Sadly, motorbikes are seen as an easy target for thieves. They can be sold on as entire bikes or broken up and sold as parts. Either way, you will be missing a highly valued machine. There is no way of guaranteeing that your bike will never be stolen. However, there is plenty that you can do to make life as hard as possible for motorbike thieves.
Motorbike locks come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. Some are more suitable for securing your bike at home whilst others are best for when you are out on a trip. To help you choose which one would suit your bike and lifestyle, we’ve prepared a useful guide to the best motorcycle locks.
The Best Motorcycle Lock
For maximum security, this 60-inch chain is constructed out of chain links (14 mm) forged from 3t hardened manganese steel. To protect delicate painted surfaces on your motorbike, the chain is covered with a black and white nylon protective cover which is fastened with hook-n-loops to hold it in place.
The chain is secured in place using a disc lock which has a 15mm steel shackle. To provide even more security, there is a patented oval crossbar made out of hardened steel. The double deadbolt is also hardened and the disc-style cylinder has a reinforced anti-drill system. The lock is provided with three keys made from stainless steel. One doubles up as an LED torch and has a replaceable battery.
14mm six-sided chain links
Nylon protective cover
Disc lock with 15mm steel shackle
- Weight15.25 pounds
This device fits around the motorcycle disc brakes and makes an audible alarm sound when a thief attempts to take it off to move the motorcycle. It’s a strong and resilient product made from high-quality hardened stainless steel and other metal components. When the alarm goes off, it emits 100dB of sound which is more than enough to attract the attention of passers-by, law enforcement officers and security guards or the owner of the motorcycle if they are nearby.
The lock is fully waterproof, has an anti-damage function and weighs under 1.5 pounds so it is easy to carry on the motorbike when you are moving. This very compact device comes with two keys which are used to set the lock core and reactivate it. A spanner is provided to open the battery compartment for when the batteries need replacing.
Stainless steel disc brake lock
Alarm emits 100dB
Comes with two keys
- Weight1.34 pounds
The Club lock is made from tempered cro moly steel for maximum strength but is coated with vinyl to prevent it causing damage to your motorcycle. The length of the lock can be adjusted from 8.5 inches up to 11.5 inches but a longer version is also available. The inside width is 6.25 inches.
The lock is fully weather-resistant and will withstand 1,500 pounds of pressure so you know your bike will be safe from even the most determined thief.
Made from high strength steel
Available in two sizes
Fully weather resistant
Coated in vinyl
- BrandWinner International
- Weight3.4 pounds
This is a high-visibility, bright yellow disc lock made out of hardened metal that will protect your motorbike from would-be thieves. It’s strong enough to withstand attacks from cutting implements, sawing implements and chisels. It also has round key lock cores which are resistant to drilling giving all-round protection.
The lock is secured in place using a 10mm long throat pin that is easy to use via a button lock. It comes with a useful carry pouch and reminder cable. There are three keys in the pack and one of them contains a mini flashlight for night time use.
Bright yellow color
Disc brake lock
10mm long throat
Carry case and reminder cable
- Weight1.4 pounds
Suitable for medium security areas, this is a useful dual reinforced disc style cylinder motorcycle lock in bright yellow. It is also available in black. It looks a little like a stapler and works by immobilizing the motorbike so that it cannot be rolled away and makes it very hard to steal. Included with the lock is a bright orange reminder cable to make sure that you don’t try to ride your bike away without first disengaging the lock!
The lock uses a pin that is 5mm in diameter and therefore fits smaller vent holes. It comes with two stainless steel keys that are designed ergonomically. This reduces the amount of force that you have to apply to remove the lock and reduces the chances of them bending.
Dual reinforced disc style cylinder lock
5 mm diameter lock pin
Ergonomically designed keys
- Weight1.55 pounds
The disc brake lock is black in color and made entirely of sturdy and durable aluminum alloy that will not rust. It can be adapted to fit any disc brake bike and is fully waterproof. The pin is 7mm long which is long enough for most motorcycle disc brakes.
The operation is simple, you just press it down into place. It comes with two keys to unlock it. It also has an audible alarm that emits 110 dB of sound. When the lock is tampered with, it first emits three long warning beeps and if the tampering continues, it emits a louder and prolonged sound.
To deactivate the motorcycle alarm, you just have to put the key in the lock.
Disc brake lock
7 mm pin
Corrosion-proof aluminum alloy
Audible tamper alarm
- Weight13.6 ounces
The wheel chock locks by clamping to the front wheel of the motorbike and will fit motorcycle wheels of most sizes. It’s brightly colored and consists of a flat floor plate on which you place the wheel and a frame that is clamped around the wheel using six bolts. There are three possible positions on the flat wheel base so the lock can be adjusted to fit different sizes of motorbike wheels.
