With their extremely light weight and immense power, today’s production motorcycles offer immense thrills for relatively little money compared to their four-wheeled counterparts. Unfortunately, motorcycles’ unparalleled power-to-weight ratios also make bikes markedly easier to steal, with thieves only needing a few seconds to toss a motorcycle into the back of a van or truck before disappearing into the night. And while motorcycle thefts were down in 2019, the economically-crippling COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an enormous influx in vehicle thefts, and this very much includes motorcycles, with some cities seeing a more than 60% spike in stolen bikes in the last few months alone.
Because thieves are seemingly more desperate than ever before, they’ve not only been much more active in recent months but have also become increasingly bold in their methods. And as motorcycle thefts continue to balloon towards an all-time high, now seems like a more than fitting time to put together this handy list of the best pieces of anti-theft motorcycle gear. Additionally, this article will touch on a few key points that every rider should comprehend about moto security before investing in anti-theft gear.
Moto Protection 101
A Brief Lesson In Motorcycle Security
As plenty of Hollywood heist movies have demonstrated, there really is no such thing as unpenetrable security. If a thief is clever enough and has enough patience, dedication, and determination, they can defeat just about any security system imaginable. And such is the case with motorcycles, too, as there aren’t any products that exist on the market that can’t ultimately be defeated with enough time and effort. Having said that, anti-theft moto gear has come an enormously long way over the years, and today’s market boasts an impressive array of ridiculously rugged and heavy-duty chains, anchors, locks, and other offerings.
At the end of the day, pretty much any expert will tell you that motorcycle security is mainly about prevention and deterrence. Your bike doesn’t need to boast a nearly-impenetrable security system, but rather one that’s effective enough to deter thieves from trying, prompting them to simply move on to an easier target that isn’t chained up and/or alarmed. Thieves want your bike, and NOT to be caught or arrested, so will typically take the path of least resistance and go for the lowest hanging fruit almost every time.
Pro Tips To Help Ensure Your Bike Continues Being Yours
Arming your bike with some solid anti-theft moto gear is a stellar and genuinely effective means of deterring thieves from trying to swipe your bike, though there are also a few other precautions that can be taken to increase the security of your two-wheeled pride and joy. Best of all, some of them won’t cost you a dime.
Anchor Whenever Possible: Be it a simple alarm or disc lock, any piece of anti-theft moto gear is markedly better than nothing and will do a surprising amount to deter thieves. With that said, one of your best bets will always be to anchor your motorcycle to a dedicated ground or wall lock anchor, as this will prevent anyone from tossing your bike into a panel van or riding off on it — at least not without spending an ample amount of time going to work with an angle grinder.
Immobilize The Bike: A lot of newer bikes do come with factory-installed immobilizers, though you can always add an extra level of security by removing a simple element that will prevent the bike from being ridden. This can mean removing a fuse, disconnecting a battery line, or any other number of simple parts. We’ve even seen people cut the main fuel line and then graft in a toggle switch to create a hidden kill-switch. This way the bike will start, but then die after running for a few seconds.
Consider Where You Park: Most riders worry most when parking on the street, but the reality is that parking lots — especially underground parking structures and those for apartment buildings — are almost always the preferred hunting ground of today’s moto thieves. Dark and poorly-lit areas should also be avoided whenever possible. Even if it requires some walking, you may want to consider parking someone with more public traffic and sufficient lighting.
Think About Where You’re Locking: It’s a little bizarre how often you see motorcycles with chains or locks being run through one of the wheels. And while this is still better than no lock, wheels are ridiculously quick and easy to remove, and therefore are a terrible choice for security. You’re much better off locking through the frame or swing-arm.
Remove Your Clutch Lever: This is one of our favorite anti-theft pro tips, as it’s remarkably simple yet effective. By removing your clutch level, nobody is riding away on your bike (let alone rolling it around). And considering that it only takes a screwdriver and a few seconds to remove or install, we’d argue this is a precaution well worth taking any time parking your bike in a less-than-savory area.
Arming Your Ride
Today’s Latest & Greatest Pieces Of Anti-Theft Motorcycle Gear
Now that you’ve got your head wrapped around the basic premise behind motorcycle security and are aware of some of the more crucial do’s and don’ts, let’s delve into our picks for the market’s most effective cutting-edge anti-theft moto items.
Dowco Weatherall Plus Cover Alarm
It is arguably one of the most basic security precautions one can make, though motorcycle covers deter thieves by not readily advertising what’s beneath. This item from Dowco takes this to the next level by arming your bike cover with an alarm that blares out at a whopping 130dB. As a point of reference, that’s louder than the average decibel level of an ambulance or firetruck siren.
