Motorcycle Security

Getting shit stolen is the worst. With our buddies losing a lot this week, lets talk about some security tactics that can help all of us keep our bikes safer.

Over the years I’ve known a few people that had their motorcycles stolen. Some were random crimes and others like the previous post were obviously thought out heists. Locks and other deterrents are great but are only that. If somebody wants to steal something they’re going to get it but there are things that’ll slow them down or make it harder to do it without somebody noticing.

Shit like this happens everywhere so keeping your cycle secure is critical. Here’s some things that I do and some that I know others do.

If anybody has any better ideas lets hear it in the comments.

1. Keep it covered: This is too easy not to do. When I had to keep a bike on the sidewalk it always made sense to keep it out of sight so less people knew what was there.

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2. Lock it to something: Buy a Kryptonite style chain and lock it to something. Try to go around your frame and not something that could be easily taken off the bike like a front wheel or shock.

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3. Steering column lock: Apparently these are easy to break through by forcing it. The vintage bike locks are even less secure because they have the key code stamped on them which you could easily find a key for on eBay. In addition to this, you can put a U-lock through your spokes or use a brake rotor lock.

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4. Lock bikes together: If you keep multiple bikes in a garage, lock them all together.

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5. Keyed entry and exit: If you’re in a garage, make your doors keyed from both sides. If somebody can make it inside they’ll still need a key to open any door.

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6. Park within eyesight: If you’re parking around the city keep it on the sidewalk close to where you are. I know people some won’t agree with this but I don’t care. I always try to park my bike on the sidewalk to keep within eyesight but mainly to avoid getting it knocked over by somebody parallel parking. I’ve seen it happen to too many friends to risk it.

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7. Hidden kill switch: Lets face it, if you’ve done any wiring on an old bike you know hot wiring it would be a joke. Some people I know have used hidden kill switches to keep people from doing that.

If you have any better tactics lets hear it!

12 responses to “Motorcycle Security”

  1. Brian G says:

    It can be easy to get complacent and lulled into a false sense of security. The previous owner of my garage kept a classic car and lots of tools in the garage for years and never had any break-ins.
    So when I moved in, I just changed the locks, but left security basically the same as it had been.
    Obviously I now know that was not good enough. This week I added more security features. It cost some money and took some of my time. I found out the hard way that it was needed.
    So whatever you are doing now to lock your stuff up, you might want to consider taking the next step and making things a little more secure. Spending a little money now and taking some time to secure your stuff will be well worth never having to find all your shit was taken in the middle of the night.

  2. D car says:

    Ben- can I ask how they got into the garage? Not to pry too much but curious as a I keep my bikes in a locked garage and am starting to think of additional measures to take

  3. Nate says:

    There are definitely more useful and user friendly home camera products being released. I have been considering getting a Dropcam Pro and pointing it out my window at the bikes since I have no choice but to park on the sidewalk in front of the house. It has 1080p, 130 degree field of vision, 8x zoom, motion detection, & night vision. The setup is super simple as they are wifi enabled so all that’s needed is power for the camera. You can configure it to send you alerts when motion is detected as well as log into it from anywhere through any device. They also have 7 days of cloud storage recording available and a fairly affordable extra cost so if something does happen you will be able to pull up the footage. Obvious cons are its an indoor only camera, has to be accessible to a wifi network, and the price points.

    The dropcam pro isn’t the only option for a wifi camera w/ cloud storage but it gets mostly solid reviews. There are many cheaper alternatives (Dlink, Netgear, Samsung, etc…). I have also toyed with trying out an app called Manything. If you have any old spare apple devices this app will turn it into a surveillance camera. Android device support coming soon. For me the deal breaker would be the lack of night vision but if you have your bikes in a garage you could always keep a small light on the bikes. The price point is much lower for that option.

    All of the security suggestions Adam has posted are musts. Especially in Philly. Adding a camera would not stop the theft but could act as a deterrent if its visible as well as heighten your chances of getting your bike back. Its just a shame that we all have to go through all the added security steps and costs to keep selfish scumbags from thinking what is mine is theirs.

  4. Luke says:

    I park my Bonneville out front of my house in South Philly so can get a bit paranoid with security. I do all of the above that Adam mentioned but also put in a Scorpio alarm last year. Super easy to install and relatively cheap starting at like $150. It’s loud as fuck if it’s taken off it’s side stand or the wheels move. There is also a proximity setting so that if people are standing around it for too long it goes off. That one can be a bit obnoxious though so you can turn that off. It’s controlled by a key fob so if you have that in your pocket when you start up your bike the alarm doesn’t go off. It’s a bit annoying because when you take the key out it does this chirping noise but at least you know it’s secure. Obviously won’t stop someone who doesn’t care about the alarm and is hell bent on your bike but for the average dumb ass thief it’s a good deterrent. Plus if you’re asleep and someone is fucking with your bike you can jump up and grab your whooping stick before the dudes can crack the other locks.

    Sorry to hear about your guys bikes. Especially at the start of the season. Hope you guys can get some good news about them soon.

  5. Brian G says:

    I have been reviewing cameras and it seems the Dropcam Pro is the best option. There is an outdoor weatherproof case you can buy, so it can be used outdoors.

    @D Car
    The garage is behind a fence that was locked with a chain and padlock. They cut the chain with bolt cutters. The garage has a standard doorway that had a standard lock. They were able to pry it open with a screwdriver. I really wasn’t tht concerned with the strength of the door lock, because I foolishly trusted the gate would keep people out.

  6. Steve says:

    I think this is the last motivation I needed to finally fortify the shop a little more. Mine if off the street behind a regular garage door and a sturdy steel roll-up door. Only problem is that the man-door jam is really wimpy and the dead bolt is broken; wouldn’t take much to kick it in. Going to start looking into that next week.

  7. Alex V says:

    I’ve been looking into small GPS trackers that use GSM and GPRS for sending position info. There are quite a few devices i found on ebay. They do require a sim card to operate and some trackers use text messages to send the location. The cheapest tracker is around $20 and a prepaid card to start out should be around $15. It doesn’t seem like a lot of money so I think i am going to order one and try it out. Has anyone had any experience with this devices?

  8. Brad C says:

    They just broke into my friends house and stole his gsxr and another buddies cbr 600. They had to go through a gate and break a window and get access to his garage. Seems like people are getting more ballsy. I am right down the street from a police station and in a well lit and visible area but I think its time to do a little more.

  9. Brian G says:

    @Brad C

    It wouldn’t surprise me if it was the same fuckers that ripped off my garage.

  10. rama says:

    @Alex V. I’ve been looking into implementing this into my car, and my buddies car, feel like it would be easy to fit into the foam of a seat.

  11. Jim says:

    Mind if I ask where in Philly you guys are from? I’m in South Philly by the stadiums. I park my bike on my sidewalk (only about 10 feet from my trusty handguns) but after reading some posts, I think I need to look into a reliable onboard alarm system. Any ideas & who does installs?

  12. Alex V says:

    I came across this device today. https://www.thetileapp.com/
    “Community Find” features sounds really interesting. It might be a good security option to have just in case and it’s only $25.

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Published - Sep 3, 2010

Philly to Denver

Yep. See you all in 2 weeks.