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Thread: Bike travel with laptop?

  1. #1
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Bike travel with laptop?

    OK so I *FINALLY*joined the rest of the world and got myself a travel-size computer.

    For various reasons I opted for a 14" model rather than the easier-to-carry netbook...and now I'm wondering if I can safely pack it on the bike. I heard somewhere that laptops travel best lying flat. How bad would it be to stand the thing on edge in one of the side-cases (inside its padded carry-case of course)? How much protection from vibration need I worry about? I ride an R1200GS with Micatech cases.

    Or am I worried about nothing?
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  2. #2
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    I knew that would happen when you sold your airhead.

  3. #3
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    I heard somewhere that laptops travel best lying flat. How bad would it be to stand the thing on edge in one of the side-cases (inside its padded carry-case of course)?
    I've carried laptops in a case or padded pouch sitting on edge in a side case since the days of my R80RT... call it 20+ years. For at least 6 of those years I commuted daily that way. Never had a failure. I'd always outgrow memory/disk/processing power before anything on the laptop broke.

    Today the laptop comes with me on trips; packed in a padded pouch standing on end stuffed between packing cubes of cloths in a Zega case on my GS. Dirt roads haven't destroyed it yet.

    Note: the laptop is always off or hibernating, not sleeping, when on the bike.

  4. #4
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    OK so I *FINALLY*joined the rest of the world and got myself a travel-size computer.

    ...and now I'm wondering if I can safely pack it on the bike. I heard somewhere that laptops travel best lying flat. How bad would it be to stand the thing on edge in one of the side-cases (inside its padded carry-case of course)?

    Or am I worried about nothing?
    As long as you shut down your laptop normally the disk heads park off the writing area of the disk and are protected from moving into the surface for all but the most harsh treatment. PCs, servers, laptops can run or travel properly shut down with any orientation. Certainly adding protection from sharp inertia changes would help insure against unplanned events. Many people (including myself) have traveled tens of thousands of miles with laptops of various vintages with no issues.
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
    [2007 R1200RT (Sand Biege) - Hers]

  5. #5
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
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    All the college students and office worker types i know carry them vertical in backpacks or briefcases.

    How's that for an anecdotal answer.

    Peter in OKC,OK

  6. #6
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Check out this thread.

    Pack it in a padded bag inside something waterproof. It will be fine.

    I've been riding with a laptop in my saddlebags for years. It's the reason I can afford to ride. And yes, my new boss has decided to change the entire website this July. She didn't get it when I told her I would be on the road all July. So yes, the laptop will be coming to Redmond with me.

    Holly

  7. #7
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Thanks y'all!
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  8. #8
    Chairman of the hoard wmubrown's Avatar
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    Put a thin microfiber cloth between the screen and keyboard to keep the keys from scratching your screen... plus you will always have something to clean your screen with you
    John A. Brown - Kalamazoo MI
    '09 K1300S 'Zoot' (Wicked, bad, naughty, evil, Zoot!)
    '94 K1100LT 'Desert' (the horse with no name)

  9. #9
    MAYLETT
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    I've carried a laptop to and from work for several years. Sideways, upside down, flat, on end or diagonal, it doesn't matter how they're positioned as long as you don't drop them off the bike going about 65 mph along the freeway like I did last year. That pretty much ruins them.

  10. #10
    igofar
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    I use the soft, padded cardboard that comes in a box of chocolate candy to prevent the keys from scratching the screen on my netbook. It works great, fits well, and when I lose it I have an excuse to buy more chocolates.
    Quote Originally Posted by wmubrown View Post
    Put a thin microfiber cloth between the screen and keyboard to keep the keys from scratching your screen... plus you will always have something to clean your screen with you

  11. #11
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    I carry mine to work in a backpack because I was afraid of the vibration in the saddle bag. Sounds like I worry to much. I guess I will look for a padded case.

    I would love to be rid of the backpack.

    Scott
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  12. #12
    RK Ryder
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    I simply made a case out of bubble wrap using my freezer bag sealing machine. I found that this home made bag provided protection and took less space than the padded store bought cases. I would guess that duct taping bubble wrap should work as well.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
    Treasurer of the Forest City Motorrad Club #159
    Knights of the Roundel #333

  13. #13
    Registered User teepke's Avatar
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    when I bought my latest macbook, I opted for a SSD so that there'd be no moving parts. I carry that in a neoprene case and pack it inside my 20-litre kriega tailpack... no issues.

    -tp

  14. #14
    RTFlyer
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    I've travelled with mine in all sorts of manner, but I now use an Otterbox strapped to my rack. They are indestructible. One drawback is that the power cord won't fit in the case, so it has to go elsewhere.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  15. #15
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    I've carried laptops in a case or padded pouch sitting on edge in a side case since the days of my R80RT... call it 20+ years. For at least 6 of those years I commuted daily that way. Never had a failure. I'd always outgrow memory/disk/processing power before anything on the laptop broke.

    Today the laptop comes with me on trips; packed in a padded pouch standing on end stuffed between packing cubes of cloths in a Zega case on my GS. Dirt roads haven't destroyed it yet.

    Note: the laptop is always off or hibernating, not sleeping, when on the bike.
    That's pretty much my situation as well. I commute with it in the side bag, in a leather courier-style briefcase on end. I've been doing this for at least the last 8 years and have never experienced a failure with any of the laptops that I've used. I also just put the laptop in "standby" mode when I unhook it at the end of my work day at the office before I pop it out of its docking station at my office.

    As far as bringing a laptop along when I'm traveling for pleasure...sorry, no, that's not going to happen. I've worked in the computer industry for the last 30+ years. If I'm off the clock, I don't want to be using a computer.
    -----------------------------------------
    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
    '94 R1100RS - Sylvia

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