Date reviewed: February 2018 | Tested by: John Milbank | Price: £33.99 | Weight: 368g | www.abus.com/uk
The Abus Element 285 is a relatively low-priced device that the manufacturer claims is designed for ‘basic protection at low risk theft’ and recommended for securing scooters, rather than higher-value motorcycles.
The 285 comes with two keys, a lightweight pouch and a retracting reminder lanyard that loops around the lock and your handlebars, to avoid riding off with it fitted. The keyway has a sprung dust cover, which should keep the worst of the muck out.
Size and weight
Weighing just 368g, thanks to its predominantly plastic body moulded around a steel core, the Abus Element 285 is reasonably small, so it shouldn’t be difficult to store in a cubby box or under the seat – there’s no reason not to take it everywhere.
Ease of use and compatibility with scooters
With a 5mm locking pin, the 285 should fit the vast majority of scooters by passing through the vent holes of your brake disc, but do check your wheel size as a small number of scooters – particularly those with custom, wider rims – might struggle.
To understand how best to use your lock, click here
Resistance to attack
The steel core isn’t hardened, so it’s possible to hacksaw through this lock (though it would be awkward and take time). Far more likely is an attack with a lump hammer or pry bars, either of which see the 285 very easily defeated.
Unfortunately, while a small pin makes disc locks more compatible with scooters, it also makes them much easier to defeat, and here it’s compounded by the relatively weak and pliable construction of the body.
This is certainly not a device we’d recommend for motorcycles, but the majority of scooters are being taken by thieves in London with no tools who simply force the steering lock off then push the machine away with another scooter. Any disc lock will help prevent that, but you do need to be aware that devices like this can be very quickly removed, and this one is more susceptible than some others to attack with even very innocuous and pocketable tools.
Big thanks to Piaggio and repair/claims specialist 4th Dimension for supplying parts that allowed us to carry out real-world testing. Both are companies who, among others in the moped, scooter and motorcycle industry, are passionate about reducing crime.
To see more security kit tested by BikeSocial, click here