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Roadlok review | Integrated disc lock destruction test

Consumer Editor of Bennetts BikeSocial



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Date reviewed: February 2022 | Tested by: John Milbank | RRP: £209.96 | Weight: 510g (total) |


The Roadlok is a unique motorcycle security device in that it’s always attached to the wheel, so there’s no need to worry about how you’re going to carry anything other than a fairly small locking pin.

Made of anodised machined aluminium with a hardened steel locking pin, the device is now available direct from the Roadlok UK distributor with no postage costs or import duties for £209.96 in black, or £219.96 in gold or red including delivery. International orders can be placed at the Roadlok US website.


  • Always fitted to the bike

  • Significantly harder to defeat than a traditional disc lock

  • No chance of riding off with it attached

  • Needs considered (but simple) maintenance

  • Unlocking can require a technique (though easy to master)

  • Only suitable for radially-mounted calipers

The Roadlok’s locking pin is easy to carry while riding


How Roadlok works

Roadlok is attached to your bike’s right-hand brake caliper (though a left-hand version is available). An integrated lock barrel holds a blanking plug in place until it’s time to lock the bike, where you swap it out for a spring-loaded hardened steel locking pin.

This pin locates through a vent hole in the disc, locking it solidly in place to prevent movement.

Roadlok prevents the bike being pushed away (a common theft method, particularly in city centres), but it also means that, if you forget to remove the locking pin and try to ride off, the bike will simply stall. Traditional disc locks will usually allow the bike to get rolling before hitting the brake caliper and potentially causing significant damage.

The weakness of all normal disc locks is that, no matter how hard they are to attack, the disc is the weak point. Thieves have no problem making two cuts in a brake disc to remove the lock, but the Roadlock not only makes it impossible to make those two cuts, even if it could be done the wheel still couldn’t be moved.

Removing the bolts that hold the Roadlok to the caliper doesn’t release the lock itself, so no matter how a thief intends to defeat this device, it’ll always take longer than any other disc lock I’ve tested.


The lock barrel can be removed for cleaning


Size and weight

Once fitted, the total additional weight you’ll be carrying on the bike with a Roadlok is 510g.

The main body, lock barrel and blanking plug – which is what’s attached to the brake caliper while riding – add 431g (taking into account the longer mounting bolts), with the 79g locking pin being carried in your pocket or somewhere on the bike while you ride.

The pin is extremely compact and fits in even the hugely inadequate storage space under the R1250GS rear seat. It’s also small enough to easily pop in your pocket, though as I tend to ride in lots of different kit, and wanted the locking pin to be as quick and easy to get to as possible, I designed and 3D printed a carrier that fits onto any 25mm tube with the help of a jubilee clip. You can download the free files for the Roadlok locking pin carrier here.


I designed a simple carrier that the locking pin clips into, keeping it secure but handy when you’re out on the bike


When riding, the locking pin’s removed. A nylon plug keeps everything clean, along with a rubbery cap


Ease of fitting Roadlok

Roadlok is designed to fit onto a wide range of radially-mounted calipers, but you can check fitments here. Versions are available for European and Japanese bikes, with right-hand or lef-hand mounting options.

While fitting the lock to the left caliper will make it a little harder for a thief to access due to the position of the bike, the difference would be very negligible, and far outweighed by the less convenient access when using it. It’s worth noting that KTM offers an orange Powerparts version of the Roadlok – it’s the same product, but it is only available in a left-hand fitting (and it’s more expensive).

The device is supplied with full printed fitting instructions, several pairs of spacers, a set of replacement caliper bolts, and a handy measuring card.

While it’s obvious how the unit is fitted, it’s important to read the instructions carefully.

I fitted the Roadlok to the Hayes calipers on a 2019 BMW R1250GS. The first step is to fully unscrew the standard caliper bolts and then measure the gap between the head and the caliper to find how much thread goes into the bottom of the fork leg. In the case of my bike, that’s 16mm.


