So, you're prepping your bike for a trip?
It's easy, even natural to prioritize which aftermarket upgrades to buy based on which ones will give you the biggest visual bang for your buck. Knobbly tires, an aftermarket screen, a custom seat or a new fuel tank. Hell, any of these is sure to tell the world that you're a serios adventure rider and that this badd ass bike is yours!
Piece Of Mind
I remember like it was yesterday, when I was prepping my original R1100GS for out trip I was desperate to buy the Touratech R1100GS long range 41 liter fuel tank. I somehow felt that slapping the tank on my bike would buy the credibility I wanted. The tank is huge and when I finally bought one and bolted it down, I was in heaven. It's not rational, but it felt great. I swear to God I stood taller and rode faster.
Amongst the last items we bought when we were prepping our original bikes, were sets of uninspiring little Touratech integral locks. After 15 years of use and abuse, when it came time to order the parts to build our new bikes (R1200GSA LC & F800GS) those same locks were at the top of our list. Sound crazy?
We've learnt the hard way that enjoying the ride to your end-of-day destination is part of what makes travelling wonderful, but then being able to explore that destination on foot is what makes it addictive. The last thing you want is to be wandering around whilst worrying whether your gear is still going to be there when you get back. For that matter the same goes for your GPS.
They'll Keep Your Bike Running
Sure, you could use padlocks but most locks eventually end up facing down which means the key access point gets full of road crap and dirt trail muck. Good luck getting your key back in there. Of course the other issue is that you'll end up with a set of keys that makes you look more like a prison warden than an adventure rider.
The integral locks are simple, small units that can be used around your bike to secure it. The locks will fit pannier latches, GPS cradles, but they'll also fit you oil filler cap. What? I hear you cry. Well, we've ridden with more than few riders who have returned back to thier bikes to find them un-ridable, simply because bored youths have urinated or poured sand in through the oil filler cap. Locking it up now doesn't sound so crazy does it!
Order your locks all key'd alike. This means no matter how many locks you end up with you'll have one key to fit them all. Lisa and I owe a big thank you to our late friend John “Bunny” Hill, who gave us a great piece advice that we still find invaluable today.
A Sensible Deterrent
Bear in mind these locks are not meat to turn your bike into Fort Knox, but they do provide a sensible and easily installed deterrent that will put of 99% of opportunistic thieves. Sadly, if someone really want to get into your pannier or top-box and they have the time, then their going to get in. What the integral locks really do is tell any woudl be thief that they should choose another victim. Don't underestimate the value of piece of mind when your traveling in unfamiliar territory.
Use medium grip thread lock liquid on the lock retaining nut that is used to hold the lock barrel in place. Heavy vibrations from off-road use can cause these nuts to loosen.
Resources, more info:
US riders – Touratech-USA Integral Locks Page
EU riders – Touratech UK Integral Locks Page
|▲ A one key fits all solution.||▼ Nope, can’t think of any|
|▲ Panier locks (on both bikes)|| |
|▲ Oil filler lock|
|▲ The Touratech locks are more than strong enough to get the job done and I found them easy to install.|
|▲ Security equals peace of mind|