Don’t panic. While this is the most in-depth and honest review of all of the best motorcycle security out there – on any budget – using any lock, even a cheap one, will significantly reduce the chances of your bike being stolen. Despite what social media would have you believe, while any crime is a problem, the main thing you should be doing is enjoying your motorcycle or scooter.
Our data shows that using a disc lock reduces the chance of a thief stealing your bike by a factor of three, while a quality chain and lock will make it less likely to be stolen than a car. As with any crime, be aware of it, take some simple steps (in the same was you lock your house when you go out), then stop worrying.
There are crime hotspots when it comes to Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs) and the biggest is, unsurprisingly, London. But figures have shown that seven out of ten bikes aren’t locked at all, which is why the Met police urges riders to lock, chain and cover their motorcycles and scooters.
A scooter is a cheap, efficient, fun and socially distanced way to get to work, but as it only costs a fraction of the price of a rail ticket, to many it’s apparently not worth the ‘hassle’ of locking up when parking.
No. A steering lock is very easy to defeat – thieves just need to kick the bars and it breaks. A typical technique – especially in a busy city – is to snap the steering lock then push the motorcycle or scooter away, often with another stolen scooter. We’ve seen stolen bikes hidden as little as 60m away from the point of theft, while the thieves wait to see if a tracker is installed.
Three locks on the front wheel alone might be considered excessive by some, but this rider is determined to keep hold of his bike. The level of security you need will depend on where you live
They do, but the results of investigations and intelligence gathered can take years to reach the public eye. A theft made famous by social media still circulates, though nobody shares the news that the gang behind it got 12 years.
Statistically speaking, you’re unlikely to be a victim of theft, but like anything, it can happen. Using security on your bike is about making it harder to attack than another; it’s about dissuading a thief. You’ll hear people say ‘if they want it, they’ll have it’, and that’s kind of true, though they’ll go for the easiest targets first.
And if you are unfortunate enough to have your bike stolen, you can’t always expect the police to turn up and dust for prints. Besides it being an expensive process for an already stretched public service, the scene of a motorbike theft is often simply a space where it used to be. And unless the criminals were on your property when they carelessly left figer prints, the defence could easily be that they happened to be passing and touched the bike before it was pinched.
But you should expect a police force to take the full details of when and where the crime occurred, because it’s this intelligence gathering that can – eventually – lead to convictions.
If you’re riding legally on UK roads, you at least have third party insurance. That should pay out to the other party were you to, for instance, ride into the back of a car. But despite having insurance for that eventuality, it’s a fair bet that you try to avoid it, right?
While theft insurance is there to help reimburse you should the worst happen, it’s not something anyone wants to go through, so simply using some extra security – and it can cost as little as £40 for one of the best disc locks – will make it far less likely that you have to go through that heartache.
This is some of the kit I use to test chains, locks, disc locks and other motorcycle security devices here at Bennetts BikeSocial
There’s a lot of ‘advice’ online, especially on YouTube, but always check the source. Has the host properly destruction tested the product, or have they just been sent it and like the look of it? Do they know how to properly attack a lock, or do they tickle it with thick grinding discs to get ten minutes of sparks? Is the presenter using affiliate links or getting a kick-back from the manufacturer? Or even is the channel representing a store, which will have its own agenda when it comes to what it wants to have sell well?
Everybody’s opinion is valid, but when it comes to your bike’s security it has to be down to proper testing.
When buying any motorcycle security, look for the Sold Secure rating. Manufacturers submit their products to the Warwickshire-based testing house (also home to the Master Locksmiths Association) to receive a grading based on the resistance to attack. Thatcham used to do this testing too, but for a few years now they’ve only tested electronic security products for bikes, like trackers and alarms.
Make sure you see a Sold Secure ‘Motorcycle’ (or ‘Ground Anchor’) rating; if it just says ‘Sold Secure’ it could be rated to bicycle level. Here’s how the professionals test locks:
Sold Secure rating
Attack methods used
1 minute attack time; basic tools that can be easily concealed about the person, i.e. screwdriver, small hammer, junior hacksaw etc
3 minute attack; enhanced tool list including small bolt croppers, full size hacksaw (HSS), stillsons, crowbar etc.
