Securing your motorbike
When motorbikes aren’t secure they can be an easy target for thieves but, with the right locks and alarms, you can help keep your bike safe. Follow our bike security guide to see what you can do:
How do I keep my motorbike safe?
Here are our top five tips:
- Store it out of sight: Keep your bike in a garage and ensure that it can be anchored to the ground. If you can, fit a sturdy lock and an alarm system to your outbuilding.
- Mark your bike: It’s a good idea to add a security mark to your bike with a UV pen, in a place that police could easily check. Make sure you write identifying details, such as the vehicle registration number, and your postcode.
You can also invest in microdots, which are microscopic discs that stick to your bike and that contain a unique code or tagging. This lets the police scan your bike and check who the owner is through a computer database.
- Lock your wheels: Disc locks clamp onto your back wheel’s brake disc and stop it from moving, but they won’t stop determined thieves or gangs alone. If you use disc locks, add a cable to it and anchor it to something
solid, like a lamppost, for extra protection.
- Immobilise your bike: Investing in a combined alarm and immobiliser - a device that stops your bike from starting to prevent thefts - can pay off. If someone tampers with your bike, the alarm will sound and the engine won’t
turn over, meaning thieves are unlikely to drive away.
- Park in the right place: Don’t just park up anywhere. Try to be aware of your surroundings and choose a parking spot that has a stand you can attach a lock to. If you have no choice, park in an area that has lots of people, good lighting and CCTV - three factors that are more likely to put off thieves.
What are the different types of locks?
- U-lock: Also known as a D-lock or a shackle lock, U-locks are a large padlock that can be fitted to your bike and act as an anchor to secure it to a structure. Effective U-locks have a strong lock and are heat-treated to strengthen the device.
- Disc lock: Disc locks are compact, light and easy to transport, and are designed to be clamped to the front brake disc of bikes, preventing the wheel from turning. They can be effective, but they won’t stop professional thieves. If your vehicle is parked for a long time, combine the lock with a chain to prevent your motorbike from being carried away by thieves.
- Chain lock: A chain lock generally provides better protection than a standard U-lock. Although they are heavier to carry, there are fewer ways for chain locks to be broken or tampered with. There are usually plenty of attachment options on the wheels and frame for securing them to a fixed object, which can provide a security advantage. It may also be possible to use a combination of a brake disc lock and a chain.
In the event that your bike is stolen, call the police and your insurer as a priority, or you can visit the GOV.UK website for an easy-to-follow guide on what to do next.
Did you know?
Thatcham, a not-for-profit organisation, tests and researches some of the best security equipment, and most insurers want to see that safety devices, like immobilisers, are Thatcham-approved.
If you’re wondering how much you should spend on security, police suggest between 10-15% of the value of your bike.
What are the benefits of installing a bike alarm?
Alarms can let you and the public know that your bike is being tampered with, making it hard for a thief to work and not be seen. If you get a Thatcham-approved motorcycle alarm, it also could lower your insurance in the long run.
Police recommend that alarms should be fitted by a professional, who are accredited by Thatcham, because a sub-standard job can result in a useless alarm, and could void your bike’s warranty.
Did you know?
- More thefts happen in built-up areas than anywhere else
- A massive 80% of bikes stolen are taken from the owners’ homes
- The top four makes stolen are Hondas, Yamahas, Kawasakis and Suzukis
- West Yorkshire, West Midlands and Greater Manchester have some of the highest motorbike theft rates in the UK
Follow the law
To stay inside the law and drive in the UK, you must have third party insurance cover as a minimum. You can check if your motorbike has a valid insurance policy on the Motor Insurers' Bureau's Insurance Database and more advice can be found on the DVLA website.