Written By Robert Bacon
Published Sep. 20, 2021

Walking over to your parking spot, ready to ride your motorcycle, and seeing only half a chain link is traumatizing. But, if you secure your bike with the right motorcycle lock, this is something you’ll hopefully never experience. There are tons of models to choose from, including several different types. The best one for you will largely depend on where you park your bike, your budget, and how much space you have to carry it. The buying guide below breaks down the most important things to consider when choosing a lock. We’ve also made a list of the best motorcycle locks on the market and ranked them under a variety of categories. Check them out below.

Best Motorcycle Locks Reviews & Recommendations

If size and weight aren’t an issue, it’s difficult to recommend anything other than the Vulcan Security Chain and Lock Kit. It’s nearly impossible to cut through this case-hardened chain, and it’s absolutely impossible with bolt cutters. Potential thieves will either need an acetylene torch or a lot of time with an angle grinder. The padlock forged brass one-piece body padlock is equally as secure as the chain, weighing in at 7.24 pounds, which means this lock is anything but lightweight and not ideal for carrying around. But if you have a top box or want to use this for home protection, it’s perfect.

This model is six-feet long, but you can pick a longer or shorter version depending on your needs. The chain has an electro-galvanized finish to protect against corrosion. Keeping your rims protected is a Cordura wear pad, which fully covers the chain. This model is sold at a high price point, but its protection level warrants this. Vulcan stands by its product and offers a lifetime guarantee on the chain, including if it’s ever cut with a bolt cutter or hand tool.

Specs
  • Brand Vulcan
  • Model LC223
  • Weight 7.24 pounds
PROS

Extremely tough

Can’t be cut by bolt cutters

Electro-galvanized coating

High-quality padlock

CONS

High price point

Bulky and heavy

Needs an anchor point for maximum benefits

You can find cheaper motorcycle locks, but you won’t find one that matches the Tchipie Disc Brake Lock in terms of value. This disc lock features a 7 mm pin that fits through the majority of cross-drilled brake discs. Although this lock is strong enough to prevent theft, it won’t stand up to machinery for long. Luckily, it has a second deterrent in the form of a 110 dB alarm. Built-in sensors detect movement and set the alarm off for about 30 seconds, which should be enough to scare off any potential thieves.

When the lock goes into alarm mode, you’ll hear a beep. If it detects vibrations while in alarm mode it will sound a triple beep to let potential thieves know it’s armed. The bright-red paint job serves as a deterrent and as a reminder to take it off before riding away. There’s also a bright orange reminder cable included in the purchase. This lock won’t offer the same level of protection as its more premium counterparts, but it’s a great option if you’re on a tight budget.

Specs
  • Brand Tchipie
  • Model CDS01RD18QC
  • Weight 14.4 ounces
PROS

Fantastic value

110 dB alarm

Reminder cable

CONS

Materials aren’t very strong

Can be broken by basic tools

Disc locks don’t come much tougher than the Abus Granit Motorcycle Disc Lock. The locking bolts, body, and structural parts of the locking mechanism are all made from hardened steel. This material, coupled with the 13.5 mm locking bolts, makes it a particularly tough lock to cut through. Lockpickers won’t have it easy either, thanks to the built-in Abus Xplus cylinder, which is specially designed to be difficult to manipulate. Two keys are included in the package, one of which has an LED light.

A 100 dB alarm, which sounds for 15 seconds, acts as your next line of defense. If the 3D position sensor detects the slightest movements in any direction, it triggers the alarm. The alarm runs off of two AAA batteries, which are included. Multi-colored LEDs display the battery status. This is considerably more expensive than other disc locks on the market, and heavier too, but it offers significantly more protection.

Specs
  • Brand Abus
  • Model 19004
  • Weight 2.12 pounds
PROS

Portable and lightweight

Hardened steel

100 dB alarm

13.5 mm locking bolts

CONS

High price point

Not as effective as a high-quality chain and anchor

The BigPantha Motorcycle Lock is a simple product best suited to low-risk urban areas. This tamper-resistant lock engages your front brake, so your bike can’t be rolled away. It works with motorcycle grips up to 1.5 inches in diameter, so check your bars before buying it. The biggest issue with this style of lock is that thieves could lift your front wheel and roll your bike into a truck or van. But if you just want an extra deterrent, this style of lock is easy to use, and you can fit it in place in just seconds.

