Best way to carry a hiking backpack and hiking trailhead security.


11 replies to this topic
  • jpgolf14

Posted December 07, 2015 - 10:35 PM

#1

Hi,

 

I have two questions.  I am a new rider and just picked up an '03 WR450F a month ago and am so far having a blast.  The bike is plated.  I bought the bike to fit the following mission profile to get me to some great hiking trail heads.  A lot of the amazing hikes in the PNW involve extended forest service road drives.  I have been doing this for quite a while in my coupe but frankly riding the dirt roads is no fun in a car and the progress is slow.  I have no desire to own a pickup.  My typical hike looks like:

 

30-100mi road drive

0-30mi forest service road drive

park bike at trailhead for 5-48hrs.

 

In general fuel stops should be doable with the 2.6g tank.

 

I typically hike with a 40l backpack for day hikes and overnights to a 60l backpack for multi night or raft trips.

 

Question 1: How to manage carrying the backpack while riding the bike.  I would really prefer to keep the backpack off my shoulders.  I have ridden my mountain bike with a backpack and I find my back starts hurting quickly.  On the other hand I have also ridden my mountain bike with a rear rack and the backpack tied to the rack and I didn't really like that solution either, it was not very stable.  Hiking backpacks are somewhat awkward because they have an internal frame and lots of straps hanging from them.  I can put the backpack in the waterproof bag cover or a dry sack to eliminate the loose straps issue.  What is the best way to attach this to the bike.  Would something like the pro moto billet rack be a good option?

 

Question 2: Trailhead security.  This is my first bike but I am nervous about someone throwing the bike in the back of a pickup while I'm out hiking.  Is this a real concern?  If so, whats the best option?  I could see using a long cable lock to a tree, but then again lots of pickups have bolt cutters in the back at all times.  Also I would think the absolute minimum cable length would be 10ft.  I could use a chain but it would be super heavy.  I guess another option would be to stash the bike in the woods up road or down road of the trailhead.  An invisible bike will not be messed with.  This is not always a reasonable solution.

 

Thanks,

 

John



  • bikedude987

Posted December 08, 2015 - 06:07 AM

#2

Hmmm, interesting question.  

 

I've only carried a pack on my bike once and it was a bitch.  The best way I found was to loosen the straps soo much that the pack rests on the seat, but you're still wearing it.  This was admittedly a jury rig halfway through the trip, but it got me home.  I'm not sure the PMB rack would be  large enough for a 60L pack, but it's a step in the right direction and it is a tie down if nothing else.  For a dirtbike, I would probably build myself a trailer, but that's just me; it obviously requires fab skills or $$$.  Otherwise, I think you're stuck with wearing it like I described, maybe with a spacer to keep the pack up higher and the straps tighter (but still relatively loose).

 

For security, I would think trailheads, especially when they're 'out there' would be low risk.  That said, I would still bring a giant chain or two and loop it around something immovable, like a large tree or signpost.  Nothing is theft proof, so carry insurance and an extraction method...



  • avlisj

Posted December 08, 2015 - 08:21 AM

#3

You need an adventure bike. Look at those luggage set ups and maybe fab a way to have framework that attaches to the PMB rack and mount the backpack and other stuff on the sides like saddlebags.

Security. Camo cover. Hide it in the woods and chain it to a big tree. If they see it they'll steal it. And don't get attached to it.

  • tmasWR

Posted December 08, 2015 - 10:17 AM

#4

I do a ton of big game hunting, and I bought my first WR 4 years ago.  I mostly wanted it for summer scouting, which generally I pack a 20-40lb pack with water, optics, trailcameras, etc...

My rides are very much like you explained, about 40-80 miles on pavement, 5-30 on forest service road.  There's some areas I go that I get to ride some moderate single tracks with switchback and some boulder gardens.  I'll say I personally don't think there is a better bike than the WR for this.

