Nice bike! You can drop five grand on a motorbike without any problem at all. Ten grand isn’t unusual, and over twenty is entirely possible. At the same time, seventy percent of motorcycle owners don’t lock their bikes at all. But if you’ve invested thousands of your hard-earned cash on a highly desirable and beautiful machine, it makes a lot of sense to take bike security as seriously as possible.
Motorcycle theft is a big issue. But you can make your bike far less vulnerable by using the right type of bike security for the circumstances. Here’s what you need to know about the star of your anti-theft bike show, the not-so-humble motorbike security chain.
Avoid cheap bike security chains
There’s no getting away from it. As a general rule, you get what you pay for. If you buy a cheap lock, it won’t be as secure as a higher-priced lock. Use the best security you can afford – never lock a ten grand bike with a ten quid lock!
The British police have provided guidelines. They say you should spend 10-15% of your bike’s value on security. It might not always be practical, or even possible if your bike is a top notch make and model, but it shows you just how important proper security is.
It makes sense to avoid cable locks altogether, since while they can act as a mild deterrent they’re not at all appropriate for motorbikes. They come with a slew of common weaknesses that any self-respecting bike thief will be familiar with.
A chain and lock is better than a D-lock on its own, but anything except the very best D-lock will be far too vulnerable to use with your motorbike. Even the most expensive D-locks can be opened by someone who knows what they’re doing, and plenty of bike thieves are consummate experts at what they do.
It’s no use just looping a chain through the wheel, since bike wheels can easily be removed. Affix it via a higher-up part of the bike and ideally anchor it high up as well, to make life as difficult as possible for thieves. It makes sense to secure the building your bike is stored in properly too, for a belt-and-braces approach. And it’s important to get a lock that is approved by your motorbike insurer, otherwise they might not pay if you have to make a claim.
Insist on chains with a gold secure rating
Sold Secure is an independent testing body. The insurance sector and police both use them to compare a wide range of products, including motorbike chains and locks. Look for Sold Secure Motorbike Gold locks, avoiding anything less secure than a Sold Secure Gold Rating.
Secure your motorbike with a minimum 14mm chain, something that should withstand an attack by bolt cutters. And make sure you get the right length of chain for your bike, measuring first using a piece of string laced through the route you want the chain to take. You might be surprised at how long a chain you need. The best suppliers provide them in continuous un-sleeved lengths as long as 10m and sleeved up to at least 2m.
Recommended motorcycle security chain
Look for a Sold Secure Gold specially made for motorcycles and all terrain vehicles. Find a chain made from a steel alloy that has been both case and through hardened so someone can’t saw through it or cut it with bolt croppers. Look for a good, heavy duty chain sleeved in a hard-wearing woven polyester sheath, essential to stop it from scratching your bike’s finish. Look for a long link design that lets the end links pass through one other, perfect for any type of padlock. Last but not least, you want a chain with chunky 4mm