Lock it or lose it: MCN's guide to the best locks, chains and disc locks on the market right now

Best motorbike locks
Best motorbike locks
9

Lock your bike. It’s one of the most crucial lessons you learn, when you get your first push-bike; lock it up wherever you leave it because if you don’t, it might not be there when you get back. However, that ‘might’ from 20 years ago has become ‘likely’ today. Motorcycle crime is rampant and we have to take security seriously if we want to keep hold of our bikes.

As a lock and chain is top of the list for cyclists, so it is for motorcyclists — just on a larger scale. The theory is simple: if your bike is locked to a solid object with a meaty lock and chain, hopefully it will deter thieves or make them move on to the next bike with a smaller, or indeed no, chain.

We have gathered a selection of locks and chains from the big players in the market to see what sort of protection they offer, combined with their usability and portability. Clearly, the larger the chain, the greater the protection it will offer but conversely, the less easy to use it is and as for portability — well, look at some of the weights and you’ll get an idea of how that works.

Pragmasis Protector 19 - £137.95 (RRP)

Pragmasis Protector 19

Certification Sold Secure Gold (Chain) Link shape Circular Link size 19mm Chain length 70cm Weight 5.1kg Material Hardened Boron steel Lock Roundlock through-link Keys 3

An odd one this - Pragmasis’ 19mm chain was supplied in what it calls a one-metre length but in real terms, the actual chain length was more like 70cm. So even though it went through the larger ground anchor, it wasn’t long enough to secure the bike to anything, so it wouldn’t prevent the bike being lifted.

The through-lock can double as a disc lock though, which is handy. The chain itself was horrible to cut — which is a good thing. The disk chattered all over the hardened surface and it was very difficult to bite initially. It felt like the hardness penetrated further into the link than other chains. We didn’t try the lock.

Test result

Link cut 1: 28.8s
Link cut 2:  41.4s 
Combined time:
1m10.2s
Lock cut:
N/A

Overall score

Protection: 14/20
Ease of use: 5/10
Portability: 6/10
TOTAL: 25/40

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Oxford Nemesis - 179.99 (RRP)

Oxford Nemesis

Certification Sold Secure Gold Link shape Circular Link size 16mm Chain length 150cm Weight 8.0 kg Material Hardened Chrome-Moly steel Lock D-Lock Keys 3

Oxford’s 16mm chain and D-lock is a hefty product that looked like it should do well. Like its smaller cousin, the Nemesis combination can be used with the lock on its own as a disclock. The silver chain is reassuringly heavy but its size meant it only went through the larger of the two ground anchors.

Going at it with the angle grinder, it was very easy to feel the harder outer skin give way to the softer, more pliable inner section before encountering the harder section again. We attacked the lock but unlike the smaller Oxford, we had to go through both sides, as it wasn’t possible to get the chain off with just one cut. Semi-circular keys also make picking almost impossible.

Test result

Link cut 1: 28.6s
Link cut 2:  26.7s 
Combined time:
55.3s
Lock cut:
54s

Overall score

Protection: 12/20
Ease of use: 7/10
Portability: 7/10
TOTAL: 26/40

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Oxford HD Chain Lock - £49.99 (RRP)

Oxford HD chain lock

Certification Sold Secure Silver Link shape Square Link size 10mm Chain length 150cm Weight 3.8kg Material Hardened steel Lock D-Lock Keys

Oxford’s smaller chain combination comes with a separate D-lock that can be used on its own as a disc lock – handy. However, the plastic cover on the lock looks and feels cheap. It is, however, Sold Secure approved at Silver level for scooters, offering some reassurance. It fitted through both ground anchors, wasn’t overly heavy and was very easy to use.

The cutting disc went through the chain in just over 30s for both sides but as the lock shackle was exposed, we attacked that as well. It took 28 seconds to go through one side but once cut, we could twist the shackle enough to get the chain off without cutting the other side.