 

  First, there isn't a great way to carry your pack off the shoulders, in my opinion.  I wanted to keep the bike "sporty", I personally do quite a bit of single tracks and enjoy riding wheelies, so an adventure bike was out of the question for me.  I found that lengthening my shoulder straps so the pack drops down to the seat keeps most of the weight off my shoulders.  I have a rear rack, but it's just a WRP and couldn't handle a lot of weight, is where I strap on a few tools and an extra 32-64oz of fuel.  I found out th at

 

 Second, security.  I had an '05 WR 450 as my first bike.  It lasted 3 months of scouting 3-4 days a week.  I used a heavy duty cable to a tree and pulled the bike off into the trees as much as I could. I found a huge bull elk and was watching him every morning and someone noticed my bike parked in the same spot every day for a few days.  One early morning I was hiking down a ridge just as it got light I heard my bike fire up and cruise off.  They had left my helmet, jacket, and cut right through my cable like butter...and left me to walk out 14 miles on  a weekday morning in remote roads, and hitchike the highway back down to cell phone service...lesson #1 learned.

 

  I now ride a 2013 wr450, and am way paranoid now.  I bought a heavy duty grade40 tow chain and cut it down to about 4 ft.  I use it through the frame to chain it to a tree.  I then proceed to lock both brake discs.  I use a trailer hitch lock on one disc, and a "disc" style lock that you see most storage units locked with on the other.  I have a cheap little 120db vibration alarm that goes off when the bike is bumped, I know it will go off every time the kickstand springs up.  I hide this on my bike so if anyone starts to tamper with the bike hopefully it will scare the shit out of them.  This winter I am going to wire in a wireless remote switch that will shut off the fuel pump, so they will have to carry my damn bike off the mountain if they want it. If you could carry a camouflage cover as well it really well help if you can park off in the trees somewhere...out of sight, out of mind.  

 

   Last, carry good insurance.  If someone wants it bad enough(and trust me they do), they'll get it.  My insurance now will pay me more than the bike is worth should it wind up missing...something I learned the hard way on my first bike.

 

  This summer I was curious and put a trail camera about 20 yards from my bike after I locked it up.  This was an area I couldn't really get too far off the trail to hide the bike.  I had two different guys stop and walk over to my bike to see how it was locked.  I imagine if it was easy to take it would have been gone right then.

 

  I need to look into a GPS tracker again.  It seemed like when I last researched it I really couldn't find a great option for dirt bikes.  I want one that could hide on the bike and could be tracked online with my cell phone or computer.  Someone has to make something that could be discreet and effective.



  • jpgolf14

Posted December 08, 2015 - 10:14 PM

#5

Thanks everyone for the responses.  I kinda suspected loosening the shoulder straps would be the easiest effective solution.  Are you guys tightening the hip belt like normal to prevent the bag from swaying around?  For my first few rides (no hiking), I have been carrying a small hiking backpack (30l) with just a few odds and ends (tools, snack, gps, water) and used the hip belt loose and I was very comfortable with that setup. 

 

As for security, thanks everyone for the stories.  I will need to evaluate what my best options are going forward.  Bike is insured.  I am more concerned about the super long walk out (after a long hike) should the bike get stolen.  I do have a Delorme personal locator beacon I carry for hiking.  So I always have that as an option in a true emergency.  I can also use it to text friends/family to come get me in a non-emergency. 

 

As for adventure bikes.  I have considered these as they do make the most sense on paper for my described mission.  However I have ridden my roommates VStrom 650 and previously KLR 650 and both are not nearly as fun as the WR.  I am an avid mountain biker and am used to sub 30lbs two wheel vehicles.  Also, I think the hiking pack provides a unique luggage challenge that the adv bikes do not necessarily seem to solve any better than the WR with rack.  I could be off base here.  Finally this bike will see single track once I get some miles getting comfortable.  I have about 275mi so far on this thing and am loving it.

 

I will also say that the original plan was to buy a Husky 701 Enduro and in fact I have money down on one right now.  I bought the WR as a "first bike" to put some miles on before riding an expensive powerful bike.  But as is usual with me, I am falling in love with it and I suspect it will not be going anywhere.  I am not sure yet if I will be going forward with the 701.



  • bikedude987

Posted December 09, 2015 - 06:30 AM

#6

I think the WR is a fine bike for your needs, especially if you plan on trail riding in the future.  

 

As for pack on shoulders, NO hip belt if there is significant weight in the pack.  Just really loose shoulder straps so it can rest on the seat.  It will move around, but should be controllable; you don't want to carry it, just control it.

 

Security is going to depend heavily on your area, but as mentioned, better safe than sorry, especially with a long walk out.  