Bicycle Gold / Motor Scooter Silver
5 minute attack; higher tool list inc. TCT hacksaw, larger croppers, larger crowbars, lump hammer etc.
Bicycle Diamond / Motorcycle & Motor Scooter Gold
5 minute attack, much higher tool list including largest Bolt croppers, machine based crop test to ensure at least 7 tonnes of force is achieved, Drill with HSS bits etc. Does not include an angle grinder attack.
5 minute attack, tool list includes TCT drill bits and a 90 second angle grinder attack
Ground Anchors Diamond
As Motorcycle Diamond but with 1.5m builder’s bar and 5 minute angle grinder attack.
You can check if a product is currently on the Sold Secure database by using the approved product search on its website. Note that brands have to re-submit their products for testing every year so it’s expected that items carrying the Sold Secure badge have a rating that applies to the batch being sold, but you can always check the status of any product on the Sold Secure database.
This chain and lock is listed as being Sold Secure-approved, but there’s no level shown in the listing. With no recognisable brand or model, Sold Secure was unable to confirm if the chain had ever been rated (it keeps archives of everything that was tested in the past). I also contacted the supplier, but have yet to hear back…
As you’re likely to have a decent amount of space under the seat of your scooter or moped, I’d strongly recommend you buy a portable chain (see below). Scooters have smaller brake discs, so disc locks designed for them have thinner pins that are easier to break. As such, they tend to do poorly in our reviews so use a chain and lock for more versatility, and if you can, carry a cover with you too – you’d be surprised how effective this is at dissuading thieves.
Right here. Like Sold Secure, we test based on the current methods of UK criminals. This isn’t about clickbait, so we don’t waste time with Ramset guns and other methods that make for good viewing figures but aren’t contributing to this country’s crime statistics.
Our tests involve angle grinder attacks, 42” bolt-croppers, sledge hammer (unlikely as it’s noisy and awkward, but a good sign of the quality of hardening in chains), freeze spray and other tools such as pry bars, lump hammers, claw hammers, drills and hacksaws.
Picking isn’t an issue in bike theft, but the professionals at Sold Secure do include this in testing, which is why our reviews always reference the Sold Secure results. Yes, anything can be picked given the right skill and tools, but this is about what’s really happening on the street, as even the picking entertainment channels agree now.
We’re constantly updating our tests and always adding to them, so check the website for the best motorcycle and scooter security products.
The best chain and lock, the best disc lock, or the best ground anchor and other security devices will depend on your circumstances such as your bike, where you live, where on your property your bike is kept and what you can carry when you’re out and about. As such, I’d urge you to read the reviews in full to understand what suits your needs best, and to get the best value for money.
Based on data collected from the testing carried out, below are what I would recommend as the best motorcycle and scooter products for use when you’re at home and out and about. Discounts are available for some, but none of these are commercial links and we don’t receive any kick-backs for them. Value considerations are based on the typical street prices, not discounted prices.
Note that leaving any lock out in the street when not in use is ill-advised as thieves could scupper it, leaving you unable to use it when you arrive by – for instance – pouring glue in the keyway. Another trick can be to cut a link when there’s nobody around and the chain’s not in use, then tie it back together with a zip-tie, hiding the join under the sleeve and making it quick and easy to defeat when it’s securing your bike.
The best lock is the one you use, so it’s important that you can carry it with you; a chain with links of 14mm thick is about the limit of what can practically be carried on a bike. Avoid putting any security in your pocket, and if you use a rucksack, make sure you wear a back protector.
Some locks will fit under the seat of some bikes, or you can pop them in luggage. If you have a scooter, just chuck them under a seat. If neither option works, consider something like the Milenco Chain Lock Bag, or go for the BikeTrac Grab Bag and Chain.
Keep in mind that, while some of these locks double as disc locks, they’re unlikely to work like this on a scooter, which has smaller brake disks. They’ll still work great as a chain and lock though.
These locks are featured here based on our destruction testing, street price (RRP is listed), weight and ease of use. Prices are based on the closest length to 1.5m. Please do check out the dozens of other reviews of chains and locks to be sure you get the security that best suits your needs and budget.