Test result

Link cut 1: 14.2s
Link cut 2:  16.3s 
Combined time:
30.5s
Lock cut:
28s

Overall score

Protection: 7/20
Ease of use: 8/10
Portability: 8/10
TOTAL: 23/40

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Milenco Coleraine 12 - £89.99 (RRP)

Milenco Corelaine 12

Certification Sold Secure Gold Link shape Circular Link size 12mm Chain length 94cm Weight 3.8kg Material Chrome-Moly hardened steel Lock Integral Keys 3

A new-to-motorcycles product from Milenco, which has been making security products for decades. The Coleraine 12 uses an integral lock with just under 1m of chain length. The 12mm links means it is portable and usable, going through both ground anchors with just enough length to secure the bike.

Under attack from the angle grinder, it was hard work to cut, the disk chattering on the hard surface but easing up as it went through to the softer centre. There was also something different about this chain, as immediately after the  cutting, we all felt something in our throats and began coughing. A good performance for the brand’s first appearance in the motorcycle media.

Test result

Link cut 1: 17.7s
Link cut 2:  17s 
Combined time:
34.7s
Lock cut:
N/A

Overall score

Protection: 9/20
Ease of use: 7/10
Portability: 8/10
TOTAL: 24/40

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Squire Colossus - £318 (RRP)

Squire Colossus

Certification Sold Secure Gold Link shape Circular Link size 19mm Chain length 155cm Weight 15.0kg Material Hardened alloy steel Lock Closed-shackle hardened steel Keys 3

The 19mm chain is unusually useable, going through the larger of the two ground anchors easily. It also easily went through the bike’s wheel and the 155cm length meant plenty of opportunity to lock to an anchor or other secure point.

The padlock was big but easy to use, with a reassuring action and when closed, the shackle completely enclosed. The chain stood up very well and was hard work to start and throughout the cutting process with the disk chattering constantly. A cutting time of 1m10s is the kind of performance we would expect from Squire.

Test result

Link cut 1: 30s
Link cut 2:  40s 
Combined time:
1m10s
Lock cut:
N/A

Overall score

Protection: 14/20
Ease of use: 7/10
Portability: 5/10
TOTAL: 26/40

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Other locks to consider

Silverline disc lock - £11(RRP)

Silverline disc lock

Tested by Ben Clarke, two years

Like many people, I pushed my budget right to its limit when I bought my last motorbike and then needed to find some security for it. I found this disc lock on Amazon and, with its RRP of £11, I wasn’t expecting much.

After coming up to two years of outdoor use, it’s provided faultless service. The key  mechanism (which I thought would be the first thing to fail) is still smooth to operate and works every time.

The only criticism I have is that the paint is flaking and this has made the underseat area on my bike turn yellow, but that’s it. I thought I’d be replacing this lock after a month, either because of failure or because I wanted something better but I can’t really see the point.

  • Quality: 4 stars
  • Value: 5 stars

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Milenco Snaefell Diamond lock and chain - £299.99 (RRP)

Milenco Snaefell Diamond

Tested by Emma Franklin, three months

This is one of only three lock and chain combos that meet the tough new Sold Secure Diamond standard. With its 22mm diameter links, the Snaefell is seriously impressive. I’ve seen it attacked in lab conditions by an expert using a 12v angle grinder and it took over a minute-and-a-half to cut through just one side of the link.

The circular lock is also engineered to be attack resistant. Due to its size and 15kg weight, the Snaefell is best suited for home/work use. It comes in 1m, 2m and 4m lengths but the size of the links means that it needs to be used with Milenco’s Snaefell ground anchor (£129.99) because you may not be able to fit the links inside regular anchors. The chunky links also make it fairly  cumbersome to get around swingarms and through wheels.

  • Quality: 4 stars
  • Value: 4 stars

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Kovix KS6 - £59.99 (RRP)

Kovix KS6

Tiny disc lock packing a 120dB alarm, the KS6 is small and light (just 263g), making it more likely you’ll take it with you. The 5.5mm steel pin goes through a brake disc’s ventilation hole, rather than between the disc and the carrier, but it’s easy to fit and remove — press the pin down once (one beep) to arm or halfway (two beeps) to disarm the siren.

The only faff is recharging – quite a palaver to get to the MicroUSB socket. At least it only needs doing every month or two. A portable, affordable and convenient first line of defence.

  • Quality: 3 stars
  • Value: 4 stars

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Bruce Dunn

By Bruce Dunn

Datalogger, professionally testing bikes for over 25 years.