LoJacks, locks, and chains.
There are literally a hundred different ways to lock up your bike. There are devices that lock up the tires, lock up the tires to something, makes all kinds of noise, texts your cell phone, keeps the bike from running ,and, my personal favorite, turns the bike off a block away. Some are prettier than others, sometimes the ugly ones work better, and sometimes you cant even tell the device is there. In the case of locking devices, bigger isn't always better. Choices, choices, choices!! In an attempt to help you narrow down what works for you, I will give you examples of everything I can find out there. So, lets get started.....
These things are pretty remarkable! The most remarkable thing is the fact that they boast a better than 90% recovery and often in just a few hours. The unit itself is a small radio transmitter that is constantly in a receiving mode and ready to be activated. According to the website, the unit is "seamlessly integrated" into the motorcycle so that there is no way to detect and disconnect the unit. They wont even let the owner of the motorcycle watch the installation! Well...they will because they cant stop you but, it may lead to problems with your warranty. Guess these guys mean business! There are apparently several places that they put the device on your bike and they are virtually undetectable. After installation, the unit is registered with the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and upon activation is tracked by the computers in police cruisers and aviators.
There are other advantages to having one of these units. First, there is actually a unit you can buy that is called their Early Warning Recovery System that automatically contacts you if your bike is moved without your permission. It doesn't get better than that. Second, there is a very good chance that you will get some serious discounts on your motorcycle insurance. I doubt that they will have to worry too much about your bike going anywhere with this kind of device hidden in it.
The down side to the unit could be considered the cost. The price for the unit and installation is approximately $1,400.00 (more if something needs to be special ordered). The installation is done by a certified technician and is NOT transferable to any other bike. That translates into you buying a new unit every time you buy a new bike. One last downside is the same with any alarm device. If your bike is going to sit for any length of time, you need to hook it up to a trickle charger to insure there is enough charge to power the unit. Not a big deal since that should be a common practice for all bikes, alarm or not. They also recommend that you have the unit tested every two years which may even be a requirement to insure your warranty. Check out their website at http://www.lojack.com/motorcycle/pages/motorcycle-works.aspx to answer any questions and find a local distributor.
Next are the smart alarms. We will use the Scorpio Alarm as an example picture and can be viewed at http://www.scorpioalarms.com/products/motorcycle. Remember to make sure you are looking at alarms that are specifically made for motorcycles. Yes, it does make a difference! Also check for weatherproofing. If not, the first time it rains or you wash the bike, the unit is done. These little gems are more affordable than the LoJack and offer all kinds of little weapons like cutting off the fuel delivery or crank signal, starter kill, or a pager that lets you know when a problem occurs. They can even interface with a kick stand sensor. They are also units that you can install yourself. They are visible and can be disconnected by the sophisticated thief but can be activated at the same time. They make enough noise to make the guy go a runnin and if you are within range, make you go a runnin, as well. There are even units that text your cell phone if your ride is moved without your permission. They offer you the ability to find your ride in a crowd by hitting the button, making the lights flash and emitting a clicking noise. They are also equipped with a button that allows you to activate the alarm in times of trouble. They have a motion detection that can be programmed to a choice of levels using the pager and letting you choose your need depending on where you are and the surroundings you are in. The good news about these units is that they are numerous which allows you to find the best unit that you can afford. The price range I have found is from $50.00 to $350.00. There really is a price range for everyone. Although I have never installed one, I understand that they are easy enough to do that the average person can do it, with or without a college degree.
The down side to these units is that they are visible. A thief that knows what he is doing will know how to take care of it in a blink of an eye. One has to assume that and use multiple devices to ward of a theft. If you have a unit with a limited range, you have to take that into account as well. That is when the smart alarm that sends a text is valuable. Most times a theft is achieved by simply having a few burly guys that pic the whole unit up and loading it into a trailer, alarm, locks, and all.
There are also alarms designed to keep your bike covers from being disturbed. You don't need a thief nosing around to see whats under the cover to determine if they want to steal your motorcycle! According to bikebone at http://www.bikebone.com/, the Guardian Alarm for Guardian Motorcycle Covers emits an ear-piercing 130 dB warning when somebody tries to remove the cover without deactivating the alarm. It doesn't require any modifications, wiring, or attachments, has a one year limited warranty, and costs a mere $20. An easy way to deter the bad guys without much work or money. A winner in my book.
The next thing to consider is the locking devices. There are more locks than you can shake a stick at! They come in all shapes and sizes...and price ranges. One website made a great point. He stated that if you are looking for good locks, look for the ones made by the people in the areas that have the biggest problem. As I understand it, our theft problem doesn't even compare with our European neighbors across the pond. And I found one that sounds great from a German manufacturer.
