A motorcycle helmet is as important a part of the bike as any other component, after all you can’t ride your hog without wearing your lid. Or at least you certainly shouldn’t do so!
The question that has bugged motorcycle riders pretty much since motorbikes were invented however, is just what to do with your helmet once you reach your destination. Do you wear it into the store, and have people call the cops because they think you’re about to rob the place? Do you bring it with you into work and have your co-workers fill it with shaving foam as soon as you leave it unattended for five minutes?
You don’t have to worry about what to do with your helmet though so long as you have a quality motorcycle helmet lock. With this tool, you can securely – and conveniently – store the helmet with your bike. In this article we’re going to help find the right style of lock for you.
The Best Motorcycle Helmet Lock
We’ll kick off the list with this great helmet lock from BigPantha. First off, great company name, it sounds like a Harlem jazz band from the 1970’s. In addition to that though, this is a product with a number of interesting features.
First out the gate, let’s acknowledge that this is a lock and cable style of motorcycle helmet lock. This design is one of the easiest to use of all the lock designs. Basically, the cable can be stretched out to make fastening the helmet nice and easy. In this instance, the cable extends to an incredible 6 feet in length! That means you have plenty of play in the cable to pull it into position.
- Self-Coiling Braided Cable
- Steel Cable for Strength
- Rubberized Sleeve to Protect Helmet & Bike
- Brand BigPantha
- Model 43235-129866
- Weight 5.6 Ounces
Well, Bikers Choice is the manufacturer of the next item to make our list. They are certainly not shy of putting their aspirations right out there in their own name, but is there enough about this helmet lock to make it the right choice for you?
There are certainly a number of impressive design features with this lock. The chrome plating is eye catching for example, and for a couple of reasons too. First of all it helps to make it look good. As a design of lock that is meant to be permanently installed on your bike, it’s important that it looks good – and that beautiful chrome helps it to blend right in.
- Chrome Plated
- Universal Mount
- Tamper Proof One-Way Screws
- Brand Bikers Choice
- Model 74937S2
- Weight 8 Ounces
If you are looking for a highly portable style of helmet lock, then this entry from Helmetlok could be right up your street. It is absolutely tiny, weighing in at just 3.2 ounces and is less than 7 inches in length.
That means you can happily slip it into a backpack, onto a belt loop or even just pop it in a pocket to have it on hand when you need it. When it is called into action, there is a lot to like about this lock beyond it small size and easy portability. The locking barrel for example is extremely sturdy whilst the 4-digit mechanism allows you to program a code that no street level thief is going to break.
- Well Designed 4 Digit Lock
- Rubberized to Prevent Damage
- Small and Compact
- Brand Helmetlok
- Model 4101
- Weight 3.2 Ounces
Pitbulls are very tough animals; there is no doubt about that. So if you are going to name your lock after these legendarily ferocious animals then you better be bringing an extra tough lock to the market.
OnGuard have more than risen to the challenge here with a helmet lock that gives priority to toughness over anything else. That is why this design of helmet locker is built around a super tough 14mm TriRadius shackle. It has been constructed of specially hardened stainless steel for a shackle that resists cutting, prying and jacking. The shackle is even designed with rounded ends and a central mounted keyway to offer extra protection from prying.
- Hardened Steel Shackle
- 4 Feet of Braided Steel Cable
- Double Bolt Lock Mechanism
- Brand OnGuard
- Model 8005
- Weight 4.1 Lbs
Next up we have this helmet lock from Kuryakyn. This is a really neat little lock that boasts a very innovative design, and could be ideal for the biker looking to mount their helmet lock but who want to do so in an unobtrusive way.
With this design, the lock is simply tucked away behind the rear license plate. Your license plate is attached to this lock, the lock itself is mounted on the rear chassis of your bike and you’re all ready to go! The only sign of the lock itself is the locking mechanism and arm mounted to the side.
- Innovative, Concealed Design
- Simple and Solid Lock
- Convenient and Easy to Use
- Brand Kuryakyn
- Model 4248
- Weight 1 Lbs
From one quality and innovative design, we turn to another one from Lockstraps. This design is bringing a degree of high security alone with a real sense of ease of use.
