secure the bike. I've never used that trick though because it was difficult-ish to get to it on my bike (klr650) at a trail head.

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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby myfeetrock » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:42 pm

Yes!!! Another rider!!!!! I ride my bike (KLR 650)to every trailhead and leave the helmet on the seat. I have panniers so I store my riding cloths while out on the trail. The panniers help with hauling all my gear for overnight trips. The way I see it is that someone must really have nothing to do if the want to drive all the way into the 4 wheel trailhead at Huron to steal my helmet or mess with my bike. The panniers lock so that helps to.
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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby Presto » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:43 pm

:-k I would expect TallGrass to chime in here any second now since he's starting a road trip ...
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby myfeetrock » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:44 pm

dannyg23 wrote:I've heard of removing the(a) spark plug. If you can get to it easy, that's an easy way to secure the bike. I've never used that trick though because it was difficult-ish to get to it on my bike (klr650) at a trail head.


No joke on that one.
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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby hikingmtn » Wed Jul 10, 2013 1:53 pm

KLR650 rider here too...the spark plug wouldn't be feasible for most bikes and I wouldn't want to open up the cylinders to the outside world to begin with. As far as disabling the bike, my thought on that is that if they want it, they'll get it without knowing if they can get it to run or not. Likely, they'd drive up with two guys and a pick-up or van, toss it in and go. If you are really worried about the bike itself, I always relied on disc locks and if I have to park it out in public, I put leave them where it is out in the open for everyone to see. My logic is that being out in the open, most people wouldn't want to get caught screwing around with it. As far as accessories, I agree with myfeetrock. lockable hard saddle bags or tail boxes are amazing things (and should be standard on any adv bike)!

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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby Climber145 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:03 pm

I have ridden to several trail heads with no issues. Locking the bike to a tree when easily accessible seems to be most secure. Otherwise, I rely on the steering lock and a brake disc lock. As for gear, bringing a second cable to loop through the sleeve of your jacket, chin bar of the helmet, etc and securing through the frame of the bike has worked fine for me. I have added a garbage bag to keep things dry as well. When riding the motorcycle for trail head access, I usually skip riding boots and just where sturdy hiking boots that offer reasonable protection for the ride and the hike.

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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby Ridge runner » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:42 pm

I figured that any means of disabling my bike won't keep someone from stealing it. It's a TTR 125 so the average relatively strong dude could pick it up and throw it into the back of a truck or van. So that's why I'm more interested in securing the bike to something they can't steal, like a tree, unless they carry around a chainsaw. I also thought adding motocycle theft and vandalism to my insurance, but I haven't look at how much my rates will go up, or if it's even worth it.

I can't believe I didn't think about using my cable lock to go through the chin bar of the helmet, but that will work great. I might just throw a trash bag over it to keep rain off and deter marmots from chewing at it. And so far I think I'll go with some lockable saddle bags or tailbox for my pads. Plus those will be nice for when I do longer trips (like White Rim) where I'll want to store food and extra clothes.

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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby justiner » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:02 pm

Not a motorcycle, but I ride a bike to most of the trailheads I use. I just free lock the thing and bag up my gear in a stuff sack and start up. I'm usually down before many people are awake. It's kinda like the, "hey, what do you do with your campsite, when gone?" question.

I doubt a bike is going to be as interesting to steal as a motorcycle, although it's infinitely easier to do so. In the back of my mind, I'm hoping even someone so unsavory as to think of stealing my bike may go, "hey, if I do this, this dude may be miles, and miles away from anywhere, and in the wrong situation, that may kill him if he's injured, etc". but, who knows.
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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby mtgirl » Wed Jul 10, 2013 4:11 pm

Anyone remember Steve Gladbach's story a few years back about returning from a winter climbing trip in the Maroon Bells and getting to Maroon Lake to find out someone stole his sled that he needed to pull all his gear back down the snowed in road to his vehicle?? Most outdoor-oriented people are pretty cool, but there are definitely people out there who suck......
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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby San Juan Ron » Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:20 pm

I love my Harley's but they aren't going to any trailheads. :)
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Re: Motorcycle and gear storage at trailheads

Postby TallGrass » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:07 pm

Yes, leaving your "ticket" to get hundreds of miles back home out in the open for days on end can be unnerving at times. :oops:

Background: I've got an old ("vintage"?) Euro street bike, standard (upright position), and wide bars (versus cafe, short) that has been my approach and trail vehicle for every 14er hike and countless other hiking/camping trips including doing the Alpine Loop (including Mineral Creek, Corkscrew, Hurricane, and California) just last week :twisted: . For 14ers, it takes me a leisurely 45-60 minutes to fully change from riding to hiking attire, empty/assemble pack, provision the pack, move all valuables (not necessarily $, but stuff that's a P.I.T.A. if it goes missing) to locking hard bags, move other gear to soft tank panniers, use a small cable lock to secure helmet over instrument cluster and cover with a rain bag over the top (cinch at bottom to keep flies or other critters out... don't ask), and so on. Packing a bike for a trip is a bit like packing a rucksack for a hike, so it seems like EVERYTHING has to be redone. :roll:

* Park in the shade to keep gear from baking in the sun, but not were dead trees can fall or it's an easy leap for rodents.
* Use the side, not center, stand and put a large flat rock below it.
* Park at an lean angle that is the most stable so a strong wind or "bear bump" from either won't easily let it be knocked over. Granted you can coast most of the way down the road, but you can leak a lot of gas out the vent and still need some at the pavement to make a station.
* Take "keeping honest people honest" and "preventing the curious" measures like locking the forks. If they want it, they'll take it, but some folks WILL treat your transportation like a tourist gimmick and want to sit on it for a photo or "just see how it feels" like the trailhead is a dealer's showroom floor or such (again, DAMHIK).
* Stow any loose bungees or cargo nets (or only leave out crappy ones). Be surprised how some view an unlocked bungee as "booty."
* Consider hanging a netted mothball on brakehose(s) or exposed electrical wires (pack in/out in suitable tupperware).
* Set it up for when it gets rained on, not if.
* Park near a "nicer, juicier" target; park it dirty, grungy.
* Don't leave anything on the bike that would go in a bear bag.
* Note other vehicles at TH (quick pan with camera) and "make friends" with other hikers. The first will give LEOs witness leads if something happens. The second increases the odds of others stepping in or saying something if they see something ("Hey, that's Sue's bike, and you're not Sue."). Many (petty) crimes are those of opportunity and simple resistance ("oh, it's locked") and accountability/identity measures ("psst, people are watching") will deter many to move along.
* Use dual-use gear. Some motorcycle clothes work fine as hiking clothes (but not always the other way around, armor), same for tools, gear, etc. If you're taking it in your pack, you don't have to worry about storing it on the bike.
* Find a place in-town to dump extra road gear (but not protection), or a meet a hiking buddy with a car trunk at the TH. Campgrounds may be willing to lock stuff up in their office for you, especially if it will help prevent attracting nuisance bears. Bring a lock or two as some places have bear lockers at nearby campsites.

By far, most trail folk are good folk and nature (weather, critters) is the greater concern. The more traffic/tourism a place sees, or more casual people (not there specifically to hike, local idle adolescents, bored rednecks), the more likely there is to be an issue. If you park in an area no one else can see or get too (e.g. down old degraded forest road), there's no one else to mess with it. :mrgreen:

And SanJuanRon, a Harley will make most THs. Don't believe me, just give me the keys. :twisted:
Not sure if I'll do more 14ers. The trip reports are too tiring. :wink:

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