Keep Your Lid Safe on Your Bike With a Motorcycle Helmet Lock

It’s been said here already, but it’s worth repeating: if you ride motorcycles, you need to wear a proper, safety-rated helmet. There are plenty of useful and important bike accessories out there, but a helmet is perhaps the most vital. And, just like the bike itself, your helmet is an investment worth protecting. But that doesn’t just mean regularly cleaning and freshening it. It also means keeping it safe and secure with a solid motorcycle helmet lock.

Stop thieves from stealing your motorcycle helmet—lock it to your bike

A black-and-white Bell motorcycle helmet locked to a red 2012 Triumph Street Triple R with a Kuryakyn lock
A Bell motorcycle helmet locked to a 2012 Triumph Street Triple R with a Kuryakyn lock | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

If you want to keep your motorcycle secure and can’t store it indoors, something like a brake disc lock can stimy thieves. And you can take similar precautions to keep your motorcycle helmet safe by locking it to your bike.

Some might think a motorcycle helmet lock is unnecessary. After all, a helmet is significantly more portable than an entire bike. So, if you’re riding to, say, the grocery store, why not just bring the helmet with you? Additionally, helmets have straps—doesn’t that make a lock pointless?

Regarding the latter point, you don’t attach your motorcycle helmet to the lock using the strap. Instead, you hook it through the metal D-ring latch. Though if you have a more ‘exotic’ helmet latch, there are compatible locks available. And as for the former point, yes, the best way to avoid helmet theft is to prevent thieves from accessing it. You can’t steal a helmet that isn’t there, after all.

However, shopping for groceries while toting around a motorcycle helmet gets awkward and tiring. Bringing it into a restaurant or coffee shop is, too. True, if you have bags or cases on your bike, you could leave your helmet in them. But not every storage space can accommodate a helmet. Nor, crucially, are all of them lockable.

So, if you want/need to leave your helmet behind, your best option is to lock it to your motorcycle.

What kind of motorcycle helmet lock should you buy?

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Generally speaking, motorcycle helmet locks fall into two categories: mounted and removable/portable. But they also differ in how they secure your helmet to your bike, The Drive explains. Some use metal cables, while others use bolts. Additionally, some locks are designed to attach to specific parts of your motorcycle, such as the handlebars or frame tubes. Others, though, are more universal-fit.

At their most basic, motorcycle helmet locks are little more than a cable with a key or combination lock. You can even make your own lock with these parts, Motorcyclist says. But if you want something a little more robust, the carabiner-style Helmetlok is a solid choice. It’s compatible with both D-ring and quick-release latches, fits everywhere from your handlebars to your footpeg brackets, and easily fits into pockets when not in use. And it only costs about $35.

A black Kuryakyn motorcycle helmet lock in its box next to a black Helmetlok lock
A Kuryakyn motorcycle helmet lock next to a Helmetlok lock | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

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For something more permanent, the Kuryakyn Universal Motorcycle Helmet Lock is a common recommendation. At $45, it’s slightly more expensive than the Helmetlok. And it’s only available in two sizes, so you have to make sure it fits your specific bike. However, because it’s a key lock, there’s no risk of someone guessing the combination. Plus, to make sure a would-be thief doesn’t just unscrew it from your motorcycle, the Kuryakyn Helmet Lock attaches via tamper-proof screws.

Picking between motorcycle helmet locks depends both on your personal preference and your bike. Permanently-mounted locks offer ‘set it and forget it’ convenience, but they can get it in the way if you’re not careful. But while a portable lock’s, well, portability is a bonus, it won’t help if you forget to bring it with you. Plus, if you don’t pay attention, you could attach it somewhere that’s easy for a thief to make away with your helmet.

An ounce of prevention and some installation time is worth not having to buy a new helmet

A black Kuryakyn motorcycle helmet lock attached to a red-and-black 2012 Triumph Street Triple R
A Kuryakyn motorcycle helmet lock attached to a 2012 Triumph Street Triple R | Matthew Skwarczek, MotorBiscuit

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Once you’ve picked out a motorcycle helmet lock, installation is fairly easy. It’s technically non-existent for portable ones once you’ve figured out a convenient attachment place. But even permanent locks don’t take long to install. And all you really need is a screwdriver.

Before buying a permanently-mounted motorcycle helmet lock, identify where you might want to install it. Then, measure the diameter of those mounting points to make sure the lock you want will fit. And once you have the lock in your hands, double-check that those measurements were accurate. At the same time, make sure the lock won’t get in your way once it’s installed.

In my case, I bought both a Kuryakyn lock and a Helmetlok. The former is for my motorcycle, a 2012 Triumph Street Triple R, while the latter will be a backup one for press bikes. Looking around my Street Triple, the only suitable attachment points were either the handlebars or the tubes running underneath and parallel to the seat. But because I also have a Beeline Moto mount on my handlebars, and they’re already fairly tight on space, I went with the second option.

Once I chose the spot, I attached my motorcycle helmet to the Kuryakyn lock to figure out how I wanted to orient it. That’s important to do before tightening the screws, as their tamper-proof design makes removing them difficult. Then, after installing the lock, I checked one more time that it didn’t get in my way. All told, it took me less than 30 minutes.

Considering an ECE-certified helmet usually costs about $200 bare minimum, installing a $45 lock is an easy price to pay.

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