Let’s look at the security first. That is provided in part with a construction that uses premium materials. So for example, the D-Ring shaped locking mechanism is built of extra tough, heat-treated steel. The loops are held in place with galvanized rivets to avoid damage from prying or wrenching the band.
- Heat Treated Steel Construction
- Steel and Nylon Strap
- 2-Foot Long Strap
- Brand Lock-It Straps
- Model 901
- Weight 11.2 Ounces
The next product to make our list is this entry from Master Lock. It should be obvious from the image of the product, but this is easily one of the simplest styles of helmet lock to make our list. It is also the cheapest.
That doesn’t mean though that you are missing out on too many features with this product though. The cable, for example, is good quality. It is a metal cable with 14 inches of length and 5mm in diameter. It is therefore that little bit smaller than some other options out there, but it certainly has the strength to be a reliable locking mechanism when you need it.
- 14 Inch Cable Length
- Vinyl Coating to Cable
- Dead Lock Mechanism
- Great Value for Money
- Brand Master Lock
- Model 99
- Weight 4.8 Ounces
This is another simpler style of helmet lock, though this one has been designed to be extra strong and tough. To do this, it makes use of a very tough, all metal construction.
At the same time, it is nice and small, weighing in at only 12 ounces. What you are basically looking at here is a budget version of the HelmetLock 4101 we looked at above. Small, portable, strong and tough. Just as with the 4101, you can happily slip it into a bag or pocket for easy transport.
- Premium Grade Metal Construction
- 3 Digit Locking Mechanism
- Very Tough & Strong Construction
- Brand Lock-It Straps
- Model 801
- Weight 12 Ounces
This is another helmet lock that puts strength and protection at the very front of the bill. To achieve this it is boasting just an incredible set of security features here, none of which are quite as impressive as the sheer bulk of the construction.
The body of this lock is the cable. This is a flexible steel cable with a 25mm diameter. Compare that to some of the other cables we’ve looked at today and you can see this is much thicker than is found on most other helmet locks out there. But that is not enough for Abus! They have taken this crazy thick cable and added a hardened steel shell to the outside for even more protection.
- Double Metal Construction
- Steel Case Protection for Locking Mechanism
- Cable is 3 Feet Long
- Brand Abus
- Model 39294
- Weight 4.8 Lbs
We’ll finish off with this helmet lock from Kryptonite. It is guaranteed to be the only style of helmet lock that will protect your helmet from being stolen by Superman. Ok, that’s not exactly true, but this model of helmet lock is certainly packing a number of very useful features.
For example, the steel cable here is 15mm in diameter, and it is braided to provide extra protection from cut damage. The outside has been vinyl coated to provide a lock that feels good in the hand and also provides protection against weather damage. It’s always good to see a 4 digit locking mechanism, it’s just nice to see that extra digit being deployed for a lock that is near impossible to hack.
- 4 Digit Locking Mechanism
- 15mm Diameter Braided Steel Cable
- Protective Vinyl Cover
- Brand Kryptonite
- Model 152079
- Weight 1.6 Lbs
In our buying guide, we’ll take you through the features that you should keep an eye out for when picking out the best motorcycle helmet lock for you. After that, we’ll take a look at how best to use your new tool and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this extremely useful product.
What To Look for in a Motorcycle Helmet Lock
- Construction Material
Always look for a helmet lock that uses as much metal as possible in the construction. To go further, look for heat-treated or specially strengthened steel where possible. This is going to give the best protection against thieves – though it will also knock the price tag up a few notches!
- Locking Mechanism
Key or spinning digit based mechanisms both have pros and cons. That being said though, both will provide the strength to protect against a normal thief. So really you have to decide if you’re happier carrying a physical key in your pocket or remembering a 3 or 4 digit code.
You need to ask yourself how you will be storing and transporting your helmet lock, as this will have a big impact on the style you select. For example, if you want a small and portable lock that you can slip into your bag or even into a pocket, a non-flexible, D-Ring style lock could be best. Alternatively, if you don’t want to carry it around at all, you could consider a motorcycle helmet lock that is installed directly onto your bike.
