I am a worry wort. I worry that someone may take my helmet so this is the reason that I like to have a top case which I keep clear enough to store my helmet if I should park my bike to have a meal or sightsee nearby. I also have security cables to loop through the sleeves of my riding jacket, and pant legs and lock them to my bike on a hot day. There is nothing worse than having to sweat in riding gear when you are on a riding vacation.
When I purchased my Nu2me BMW R1200R it came with two ignition keys and two key fobs which turns on the optional security alarm. It is also keyed to the sidecases, so the one key is able to unlock both side cases and start the bike. The key has a RFID chip which is sensed by the RF antenna near the key slot. When I am away I like to have a spare set of keys with me, Just In Case.
While I have two keys I like to keep a Master Set at home in a safe place so I felt a bit uneasy to bring both sets with me. Obtaining a BMW key (here in Vancouver) is not that easy as the key has to be programmed to your specific VIN number. Even if you have a key cut exactly and even if it fits, the RFID chip would not be recognized and you would not be able to start your bike, but you would be able to open your luggage.
I had to special order another "spare" key and I was told that it had to come from Germany but would already be programmed when it arrived
My key arrived last Saturday. The original is on the left, with the Alarm FOB and the new "spare" is on the right. I used it to ride my bike home, and it worked ! I didn't think that I needed to order another FOB. If I lose the one I use then I still have my spare when I get home
When I was looking at top cases I did not wish to spend the price for the BMW case and I also did not want it to be keyed to my bike. I thought that if I ever brought my bike in for service, then I would have a safe place to put some personal belongings and not have to worry that some one else could have access to the contents.
I settled on a largish GIVI 47 Liter topcase but it only came with two keys.
GIVI makes two types of keys/locks; RED and SILVER. Notice that I have the silver model. I bought my Blade (Model) case last September, and at that time I asked the Dealer to order me another key. I told him no rush but that I needed it in the Spring. A few months later around Christmas in a middle of a snow storm I made my way to the Dealer to ask where my key was and he made a note in his book to look into it. Same scenario as with the ignition key. I like to keep an original at home in a safe place but would like to carry a spare when I am touring on my bike.
Okay, it is now May (last month) and I still do not have my spare GIVI key so again, I went to this Dealer to inquire where it was. The owner was not in but his pretty assistant said she would look into it. The next day she called me at work and said that she had found a blank RED key, but since I had the SILVER model it won't work. Red and Silver keys have different profiles.
Then I got a brainstorm, I remembered when I bought my GIVI/KAPPA cases for my Vstrom I needed another set of keys and I went to a locksmith who specialized in motorcycle and odd type of keys. Last week I showed up there and there was no profile which matched the GIVI ones. There was a similar one but not quite the same, sort of. It had a wider groove but looked like it could work
He grabbed this ILCO key blank and cut me two keys. I had to go home to try them out but I was getting excited that my problem may have been solved.
I got home and one sort of worked, but was stiff and hard to turn. The other one would not turn
I went back the next day and had my top case with me this time. He looked at the keys and did some fancy filing and I left with two working keys.
Here you can view it "in action". Now I truly have a spare set of keys which I usually give to my riding buddy to carry for me, just in case I may need them. I wouldn't like to be stranded in the middle of no where just because I dropped/mis-placed my keys somewhere
I actually like the flatter ILCO brand more as the key is flat. I am not enamoured with the bulky silver plastic of the original GIVI key
Here are my two sets. I like to keep the luggage keys on a detachable ring so that I do not have to turn my bike off when stopping for a quick photo op, when I have to open my topcase to retrieve my good camera.
On my Vstrom I have keys hidden behind body panels and you need tools to access and remove them. Because my R1200R is a naked bike, it is hard to find a place to hide keys. I like to bolt them to the frame somewhere. I have also done this with cars too where you need a wrench to unbolt a hidden key along a frame rail but out of view
One less thing to cross off my pre-flight checklist . . .
Oh, almost forgot. It is one thing to get your bike ready for the road, and other thing to keep your household functioning as if you were home. I also did some other subsidiary planning during the past couple of weeks.
For a two week trip it is easier. You cut your grass on the last day before you leave, and the first day you return. For utility bills I usually just double pay with estimated amounts and just add $10. as a buffer. Since I am the only one going away I don't have to worry about bringing in the Newspaper every morning, nor do I have to bring out the Garbage cans every week.
I decided to go "paperless". I visited all the websites of all our utility companies; telephone, hydro, natural gas and cable so now I get email notifications when their bills are available and then I can check how much to pay. I have been paying them online for years through internet banking and pay when the bills come in the mail. Now I can pay faster when I get their invoices by email. I can either pay using my laptop, or through my iPhone apps so I can take care of these "on the road", while I am away
Cutting the grass was the only problem that needed to be solved. I mean, Mrs Skoot is in no condition to cut the grass and I doubt that she would be able to start the gas lawnmower engine even before her surgery. In fact, I even have problems starting that engine and did you notice that our grass is growing like a million weeds. It has been growing so fast and thick that our lawnmower is struggling and getting stalled out each time
I find that this is a chore and I don't look forward to it. It is hot and sweaty work and I have to shower after each cutting
I hired a Gardener last week to cut and trim our yard, both front and back so this may be the last time you will get to see green feet this year. You don't realize how hard it is to clean up grass stains
Tomorrow is also another milestone in our lives. We got married on June 5, 1969 so tomorrow is our 44th Wedding Anniversary. I decided to take a vacation day and we plan to do something to celebrate our day. Hard to believe how many years have passed since we were just teenagers. We feel young but the reality may be something different.