A motorcycle security lock or alarm is your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your bike and gear from thieves.
This is especially true today because many motorcycle manufacturers no longer equip their bikes with a built-in, factory-installed steering lock.
So, more than ever, you're on your own when it comes to securing your motorcycle.
And just because you ride a stock, no frills motorcycle, it's not immune to theft.
Actually, professional thieves would rather steal your stock bike before they'd take a fancy, customized job. It's easier to sell yours outright or strip it for parts.
Even if your bike has a steering lock, you're much better off with a backup motorcycle security lock or some other security device.
In addition to the increased protection it provides, another motorcycle security lock or an alarm will do wonders for your peace of mind when you leave your bike unattended.
Sure, it's tough to protect your bike from a dedicated thief equipped with cutting tools, a truck and two friends to do the heavy lifting.
But you can use some type of motorcycle security lock to discourage opportunists from trying to rip off your parked motorcycle or take the gear you've strapped to the luggage rack.
You have a wide variety of reliable motorcycle security locks and other security devices to choose from including…
One or more of these motorcycle security locks and security devices should work well for you.
Here's what to look for when you're sorting out your choices…
The most effective motorcycle security locks and systems combine an alarm with a motorcycle locking device. Some even contain a GPS tracking system.
And if you want to protect any gear or accessories attached to your motorcycle -- such as your saddlebags, tail pack, radar detector or GPS -- you can equip your ride with a perimeter motion sensor.
The sensor will send out a warning signal when someone gets too close to your motorcycle.
Depending upon your needs and your budget, you can find an alarm system that gives you just about any combination of features including…
Among the different types of motorcycle security locks, I think cable locks are the most versatile.
You can get them in many different lengths and thicknesses to handle particular tasks.
You can coil them so they don't take up much carrying space.
Depending upon a cable's size, you can use one or more to…
Lock up one or both wheels…
Secure your bike to a stationary object…
Secure your helmet or jacket to your motorcycle…
Secure your tail pack or other luggage to your motorcycle…
Secure more than one motorcycle using a single cable…
Some cables have their own built-in lock. And you can get cables that have a strong eyelet on each end that you link together with your own padlock.
I like cables that have a built-in combination locking system. A combination lock spares me the inconvenience of carrying or -- "Oh no!" -- losing the key I need to attach or remove the cable.
I keep a small retractable cable lock attached to my motorcycle all the time. I use it to secure my helmet on the seat when I park the bike.
It prevents someone from simply walking away with my expensive, full-coverage helmet. It also prevents the helmet from falling onto the tarmac.
When you secure your motorcycle with a cable lock, it is a good idea to keep the entire cable well above ground. This prevents a thief with bolt cutters from getting the tool's jaws around the cable and using the ground for leverage when trying to cut it through.
Here are some of the features to look for when you're checking out cable locks…
Chain locks give you many of the same features and operate the same way as cable locks.
Some have a built-in keyed lock and some require you to use your own padlock.
You can also get a chain that has a built-in combination lock.
And when you secure your motorcycle with a chain, keep it away from the ground. This prevents a thief with bolt cutters from getting the tool's jaws around the chain and using the ground for leverage.
I'd say, in general, chain locks are heavier, not as compact and not as versatile as cable locks.
But, when it comes to brute strength and reliability, it's tough to beat a heavy-duty, no-nonsense steel chain.
Consider these features when selecting a chain lock to suit your needs…
Among the different types of motorcycle security locks, disc locks give you a really simple, rugged and reliable way to immobilize your motorcycle and prevent a thief from rolling or riding it away.
They're compact, easy to stash and easy to attach.
When you attach a disc lock to your bike's front wheel brake disc, the wheel won't rotate.
Without a key they're really difficult to remove without damaging your brake disc. So don’t lose or misplace your key, and keep a spare key handy in case you do. Some disc locks have a movement sensor and an alarm integrated into the unit.
The big problem I have with disc locks is I easily forget when one is attached. I've been lucky so far and have not bent my brake disc or otherwise damaged my front wheel when trying to roll the bike or heave it off its center stand with the lock attached.
This reminder is a flexible, tightly coiled, brightly colored cable that you loop from your disc lock to your handlebar. You attach it to remind you to remove the lock and not try to ride away with the lock engaged.
Disc locks come in an interesting variety of designs. Select one that suits you best. Here are some features to consider…
I don't understand how some motorcycle riders can leave their helmet sitting loose on their unattended bike.
Even if your helmet didn’t cost a lot, it will still be a nuisance to replace. And if it's a high-ticket item, why take the chance of losing it.
And theft is not the only problem. You don't want your lid to roll off of the parked motorcycle and get cracked hitting the tarmac.
So, for monetary and practical reasons, I use a helmet lock because it…
Actually, I use a small retractable cable lock to secure my helmet to the motorcycle. I use the same lock to secure my tail bag to the back seat.
But there are plenty of reliable purpose-built helmet locks for you to choose from.
Just attach one to your bike's engine guard or a frame tube and you're all set.
Many motorcycle security chains and cables require you to provide your own heavy duty padlock. Of course, you can get a pretty good padlock from your local hardware store. But I'd rather use a purpose-build, theft-resistant motorcycle security lock to protect my motorcycle rather than a product made to keep a shed door closed.
Padlocks intended for you to use with a high-quality motorcycle security chain or cable are designed specifically to prevent someone from stealing your bike.
I've seen some riders use an extra large padlock by itself to squeeze down their motorcycle's handbrake lever to immobilize the bike's front wheel.
Features to look for when sorting out padlocks for your motorcycle include…
Depending upon the situation, U-locks are great motorcycle locks for either immobilizing one of your motorcycle's wheels or attaching your bike to an immoveable object. And, under the right circumstances, a U-lock can do both.
A heavy-duty U-lock may be a bit bulky to carry on your bike all the time. But their size, weight and unique construction give you serious theft protection.
Some riders who park in the same location every day just leave their U-lock attached to the same sturdy structure they use to secure their bike. It saves them the trouble of continually removing and carrying the unit then reattaching it the next day.
If you think a U-lock will meet your needs, here are features to look for…
Why set yourself up for lots of aggravation and expense by leaving your motorcycle unlocked. It's easy to snap on one or even two motorcycle security locks to protect your bike and your gear.
And they help to reduce your worries when you walk away from your parked bike.
Check them out and see what motorcycle security locks work best for you and your bike.
In my continuing efforts to provide you with the best information possible, I’ve teamed with a great resource where you can find a wide variety of motorcycle security locks to protect your ride and your gear…
I encourage you to click here for a great place to find motorcycle locks and security systems…