From the website http://www.motorcyclecruiser.com/motorcycle_accessories/index.html, I found examples of 9 locking devices that range from the minor to incredible. One lock that caught my eye was a lock from the German maker ABUS. This lock maker has a great reputation in their part of town which has its share of problems. The lock I liked is a 16mm thick U-shaped lock called the Granite Extreme. It boasts a double-locking cylinder featuring more than a million key variations for a high level of pick-proofness. Nice. Let the bad guy try and figure that out. They don't have that kind of time! It also raves about having a square parabolic shackle with a hardened steel construction offering the maximum resistance against bolt cutters. It has a rubber like cover to protects your paint job and a cover to keep the dirt out of the keyhole. This guy is beefy and in a pinch, you could use it to smack the thief in the head. Just kidding...kinda.
The down side to this lock is that its size makes it a little more difficult to tote around. It comes with a price tag of $159.00 but, I don't think its the kind of lock that is easily tampered with and you do get what you pay for. Take a look at all the locks they feature at motorcyclecruiser.com.
The next lock I found (and on the same website) is a disc lock. This particular lock caught my eye because of the bright yellow covering. Now, I'm all for the kind of deterrent you cant see so that you cant disconnect it, but in terms of disc locks, I want the bad guy to see it and decide that I mean business and move on to some silly schmuk's bike that thinks it wont happen to him. This lock is a little beauty that provides just the visual I'm looking for with the bright yellow rubber like covering that protects the bike as well. The Bully, as it is called, is made of hardened forged steel with the security cylinder featuring an anti-drill ball pin and 100,000 key variations. The 10mm hardened-steel lock pin provides quite an obstacle for the thief. Its small enough to be portable and has a reasonable price tag of just $25.
The down side to this lock is that it can be defeated by the sophisticated thief and provides no protection when dealing with those few burly guys I talked about earlier. If they want to lift the bike into a trailer, they take the locks as well. Another problem is forgetting you have the thing on and trying to ride away. I haven't done it myself but I have seen it done. You are so busy yuckin it up with your buds that you just plain forget. The good news is that you will only forget it once. Twice if you happen to be a slow learner.
Now we can get into the locks and chains. One very nice unit I found was a Cobralinks cable lock. This particular lock is a favorite of Harley Davidson. Check to see all they have to offer. http://www.harley-davidson.com/.
This is actually a very attractive unit! The links themselves are made of hardened stainless steel covering seven strands of top-quality aircraft cable. Impressive! This allows the cable to be flexible and yet, according to Cobra, with "the strength of a hardened steel bar." The unit cones in length from 6 to 12 feet with 34 or 1 inch outside diameters. It weighs from 10 to 15 lbs and can be rolled into and 11 inch coil. It comes with 3 keys to allow you extras.
The down side to this unit might be considered the expense. The price tag for this lock and cable is $200 or so. You may not be able to find it at dealerships anymore since they stopped manufacturing in 2004 but, if you find one, buy it. Some consider it part of motorcycle history since the manufacturer was considered "the last true American lock manufacturer". You have to consider that short of loosing the thing, you most likely wont need to replace it. Ever. Quality is expensive, folks, but so is loosing your ride! The other issue is an 11 inch coil to tote around but I'm sure you wont always need to have this kind of protection. Having an arsenal available and picking your weapon of choice is a great plan. A trip to moms house wont need the same tools as the trip to the hood...or the unknown. Thats when you bring out the big guns!
This next little guy might have gotten my attention because of the name and the fact that my kids are half Italian and my beloved mother-in-law is from New York.....dont know. But, heres the scoop and you decide if its worthy. Its called the Krytonite New York Disc Lock and Fahgettaboudit Security Chain at http://www.kryptonitelock.com. Wow! Makes me want to stuff cotton in my cheeks! Krytonite calls it the "ultimate motorcycle lock for high-theft areas.". When I dug around I found that it was one of the top nine picks on the same website (motorcyclecruiser.com) that I had used before. This thing features hexagonal chain links made of triple heat treated steel. Because of the shape of the links it is said to be more than a little difficult to use bolt cutters, saws, and chisels. Also,with the narrow inner width of the links, its hard to use any kind of leverage tool either. It also comes with a sleeve to protect your bike from scratches.
The lock itself can be purchased separately. It sports a through hardened half inch steel shackle that wards off those same bolt cutters, etc. It also has a Pik-safe disc-style cylinder (don't know that that really means pick safe) with a steel sleeve over the cross bar. The double deadbolt locking mechanism claims to have extensive holding power under attack. There is also a sliding dist cover to keep out the dirt.
One last note: The Fahgettaboudit comes with an optional $1000 anti-theft protection and comes with a limited lifetime warranty and key registration.
The downside to this unit may be considered the price at $200. Again, you get what you pay for. In addition, it is about 12 pounds and can be considered less than portable. But, the godfather would approve! Sorry, there was no mention of it coming with cotton for your cheeks.
The reason I like this next unit is for its ability to be adjustable. Attaching your bike to something and being able to adjust it to just the right length can be such a plus for security. Most of the time you are going to places you've been to before and know what to expect. On those occasions when you are riding into the unknown, this guy is the one for you. Its called the Master Lock Pythin 6 inch Adjustable Cable Lock at http://www.masterlock.com. I found this on several websites and have to believe it is a popular application for locking your bike.
