The locks you use to secure your motorcycle matter.
Thieves are on the lookout for certain weaknesses, and they know what to look for. There are several things that criminals don’t want you thinking about because you could make their job a lot harder. So here is what you need to know to get the best of a thief who is looking at your motorcycle.
1. You Get What You Pay For
If it were up to criminals, every motorcycle would be secured by nothing more than Master Locks and threaded cables. In the security world, you get what you pay for. When you go to your local big-box store and pick up a lock costing less than $20, you are not investing in security. The biggest consideration needed for purchasing is to determine your price point. You should be prepared to spend 10% of what you paid for the bike on the lock you use to secure it. If your ride is priceless, then you can spend more.
Cheap locks are easy for criminals to cut, bump, pick, drill, shim, and even smash. With that low cost, companies are delivering a product with weak metal and very simple internal components. When getting a padlock, invest in something heavy and a bit more pricey. It is a few hundred bucks to save yourself the headache of dealing with theft, even if it ends in recovery.
2. Old Ignition Cylinders Can Be Picked
Standard motorcycle security has definitely gotten better over the years, but classic bikes have classic problems. Most criminals do not pick locks, but they do use simple techniques like raking or using tryout keys. These simple security bypasses will be enough to start most older model bikes. The engine will rev, and the thief can actually ride away on your motorcycle.
This is also an issue for some current models. Essentially, if your motorcycle does not have a transponder chip in the key, then it is susceptible to these kinds of attacks. In the case of tryout keys (a.k.a. Jiggle Keys, Auto Jigglers, etc.) a thief could walk up to a bike, and in the worst-case scenario, simply turn the key in the ignition to start your engine. In some cases, the criminal would have to try several different keys and jiggle them up and down in the keyway. If you care more about security than authenticity, you can take your motorcycle to an auto locksmith and get the cylinder replaced with an updated transceiver cylinder.
3. Locks Are Only As Good As What They Are Locked To
Some people will buy an expensive high-security lock and then put it on a common hardware-store chain. Pretty much any chain you get from a hardware store is going to be just as worthless as the locks they sell. If metal on your chain is weaker than the metal on your lock, then a thief will attack the chain with cutting, prying, twisting, etc. If both your chain and your lock are strong, then they might go after what they are secured to. This would bypass the motorcycle lock altogether.
Bicycle thieves have cut down trees to get what they were after. Motorcycle thieves will do a lot more, so you need a solid anchor point. When you are at home, you can use a ground anchor, which is cemented into the floor. And while you are out, you can use telephone poles and street lights. Be cautious of sign posts, as these are sometimes dummy poles, made so that it is easy for a criminal to remove. Attaching a disc lock is good as long as you have a strong steering column lock that won’t break easily.
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