Bike Security/Anti-theft

Information Sheet on Anti-theft Measures

Lock it or loose it!


Always lock your bike when you leave it. The longer you’re away the more important the place you park and the anti-theft devices you use. Use at least two devices. A shopping centre or street might be OK during shopping hours, but at night chain the bike to a anchor in a well lit area in a public place. Get advice from your local MAG Discount Shop & buy the best!

Steering lock

Locks the handle-bars. Insert the key into the ignition or into a barrel on the steering head, turn the handlebars to full lock, turn and withdraw the key. Restricts movement to a circle. Rough use can damage/break the steering barrel or the ignition. Not a visible deterrent. The motorcycle can be lifted into van, or the lock broken and if ‘hot-wired’ ridden away.


Visible deterrent. Easy to carry. Weak points: need for metal ‘U’ to resist cutting, sawing or bending; lock shackle to resist hammer blows. Does not stop bike being lifted into van, no deterrence to bike dismantlers. RiDE rated the Oxford Roc (Sold Secure rated) top, but it’s 100 quid sterling…. Surprisingly a Ming Tay lock also did well, taking price into account. Oxford do a U-lock carrier that fits behind your rear numberplate. MPS sell keyed Arbus locks, so you can have a disk lock, U-lock and FOAD padlock for a chain all operated with the same key.

Chain & padlock

Visible deterrent. Chain can be in sleeve for neatness. Bulk of chain may make it difficult to carry. Weak points: need for links to resist cutting, sawing or breaking under force; padlock shackle to resist hammer blows. The bigger the better – Arbus & Oxford are pretty good – the Oxford Monster (with revised lock) is rated Sold Secure – MCN found the chain unbreakable. The main thing is to chain the bike to some-thing, keeping the lock off the ground, with as little slack in the chain as possible. Try to put it round a wheel and the frame, too. (Don’t make the obvious mistake of running the chain round some easily removed part of your bike, like a foot-peg hanger!) The “Rotalock” from Bikebitz is a serious cylindrical padlock that rotates, making it harder to hold in a pipe wrench etc. while drilling or cutting it. They also do a matching rotating ground anchor. RiDE liked the Rotalock (lock & 1.2m chain for £170Stg), the Arbus Granite “Cutter Buster” (Stg£148), and the Squire “SS654” (Stg £149) – the Squire lock was the only one they coudn’t break without power tools, ‘tho the Rotalock was “noisy and time-consuming”.. Remember an angle grinder will get through most chains, but make *lots* of noise.

Disc/Brake lock

Ok for deterring joyriders, but won’t stop a determined thief. Fits in holes on pre-drilled brake disc or locks front brake lever top handlebar. Weak points: needs to resist cutting or sawing; locked part may be dismantled from rest of bike. Does not stop bike being lifted into van, no deterrence to bike dismantlers. The ones like miniature D-locks (Kryptonite EV etc.) are better than the “flat” ones that shear off. If you put it on the rear disk, it can be harder to smash the disk or drill/cut the lock, but you’re more likely to forget it. Xena do a disc lock with a motion-sensor alarm that might help you avoid forgetting it. Arbus, Kryptonite and Oxford do ones that can be used as a disk lock on their own, or as a padlock for use with a chain. Kryptonite EV & Arbus Granite disk locks. Kryptonite sell the “Barbed Wire” a 5/12 foot cable available in two diameters (15mm 20mm) that works with the EV disc lock to let you chain the bike to a solid object.


Three main choices here, either: (a) get a cheap one that you can hear from bedroom/work, etc. (b) just get a cheap immobiliser, or (c) get a serious insurance approved one (Spyball/Datatool etc.) – these can cost 200-300 quid (you generally need to get then fitted by an approved fitter to get the discount), but are worth it if your bike is worth more than say, 5000 quid – keep a photocopy of the installation certificate in case the Ins.Co. want it. Whatever kind you get, make sure the alarm is well hidden and be careful with that jetwash! Spyball is an alarm & double immobiliser. 40 seconds after removing the key the immobiliser shuts off electrical power to the CDI and the coils. The sensitivity of the movement alarm can be adjusted. 99% of Spyball alarms are fitted by Planet Moto, Dorset St., Dublin. Datatool is similar recognised by Carole Nash, and fitted by Euro Classic Wheels, Lucan for £299.00. Top-Tip: buy a new battery for the remote each time you buy a new tax disk – they’re cheap and it’s better to waste a quid than have your alarm stuck armed on a wet Friday night. If your alarm remote seems to require new batteries frequently, you can sometimes open it up and tweak the tuning screw to get a better range and prolong battery life.


If your insurance premium is more than 70 quid then Datatag your bike. It only costs about 70 quid (less if you’re in MAG) and deters anyone from stealing your bike for parts – This is very important for small bikes, e.g. 125 trailies as they’re amongst the most frequently stolen and used as field bikes. Appropriate for expensive bikes too – care to guess how much a new petrol tank costs? MAG Ireland and Fergus Finn have been pushing the Garda to use Datatag ‘cos it’s great evidence and makes it much easier for them to get a convict-ion if number-less frames, engines etc. are recovered. Typically Irish, the cops on the street want it but the back-office guys are dragging their heels. It’s worth taking a look at your bike and working out which parts are likely to be trashed in a crash – these are the bits most in demand… So once you’ve got your Datatag number, you can etch/punch/ engrave/stick it on the inside of fairing panels, fork legs, swingarm, head-lamp units etc. The Alpha-Dot Security Marking System is an alternative that uses microdots, but you could always just mark your postcode/VIN on the back of panels, etc.