This doesn't look like a wimpy little lock either. The cable is substantial but not with a look of intimidation. It does claims to be cut resistant. With a diameter of 38 inches and a length of 6 feet, you can use the additional length to slide through your leather coat and helmet for securely leaving it with your bike. Beats leaving it in the saddle bags or lugging it around. This thing is easy to use and once the key has secured it into the correct position, it can only be tightened. The cable fits into an aluminum alloy cylinder with a three position keyhole (lock,cinch, or unlock) and is easy to use and compact to transport. This really is an all around good lock to have. Its even affordable at just $30.
The down side to this lock is that it isn't visually intimidating. This may look like a lock that would be easy to take on but if you have ever had to tackle cutting cable, it ain't that easy. This should be used as a supplemental lock, in my opinion.
This next lock is quite an idea. Unlike the disc locks I mentioned earlier, you cant forget its there. This lock clamps onto the hand grip immobilizing the break or throttle. I have asked around a little and don't know anyone who has one of these. Most people think they have seen them but don't quite remember. Those people are mostly from the late sixties and early seventies and have trouble remembering....ya know! But, non the less, I cant remember seeing one either. The manufacturer is Targa and they call this guy the Lever Lock. It really is quite the visual. They can be purchased in a single unit or a double unit keyed alike. They come in chrome so as not to compromise the look of your ride! The great thing is that you can attach these guys sitting on your bike and don't need to get near the dirty tires or hot exhaust. (I know that sounded girly...but, I'm a girl! Sorry guys). These units are a mere 11/2 inches and fit into the pocket of your jacket, are easy to install, look like you mean business, and are still pleasing to the eye. They are also affordable at a single unit price of $60 and a double unit at $100. It is lightweight and portable but also easy to lay down and forget.
The down side to these locks are that they cant be your primary defense. They have to be used with other devices to insure maximum security. But for all around days, these get my vote. I saw these on a few websites but check out http://1cruiser.com/ for information on this one. They had the best prices at the time of this writing.
There is one more security idea we need to add. We have all seen motorcycles left out for all the world to see, not secured to anything. Then there is the carport with little to offer as a deterrent and actually offering some shielding for the bad guy to work. There are ways to beef up a little and that way is called the anchor. These beauties are permanently affixed to the ground or wall and enables you to lock your bike to it.
One of these such anchors I found at http://bikebrace.com. The construction on this thing boasts powder coated, lazer cut 1/4 inch steel plate. The unit comes with hardware and instructions and could be considered a do-it-yourself job but certainly there are people to hire if its outside your comfort zone. The unit can bolt into concrete or any solid surface, using 21/2 inch anchors rated to resist over 2,000 lbs of force. The 1 inch diameter precision ground steel shaft fits through the rim to secure the tire. A steel plate cover protects the heavy duty padlock(included) from tampering. The optional Axel Guard Arm Extensions eliminate access to the axle and removes the threat of the thief removing the tire. Also included is a 3/8 inch extra length shackle. The cost for the unit is actually reasonable at $159 with an extra $109 for the axle guard. If you buy the units together the price goes down a little to $249. It is the perfect application for the person who only has a carport or no secure facility at all. Can also be used in a truck or trailer for secure transportation, even when you stay over at a hotel or motel.
The down side to this unit is that it is permanent. That means that when you go, it may have to stay. Those 21/2 inch anchors might leave a mess if you try to remove them and you might have to agree to leave it in order to get the powers-that-be to let you put it in. Sure beats loosing your pride and joy. Remember to amortize it out to the number of months you live there and determine what the cost really is. I bet its cheaper than you think! Think of the cost of renting a small garage.
A little lesser anchoring system is the Kryptonite Stronghold. A couple of these in a location with cement to anchor into could be an easy fix to a big problem. It is small enough to be affixed to a wall using a stud. Can also be used in the bed of a truck or trailer. Comes with 5/8 inch cement anchor bolts that screw directly into the cement or any solid surface and the masonry bits to complete the job. The black hard plastic dome is sturdy and provides a 16mm steel shackle to attach locks that lays flat down into the unit when not in use. This makes it easy to walk or drive over. If a flush with the ground application is important to you, they do have a model that will work for you also. The unit is 7.5 inch diameter by 1.65 inch and weighs 8lbs. It is weatherproof and has a lifetime warranty. The price tag for the unit is $80
The down side to these units might be that they aren't as strong as they need to be but, frankly, there wasn't enough info on them for me to make that determination. I still thought they were a pretty slick little application that was worth mentioning. Try http://kryptonitelock.com for a better view. These guys have some pretty cool stuff for locking up everything from your motorcycle to your computer.
Well, thats it for now. I'm going to purchase a few of these and see how they work or talk to my friends that have them and see what they think. I'll give you some reviews when I'm done to give you a better idea. Some of the websites have gone through changes and may not be available. Sorry bout that! The web is ever changing and it may be running faster than I can keep up with!! Be safe, keep your baby safe, and lock it up!
|Copyright © 2013 Motorcycle Travel America|
Copyright © 2013 Motorcycle Travel America