Another one of this lock’s major selling points is how portable it is. You can easily carry it in your pocket or backpack as it weighs just 1.17 pounds. Or, if you’d prefer, you can use the custom holster that’s included. One thing to note is that there’s no rubber protection over the lever. So, if you’re worried about scratching your levers, it might not be worth the risk.

Specs
  • Brand BigPantha
  • Model 2B
  • Weight 1.17 pounds
PROS

Most portable lock type

Very lightweight

Easy and quick to fit

Good deterrent

CONS

Can be broken with relative ease

Could damage brake system

Thieves could lift wheel and roll bike

The Club Utility Lock is a heavy-duty piece of equipment and a great choice if you have an anchor point. Its extra heavy-duty construction can withstand up to 1,500 pounds of pressure, making it one of the toughest locks on the market. But you’ll need a sturdy anchor to make the most of this model.

A vinyl coating covers the case-hardened steel, protecting your wheels and whatever you anchor this lock to. It’s 6.25-inches wide, and you can adjust its length from 8.5 inches to 11.5 inches, but if this isn’t big enough a larger model is available. This lock’s large proportions are also its only real fault, as it’s a bit bulky to bring around but can fit in a backpack. Four keys are included, so you don’t need to worry too much if you’re prone to misplacing things.

Specs
  • Brand Winner International
  • Model ‎UTL810
  • Weight ‎3.43 pounds
PROS

Heavy-duty construction

Can withstand 1,500 pounds of pressure

Four keys included in sale

CONS

Bulky and not very portable

Needs an anchor point for maximum benefit

Awkward to fit

Kryptonite is synonymous with two-wheeled security, and the Kryptonite Keeper 5s Yellow Disc Lock shows us why. This disc lock is compact and lightweight, stopping the scales at just 1.55 pounds. Keeping your pride and joy secure is dual-reinforced, high-security stainless steel. The pin is 5 mm in diameter, meaning it can fit through smaller vent holes in your disc . Since it’s weatherproof, you can use it year-round without worrying. Two keys are included and ergonomically designed to reduce the amount of torque needed to turn them.

The lock is bright yellow and acts as a visual deterrent to thieves. There’s also a bright orange reminder cable to stop you from riding off while it’s engaged. One of this lock’s main benefits is its relatively low price point. So, if you’re on a budget, then it’s tough to look past this model.

Specs
  • Brand Kryptonite
  • Model 720018000884
  • Weight ‎1.55 pounds
PROS

Extremely portable

Can fit through small vent holes

Lightweight

Great bang for buck factor

CONS

Can be broken with basic tools

Lock mechanism can become sticky

Overall protection is limited

How We Selected The Products 

We considered dozens of motorcycle locks before choosing our top contenders. Some brands are already well-established in this niche, and priority was given to their products provided they had positive user feedback. Other lesser-known brands were also evaluated as long as there were a sufficient amount of owner testimonials. The main features taken into consideration were security, durability, mechanical soundness, price, protection method, secondary protection features, and reliability. We avoided products that have poor structural integrity and ones which had an unreliable locking mechanism.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

There are many different types of locks on the market, and each one has unique benefits and drawbacks. Finding the best model for you means understanding the features. But, ultimately, the best lock will largely depend on your budget and whether you park in high-risk areas. Check out the buying guide below to see what you need.

What to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Locks

Types of Motorcycle Locks

Disc Locks

Disc locks are secured to brake rotors via a pin that goes through one of the cross-drilled holes. This allows the bike to move just a few inches before the forks halt progression. These locks are lightweight and portable, making them a good option for commuters. Although they make life difficult for thieves, they can be cut or bypassed by lifting the bike into a vehicle. Many of these locks are fitted with motion-sensing alarms, which alone can be enough of a deterrent.

