Best Motorcycle Locks: The Top Devices For Securing Your Bike
The top motorcycle locks that will deter thieves from stealing your bike
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PUBLISHED ON June 27, 2019
Thieves steal more than 44,000 motorcycles a year in the United States. The best motorcycle anti-theft system will give you peace of mind when you park your bike outside. Our motorcycle locks review narrows down the best locks on the market. We recommended you combine two to three motorcycle locking systems for maximum security protection.
- Best OverallKryptonite Keeper 5s Yellow Disc LockSummarySummaryThis compact, lightweight, and weatherproof lock feature a 5-millimeter pin diameter to fit smaller vent holes. It comes with a bright orange reminder cable and two stainless steel keys.ProsProsThis lock is well-made, durable, and easy to put on and remove. It’s heavy, solid, and the locking mechanism is smooth. It's highly visible and feels and looks tough.ConsConsThe yellow paint may wear off where it contacts the rotor, and you must lube it to avoid jamming the keys. Also, it does not fit all types of motorcycles.
- Best ValueThe Club Utility LockSummarySummaryThis weather-resistant lock can secure a variety of items, and the length is adjustable. Its extra heavy-duty construction withstands more than 1,500 pounds of pressure. Its coating prevents scratches and scrapes.ProsProsThe lock is large with a long reach. It's very smooth and sturdy, is easy to work with, and has a ratcheting mechanism that allows you to lock your bike tightly.ConsConsThe lock is bulky and heavy and may be easy to saw through and remove. It may become more difficult to lock and unlock after a few months of use.
- Honorable MentionGrip-LockSummarySummaryThis lock fits most motorcycles, and its twist grip ranges in size from 27-38 millimeters. It's lightweight and compact, and the reinforced nylon casing protects the lock from corrosion.ProsProsIt is solid, easy to use, and comes in bright, visible colors. You will never forget it's on your motorcycle once you put your hands on the handlebars.ConsConsThe lock won't prevent someone from picking up your motorcycle and stealing it. Also, it may be hard to turn the lock after it rains and may require lubrication.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Motorcycle Locks
- Theft prevention. Locks for motorcycles greatly reduce the possibility that your bike will be stolen. Thieves are less likely to target a bike that has a visible lock on the wheel or bars or a chain affixed to a light post.
- Peace of mind. When you install a motorcycle security device on your bike, it allows you to go about your day without anxiety. You don't have to worry that someone may be plotting to take what's not theirs.
- Lower insurance premiums. Some insurance companies will give you a break on your insurance policy if you install the best motorcycle security device on certain makes and models that are prone to theft.
- You live in LA or NYC. There were 44,268 motorcycle thefts in the United States in 2017, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. The top states for thefts were California and Alaska, and the top cities were Los Angeles and New York City.
Types of Motorcycle Locks
This type of lock goes through the holes of the brake disc and prevents the motorcycle from rolling more than a few inches forward or backward. A thief can remove this type of security lock only by cutting through the steel with heavy equipment, which can be challenging and very noisy. The best motorcycle disc locks are a big deterrent, and they can be placed on either the front or back wheel. Some motorcycles such as vintage bikes may not have the right brakes for this type of lock.
This type of lock is used on the handlebars and is also known as a throttle lock, clutch lock, brake lock, or handlebar lock. It clamps down on the brake lever or clutch lever. When properly installed, a grip lock will immobilize the clutch, brake, and throttle. This type of lock is small, easy to use, and is designed to fit many different types of motorcycles.
Chain locks are typically bigger and heavier than other types of locks. This makes them less portable than disc and grip locks. The best motorcycle lock and chain is advantageous if you seek extra security. You can lock the bike to an immovable object such as a light post and then use a utility or bar lock through the motorcycle's rims.
Bar locks are very large pieces of steel that lock around your bike. They can be used on a variety of makes and models, and they are installed through alloy motorcycle rims. You can use this type of lock in conjunction with a chain lock to secure your motorcycle to a light post.
Kryptonite launched in 1971 after a man named Michael Zane invented the first U-Lock for bicycle security. The company, based in Canton, Mass., also has locks for motorcycle security and recommends using two security products at once to drive a thief to choose another target. A couple of top products are the Kryptonite Keeper 5s Yellow Disc Lock and the Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain.
Master Lock was founded in 1921 and is based in Oak Creek, Wisc. The company creates innovative security and safety solutions for consumer, commercial, and industrial end users. It's known as the largest global manufacturer and marketer of padlocks. One recommended product is the Master Lock Chain Lock.
