With so many motorcycles being stolen throughout the USA every year, motorcycle security should be a top priority among riders. An unsecured motorcycle is an easy target for thieves as they can wheel it away, lift it, or put it into a van. However, you can make it harder for thieves to steal your bike if you install additional protective features.
This article will discuss tips to improve motorcycle security when traveling.
- Table of Contents
- 1. Tips for Motorcycle Security When Traveling
- 1.1 Disc Locks
- 1.2 Heavy-Duty Lock and Chain
- 1.3 Brake Lever Locks
- 1.4 Cable Lock
- 1.5 Steering Lock
- 1.6 Motorcycle Cover
- 1.7 Ground Anchors
- 1.8 Motorbike Alarms
- 1.9 Kill Switch
- 1.10 Lock Your Motorcycle to Something Heavy
- 1.11 Keep the Lock Off the Ground
- 1.12 Be Aware of Your Surroundings
- 1.13 Have Motorcycle Insurance
- 2. Tips for Motorcycle Luggage Security When Traveling
- 3. Last Words
1. Tips for Motorcycle Security When Traveling
1.1 Disc Locks
Disc locks are readily available on the market and are easy to carry. The lock passes through your motorcycle’s brake disc, making it unable to spin around. They also come with a cord that connects the lock to the handlebars. They can fit on most modern motorcycles. Disc locks can keep a motorcycle secure since locking the wheels keeps thieves from wheeling it away. However, while disc locks are sturdy, they can be dismantled with the right tools. They also come with a cord that connects the lock to the handlebar to remind you that the disc can’t spin.
1.2 Heavy-Duty Lock and Chain
For a heavy-duty lock and chain, the chain is looped through the motorcycle’s frame. Ideally, the chain should also loop around a sturdy anchor with a strong lock to secure everything in place.
It's difficult for thieves to cut the frame to free a chain without drawing attention. They will try to cut through the lock, the anchor, or the chain itself. A strong chain and mounting point will buy you some time. You can also use a steel cable instead of a chain if you prefer a stronger loop.
1.3 Brake Lever Locks
Brake lever locks are attached to the front brake lever, clamping around the front brake to keep the front wheel from turning. You can lock a brake lever lock with a key. While brake lever locks can be broken with the right tools, they can hinder thieves who try to wheel your motorcycle away.
These are quite transportable and light for a security gadget, which is an advantage. These practically fit every motorbike and also come with alarms which are another excellent deterrent.
1.4 Cable Lock
Cable locks are typically made of a steel cable with a locking mechanism at the end and can be used to secure your motorcycle to a fixed object. They can be used to secure luggage bags like roll bags, riding gear, etc. Cable locks can be broken, but may deter thieves if they find trying to break a cable lock too much trouble just to steal your motorbike. Spending $12 for a basic cable lock can be a good investment since they are easy to transport if attached to the motorcycle’s frame. Cable locks can be a useful addition to your motorcycle security measures, but they should not be relied upon as the sole means of securing your motorcycle. Cable locks are typically made of a steel cable with a locking mechanism at the end, and they can be used to secure your motorcycle to a fixed object.
Here are some tips for using cable locks:
- Choose a high-quality cable lock: Choose a cable lock made of strong, durable materials and has a reliable locking mechanism. Look for cable locks designed for motorcycles as they are more secure and difficult to cut or break.
- Use the cable lock with other security measures: Do not only rely on a cable lock to secure your motorcycle. Also, use a disc lock or chain lock in addition to the cable lock, and consider installing an alarm system for added security.
- Secure the cable lock to a fixed object: When using a cable lock, make sure to secure it to a fixed object, such as a post or a railing. This will make it more difficult for thieves to remove the lock or move your motorcycle.
1.5 Steering Lock
The steering lock will help prevent the bike from being moved around by thieves. It is better if the steering and ignition locks are separate, making it more difficult for a thief to steal your scooter if stuck trying to bypass two locks.
1.6 Motorcycle Cover
A motorbike cover keeps your motorbike dry, and clean, and hides it from view. If the cover is long enough to conceal the wheels, the casual bike thief will have no idea what's below.
1.7 Ground Anchors
A ground anchor is used to secure your motorcycle to an immovable point. This helps protect your motorcycle from theft by making it difficult for a criminal to wheel the motorbike away and leave without being seen.