It’s important to check the length of the bolts, and to note that BMW threads are more coarse than others


The spacers can look very similar in size, so ensure you pair them up before trying them, to make sure you use a matching pair. After a bit of chopping and changing, I found the 19.2mm ‘G’ spacers fitted my bike best, putting the locking pin in line with the outer-most disc holes.

It’s important that the length of the thread on the Roadlok bolts going into the mounting points (note that BMWs use a coarser thread pitch than European bikes, hence the need for different fittings) isn’t less than standard. It’s also important that too much thread isn’t allowed to go in, for fear of them bottoming out and potentially breaking the cast aluminium mounts.

My choice of spacer saw 15mm of thread on the new bolts, but I’m happy that losing just 1mm (6%) of thread won’t see the caliper likely to come loose. If it were much more, I’d have tried some other spacers.

The caliper bolts should be torqued up to the correct settings. BMW helpfully puts this in the owner’s manual – it’s 38Nm on the R1250GS – but if in doubt, do check with your dealer or Roadlok. Don’t rely too heavily on Google as I found conflicting answers when checking.

If you’re happy removing your bike’s brake calipers for wheel removal or pad changes, you should have no problem fitting the Roadlok, but if you’re not entirely sure, whoever you have do your bike’s servicing will find it easy.



Does Roadlok affect the bike’s handling?

Fitting the Roadlok adds 431g to one of the calipers, which is a lot less than the difference between sides of a bike’s fork legs that only has a single disc front brake setup.

Roadlok makes absolutely no noticeable difference to the handling of your motorcycle at all.


How to clean and maintain Roadlok

Over the past few years, small changes have been made to the Roadlok, not least the nylon blanking plug that locks in place while the bike’s being ridden. Also added though are a rubbery cap that covers the lock barrel, and a clear patch that covers the hole machined through the body for the internal locking pin.

These changes mean the Roadlok is well protected from the elements, but there are still a few things to be aware of to keep it at its best.

Roadlok can be completely disassembled if needs be, and it’s hard to imagine any way it could seize up during normal use – it’s not going to leave you stranded. Owner reviews (see below) indicate that there are no long-term problems with the Roadlok, but as with everything on BikeSocial, I’ll keep this updated.

While I’d perhaps not suggest someone who regularly uses their bike for wading through deep mud fits one, taking care of it isn’t hard and all the parts are available as spares if you need them:

  • Use the protective plug and lock barrel cap to minimise any dirt ingress

  • Keep the Roadlok washed with clean water, and ensure no crud has managed to build up inside any of the recesses or the lock barrel. After washing, blow the water out with compressed air or a bike dryer

  • Do not use any spray lubricants on the lock; use only graphite powder.


Graphite powder is easily available online. I lubricate locks using a plastic pipette and it really does work wonders on all the locks around your home


Day to day use of the Roadlok

When stopping somewhere, simply turn the key in the Roadlok’s barrel 180°, remove the blanking plug then pop in the sprung metal pin. It’s very unlikely that it’ll immediately find a hole, but press it down against the spring so it’s flush with the lock body, turn the key back and remove it.

Now you just need to roll the bike backwards or forwards until the pin snaps into place. Sometimes you’ll hear it pop in, other times you’ll feel the wheel lock. This does take a little practice as you need to move the bike quite slowly for the pin to pop in, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it can be easier than fitting some disc locks, especially the more bulky and awkward ones.

The holes in the BMW R1250GS discs aren’t all in line – it works out to be every other one of the outer holes that match up. This means that, with the 19” front wheel on the GS the bike has to be rolled 18cm between each locking point. So, the most you’ll have to move the bike is 9cm forward or backwards.


Yes, I marked the road with chalk to find out exactly how far the bike had to be moved to lock it


This might be a slight issue if you’re also chaining the back wheel of the bike and you need it tight up against something, but unless your chain’s really short you should be okay. Worst case, lift the front by pushing the bar to pivot on the sidestand and raise the front wheel, then rotate it with your foot until it locates.

The other thing to keep in mind is that it’s a lot harder to use the Roadlok with the bike on the centre stand, unless you have someone hold the back of the bike down while you spin the wheel to find the next available hole.