The founder of the steering wheel lock The Club created the product after his Cadillac was stolen. He worked closely with law enforcement auto theft squads to build his business. The Club is part of Winner International, a privately held security products company headquartered in Sharon, Penn. One recommended product is The Club Utility Lock.
OnGuard Locks is based in Boston, Mass., and was founded in 2002. The company manufactures U-locks, chain locks, armored cable locks, coil cable locks, cable locks, cables, chains, disc locks, locking skewers, padlocks, and alarm locks for bikes, motorcycles, and more. One top product is the OnGuard Mastiff 6' x 3/8" Quad Chain Lock.
Grip-Lock Global Limited manufactures and distributes the Grip-Lock motorcycle security system, a portable and stylish locking solution for your bike. The company launched in 2014, and its Grip-Lock is made in New Zealand. The company provides a 10-year warranty with its product.
Motorcycle Lock Pricing
- $20-$100: If you want the strongest motorcycle lock, you will have to pay a little bit of money. That's because security experts recommend you use two to three different types of motorcycle locks in conjunction in order to provide maximum theft protection.
The best motorcycle wheel lock should include a reminder cable. You put the cable over your handlebars and towards the lock to remind you that your bike is locked. This is crucial because if you forget you have a disc lock on your bike and try to ride it, you can damage your motorbike.
- Material: A heavy-duty motorcycle lock should be made of durable material such as steel or aluminum alloy. The product should be long lasting and resist rust and corrosion. Also, make sure the metal does not damage your bike. Some are made of materials that may scratch or harm the wheel or other parts of your motorcycle.
- Portability: Top-rated motorcycle locks should be easy to carry. You should be able to take them with you on your saddlebags or put them in a backpack. If a lock is too bulky and heavy, you're less likely to use it, thus compromising the safety of your motorcycle.
- Ease of Use: A motorcycle lock system should be easy to use. Find a brand that is simple to install and just as simple to remove. If the lock is too complicated or it is a struggle to maneuver, it will be very frustrating. It may even prevent you from using the lock.
- Alarm: Motorcycle locks with alarms create a noise that is loud enough to prevent a thief from stealing your bike. Some locks have built-in alarms that will alert you if someone is tampering with your motorcycle. A disc lock alarm is only helpful if you park your bike nearby and can hear the alarm when it's activated.
Best Motorcycle Lock Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: Kryptonite Keeper 5s Yellow Disc Lock
This compact, lightweight, and weatherproof lock feature a dual reinforced high-security disc-style cylinder. Its 5-millimeter pin diameter fits smaller vent holes. This stapler-style disc lock immobilizes vehicles to prevent roll-away or ride-away theft. It comes with a bright orange reminder cable and two stainless steel keys.
This lock is well made, durable, and easy to put on and remove. It feels solid and the locking mechanism is smooth. It's small enough to fit in your riding jacket pocket or a handlebar pouch, and it's highly visible, making it a great deterrent. The lock feels and looks tough, and the key is not removable unless the lock is locked, giving you peace of mind.
One problem is the yellow paint may wear off where it comes into contact with the rotor, and you must lube it to avoid jamming the keys. Also, it does not fit all types of motorcycles. It works better if you pair it with a chain or a grip lock for added security. It doesn't prevent your bike from being loaded into a van, but it keeps a thief from rolling it away.
Best Value: The Club Utility Lock
This weather-resistant utility lock can secure a variety of items, including motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, patio furniture, and tools. The length adjusts from 8.5 inches up to 11.5 inches and is 6.25 inches wide on the inside. Its extra heavy-duty construction withstands more than 1,500 pounds of pressure. The vinyl coating tempered steel protects your motorcycle from scratches and scrapes.
The lock is large and has a long reach, making it convenient to lock in awkward positions. The locking mechanism is very smooth and sturdy. It's durable and difficult to break, yet not too hard for an owner to operate. It holds up well in various elements, is easy to work with, and has a ratcheting mechanism that allows you to lock your bike more tightly. It also comes with four keys, so you'll have plenty of spares.
The biggest downside is the lock is bulky and heavy (nearly 3.5 pounds), which makes it uncomfortable to carry. There are also some complaints that the lock is easy to saw through and remove. In addition, it may become more difficult to lock and unlock after a few months of use if it’s exposed to a lot of moisture.