Ground Anchors

Good for chaining the bike too is you have to keep it in a driveway etc. (or even in a garage if you’re really paranoid.) The Steve Clarke Engineering Bike Anchor, Rhino Rock Anchor, Bulldog Security Post, Rotalock and Big Foot Cemfix did well in RiDE’s test. The best ones should be concreted in, but the ones with shear-head bolts are next best. They should be positioned in corners or near walls to make it harder to get access (e.g. leverage with a scaffold pole). Some have snap-off bolt heads to prevent them being removed, but you can grind the heads off, concrete them over or weld them up. (And hope that when you move house the next occupant is also a biker…) Gara make a Sold Secure approved ground anchor/wheelclamp that weighs 12 Kg and locks the rear wheel to the ground. JAWS Sales & Marketing sell the CW200 Frame Lock by Centinel for165 quid Stg. It’s a post that you concrete into the ground, with a bar that goes through the bike frame and locks onto the post. Carole Nash insurance brokers have put their name to a N.E.I.L Sold Secure anchor and are offering insurance discounts for it. (It weighs about 80 lbs.)


Use the up-an-over garage door M &P kit (AK6GDL) – two brackets fixed to the garage floor at either side at the base with bits that stick through the door to attach the supplied padlocks to. Make sure your drill can cope with 50mm deep 10/12mm holes in concrete. The “Arma” garage door locks are 25 quid each (excluding padlocks) from 01327 70330. The “Garage Guard” is a 50 quid T-bar that locks onto a metal ground plate to block an up-and-over door from opening. PJB Gates do 4 models of garage locks from 30 to 60 quid.

Re- Garage door locks ”
“Having seen two garage doors feloniously entered and having helped make ’em thief proof afterwards… Even I can bend the average garage door – just wearing ‘bike gloves. You must strengthen the door and/or anchor its lower edge to the ground. I’d start by screwing a length of 4 x 2 to the inside bottom edge of the door. Use self tapping screws from the outside – and plenty of ’em. Or rivet a steel plate or aluminium “L” section if you have the technology. If possible (some designs cleverly preclude it) strengthen the sides, too. Rivet a metal plate around the lock on the outside. You can [literally] cut the average garage door with an old fashioned can-opener. If you can’t rivet, glue fibreglass or some plywood on the inside. If they can make a hole by the lock they can undo it. Buy two BIG padlock and hasps. Attach the long bit to the ground and the little “D” loop bits to the bottom of the door, about a foot in from the edge on either side – to minimise the “unsupported length” between the two. Most locksmiths can sell you two padlocks with one key, so locking / unlocking won’t be too much of a chore. My *patent* idea: buy a spare “D” loop from the same locksmith and run it through the door close to – but not right next to – the lock. Put a BIG bastard padlock on it. This lock does nothing … it’s there to waste the thieves’ time. They spend ages busting this – and setting off the trembler alarm you’ve put on the inside of the door, without getting round to the two ground level padlocks. ALWAYS lock ‘bikes even in a garage and SECURITY MARK the tools. Tools that could help the thief (angle grinders; hacksaws) should be locked into a chest. ” Someone (can’t remember who) do the “Bike Plus” infra-red garage alarm, built into a mains plug, with a claimed 115dB alarm – 01691791307. DIY shops sell cheap motion detector alarms for your garage/shed from about 30 quid, or you could extend a house alarm into the garage – if you do, then a “mind bender” or “sonic bomb” type sounder is recommended. (the kind that causes pain/bowel evacuation to anyone in the vicinity 🙂 If there is a connecting door between your garage and house, fit a decent 4-lever mortice lock and use it! Don’t leave the bike keys hanging up on a hook in the garage either….”


Dead cheap and essential if you keep a bike outside – put some duct tape on it or pour some paint on it to make it look tatty. Make sure you can’t see the rear tyre (by tying it round), then Mr. Thief might think your Fireblade is a C90.


Remember to read the policy in detail – beware of clauses like ‘NO’ theft cover if the bike is stolen between 10pm & 7am and if it’s not in your garage.

Other stuff

A baby alarm can be set up in a garage or shed & bedroom and will let you hear what’s going on. Don’t leave your bike keys hanging on a hook in the garage or kitchen. Electronic Video Security (& others that advertise in Exchange and Mart) list CCTV cameras with a motion detector to start your video recording. B&Q sell basic CCTV cameras, and Maplin sell ones disguised at PIR detectors. A piece of sellotape over the written part of your tax disk will make it harder for anyone to doctor it & cash it in. Oh yeah – if a cop does stop you and run a check on your bike, be nice to him – it could be ‘your’ stolen bike he stops next…. When you’re buying a bike – wipe over painted frame numbers with nail varnish remover – it the number’s been altered and painted over, chances are cellulose paint will have been used, not the OE enamel paint. It’s worth checking out a kosher bike of the same make/model as the one you’re looking for, to see what the frame/engine numbers ‘should’ look like.

These companies can check if a bike you’re buying has been stolen/written off.
The final answer will depend on what bike you’ve got, how much it’s worth, where you keep it and how you use it.

There’s great web info at
Datatool are at
Abus are at
Rotalock are at
Pager alarms at

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