And of course, if you’re parking the bike on an incline and want to leave it in gear, while you can do this and pull the clutch in while rolling it backwards or forwards to engage the lock, the weight of the bike will probably end up on the pin, not on the transmission. Given the strength of the lock based on testing, this isn’t a problem but I also checked with Ian McCarthy, Managing Partner of Roadlok in the US, who confirmed that it can indeed be relied upon as a ‘parking brake’.

When removing the locking pin, turning the key will typically see the pin pop out a short distance, then feel as if it’s trapped. Simply pushing the handlebar up or down a little as you pull the pin will see it slide out easily.

That sounds like a lot of explanation for securing a disc lock, but the technique is easy and obvious when you understand the mechanics of the locking mechanism, and the benefits of a lock that’s always ready to go, that you don’t need to carry, and that prevents you riding off and costing yourself a fortune more than make up for it.

I had my doubts about the Roadlok, but after using it I’m very impressed. And even more so after I tried attacking it…


Two keys are supplied along with a number tag – register this and duplicates can be made if you lose both


Resistance to attack: bolt removal

If a thief were to remove the bolts securing the Roadlok to the brake caliper, it would still leave the device attached in the same way as a traditional disc lock.

While this would mean the disc could be cut, the work required makes Roadlok a much more effective device than other disc locks.

I also tried using the body of the lock when released from the caliper to lever it apart, pulling as hard as possible to try to snap the bottom of the lock body. All I achieved was a small mark on the inside edge of the body and a lot of flexing of the brake disc.

To see how this compares with the other locks we’ve tested, check out our best motorcycle locks for home and away.


Resistance to attack: bolt-croppers

There’s no way to attack the Roadlok with bolt-croppers, unless perhaps you try to beat hell out of it with them. But a lump hammer would be more effective…

To see how this compares with the other locks we’ve tested, check out our best motorcycle locks for home and away.



Resistance to attack: lump hammer

I expected to be able to snap the lock body by hitting it hard with a lump hammer, yet no matter how much I tried – and keep in mind I gave myself significantly easier access than a thief would have with the wheel fitted to a bike – it would not even crack, let alone yield.

To see how this compares with the other locks we’ve tested, check out our best motorcycle locks for home and away.



Resistance to attack: drill

Attempting to drill the barrel of the Roadlok out made barely a scratch on the outer plate. Even if it were possible to get in, the design of the lock means it’ll still be very hard to release the locking pin.

To see how this compares with the other locks we’ve tested, check out our best motorcycle locks for home and away.



Resistance to attack: angle-grinder

The aluminium body of the Roadlok is very resistant to angle-grinder attack, being extremely time consuming to cut, not to mention awkward to fully access. Were a thief to cut it, they’d still be left with the locking pin engaged and need to cut that or the disc itself.

With the lock body attached to the caliper, cutting the brake disc is pointless, and sliding a 1mm cutting disc between the lock and brake disc to cut the pin also doesn’t release it as the rest of the pin passes into the other side of the lock body and won’t buckle out even when severed. The receiving end is closed off, and there’s a steel pin in place to stop it being accessed (which would be next to impossible from the other side of the wheel anyway).

I tried cutting through the top of the lock body and through the pin in order to release the shaft that passes through the disc, and while it opened up, I still had to remove the spring, then turn the loose wheel upside down, take pressure off the locking pin, then shake it free. Needless to say, with the wheel still on a bike this isn’t going to be a realistic form of attack.

To see how this compares with the other locks we’ve tested, check out our best motorcycle locks for home and away.



Bennetts BikeSocial test results

Product: Roadlok

Weight as tested: 600g (total)

Bolt cropper attack: GOOD

Lump hammer attack: GOOD

Angle grinder attack: OUTSTANDING


Roadlok review: Verdict

Needless to say, Roadlok cannot prevent the bike being lifted into a van, but with a large proportion of thefts – especially those in city centres – involving the motorcycle being pushed away and hidden, it offers a very powerful deterrent.

As a disc lock, I can honestly say that I’ve not tested anything that’s more effective; cutting the disc itself doesn’t work, removing the bolts from the caliper doesn’t defeat it, and nor does cutting the body (which is extremely time-consuming). Yes, it can be beaten – as can anything – but it takes a lot longer than any other disc lock. And it’s always there, so you’re more likely to use it.