 

Let us know what you come up with!



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  • jpgolf14

Posted December 16, 2015 - 11:38 PM

#7

I think the WR is a fine bike for your needs, especially if you plan on trail riding in the future.  

 

As for pack on shoulders, NO hip belt if there is significant weight in the pack.  Just really loose shoulder straps so it can rest on the seat.  It will move around, but should be controllable; you don't want to carry it, just control it.

 

Security is going to depend heavily on your area, but as mentioned, better safe than sorry, especially with a long walk out.  

 

Let us know what you come up with!

 

Thanks, I ordered the pmb rack.  It might not come in handy for carrying a backpack but I am sure I will put it to use sometime. 



  • ftl900

Posted December 21, 2015 - 10:53 AM

#8

I saw something online recently where a guy cut through a steel cable in 3 minutes with a pair of wire cutters... one cable strand at a time.  No more cables for me.

I have the big Cycle Gear chain, but I think disc locks front and rear are good too.. I'm going to look into that round storage unit lock that tmasWR mentioned.  

 

On the GPS tracker, I did the leg work on that one.  I have the unit but haven't mounted it yet.  

Here's all the background details you need to have it going for around $75... I think it's on page 3, I added a bunch of stuff for new-ish riders into one document.

 

  https://drive.google...YjU3YmdwSHhUM2c


Edited by ftl900, December 21, 2015 - 10:57 AM.


  • tmasWR

Posted December 21, 2015 - 05:59 PM

#9

I saw something online recently where a guy cut through a steel cable in 3 minutes with a pair of wire cutters... one cable strand at a time.  No more cables for me.

I have the big Cycle Gear chain, but I think disc locks front and rear are good too.. I'm going to look into that round storage unit lock that tmasWR mentioned.  

 

On the GPS tracker, I did the leg work on that one.  I have the unit but haven't mounted it yet.  

Here's all the background details you need to have it going for around $75... I think it's on page 3, I added a bunch of stuff for new-ish riders into one document.

 


 

 

I forgot my key when I hiked in 4 miles to pick up a trail camera once, I had the camera locked to the tree with a cable.  I didn't want to hike out and back in so I cut thru the cable with my leatherman tool, took less than 10 minutes...no more cables for me.

 

You might want to read/watch some more reviews on that GPS tracker in that article.  It has really poor real-life performance...but it seems like it'd be the perfect size if it worked correctly.  I've been tempted to try out the SPOT Trace, you can get one "free" right now with a 1 year service contract.

 

The locks I'm talking about are just one of these  http://www.taylorsec...FVaTfgod0M8Aig they are pretty tough to cut through in the backcountry, along with a grade 70 chain, like this http://www.harborfre...n-97712.html    I bought a chain like that and cut it down to about 40", if I lean my bike against a tree it can go around a decent sized tree...but it weighs a ton.  I also run a storage unit lock thru my rear disc and a hitch pin lock thru my front disc.  I guess my theory is that while every method of security is breakable, you combine enough of them and make it take a long time and a lot of work...make them earn it.



  • ftl900

Posted December 22, 2015 - 09:52 AM

#10

Wow, you're right about the reviews... I just looked it up on Amazon (where I ordered that lock) and it didn't sound very good... I'm glad I got it cheaply.

If that one turns out to be a bust, I'll invest a little more money for a better unit.  There are a blue zillion of them out there.

 

Incidentally, folks on Amazon didn't have good things to say about that lock either.   Seems that it's no longer American made, and there were a lot of complaints about the key not working smoothly, and the lock rusting and freezing in inclement weather.   Living in the desert, I'm not too worried about that.



  • jpgolf14

Posted March 07, 2016 - 12:02 AM

#11

I finally got my PMB rack installed.  What a looker.  I can't wait to give it a shot.  When the previous owner plated the bike he replaced the WR rear fender with the YZ and went for a generic tail light.  I suspect the WR fender with top tail light sits higher than the YZ.  It would be cool if the rack sat lower and tight to the fender.

 

24952576083_c61b86b408_k.jpg

 

24952558323_7aefc979d8_k.jpg

 

25460638262_cff62f3b1f_k.jpg



  • tmasWR

Posted March 07, 2016 - 06:00 PM

#12

That rack looks sharp!  Much nicer than my WRP.






 
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