Why You Should Use a Helmet Lock
The main reason to use a helmet lock is that you don’t have to carry your helmet around with you once you’ve parked up! At the same time, you also don’t have to worry about losing your helmet to an opportunistic thief.
So they provide comfort and security for only a few dollars. Not a bad investment!
Different Types of Helmet Lock
Broadly speaking there are two types of helmet lock, Cable based and Solid locks.
A cable style of helmet lock will have a central locking cylinder that connects in some way to a flexible cable. The cable is made of metal, usually steel. It can also have a coating or outer layer of some kind to protect the cable from water or corrosion damage. These types of lock are often very easy to use as you can pull the cable through your helmet and around the bike frame for a fast and easy lock down. On the downside they can be a bit heavier.
These types of lock will not have a flexible section. Instead they will usually be a solid metal ring or D shape construction with a lockable opening. They are small, portable and very secure. They can be a little harder to attach the bike helmet to, since they are not flexible in any way.
In addition to that there is also the fact that some locks are designed to be installed on your bike, whilst other you carry around with your. Speaking of installing the locks…
How to Install a Helmet Lock on Your Motorbike
First of all it is worth noting that installation of these styles of lock is actually pretty straightforward. In terms of a traditional mount, they normal wrap around a piece of exposed tubing and are screwed in place.
More innovative designs can be mounted behind the rear license plate. In instances of design like this, you simply remove the old plate and put it to one side. Mount the new helmet lock by matching the screw holes on your bike chassis then replacing the license place.
As always the best advise it to read the mounting instructions and other paperwork that comes with the helmet lock itself.
Best Motorcycle Helmet Lock FAQ:
Q: What is a helmet lock?
A: A helmet lock, as the name suggests, is a lock designed to attach your helmet to your bike. This is very useful for a number of reasons, not least of all because it means that you don’t have to carry your helmet with you after you park your bike up somewhere.
At the same time, as you are no doubt well aware, motorcycle helmets are not exactly cheap. Combine that with the fact they are very portable and you have an item that is very appealing to would-be thieves.
A motorcycle helmet lock works to securely attach your helmet to your bike. This makes storing the bike nice and convenient whilst also protecting your helmet from being stolen.
Q: How do I use the helmet lock?
A: The helmet lock is deployed to secure your helmet to your bike. So the best way to do this is to either mount the lock or secure it to a part of the bike that is not removable. Loop your helmet through the lock, either with the straps or through the face/eye holes and secure it to the bike. Ensure that the locking mechanism is completely engaged before you walk away too.
Simple but effective!
Q: Can I reset the pin code if I lose the combination?
A: Whilst it is – sometimes – possible to open a digit locking mechanism when you’ve forgotten the pin code, it is pretty tough. In many ways that is actually reassuring, since you are buying these locks to help to keep your helmet safe.
That is not much consolation though if you have forgotten your code and can’t open your lock! The short answer is that yes, so long as the lock is open you can change the pin combination. That could be useful if you have a pin that is not as memorable as you thought it might be!
If the lock is closed though it is much harder, and you may have to just cut the lock off and start again with a new one.
Q: Does the lock require any ongoing maintenance?
A: Generally speaking, as you will have seen with the items we looked at in our list above, they are designed to be protected against weather damage. This is usually via vinyl coating (or similar plastic) on any cables or exposed metal surfaces. Because of this they are typically low maintenance. One thing you should do is to always ensure the lock is as dry as possible before you put it away if it has gotten rained on.
One exception to this rule is the locking mechanism itself. An occasional spray with a lubricating oil like WD40 will help to keep it working nice and smoothly.
Our Top Pick
First we have to stress that we didn’t select the BigPantha motorcycle helmet lock and chain just because of the company name – though we are very fond of it! We picked this product as our number one because it just ticks so many boxes of what we are looking for in a quality motorcycle helmet lock.
It is both tough but easy to use. The design is simple but has a number of quality additions. The steel cable with 6 feet of extension for example is very impressive, as is the rubberized protection on the lock arm.
It is a tough and well-made helmet lock for a very reasonable price tag too. Well done BigPantha, you have earned your name today!