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Old 11-02-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
Golden Swagger OP
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Leaving the bike safe for the night and insurance going into different countries.

I am completely green on this trip, so I am wondering if there are any tips on how best, and where is the best places anyone has found when they leave the bike when staying in a hotel/hostel.
As well I wondering the in's and out's of having to get insurance for each different country. In B.C. I can apparently not get insurance for the whole trip.
Thanks very much
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
lhendrik
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My experiences: traveling in Europe and Eastern Europe so far....I have ridden this year in: Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Georgia (Joe Stalin, not peaches), Bulgaria, Serbia, Austria without incident.

Most hotels will have a place to leave your bike near the front door or in a garage. Or in their lobby! In some cases I left the bike on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. Never had a problem. There are probably some places where your bike (not mine, it's an R1200GSA) may be at more risk, but I wouldn't be riding there anyway. I take the expensive stuff out of the alum. panniers.

Regarding insurance: You can get a "Green Card" insurance doc for most of Western Europe for $120-$135 per month from ADAC for example. For those countries that are not included you pay at the border for a policy. Costs range from $5 Euros to 50 Euros (fucking thief in Macedonia) for 2 weeks to 30 days. This is all for third party insurance, meaning it covers you if you hit someone or something and have to pay them. It does NOT cover you or your bike. That will require you get separate breakdown insurance and medical insurance (ADAC for example). The med insurance cost me 45 Euro for a month. The breakdown cost me something like 100 Euro for 12 months and includes towing to nearest repair, etc, jump starts, gas, general screw ups and some $$$ for you to stay overnight or travel back to mama.

Lots of folks will have other alternatives and examples. I don't care, this is what just worked for me this Spring Summer 2012 for 10,000 miles of Euro riding.

Good Luck N00b
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:30 AM   #3
MountaineerWV
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Do some research on insurance. Lots of info here.

Some countries require insurance, some do not. Of the countries that require insurance, some will allow you to purchase it at borders and others do not. Make sure you know which countries you are traveling through fall in that last category! Sometimes you can buy one policy that covers you in multiple countries. My insurance was good for North America, Europe, and the Middle East. There is a policy that covers Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and maybe a few others.

As for safety of my bike...I always felt that if someone really wanted something, they were going to take it. I opted to take a cheap bike I could easily replace and not take any items that would devastate me if lost/stolen (family heirloom ring or something).

I would park inside the hotel/hostel or in a secure garage. Left all my gear on my bike except my laptop and shower stuff. Only time I had anything stolen was two t-shirts and a pair of shorts I had just washed that I left on my bed in a hostel.

People that had GSs and multi thousand dollar cameras/laptops/gear were paranoid ALL the time. Don't be that person.
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Old 11-07-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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OK.
The first thing to do, regardless of insurance, is to spend $100 and install a simple bike alarm, It will scream rape, or the equivilant, really well when the bike is moved.

IMO, it should be required equipment for rider who travels.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:49 AM   #5
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Always try to keep the bike overnight in a place, where the thieves cannot drive a van next to it. If they can, then it might be gone in a few seconds, and no alarm or a lock (of sensible size to carry with you), will be any help. The risk is not usually very big, but it happens. Big cities in Europe, North America or Australia will probably have the highest risk. Lots of bikes stolen in Amsterdam or London, for example.

In many places around the world the accommodations will have some areas on the back, where it's safer to keep the bike than up front on the street. If you must keep it on the street, use proper locks, that attach to something solid, and also use a bike cover, which is a surprisingly effective way to 'hide' the bike from view.

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Old 11-10-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
lhendrik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountaineerWV View Post
Do some research on insurance. Lots of info here.

Some countries require insurance, some do not. Of the countries that require insurance, some will allow you to purchase it at borders and others do not. Make sure you know which countries you are traveling through fall in that last category! Sometimes you can buy one policy that covers you in multiple countries. My insurance was good for North America, Europe, and the Middle East. There is a policy that covers Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and maybe a few others.

As for safety of my bike...I always felt that if someone really wanted something, they were going to take it. I opted to take a cheap bike I could easily replace and not take any items that would devastate me if lost/stolen (family heirloom ring or something).

I would park inside the hotel/hostel or in a secure garage. Left all my gear on my bike except my laptop and shower stuff. Only time I had anything stolen was two t-shirts and a pair of shorts I had just washed that I left on my bed in a hostel.

People that had GSs and multi thousand dollar cameras/laptops/gear were paranoid ALL the time. Don't be that person.
Do you, or does anyone, know countries that require insurance AND do NOT permit you to buy it at the border, excepting of course those that I can easily get cover for on a Green Card, like from ADAC? In my travels this year in Western and Eastern Europe and a bit of Asia, I did not come across any that would not let me buy at the border if they were not on my Green Card.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhendrik View Post
Do you, or does anyone, know countries that require insurance AND do NOT permit you to buy it at the border, excepting of course those that I can easily get cover for on a Green Card, like from ADAC? In my travels this year in Western and Eastern Europe and a bit of Asia, I did not come across any that would not let me buy at the border if they were not on my Green Card.
I think that Argentina and Peru were like that. Even then, at some borders they will not ask for it. When I crossed into Argentina from Chile I went to a border that other travelers said did NOT ask for proof of insurance - though I did buy insurance at the first opportunity. Also when I went into Peru I had a fake insurance form, but then soon as I found a insurance office that would sell coverage by the month I picked a policy up.

Honestly though, things change very, very fast in central and south america, so what I experienced a year ago may not apply now.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:08 AM   #8
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In my experience, I have been able to park in the hotel lobby, basement or within sight of the front desk. The person at the front desk usually does not want your bike to go missing, so just ask (and use your gut to tell) if it's safe. If you must park on the street, it helps if there is a security guard you can recruit to your cause. Cable locks, disk locks or even a simple padlock through the brake disk holes are all deterrents. A cover is a huge help. A paid/secure parking lot or garage may be nearby.

All that being said, there are bad guys everywhere, and a determined thief will get your stuff. My philosophy is that there are two types of thief: The amateur/opportunist, and pros with tools, vans, friends and lengthy prison records. Do what you can to deter the first type, and hope you can make your bike invisible, undesirable or too risky a job to the second. Don't obsess, just do your best and sleep well at night.

Regarding insurance, you should be able to buy a policy at or near the border if it is required. Locals, truckers and other tourists are crossing those same borders every day, by the hundreds. Now visas, carnets and sometimes vaccinations can be a different matter and if you're lacking them, could stop you cold at a border.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:52 PM   #9
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Fully agree, there are 2 types of thieves, the amateur jerks, and the pro guys with vans, and you can effectively prevent only the amateurs. Luckily the pros are usually only interested in certain types of bikes (what these are, may vary from area to area, but expensive is often a good guess), and if your bike does not fall into their desired category, a good chance they'll leave it untouched.

Note that a 'border insurance' does not cover your bike in case of theft (or if you crash), it's for others, who you might hurt in an accident.
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