Building cable locks to secure things to bike - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-15-2008, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Building cable locks to secure things to bike

As seen in the General Discussion section about securing a helmet to the bike...

I'm positive this idea is not new, but it's new to me.

Yesterday when "Uncle Dave" and I were touring the Wisconsin Alps, we made a few stops that called for shedding the Aerostich suits (sunny and low 80's). Not wanting to take the time to fold up the suits and shove them into luggage (Dave) or not having the luggage mounted for the trip (silly me), Dave pulls out a 6' long vinyl covered steel cable and padlock. He captured the cable onto his bike, threaded it through our suits (down through an arm) and helmets, and captured it back onto the bike again. This is not a long term or high security measure, but it is fast and keeps honest people honest. His cable had a red vinyl cover for added "see me" value so passersby can tell a cable is there and unless they have a cutter with them, they'll know not to touch.

Here are some photos of the cable I made last night. All supplies are available at your local hardware store. Bulk vinyl covered cable, cut to length at the hardware store, will cost you about $.50/foot. My local guy was already closed at 6:00pm so I bought a 20' bulk pack (clear only, no colors) from my local big-box home center (Menard's). Little aluminum sleeves to make loops are about $.99 for a 2-pack. And I bought some fresh brass/steel Master pad locks, a 4-pack all keyed alike. (Now my Pelican cases and the security cable(s) will all be on the same key.) My total cost for this project was $20.

I cut a 7' long piece of cable (cuts easily with lineman electrical pliers if you don't have dedicated cable cutters), used about 5-6" from each end to make the loops with the aluminum sleeves, the result being a 6' long security cable.
Coil it upon itself, slip the lock shackle through the loops and capture the coils to keep a tidy unit.



My supplies:



Close-up of the sleeves to make the loops. You are supposed to use matching size sleeves to the cable, and it says if using vinyl covered cable to strip the cable to get it through the sleeve. I wanted my loops to be vinyl covered, so I cracked open the packages of bigger sleeves and found one that would accept the vinyl covered cable. My cable size (w/o jacket) was 3/32", and the sleeves I used were 5/32" which slipped perfectly over the vinyl jacket. Slip the cable through the sleeve to make the loop, then put a wide slotted screwdriver set into the slot recess of the sleeve and then give it a couple moderate whacks of a mallet or light hammer to crimp the sleeve down on the cable. Do this from each side of the sleeve. Don't bash too hard, this is just aluminum. Electrical tape around the sleeves will help prevent accidental paint scratches to your bike.



The passenger grab rail makes for one of the best capture spots on the bike. Use any similar capture point on the bike.



Here is the cable set through my helmet. No chin bar? Grab the strap D-ring. Yeah, a 6' long cable to secure the helmet only is overkill, and the helmet could fall off the bike seat to the ground (if that's where you set it, but it would be the perfect length if you set the helmet on the ground), but with my 20' roll of cable I bought, I can easily make a couple shorty cables (22-24" piece, put loops on each end, results in a 12-14" long cable, perfect for a helmet resting on the seat).

Steve.
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'18 DL650XT, previously '07 DL650 and others
"With the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit happiness comes responsibility, to yourself and others. With responsibility comes accountability. Without responsibility, without accountability, we cannot and will not be a free and civilized society."
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-15-2008, 02:52 PM
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Great write up and great pictures!

I did something similar to this but used the splicing sleeve sized for the cable minus the sheath. I drilled out one side of the sleeve to clear the sheath and stripped the sheath of the end of the cable to install into the sleeve. I also just use the helmet lock on the side of the bike (that way I have one less key to lose :rolleyes. I pass the cable through whatever I'm securing, pass the end through the other loop and on down to the helmet lock. Like you said it will keep the honest people honest but if someone really wants your stuff, they're going to get it!

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-15-2008, 04:19 PM
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It looks good, the only comment I have is the crap quality cable. If you can cut them with standard electricians pliers, then it is too soft a material. I would have gone the extra mile and bought some stainless steel cable, or even some cable from Pacsafe that does this exact same job.

Still, nice write up.

Cheers
Ts
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-15-2008, 06:26 PM
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nice write up. I use this cable

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...ctId=100343091

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post #5 of 10 Old 06-15-2008, 08:15 PM
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They are much better than the stockers and can be used for all your gear.
Nice Job Stevet.

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post #6 of 10 Old 06-15-2008, 11:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, cheap and easy little project.

I don't know why anyone would consider a light gauge cable like this to be crap- as I explained, and as most others will recognize, this cable will keep honest people honest. If someone really wants my sweaty, bug splattered helmet and filthy yellow coat, they'll figure out a way to get past even the best cable. (Cripes, the stuff is only 3/32" diameter cable.) Crap or high grade, ya ain't breaking it by hand or with a buck knife. If I had to worry like that, I'd 1- lock the stuff in the cases, and/or 2- not leave the bike/gear in an area that I have to worry about such theft or damage. And it took a good, hard squeeze for the nearly new pair of Klein full length lineman's pliers to cut it. But I digress...

Make several of different lengths, you'll think of a reason to use them.

Steve.
Twin Cities, MN, USA
'18 DL650XT, previously '07 DL650 and others
"With the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit happiness comes responsibility, to yourself and others. With responsibility comes accountability. Without responsibility, without accountability, we cannot and will not be a free and civilized society."
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-16-2008, 12:00 AM
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I just use a heavy duty bicycle cable with a combination barrel lock and just thread it through the sleeves of my jacket or legs of my pants. Works like a charm and no keys required.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-16-2008, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravellingStrom View Post
It looks good, the only comment I have is the crap quality cable. If you can cut them with standard electricians pliers, then it is too soft a material. I would have gone the extra mile and bought some stainless steel cable, or even some cable from Pacsafe that does this exact same job.

Still, nice write up.

Cheers
Ts
Moot point, I could open that lock in about 15 seconds tops. Apply slight friction on the tumbler with a thin screwdriver and strum it a couple times until it opens (you can even just use a safety pin w/ the end bent up a bit).

Faster if you buy a set of bump keys. Best is if they can't see the helmet, so they can't tell if its expensive or not to be worth the risk... of course if it really is cheap and scratched up, then ya display it heh!

Edit: BTW, that technique even works if you get locked out of your room (like we did below... WOOPS), and the more expensive the lock the easier it is (parts move more freely and smooth than cheepiez):

If you want a good lock, get it w/ security pins or gel.

Last edited by Ducman69; 06-16-2008 at 12:27 AM.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-16-2008, 02:22 AM
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Those aluminum fittings need to be crimped. The cable will pull right out if not.

If any one is interested I can make these. Any length and loop size you want for not a lot of $. I use only SS wire rope, high wire count 7/19 (very flexible).

Dikes will not cut it. Linesman cutters mmmaybe. The correct style cutters are: www.felcostore.com/order1.jsp?code=F-C7 Not many people have them in the tool box.

I made one up to lock up my bike out of 1/2", coat cable. With a really big lock.

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post #10 of 10 Old 06-16-2008, 08:59 AM
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I'm leaving on a vacation soon, wanted something like this to hold my jacket and helmet during lunch breaks, walks, etc. Several vendors have these available. The kyrptoflex is just a little to thick to use in the helmet lock on the bike, so I went with the smaller cable from aerostitch. Not secure for overnight at the motel, but enough while shopping for t-shirts at the tourist traps......

http://www.aerostich.com/catalog/US/...s-p-16963.html

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...lex-Cable.aspx

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...uble-Loop.aspx
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