1.8 Motorbike Alarms
Motorcycle safety features, like alarm systems, are becoming more common among new motorcycles. If you decide to install a motorcycle alarm system, the best choice is a wiring diagram compatible with your specific model.
Fortunately, you have a few options when it comes to protecting your bike. The following are examples of motorbike alarm systems currently available on the market:
Handlebar Grip Alarm Lock
A handlebar grip alarm lock can be mounted on either side of the handlebars, locking the front brake and throttle on one side. Moreover, it holds the clutch on the other side to prevent the bike from shifting. The handlebar grip alarm lock is made of resilient material that is difficult to cut through. Some alarm systems include a loud siren that can produce over 100 decibels.
Brake Disc Alarm Lock
The brake disc alarm lock clamps onto the disc brake holes to keep the motorcycle from moving. Compared to handlebar grips and standard chain locks, these locks have a heavier yet compact design. Anybody who tries to steal your bike without unlocking the brake disc alarm lock will fall off.
Some models include a cable that runs from the lock to the accelerator to serve as a reminder to turn off the lock before you start riding.
1.9 Kill Switch
It may help to add a kill switch to your motorcycle if it doesn't have one already. The advantage of having a kill switch is that it gives an additional degree of protection to prevent theft of your motorbike when traveling.
Installing a kill switch will prevent electricity from getting to the spark plug and prevents the motorcycle's engine from starting. A kill switch will ensure that your motorbike won't start unless the switch is disengaged and is most effective when hidden.
1.10 Lock Your Motorcycle to Something Heavy
If you're going to be away from your motorbike for a long time, try to lock it to a big, heavy, immobile object.
You will need a padlock and a sturdy chain or wire to lock your motorcycle. Both items must be built out of durable materials that even a bolt cutter cannot easily break. A large object can provide additional security for your motorcycle while also serving as a deterrent to potential thieves.
1.11 Keep the Lock Off the Ground
No matter what lock you use, keep it off the ground to keep a thief from obtaining sufficient leverage to break it. The thief won't have enough leverage to force open the lock if you place the lock high above the ground. It is best to attach the lock or chain through the frame rather than the fork or wheel.
1.12 Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When parking or walking away from your motorcycle, be aware of your surroundings and look out for any suspicious individuals. If you feel unsafe or see something suspicious, find a different location to park your motorcycle or ask for assistance.
1.13 Have Motorcycle Insurance
Having motorcycle insurance can provide additional financial protection in case of theft, damage, etc while traveling. Make sure to choose an insurance plan that covers your needs and provides adequate coverage.
2. Tips for Motorcycle Luggage Security When Traveling
Keeping your motorcycle luggage safe when traveling requires taking several precautions to prevent theft or damage. Here are some tips on how to keep your motorcycle luggage safe when traveling:
- Use lockable luggage bags: Use a lockable motorcycle luggage bag that can be secured with a padlock or combination lock. If you need to leave valuables on your motorcycle while you're away, such as your helmet, electronics, or other gear, make sure to store them in a lockable bag or storage compartment. This will make it more difficult for thieves to access your belongings.
- Keep valuables with you: When stopping for a break or staying overnight at a hotel, keep your valuables with you rather than leaving them in your motorcycle luggage. Examples include your wallet, phone, and camera.
- Secure luggage to the motorcycle: Use straps or bungee cords to tie your luggage to the motorcycle, making it more difficult for thieves to remove the luggage from the motorcycle. Make sure to use high-quality straps or cords that won't come lose while on the road.
- Choose safe parking locations: When parking your motorcycle, choose a well-lit area with good visibility. Avoid parking in dark, secluded areas or near alleyways, as these areas may be more prone to theft or vandalism.
- Cover your luggage: Use a motorcycle cover to protect your luggage from weather damage and to make it less visible to potential thieves.
3. Last Words
Leaving your motorcycle in an unfamiliar location can be worrying. To better protect your motorcycle, you can use different types of locks, such as a disc lock, a heavy-duty lock with a chain, a cable lock, a steering lock, and a brake lever lock. There are also other useful security measures to keep your motorbike safe while traveling, including using motorcycle alarms, kill switches, ground anchors, etc. You will significantly lower your chance of becoming a victim of motorcycle theft if you employ such measures. There are a variety of aftermarket parts available at Viking Bags, including sissy bars, crash bars, fairings, seats, luggage racks, and backrests.