Honorable Mention: Grip-Lock
This lock fits 95 percent of all motorcycles and its twist grip ranges in size from 27-38 millimeters. It contains hardened steel rods for maximum protection. It's lightweight, compact, and the reinforced nylon casing protects the lock from corrosion. It is mounted on the handlebar and locks both throttle grip and brake lever. It takes less than 10 seconds to put it on and take it off.
This lock holds the brake down solidly so you cannot move the bike when it's parked. It is solid, easy to use, and comes in bright, visible colors, making it a deterrent. It's also small enough to carry and is easy to engage and disengage. Most importantly, you will never forget it's on once you put your hands on the handlebars, so there is no danger of ruining your bike.
One problem is the lock won't prevent someone from picking up your motorcycle and stealing it, but it locks the throttle and front brake so rolling it isn't easy. Also, it may be hard to turn the lock after it rains and may require lubrication. In addition, the Grip-Lock does not fit all motorcycles.
- Use a motorcycle lock system as often as possible. It should take less than a minute for you to install the lock, and it is the best way to discourage thieves from stealing your bike.
- In addition to locking your bike, you should also keep it covered. If you don't have a garage and must leave it in a public place, use a bike cover to keep it hidden from potential thieves.
- Make sure the lock doesn't touch the ground. The lower it is, the more leverage a potential thief will have. It's best to place it through the frame, but you can also put a lock through the forks and spokes.
- If you use a brake disc lock, also lock the bike to something solid and immovable. Otherwise, a thief will be able to pick up your motorcycle and move it in a truck.
- You should consider using motorbike locks regardless of how valuable your motorcycle is. Even if you have a cheap bike, it's more cost effective to buy a lock than it is to replace your motorcycle.
- For added security, put a kill switch or spring-loaded switch on your motorcycle that cuts off the fuel line. You can also put a GPS location on your bike to find it if someone steals it. Another option is removing a fuse so it doesn't start.
- It's better to put a disc lock on the front wheel. There are fewer places to put the lock on a rear wheel because of the chain sprocket. Also, you may forget you put the lock on the back wheel and try to move the bike, which can be damaging.
- If you put a disc lock on the front wheel, it is also much more visible to a potential thief. A criminal will hesitate before attempting to steal your bike if the lock is very conspicuous.
- Motorcycles and locks are exposed to the rain, UV rays, and other elements. Choose a product that is high quality. You want one that is waterproof and that does not easily rust. Use chain lube on the lock every couple months to keep the operation smooth.
- Park in well-lit areas. Also, avoid parking in the same place every day or you may be tempting a potential thief who knows your habits. Stickers that say "alarm installed" may also deter criminals.
- Sport bikes are stolen the most, followed by Harley-Davidsons and expensive choppers, particularly if they're left outside of apartment complexes. Thieves often target gated parking garages in cities.
- Do not leave a spare key in your saddlebag. Thieves can easily open trunks up with butter knives. Also, do not leave your title in your bags.
- Even with the best motorcycle security, thieves can still steal your motorcycle. Three to four strong people can pick up lighter motorcycles and load them into a trailer, despite the bike having a wheel or grip lock. Criminals can also cut chains.
Q: How does a motorcycle steering lock work?
A: This type of lock is used on your bike's handlebars. First, turn the bars to the right, and then push in the key on the lock. Then simply turn the key. Move the bars slightly to the left to engage the lock, and remove the keys.
Q: What type of lock fits my motorcycle?
A: Many locks come in various sizes and are able to fit on a wide range of bikes. Other locks are meant for specific makes and models. Disc brake locks, for example, have numerous sized pins to accommodate different sized motorcycles.
Q: How do I lock my saddlebags?
A: Just because your saddlebag is closed doesn't mean it's safe from potential thieves. The best way to lock these bags is by using a lockable cable to secure it to your bike. Some companies such as Harley-Davidson also sell locks specifically made for saddlebags.
Q: How do I lock my motorcycle seat?
A: Often you can lock your seat using the same key for starting the ignition. However, some motorcycles have two separate keys for these two tasks. Unfortunately, seat locks are typically not very strong and can be easily broken.
Our pick for the best motorcycle lock is the Kryptonite Keeper 5s Yellow Disc Lock. It's small, lightweight, and waterproof, and comes with a bright reminder cable. It's easy to use, is highly visible, and the key is not removable unless the lock is locked.
For a less expensive option, consider The Club Utility Lock.