The lock is made from heavy-duty formed steel which is coated in a durable powder coat finish. The clamp is easy to put on and can be operated by just one person. The wheel chock automatically locks your bike in place when the front wheel is rolled onto it.
Works by clamping the front wheel
Made from heavy-duty formed steel
Easy to fit
Can be adjusted for wheels of different sizes
- Weight13.96 pounds
This silver disc brake lock is very tough and made from forged stainless steel. The lock is secured by a 14mm double-locking pin made from carbide-reinforced hardened-steel for maximum strength. It’s fully waterproof thanks to the silicone rubber gaskets inside the edge of the alarm and it will never get rusty.
The lock also has an audible alarm (110 dB) that is powered by 6 LR44 batteries. To activate, you simply press the lock button and a “beep” indicates the alarm is set. When the lock is tampered with, it beeps three times as a warning. However, if tampering continues, it emits a continuous shrill alarm for 10-12 seconds. The lock is opened/deactivated using one of the three brass security keys provided. There is a reminder cable that you can fit to your hand grip.
Disc brake lock
14 mm double locking pin
Three brass keys
- Weight1.1 pounds
This style of motorcycle grip lock works by clamping around the throttle, brake or handlebar. It opens a little like a crab’s claw and has two grips. One grips the throttle and the other grips the front brake lever so that it is de-activated. It can also be used to grip the clutch so that the bike cannot be put in gear. Your motorbike is effectively immobilized. It takes seconds to fit and is highly secure.
It comes with its own holster that will fix to your jeans so it is easy to store it when it is not in use. It will work on any handles that are up to 1.5 inches in diameter.
Claw grips to motorcycle handles
Makes it impossible to use throttle or clutch
Can be fitted in two different ways
Comes with a holster
- Weight1 pounds
A Grip lock is very quick and easy to fit around handlebars of a motorbike where it will immobilize the throttle grip and the brake lever so thieves cannot ride your bike away. It is a bright color and made from hardened steel rods which are housed inside a polycarbonate cover. The lock is highly durable, will not bend and does not rust. It is strong enough to withstand attack by metal saws.
Because it so compact and lightweight, you can easily store it under your seat when it is not in use. The main advantage is that it is very quick and easy to fit without having to bend over or kneel down on wet surfaces. It will fit handlebars that are between one inch and 1.5 inch diameter. It can be mounted as a left or right grip.
Grip lock which can be used on the left or right
Brightly colored as a deterrent
Made from hardened steel rods
Quick and easy to fit
- Weight10.4 ounces
Best Motorcycle Lock Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Locks
There are several styles and makes of motorbike lock and it can be confusing. Here is a simple list of things that you should consider before you buy one.
- Where will you be parking your bike?
A very heavy chain lock is the best option if you are parking up your bike at home. They are very difficult to break, even with cutting equipment. The bike cannot be physically lifted and put into a truck because it is bolted to the ground.
- What is it made of?
Motorbike locks need to be made out of resilient material. Many are made of steel or another strong metal. They also need to be resistant to rust because they are going to be left out in the rain.
- Is it visible?
The best scenario is for the lock to act as a deterrent and to put off a thief from coming anywhere near your bike. Many locks are painted in bright orange and yellow colors so it is very easy to see them, even in the dark. Hopefully, thieves will spot the lock and stay away.
- Will it cause any damage?
Locks are made out of hard metal and have the potential to cause damage to motorbike paintwork. The large chain locks are of particular concern. Many of them are provided with nylon covers to stop them coming into direct contact with your bike.
- Will it fit your bike?
Some locks come in various sizes to fit different bikes. The disc brake locks come with different sized pins to fit different size bikes. The clamps that fit around handlebars will be designed to fit a particular diameter which is often one or 1.5 inches.
- How easy is it to fit?
A lock that takes ages to fit and that is very awkward and fiddly will end up getting on your nerves. One of the advantages of clasp locks that fit to handlebars is that they can be snapped into place quickly without you having to kneel down on the wet ground.
- How difficult is it to carry around?
Ideally, you want a lock that is compact and easy to carry around when it is not secured to your bike. Some even come with a holster for easy storage.
- Do you want an audible alarm too?
Locks can be combined with a motorcycle alarm system that emits up to 110 dB when they are tampered with. This is an added deterrent.
- Reminder cable.
It would be a disaster to jump on a bike with a disc brake lock fitted and try to drive off! It may be wise to choose one with a reminder cable that attaches to your accelerator.
Why You Should Use Motorcycle Locks
Having your motorcycle stolen is both inconvenient and upsetting so motorcycle security is important. In some parts of the US, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) report that motorcycle thefts are on the increase. A total of 46,467 motorcycles were reported stolen in the USA in 2016. Here are the top facts about motorcycle thefts that you should know.
- Motorcycle locks help to prevent crime
There is no doubt that a motorcycle lock will reduce the chances of your bike being stolen. It will also take longer for the thief to mobilize your bike so they are more likely to be challenged.
