Lock it or lose it: MCN picks the best motorcycle locks

Lock it or Lose it
Lock it or Lose it

One of the first lessons you learn when you get a bike is to use a motorcycle lock of some kind to secure it. Unfortunately, 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 are 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 motorcycle 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.

The best motorcycle locks:

Price: £49.99
Tested by MCN - Quality 3/4, Value 4/5. 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.
Price: £219.95

Meet the Sold Secure Gold standard. It has a 1.4 metre long, 12mm chain and 14mm U lock, and it's quite heavy as the lock and chain together weigh about 8.5kg. Comes with three keys.

Chains tested to destruction by RiDE Magazine

Price: £132.03

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.

Certification: Sold Secure Gold (chain)
Link shape: Circular
Link size: 19mm
Chain length: 2.5m (various lengths available)
Weight: 7kg per metre
Material: Hardened boron steel
Lock: RoundLock through link
Keys: 3
Test result Overall score
Link cut 1: 28.8s Protection: 14/20
Link cut 2: 41.4s Ease of use: 5/10
Combined time: 1m10.2s Portability: 6/10
Lock cut: N/A Total: 25/40
Price: From £114.99 (was £214.99)

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.

Certification: Sold Secure Gold
Link shape: Circular
Link size: 16mm
Chain length: 1.5mm
Weight: 8kg
Material: Hardened Chrome-Moly steel
Lock: D lock
Keys: 3
Test result Overall score
Link cut 1: 28.6s Protection: 12/20
Link cut 2: 26.7s Ease of use: 7/10
Combined time: 55.3s Portability: 7/10
Lock cut: 54s Total: 26/40
Price: From £29.58 (was £54.99)

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.

Certification: Sold Secure Silver
Link shape: Square
Link size: 9.5mm
Chain length: 2m
Weight: 4.6kg
Material: Hardened steel
Lock: D lock
Keys: 3
Test result Overall score
Link cut 1: 14.2s Protection: 7/20
Link cut 2: 16.3s Ease of use: 8/10
Combined time: 30.5s Portability: 8/10
Lock cut: 28s Total: 23/40

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