Originally Posted by basketcase
Re, seeing the HD's in the middle of nowhere. I have heard this from others who have done long trips and so I've considered going to a Road King or an Ultra when I trade, but I am so familiar with the GL line of Hondas that the knowledge reservoir is something I've not yet been willing to relinquish.
Another snag for me is the notoriety factor of the Harley lineup. Perhaps it's different in other areas of the US (and the world), but in the south the Harley (any Harley) is high on the list for the bike thieves. I've stayed at motels where the Harley guys all have cables and chains inter-locked on their bikes to deter the thugs.
My old Wing, on the other hand, gets about as much notice as the family garbage cart sitting on the curb on Fridays. I just lock the steering column, throw the cover over it, and go to sleep without worry.
There is something liberating about having an item no one wants to steal.
A lot of HD riders over stress the "theft" thing. Maybe it is part of the image they want to foster, that "What I've got and spent too much for is so nice that everyone wants to steal it." Or, some HD owners have too much of their identity wrapped up in their motorcycle, poor souls, and the thought of having anyone mess with it shakes them on an emotional level.
Now that I'm typing this it will probably happen, but at all the hotels I've parked at, most without a cover, nothing has ever happened to my Harley's. I do lock the bags and ignition overnight, and the fork occasionally, and remove the overpriced GPS every time. But chain it up? No. And I've ridden in 46 states, tens of thousands of miles, and no idea how many hotels, all with no problems. (I use normal judgment about the hotel and surrounding neighborhood, avoiding areas that look suspicious, but frequently use inexpensive hotels. Try to park in well lit spots, and like to see the motorcycle from the rooms' window, but do the same when traveling in a truck or car.)
In fact, the only motorcycles I can recall seeing chained up were two sport touring bikes at a sleepily little hotel in rural VT. So, maybe we choose different kinds of hotels, or maybe I need to spend more time in the South.