Best Motorcycle Alarms: Protect Your Bike From Theft
Scare away potential motorcycle thieves with these top alarm systems
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON April 23, 2020
A motorcycle chain lock is a good way to safeguard your motorcycle against theft, but what’s better is adapting one with an alarm system that scares opportunistic thieves away and attracts public attention to the source of the problem. If you are a motorcycle owner and want to protect your valuable possession, consider purchasing one of the best motorcycle alarm systems featured in our buying guide below.
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Why Buy A Motorcycle Alarm?
- Prevent theft. If you own a sports bike or any type of bike that you frequently ride around your neighborhood, then you should be aware that it’s a great target for thieves. The best way to protect your bike is to buy an alarm system with high sensitivity that’s triggered by even the gentlest touch. Essentially, a bike with an alarm lock system is a theft deterrent.
- Protect your new bike. It goes without saying that the newer a bike is, the more valuable it is. Most bike thieves will pass over a bike with worn tires, worn grips, a rusty chain, or anything that looks cosmetically rough. Also, some brands like Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, and Kawasaki are more prone to theft than others. However, most thieves won’t risk getting caught cutting through a bike with security wiring and a safety lock.
- Security. The easiest way to steal a bike is to load it into a van. However, any movement of the motorcycle can trigger an alarm, especially a disc lock alarm placed on each wheel. In addition, some motorcycle alarm systems have GPS chip trackers that let you track the bike in case the thief manages to get away with it.
Types of Motorcycle Alarms
Brake Disc Alarm Locks
These locks clamp onto the holes in the motorcycle disc brake and immobilize the bike. They are compact and heavier than handlebar grips or ordinary chain locks. Just be careful not to ride your bike with the disc brake on or you may fall off and damage your bike. Some models come with a reminder cable, which typically runs from the lock to the accelerator and reminds you to remove the lock before you ride away.
Handlebar Grip Alarm Locks
Handlebar grip alarm locks can be fitted on either the left or right side of the handlebars and prevent you from riding away. These locks grip onto the front brake and throttle on one side and grip the clutch on the other side to prevent the bike from being put into gear. They are also constructed with tough material and cannot be cut through easily. The built-in alarm system delivers a powerful siren of 100 decibels and above.
Pyle is a renowned equipment manufacturer based in the United States. It was founded in 1960 exclusively as an audio equipment manufacturer, but the company ventured into the production of health and fitness equipment, car audio equipment, office tools, musical instruments, and outdoor gadgets later in the 2000s. Pyle products never compromise on quality, so consider purchasing the Pyle Watch Dog Bike Alarm if you want to try out one of its top-notch security systems.
From its headquarters in Los Angeles, California, Gorilla Automotive manufactures and designs some of the best automotive products aimed at making every car owner's life better and more comfortable. Gorilla specializes in a wide line of products, including wheel locks, automotive tools and gauges, lug nuts, replacement keys, and security alarms. One of its best-rated products is the Gorilla Automotive Motorcycle Alarm.
Motorcycle Alarm Pricing
- Below $50: Motorcycle alarms within this price range are either disc brake alarms or alarms with adhesive tapes that attach to the bike. Most have a motion-sensing feature, can be controlled with a wireless remote, and produce a sharp sounding alarm that’s a bit over 100 decibels.
- $50 to $100: Alarms within this price range are either built in the disc brakes or handlebars. Most have a GPS tracking system, perimeter sensor, and a loud siren of over 150 decibels. Additionally, the locks are designed with durable material, are compatible with your smartphone, and can be operated with wireless remote control.
- Over $100: Security costs you money. If you want a 100-percent guarantee that your bike is safe, you have to invest in the products within this price range. The locks are hardened and even if they can be cut, it’s a time-consuming process that will deter most criminals.
An alarm’s power and volume is measured in decibels, which tells you how loud the alarm can be. What type you choose will largely depend on where you park your bike. For instance, if you plan on parking outside loud establishments or leaving it parked at a large distance from where you’ll be located, then you need an alarm system with a high decibel rating. Anything over 150 decibels will do. Anything below that will deliver a lower sound level.
It’s just not enough to have a loud alarm system. You also need something that’s strong enough to latch onto your bike in case the alarm is cut off. The material should be made of durable and weather-proof stainless steel or any other hardened metal that will stay intact no matter how hard the thief tries to saw through it.
- Ease of Use: The alarm system should be user-friendly from its installation to its operation. A model that comes with a wireless remote or Bluetooth compatibility is helpful when it comes to activating the alarm, setting the parameters, choosing the alarm ringtone, and adjusting the volume and the sensitivity of the unit.
- Battery Life: Look for a reliable unit that will offer hours of service before its battery drains. Consider how long you typically leave your bike unattended and look for a unit with the battery life that matches. The best units use dry cell batteries, which may take months before they drain.
Best Motorcycle Alarm Reviews & Recommendations 2020
- The best place to lock an alarm is on the frame and not the wheels. It’s not too difficult to remove the wheels without triggering the alarm, especially if the alarm’s battery level is low or if it has a low ringtone. If you have to attach it on a wheel, lock it on the rear wheel as it will take longer to remove the lock-in that location.
- If the lock comes with a chain, be sure to lock it tightly on the bike. If it hangs off loosely, it will be more susceptible to bolt cutters, freeze attacks, sledgehammer attacks, and wedge attacks.
- Never leave your spare key in the trunk or forget to lock your steering wheel. That just makes it easy for anyone to steal your bike. It’s not that easy for anyone to bypass a steering wheel lock, and the trunk is easy to open with a penknife.
- Even the best motorcycle alarms won’t protect your bike if it's parked in a secluded place. Criminals will only have to muffle the sound and can easily steak the bike unnoticed. Ensure that you always park in a public place.
Q: Will wheel locks prevent my bike from being carried away by thieves?
A: Not really. If there are three to four people with a trailer they may manage to pick it up and disable the alarm before it goes off. The only way to outsmart them is to get a GPS motorcycle alarm lock with a motion sensor and a loud ringing volume with anything over 100 decibels. It will alert the people nearby when the motorcycle is lifted off the ground. Also, bike thieves tend to avoid bikes with advanced security systems and a motorcycle lock that anchors the bike to the ground.
Q: Will a disc alarm lock work in any kind of weather?
A: It depends on the quality of the device. Some units are made with hardened stainless steel that resists damage by rust and water. The unit also protects the built-in alarm system from weather and environmental elements that may damage the system. You need a higher-end model if you plan on riding in winter as a cheap model may freeze up and the alarm won’t work.
Q: Can I use two-disc alarm locks on my motorcycle?
A: Your bike has two discs, so it is possible to attach an alarm on the front and rear disc for optimal security. You could also use disc locks from different brands to test how effective each one is before you settle on a brand. However, ensure that each disc lock has a reminder cable in case you forget to unlock one of the disc locks.
If you want a durable alarm lock system to keep your motorcycle safe, then consider the Gorilla Automotive 9000 Motorcycle Alarm.
If you are on a tight budget but need something to deter thieves when you leave your bike for a short time, then consider purchasing the Wsdcam Motorcycle Alarm. It allows you to tune the sensitivity level, and you can customize the alarm tone to your preference.