HelmetLok II Helmet Lock
Though the second generation of the HelmetLok has been on the market for some time, it remains an immensely popular item with practically every type of rider there is. The locking carabiner features a reprogrammable four-digit lock backed by a hardwearing aluminum and zinc-alloy construction. A T-bar extension plate allows this offering to lock a motorcycle helmet to nearly any frame or subframe, and its exterior rubber coating helps to ensure your bike’s paint doesn’t get scratched up.
Bully Locks Grip Lock
Sort of like a steering wheel club for motorcycles, Bully Locks’ Grip Lock is comprised of a nylon housing and case-hardened steel construction that slips over and locks onto the throttle and keeps the front brake fully applied. Compatible with grips ranging from 27 to 38mm and produced in multiple color options, the Grip Locks boast an adjustable brake lever positioning that allows it to accommodate a wide variety of bikes, grips, and levers.
ABUS WBA 100 Lock Anchor
Locks and chains are invaluable tools in the fight against motorcycle theft, however, without something to anchor said locks and chains to, they’re markedly less effective. And ABUS’ WBA 100 is unquestionably one of the most trusted anchors on the market, secured to the ground (or a wall) via four anchor bolts and equipped with a 16mm hardened steel shackle that will stand up to all but the most determined thieves.
XENA XX15 BLE Disc-Lock Alarm
A thoroughly modern take on high-end disc locks, XENA’s XX15 BLE lock consists of an ultra-rugged mono-bloc 304 stainless steel that’s been outfitted with a double-locking system with 14mm high-strength carbide-reinforced locking pins and XENA’s unique highly ice spray and lock-pick-resistant barrel and key. What sets this item apart is its onboard Bluetooth module which enables it to pair with a smartphone app to send push notifications should its sensors detect any shock or movement. What’s more this mono-bloc disc lock also gets an ear-splitting 120dB alarm.
Monimoto Smart GPS Tracker
Monimoto’s Smart GPS Tracker is a newly-released, state-of-the-art smart motorcycle tracking system. Drawing from its own independent “long-life” battery power source, this compact gadget can be hidden onboard your bike and can then relay the scoot’s GPS coordinates to a smartphone app, as well as send real-time push notifications if the bike is moved or touched. The gadget includes an international SIM card and two free months of service, after which time Monimoto charges a $3.50 monthly subscription.
Scorpio Maverick Security System
Similar to the Monimoto system only without GPS tracking abilities, Scorpio’s Maverick Security System is installed on a bike and then pairs with a smartphone app in order to send push notifications if the bike is moved or touched. Boasting a 2-mile range and sold with an included RFID key fob, the Maverick system can also be supplemented via a proximity sensor alarm that will go off as soon as someone even gets near your bike for an additional $50.
ABUS Granit Detecto SmartX 8078
As the world leader in mobile security devices, ABUS unsurprisingly produces some of the most robust and effective anti-theft items on the market, and the German brand’s GRANIT Detecto SmartX 8078 is a stellar example of this. This Bluetooth-enabled, smartphone app-linked brake disc lock features a 100dB alarm, a 13.5mm steel bolt, and acoustic and multi-colored LED battery level indicator, all in a package with a specially-hardened steel body and locking mechanism.
ABUS Granit Extreme Plus 59 Chain Lock
Easily one of, if not the most robust and bulletproof motorcycle chain locks in existence, ABUS’ GRANIT Extreme Plus 59 chain lock is made up of a fabric-sleeved 12mm chain and an attached lock. The chain, the lock body and all of their supporting hardware and elements are crafted from special hardened steel, plus this lock features ABUS’ patented Power Link Technology that directly covers the chain’s locking mechanism, and an ABUS X-Plus cylinder lock. This item is also sold with an LED torch key.
BikeBOX24 Standard Size
bikeBOX24 is a German company that produces ultra-secure, folding, fully-enclosed, freestanding garage units for motorcycles. These ventilated personal motorcycle garages can be installed practically anywhere and are built around a galvanized steel frame and shrouded with an impact and UV-resistant multilayer high-strength plastic body. The entry-level bikeBOX24 Standard measures 8.2’ in length, 3.01’ in width, and is 4.8’ tall, and can accommodate cruisers or sport-touring bikes with even the longest of wheelbases.
The 20 Best Motorcycle Gadgets
Want to check out an additional array of gadgets, accessories, and peripherals for your bike? Then be sure to cruise on over to our guide to the best motorcycle gadgets for 20 cutting-edge items that add some tech to your two-wheeled riding experience.