Motorcycle locks and security are primary concerns anytime you have to park outside for extended periods at a time. Here, we will go over the most common types of motorcycle locks and security measures, and how they stack up against potential thieves.
Types of Motorcycle Locks:
- Your built-in steering column lock: While this lock type by itself is easily overcome by thieves, it does work well when combined with the other lock types that will be covered next; it adds an extra step for thieves, granting a few more precious seconds where they can be caught or stopped in the process. A similar lock type to the steering column lock, are handle grip locks; these as well, are not recommended by themselves due to the fact that this type of lock does not limit mobility; a thief will still be able to roll away with your motorcycle on foot. The benefit of handle grip locks are that they prevent clutch operation while engaged, as well as they can be used for scooters or ATVs that may not have steering column locks.
- Padlock and chain: By and far, this is the most secure option for motorcycle lock security. Many of these style locks boast features such as reinforced chain links, hardened shackle & guards, and anti pick/bump/ drill key cylinders. A fine example would be the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain Disk Lock. The only limitation here is the need for a solid object/ pole/ fixture to secure the padlock and chain to.
- U-Locks: A great option for when you don’t have a way to secure a padlock and chain. U-locks are generally long and wide enough to secure through your front fork & brake discs for example. Large enough to be a visual deterrent to thieves, it also greatly limits mobility, completely stopping thieves from rolling your motorcycle away. When shopping for this type of lock, it definitely helps to pick one with high security features.
- Brake Disc Motorcycle Locks: This lock type is generally the most common due to size, portability, and optional alarm feature; small enough to fit even under sport-bike pillion seats, you can bring it with you even on short trips around town without needing a backpack. the best optional feature for these types of motorcycle locks is a built-in alarm, such as found on this Xena XX-6 Disc Lock w/ Alarm.
Motorcycle Security Measures:
- Garage it: It goes without saying, that your garage is the safest place to store your bike whenever you are at home. A garage keeps your bike out of sight, as well as out of the elements; thus greatly decreasing the chances of theft or damage.
- Cover it up: If a garage is not an available option, or when you are out around town, a motorcycle security cover can act similar to a garage away from home; it hides the silhouette of your bike to keep it from being easily identifiable by thieves, and it can protect against debris or harsh weather conditions.
- Keep it lit: If your bike must be kept outside overnight or for extended periods, keep it under outdoor lighting such as under covered parking in apartment complexes, or within plain view from a building window. By using lighting as a visual deterrent, a thief will be less likely to attempt a theft if they feel that their identity can be exposed.
- Ask a thief: The best advice can come directly from a thief themselves; an article from motorcycle blogging site, RideApart, interviews a thief and asks some detailed questions to get around their thought processes. The article can be viewed here: https://rideapart.com/articles/ask-a-motorcycle-thief
Our Verdict on Motorcycle Locks and Security:
All in all, motorcycle locks and security measures are what you make of it; different types of locks or methods can be mixed/ matched to create a security system for most any parking situation; the more you can combine, the better, as the sight of multiple locks or measures will be more effective at deterring thieves before they even decide to approach your motorcycle. As far as how many of these motorcycle locks you can bring with you, keep in mind that you will have to set aside significant space in you saddle bags or backpack, for the padlock and chain or U-lock options; while brake disk locks can be easily be stored under your seat. Feel free to leave us a comment below, with any lock types that we missed or for security measures that you find to work well!
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