Disc locks have limitations, as explained below. Theoretically a criminal could also remove the wheel altogether, though this is unlikely, especially given a push-away theft
All disc locks have the same vulnerability – the bike can be picked up and put in a van. However, particularly in busy cities, a more likely attack is the ‘push-away’ and a disc lock will help reduce the chances of this happening. Our data shows that a disc lock can make your bike three times less likely to be stolen.
If your machine doesn’t have an alarm already, getting a disc lock with one can be a great idea. Yes, people do often ignore them, but they can put a thief off and could alert you to an attempted theft.
Keep in mind that these disc locks will be very unlikely to fit a scooter, which has smaller a brake disc (as does the Honda MSX125, or Grom). I’d suggest you’re best off with something from the portable options above.
A mention must go to the Squire Atilla as the LP version will lock through both brake discs, making it twice as hard for a thief to defeat by cutting the disc. It’s expensive though, at £249.99 (£199.99 with the 20% discount), and as you could buy two RoundLocks for almost a third of the price, it misses out on a place in our top five.
These disc locks are featured here based on our destruction testing, street price and convenience. Please do check out the dozens of other reviews of portable motorcycle security to be sure you get the security that best suits your needs and budget.
I like long-link chains as they tend to be lighter and the links can pass through each-other in order to keep the chain tight. It also means they can work with closed-shackle locks that only accept one link
These locks are all too heavy to carry on the bike, but they do offer the very best security you can get – the more metal in the links, the longer they’ll take to cut. These are the toughest chains and locks money can buy, deterring all but the most determined, and slowing down even the most professional thief.
Not included in this list, but well worth a look is the Pragmasis Anti Pinch Pin. This device can pass through a space in the frame, or many hollow rear-wheel spindles to give even more security than chaining up the rear wheel. A clever design.
These locks are featured here based on our destruction testing, street price and ease of use. Prices are based on the closest length to 1.5m. Please do check out the dozens of other reviews of bike locks to be sure you get the security that best suits your needs and budget.
If you’re out and about, look for somewhere well lit and fairly busy. Of course, things can get stolen anywhere, but thieves will prefer to avoid confrontation and CCTV where possible. In London, you can use all the QParks (except Soho) for free on a motorcycle, as well as the City of London car parks.
Ideally lock your bike to something like a ground anchor, solid fence or barrier, though be careful that you don’t park where you shouldn’t, for instance blocking access or on a pavement. Chaining through the back wheel is preferable if you can.
A cover is worth using if your bike’s out in the open, so if you don’t have a garage at home, pop one over. But keep in mind that Bennetts now includes all locked shipping containers, metal sheds and wooden sheds – as long as they’re on your property – as ‘garaged’, which should help a lot of riders. For more information on garage clauses and insurance, click here. Also keep in mind that Bennetts Rewards offers a 10% discount on Asgard metal sheds.
Fitting a ground anchor at home is well worthwhile, and there are plenty of concrete and bolt-in options to choose from. Check out our reviews of the best motorcycle ground anchors here.
You may have read about supposedly ‘angle-grinder-proof’ and ‘uncuttable metal’ that could transform motorcycle security; the lastest one is Proteus, which is a composite of aluminium and ceramic.
While it’s exciting to see developments in materials technology, everything is about compromises; this could defeat an angle-grinder, but the aluminium is likely to yield quickly to a cropping attack. Bricks are great for building houses as they’re strong, but they don’t trap heat well so you put soft insulation between them; different materials do different jobs.
Theoretically – and the leading manufacturers are always looking for new ways to make tougher chains – links could have angle-grinder resistant inserts cast in. There are lots of things that could be done, but then the compromise is cost. Is it worth the fortune in development to produce a chain that would retail at more than £1,000?
Motorcycle and scooter security is about making your machine less desirable than another, so using any lock can do that. It’s also about layering, so if you’re in a higher crime location, try to use more than one lock; it’s all more work for thieves and they’ll soon move on to easier pickings.
Buy the right lock for you, use it, then stop worrying.