Kit: How to buy a bike lock

By Rob Hull -

 20 August 2009 11:21

Buying a motorcycle lock is all about one thing – tailoring it to your specific needs.

The motorcycle lock world is diverse with a variety of options meaning you could actually buy three or four different locks for different needs.

DISC LOCKS AND U-LOCKS
If you’re leaving your bike in a fairly safe area but just want a little piece of mind then a disc lock is ideal.

As with every lock you go for, look for the approved markings. Thatcham is the biggest and most obvious, but also look for lock-breaking time periods that some also state on the packaging or websites.

Make sure you think about these three things though when you buy a disc lock.

  • Are you the forgetful type who is likely to attempt to ride off with the lock still attached? If the answer is yes, get a lock with a chord that attaches to your handlebar to remind you.
  • Where will you keep the lock when you’re not using it? If you’ve got space under the pillion seat then this is ideal, but make sure you buy one of sufficient size to fit wherever you are carrying it.
  • Are you using the bike all year round? If you are using the bike in the winter months, get a cover for the lock to stop it rusting.

There are loads of disc locks on the market right now that are alarmed as well, so it’s worth paying the extra £10 to £15 for the bonus deterrent.

LOCK AND CHAINS
Lock and chains should be used mainly at the home or if you have to park your bike in an area that’s known for crime.

Again, go for the recognised markings of security like Thatcham, but one of the simplest thoughts is quite effective – size. The bigger and fatter the chain, the less likely a thief is going to try to break it.

But remember you’re likely to have to carry the lock and chain to the destination you want to use it. So if it is for away-from-the-house use, buy something that’s not going to lever you backwards on the bike when you’re carrying it in a rucksack.

And always keep a spare key safe somewhere you’ll remember, you know, just in case!

GROUND ANCHORS
Ideal for use at the home or a regular location and you’ve been granted permission to fix one.

There are small bolt-down options that are perfect for anyone who wants the added security in their garage.

And you can get some proper industrial sized units for outside use.

Just make sure you bolt down the anchor somewhere easily accessible. It sounds stupid, but don’t fix it down in a tight corner and then realise you can’t get your bike close enough to wrap a chain through the anchor and a wheel.

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