If I’m popping into a shop the Roadlok’s very quick and easy to use, and if I’m leaving the bike overnight – perhaps at a hotel – I also use a chain and lock on the back wheel, where the Roadlok offers a valuable second layer of security that makes it a lot harder to steal.

The best lock is the one you use, so Roadlok comes highly recommended.

To see the other chains and locks tested by Bennetts BikeSocial, click here and be sure to regularly check for the discounts available through BikeSocial membership.



Owner review: Matt Creighton

Matt Crighton has had a Roadlok fitted to his BMW R1250R since he bought it in February 2022, and it’s saved his bike from theft already.

“I chose it after seeing it on a friend's bike and because I like the fact it is permanently attached,” he told me. “It's discreet, so most people don't know it’s there, making it perfect for anti-theft as I know from first-hand experience, and the locking pin fits easily in your pocket or on a keyring while riding

“Would I recommend it? Absolutely I would as when the bike was just six weeks old and I was staying at a Premier Inn in Middlesbrough, it saved it from being stolen. The chain was cut with a grinder, but with the steering lock on and the Roadlok activated, they struggled to move the bike quickly and scarpered when challenged.

“If I'm brutally honest, the removal of the locking pin can sometimes be awkward even though the key is fully in the unlock position, but with a little determination she comes out. I ride through winter and in most weathers but have had no corrosion issues whatsoever. As for dirt build up, the keyhole can suffer if you don't use the rubber cap while riding (I do), but regular use of graphite powder does help to eliminate this. The anodising has been absolutely fine, with no issues at all”



Owner review: Shaun Watling

Shaun Watling’s on his second Roadlok now. The first was fitted to his KTM 1190 Adventure and covered 20,000 miles, while the second is on his KTM 1290 Super Adventure, which he’s done 500 miles on.

“I’m always forgetting other forms of security,” he said, “so this is perfect as it's always with me – I just need to carry the pin!

“Given the design it means you have to perfectly line up the pin with one of the holes in the disc, but this is easier than it sounds. I prefer to put the bike on the centre stand, however given the engine’s mass the front wheel remains planted to the ground so I usually have to use a foot to lift the bike while I spin the wheel and hope the pin catches a hole. Having a friend makes it much easier as they can push on the back of the bike and pivot the front upward.


This is the Roadlok that Shaun had fitted to his KTM 1190 Adventure for 20,000 miles of all-year riding


“I rode my 1190 through winters and never had any real corrosion issues; just a couple of stone chips really. The orange anodising was actually pretty good, with just a few marks where it'd worn thin. On the new bike I’ve gone for a plain black one as it looks a little more stealth.

“I would definitely recommend the Roadlok. Even though it’s more hassle for me than a standard disc lock, I never forget it as I just leave the pin in my jacket or tank bag. One of the nice benefits is that the wheel won't turn to the point of breaking a plastic fender if I forget it’s fitted (how many of them have I done that to over the years?!)

I would say it’s not worth buying the KTM Powerparts one as getting it direct from Roadlok is much cheaper. Also, I changed the keyring ‘flag’ for one of those coiled disc lock reminder cables to help me remember it’s there.”



Owner review: Paul Scott

“I’ve had a Roadlok fitted to my KTM 1290 Superduke GT for four and a half years,” says Paul Scott.

“A friend put me onto it thanks to how simple it is to use, and to be honest the only problem I’ve had is that dirt can accumulate inside, making the lock a little difficult to open. Regular use avoids this though.

“The anodising is still like new, and I’ve had no corrosion issues. I’d definitely recommend it due to it being always available for use, and there being no risk of damage should you forget it’s on, unlike a conventional disc lock.”

While speaking to Paul, I pointed out that Roadlok now supplies a rubber cap that’s tethered to the blanking plug. He’s since bought one direct from Chris Neal, the UK importer, who also supplied him with the adhesive pad that now covers the machining hole. He shouldn’t have any more problems with dirt getting inside.