Top portable motorcycle locks

Make sure your bike is where you left it with these portable security devices

Motorbike thieves with a disc cutter

by Jim Blackstock |

Motorcycle security is big news. Not only does it cost the industry millions every year through stolen bikes, it also contributes to riders giving up bikes through fears over theft and security. However, there are numerous portable motorcycle locks to keep your bike safe and make sure you keep hold of it.

Arguably, one of the times your bike is most vulnerable is when you are out and about. At home, you can take almost whatever measures are necessary to prevent someone from getting away with your ride.

Related: Garage security

But if you are commuting, going into town for some shopping or an appointment, or when you are away on a big ride or a tour, then making sure your bike is secure will help you breathe and sleep easier.

Portability

Of course, the issue with protecting your bike when you’re out on it is portability. A ship’s anchor chain and a massive lock will make sure it stays put, but you won’t be able to carry that around with you. Conversely, a tiny chain that goes in your pocket will be portable, but most thieves will be able to get through it as if it wasn’t there.

Somewhere between these two extremes is a situation where you can carry useful protection with you when you’re out and about. And by carrying it with you, we mean under the seat, wrapped around a luggage rack or grab handles or in a rucksack, topbox or pannier.

Security tips

One thing to think about when it comes to security is applying layers. The more devices a thief has to tackle to get away with your bike, the better and will make them think twice about yours and potentially, move on.

Chain the bike to something solid so it can’t be lifted into a van and driven off. Disclocks are useful if you’re just popping into the shops briefly, as are lever-locks, both of which will prevent your bike being pushed away or ridden off by thieves.

Related: Top motorcycle ground anchors

Another note on security; when considering products, look for the Sold Secure logo and the rating. This is a testing scheme run by the Master Locksmiths Association and you’re looking for Gold or Diamond standard products – they resist attack for the longest.

Here are some of what we reckon are the top portable motorcycle locks around.

When sister magazine RiDE tested locks and chains, this one from Oxford was the Best Buy in the

Oxford Nemesis

MCN's Ben Clarke has been putting the latest version to the test
'The recently updated Oxford Nemesis lock and chain set is a great middle ground between a portable chain you might use out and about and the kind of heavy-duty metalwork you could only realistically use at home. At 7.7kg (1.2m version), it’s a little too heavy to carry with you on the road but the 16mm hardened steel links are more than a set of bolt croppers can munch through so if you are able to carry it somewhere it offers a great level of security (it’s got a Sold Secure Gold rating).

On the plus side, it’s dainty enough to fit between the spokes of most bikes – the fairly tight pattern of the Indian FTR S’s cast rims are no problem – and it’s light enough to manhandle around without issue, too. As an added bonus, the padlock acts as a disclock when you’re out and about and you can arrange the chain in such a way that it’s locked to the disc to make it harder for thieves to move your bike around and get access with cutting tools.

The fabric sleeve protects your paintwork and this is the first chain I’ve used where the studs holding the sleeve in place haven’t immediately given up. £189.99 is a little salty but when you consider the lock’s double use it doesn’t seem so bad. There are plenty of deals to be had online too.'

Sold Secure rating: Gold

Big chains are great for peace of mind, disc locks are quick and easy to use. This Magnum Duo

Oxford Magnum Duo U-lock studio

For going out and about I just take the U-lock to use as a beefy disc/wheel lock. Carrying is easy as the Duo comes with a bracket – it's designed for cycle use but fits neatly around the grabrail on my WK Scrambler.

The lock has Sold Secure Gold, ART four-star and Police certification, so certainly gives faith that my bike will stay where I park it. After six months of being used in all weathers (and receiving no maintenance) the U-lock still slips together easily and the pick-resistant lock is as smooth as when new. Sixty quid feels like good value to me.

A variation on a theme, the LiteLock is a wide strap that features a boaflexicore construction

Litelock Gold Moto

But when it’s needed, it extends to 1.075m in length to secure the bike to a solid object such as a lamppost. If you need extra length, then simply join two together – a twin-pack includes two locks with the same key to give double the length.

Sold Secure Rating: Gold

This disclock from Milenco is a chunky piece of kit. With its body formed in lightweight

Milenco 14x60 Disclock

The pin goes through the brake disc and locks into steel housings on either side so even if the composite housing is attacked, the pin remains locked to the bike so it can’t be pushed or ridden away.

Sold Secure rating: Gold

A lever lock is a highly visible deterrent to a thief. It locks the front-brake lever to the

Kovix Lever Lock

However, this one from Kovix features a built-in 120dB movement and shock alarm encased in a zinc and steel alloy body for strength.

Sold Secure rating: N/A

Another product from Milenco, this time a lock and chain combination. Weighing just 3.7kg and

Milenco Coleraine

The integral lock mechanism is harder to attack than the chain itself and the low weight means there is no reason not to keep one with you on the bike all the time.

Sold Secure rating: Gold

A shackle lock is designed primarily to be used on its own, though it could also clearly be used

Luma D310 Shackle lock

This one from Spanish manufacturer Luma is 85mm between the prongs with a usable depth of 310mm.

Sold Secure rating: Silver

Another variation on a theme, this is effectively a disclock though the difference is that the

Roadlok Disclock brake caliper lock

The pin is inserted and removed from the housing and passes through the brake disc, preventing the bike from being pushed or ridden away. It’s not cheap but it is an elegant solution that should mean you are never without at least some form of protection.

Sold Secure rating: N/A

This package has been put together to make it as easy as possible to grab a lock and chain and

BikeTrac Grab Bag lock storage

Sold Secure rating: N/A

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