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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure if this was the right forum, this seems to be the catch all and we seem to have too many little used forums.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone's had issues with people messing with their bikes when parked at trail heads. Helmets damaged/missing, hard cases broken into... I'm looking to add luggage and feel I'll need to be able to store my helmets in the side cases so they don't get messed with.

Thoughts? Experiences?

R.I.P. (Retire In Peace, thanks for the great ride.)
 

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Anyway, I was wondering if anyone's had issues with people messing with their bikes when parked at trail heads. Helmets damaged/missing, hard cases broken into... I'm looking to add luggage and feel I'll need to be able to store my helmets in the side cases so they don't get messed with.
I've never had a problem but that doesn't mean you are going to the same trails I am. I find that generally people that hike and go to national parks are doing it for health reasons and relaxation. They won't mess with your stuff. Can't say if the parks are being prowled over now as people are tending to like live in them now that the economy is bad. I'd say take a large cover with you and completely cover the bike if you are worried. For some reason messing with covers complicates thieving.
 

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I have a givi trunk and try to lock important/expensive things in there (gps, etc...)
helmets I lock to the bike, and you have to trust the open view of the machine will aid in its security..
 

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My introduction to the V-Strom was at a trailhead here in Western North Carolina. I was just beginning to think about a new bike and was immediately smitten.

I have myself parked in similar remote situations here with no problems. I know I can't accurately describe each of these non-events, but believe me they happened. As is always the case you will certainly hear more about negative events from other forum members.

Here's an Idea: Just leave the empty holster for your Desert Eagle on the seat when you head off for your hike.
 

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Here in Western Washington we have a lot of hiking trails and it seems that the busier ones, especially those near highways, are prime targets for vehicle prowls. We're always taking reports of car break ins and just a handful of the local spots.

While the other vehicles there are likely just there to hike and enjoy the terrain, it's a prime spot as the bad guys know that people are off in the woods and not nearby.
 
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I always notice very visible, very emphatic signage at state parks and trail heads warning about thieving. They wouldn't have as many signs, or they wouldn't have such severe warnings if it wasn't a problem.

The signs get more prevalent and emphatic the closer you are to a major city.

Me: I don't even lock my doors when I leave the house, but I'm not in / near the "bad part of town," either.
 

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It depends. Hiking trailheads especially along I-90 all the way the Teanaway and Yakima Canyon are prime spots for break-ins. I am not sure motorcycles are targeted like cars are, but anything that looks valuable or like it might hold valuables is a target. Advice, leave valuables at home or in the camp site and make the vehicle look empty. Even a backpack or nice jacket left on the seat might be enough for these thugs to break a window.

On the other hand, if you pull along side a rural road and park as I do when fly fishing I have not had any problems. Nor have I read in the local police reports about break-ins from these remote areas even though it seems more likely. It seems that this criminal element is younger and target the larger lots. I would not be surprised to find out it is the same group of thugs all along this section meaning that it is just a few criminals and not a lot of people involved in criminal behavior.

I used to ride an old dual sport and hide it in the brush when fishing. Now I just park my wee off the road but in plain sight to passing vehicles, helmet locked in the Givi trunk. So far so good.

The more you leave the main road, the safer you are. In the way back roads of Idaho, with a fishing rod in my hand, while leaving the bike parked next to a stream, if a local truck comes by they will stop and ask, "are you okay?" or "are there fish in that stream/"
 

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I've used some different trails in Georgia and never had an issue. I'm usually only away from the bike for about 2-4 hours and I've never seen any signs of abuse. The trails I've used though have fairly active parking areas which helps out.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Look for shattered auto glass at your trailhead parking lot.
Sorry your first post had to be related to this, but good advice.

So to be more specific, I'm going to be doing some overnight/weekend camping, say a half day drive from DC. Often on the AT, probably Dolly Sods. At some point, I hope to get into longer trips. I'm looking to buy side cases, no top case because we will be backpacking and I'll need to put the packs in a duffel across the back rack & side cases. So I'm thinking I need to get sides that can hold the helmets while we are on the trail. Probably also makes sense for trips to the shopping mall.

I like the cover idea, I saw a Prius covered at a trail head out near Lake Tahoe, now it makes sense. Of course a cover is 1 more thing to carry. Maybe I can use it to wrap the backpacks instead of getting a duffel.

R.I.P. (Retire In Peace, thanks for the great ride.)
 

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Last year I went for a day hike off the skyline dive in Shenandoah. I packed most of my riding gear in my side bags, and hung my helmet on the side of my bike. I was parked in an small area set aside for day hikers. When I returned from the hike I noticed an empty beer can right next to the front wheel. I didn’t notice the can being there before I left. Did somebody place it there while I was hiking? I don’t know.

Since them I got bigger side bags and a top case and pack everything, including the helmet before I go off on my day-expeditions. This year I have day-hiked in PA, MD, WV, and VA with no problems.

When I take off on the morning, I have a packed fanny bag, hiking shoes, and a single trekking pole (I use it as a walking stick) ready to go. I have my hiking shorts on under my riding pants. When I get to the trailhead, my riding pants and helmet go into the top case, my boots and other miscellaneous riding gear go in one side bag and my riding jacket goes into another side bag.
 

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Look for shattered auto glass at your trailhead parking lot.
Had the window broken out of our pickup truck at a trailhead near Idyllwild, CA a couple of years ago. My wife left her purse visible in the cab and the theives got it.

Since then we keep everything locked up and out of sight. These guys are opportunists. They look for unlocked cars or windows worth breaking (valuables in sight), and they want to make a quick getaway. Ususally if it isn't an easy job they won't bother.

Hope you have a great trip to the backcountry!

North Fork Bishop Creek with the Vee - two weeks ago
 

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