- Some bikes are more likely to be stolen than others
If you ride a sports bike it is statistically more likely to be targeted by thieves. This makes it even more important that you have a bike lock. These bikes are targeted to break down and sell off as parts.
- Some brands are more popular with thieves
If you have one of the following brands, it is definitely time to get a bike lock because they are most often targeted by thieves: Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Harley Davidson.
- Some areas have more bike theft
The following States have the highest rates of bike theft: California, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina.
- Thieves lift them into trucks
A common way for thieves to steal bikes is to physically lift the whole thing up and put it in the back of a truck. The only way to prevent this is to chain the bike to the ground.
Some insurers will reduce their premiums if you have a recognized high-quality bike lock fitted.
- Built-in steering locks are insufficient
Thieves will simply smash these apart or lift the entire bike into a truck with the steering still fixed.
Types of Motorcycle Locks
In general, there five types of motorcycle lock. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages and, in the end, the best bike lock for you is a matter of personal choice and budget. Here are the four basic options that you have.
- Chain locks and anchors
As the name suggests, motorcycle security chains are heavy chains that are attached to your bike and to some other sold structure such as a bracket drilled into the wall or the floor. They are very heavy duty and very sturdy and certainly put thieves off. They cannot be broken apart by normal cutters or even drills. You’d need industrial cutting equipment to get these off. They may come with a very heavy-duty style lock because that is often the most vulnerable part of the security system.
A motorcycle chain lock is one of the best motorcycle locks for securing your bike outside your house or in a garage but they are not so great for when you are out and about. You would need to carry the very heavy chain with you on the bike.
- Brake disc locks
These locks use the holes in motorcycle brake discs as anchor points. They clamp onto the disc brake, making it impossible for it to revolve and therefore immobilizing the bike. The only danger with these is that you may hop on your bike and try to drive it away, forgetting that the lock is in situ. You are very likely to fall off the bike and it will cause a lot of mechanical damage to your machine. For that reason, many brake disc locks come with a brightly colored reminder cable that runs from the lock to your accelerator.
The motorcycle disc lock is a highly compact and easy device to store when not in use. Many now come with an audible alarm that delivers a piercing shrill at 100 decibels or more if the lock is tampered with.
- U shackle locks
There are two parts to this type of lock. The first part is a flat base or wheel plate onto which you roll your front tire. Then there is as large steel shackle which is bolted to the base and fixes to the wheel. They offer a good level of security as the motorcycle cannot be driven or pushed away.
They are lightweight and easy to store on the motorcycle when you are traveling. You don’t actually need a wall or fence to attach the bike to because the lock itself lends enough security.
- Handlebar grip locks
These fit onto the handlebars of your bike and make it practically impossible to drive away. Some can be fitted to both the right and left. On one side, it will grip the throttle and front brake and on the other side, it would grip the clutch so that the bike cannot be put in gear.
They are compact and tough locks that cannot be cut open with the usual cutting devices employed by motorbike thieves. They are also quick and easy to put on and take off.
Best Motorcycle Lock FAQ:
Q: How does a motorcycle steering lock work?
A: Most motorcycles come with a built-in steering lock. When the handlebars are twisted fully to the right or left, they lock into position and cannot move. The only way to release them is with the ignition key. It used to be thought that this was a good motorcycle anti theft device. After all, you cannot move a bike that is stuck on full lock to the left or right. It would just go around in circles.
Sadly, thieves can now make short work of overcoming the steering lock. They just smash it apart in seconds and push the bike away. Others lift the entire bike into the back of a truck.
Q: How do I lock motorcycle saddlebags?
A: In the past, motorcycle saddlebags were left at the mercy of passers-by and bikers either tried to keep their bike in view or just trusted that people would respect their property. That is no longer the case. Now many motorcyclists are choosing to use lockable cables to fix the saddlebags to the body of the bike. Also, some manufacturers (Harley Davidson are one) now sell saddlebag locks to deter thieves.
Q: How do I lock a motorcycle seat?
A: Most motorcycle seats have a lock so that you have somewhere safe to store your things. Of course, this is not much use if the whole bike is stolen but it is better than nothing! Usually, it is locked with the same key that is used to start up your bike but some motorbike manufacturers issue separate keys.
These locks will not withstand the efforts of a determined thief. They can be snapped apart with crowbar quite quickly and easily.
Our Top Pick
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit 1415 Chain and New York Disc Bike Lock, 14mm x 60"
This kryptonite lock is a very strong and robust 60-inch chain made from 3t hardened manganese steel links. It would be very hard to break apart without industrial cutting equipment.
It comes with a protective cover and a disc lock which has a 15mm steel shackle. For added security, the double deadbolt has a reinforced anti-pull and anti-drill system. There are three stainless steel keys and one has an LED flashlight.