The danger with disc locks is that you can forget the lock is engaged and begin to ride away. This easy-to-make mistake often results in a low-speed fall and a surprisingly high mechanical bill. For this reason, you should always fit the brightly-colored reminder cable after locking the disc.

Chain and Anchor Locks

These locks involve a heavy-duty chain, padlock, and anchor point. You can buy an anchor and secure it somewhere on your property. When you’re out and about, try to anchor your bike to immovable street furniture. If you can’t find anything to anchor your chain to, you can wrap it around the front forks or rear swingarm. But be aware, as thieves could lift the locked wheel and roll the bike away.

A high-quality chain and padlock is arguably the highest form of motorcycle protection. The only downside is that they’re big and heavy, so they can be impractical to carry. If you don’t mind the extra weight, however, this is the lock to go for. Make sure you pick one with a guard covering the chain, so it doesn’t scratch your wheels.

Grip Locks

Grip locks engage either the clutch or front brake lever by anchoring them to one of your grips. The main benefit to these locks is how portable they are and how quickly you can fit them on the bike. Unfortunately, you can remove these locks relatively easily with a hacksaw, so they’re not suitable for high-risk areas or expensive motorcycles. Using this lock for extended periods could put excessive wear on parts of your brake system, particularly if you have rubber lines.

Motorcycle Locks Key Features

Material

A motorcycle lock is only as good as the material it’s made from. It should be constructed from a durable material, such as aluminum or steel. Ideally, the lock is made of case-hardened steel. Case hardening increases the hardness of the exterior of the material, making it tougher than some thicker pieces of metal. You should also make sure that the exterior has an anti-corrosion treatment so it won’t rust. Look for locks that have a soft material where the lock comes into contact with your bike to keep your machine safe. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option if you opt for a disc brake.

Anti-Theft Features

The qualities of the materials used are the most important thing when it comes to protecting your bike, but there are other features to consider too. For instance, some chains use square links, which won’t allow bolt cutters to get a secure grip. Other locks can be adjusted to have a tighter fit, so tools can’t be used to create leverage and pull the lock apart. 

Many disc locks have motion-sensitive alarms, which activate automatically and can reach 110 dB. These alarms act as a great deterrent and are worth investing in. The color of your lock can also deter potential thieves, as just seeing a lock can be enough to make them look for another bike.

Portability

Generally speaking, there is some trade-off between how portable a lock is and how effective it is. Lightweight, portable locks are great for riders who don’t have a lot of space and need to carry a lock in their jacket pocket — think disc and grip locks. But these locks offer less protection, generally speaking, than a high-quality chain and anchor lock. A chain lock isn’t as practical to carry around but provides better protection. So the most practical lock depends on how much space you have.

Motorcycle Locks Tips and Tricks

  • Watch out for salt or grit on the road. This can get into the lock and block the opening mechanism. 
  • Maintain the keyhole by keeping it well-lubricated. Apply lubricant every couple of months or more often if necessary. 
  • Don’t force your key. The last thing you want is to bend, or worse, break the key. If it won’t budge, take it out and lubricate the keyhole before trying again.
  • Always fit a reminder cable when using a disc lock. Driving off with an engaged disc lock is surprisingly easy to do and can have nasty financial consequences. 

FAQs

Q: How do I care for a motorcycle lock?

Wipe away any mud or dried dirt with a towel and apply degreaser as needed. Most importantly, lubricate all moving parts regularly. After applying the lubricant, lock and unlock the product around five times to coat all the mechanisms. 

Q: Are motorcycle locks theft-proof?

In short, no. Any lock can be cut if you’re using the right tools, such as an angle grinder or an acetylene torch.

Q: Which wheel should I lock?

If you’re using a disc lock, you should fit it to the front wheel as you might forget to remove it if you place it at the rear. Chains should also be wrapped around the back wheel, as some thieves will remove the front wheel to steal a bike, but it’s harder to remove the rear.

Final Thoughts

Our best overall motorcycle lock is the Vulcan Security Chain and Lock Kit. Although it’s on the higher end of the price range, its protection is virtually unmatched. Anyone who’s on a tight budget should check out the Tchipie Disc Brake Lock. This lock is great value for money and acts as a good deterrent. 

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