Is It Worth It to Get a Motorcycle Brake Disc Lock?

Whether you’ve spent a little or a lot on your motorcycle, you naturally want to keep it running well. Of course, that requires you to keep the bike in the first place. As with pickup trucks or bicycles, motorcycles can be and often are stolen. One way to prevent that is with a motorcycle lock, such as a disc lock. But is that the best kind for you to use?

A disc lock is just one kind of motorcycle lock

A black classic Triumph motorcycle with a yellow Kryptonite disc brake lock in a shed
A classic Triumph motorcycle with a Kryptonite disc brake lock | Kryptonite

Motorcycle owners have a wide variety of locks to choose from, The Drive reports. And at least a few resemble those used by cyclists.

One of the simplest is the chain lock. As the name implies, this kind of motorcycle lock is built around thick and heavy chain links, Cycle World explains, usually steel ones. You loop this around your bike to attach it to a large object, such as a lamp post. There are also lighter and more flexible cable locks that operate in the same way.

Another type of motorcycle lock is the grip lock, aka ‘handlebar lock,’ ‘throttle lock,’ or ‘brake lock.’ This lock slides onto your handlebars and over the throttle. It then secures either your clutch or brake lever, meaning potential thieves can’t run the engine to get away. At least, in theory.

Finally, there’s the disc lock. Smaller than chain locks, disc locks attach to your bike’s brake discs through the holes. Once secured, the bike can’t move more than a short distance without stopping short.

Many modern disc locks, Motorcyclist reports, also come with motion sensors alarms that go off if the motorcycle moves more than a few feet. And German company Abus has even come out with one that unlocks via Bluetooth, RideApart reports.

But which is the best motorcycle lock to use?

Which motorcycle locks are the most effective?

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The best way to secure your motorcycle, RideApart and Cycle World explain, is to use a combination of locks. True, disc locks are compact, made of hardened steel, and often have ear-splitting alarms, HiConsumption reports. But they don’t actually prevent thieves from simply tipping the bike over and rolling or carrying it away.

However, many motorcycle locks do incorporate disc locks along with either cable or chain locks. Of those, both FortNine and Bennetts recommends going with a thick chain, preferably with hexagonal steel links and disc tumblers. Disc tumblers require specialized tools to pick, above and beyond conventional lockpicks. Plus, to break a chain in any reasonable amount of time, a thief would need to use an angle grinder. And even then, the thick steel is liable to shatter in their face.

But having a good motorcycle lock isn’t the only way to prevent potential thefts.

Other theft-prevention tips

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If possible, store your motorcycle in a garage, or under a cover. It’s even possible to secure the cover to the bike with an additional cable motorcycle lock.

Thieves want to get their job done quickly. A cover alone won’t stop a thief, but it may slow them down slightly. If there’s an uncovered bike located nearby, they’ll likely go for that one instead. And storing it in a garage means they’d have to break in and steal the motorcycle. That would take too much time.

However, if you are using one or multiple motorcycle locks outside, make sure they’re attached properly. That means, for chain or cable locks, looping through the frame, not the wheels, which are easily removed. Also, a chain with little slack is harder to attack with bolt cutters or bludgeoning tools.

The steel Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit chain disc lock
Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit chain disc lock | Kryptonite

But whether you use it on its own or as part of a locking system, a disc lock is a worthwhile investment. Even Asus’ Bluetooth-equipped Granit Detecto SmartX 8078 costs less than $300. Meanwhile, one of the most commonly-recommended locks, Kryptonite’s Fahgettaboudit chain disc lock, retails for about $180. Compared to the thousands a new motorcycle can cost, even a used one, that’s a bargain.

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