How do you lock your motorbike at night? Or even during the day?
This has always been a subject of much debate by all biker communities. Maybe as much as my last post on Is the BMW GSA too big for the streets of London?
Many people lock their bikes up religiously every time they leave their machine unattended, others occasionally, others not at all. In my experience this is due to whether or not you have had your motorcycle stolen in the past.
Whether you choose to lock it depends on: If you leave your bike in a low risk area [does such a place even exist?} or a high risk area, if you care for your motorcycle, or if you have the mindset that your bike won’t be stolen…. or isn’t the type to be! Trust me, every bike is open to being stolen if it fits the moment.
Personally, during the ownership of my previous motorcycle, a BMW F650 GS, it was stolen twice, both times it was unlocked. Once at night time whilst left outside my house, off street behind a wall! The second from a Westminster motorcycle parking bay in Hanover Square. with the latter theft I was able to obtain CCTV footage, which showed the thief breaking the steering lock and putting a screwdriver through the ignition and riding away through Mayfair away with ease, only for it to be found two weeks later a mile away from where I used to live in north London!
It was unlocked because I was lazy and did not lock it. After the last theft, I got in to the habit of ALWAYS locking it up, no matter how long I leave it for.
So, what lock set up do I use?
When I bought my new BMW R1200 GSA, the last thing I wanted was to have my new bike stolen, so I researched what the best type of locks and deterrents are out there on the market. I have a friend who is a locksmith, so he knows a thing or two about locks.
He recommended fitting a ground anchor in the garage to the floor [as the wall could be easily knocked down with a sledge hammer) and using a Pinch Pin from here and a Squire SS65CS padlock clamping sideways onto a recess at the non-headed end of the Pinch Pin. There is a large head at the other end that can prevent the thing being pulled through the bike.
I secure this through a ground anchor in the garage as attempting to pull the Pinch Pin through the bike will then make no difference as it forms a continuous loop with the 19mm chain.
I also Use an Abus Granit which you can buy here for a very reasonable price rather than buying it in a shop that charge way over the odds for it.
It’s a pretty chunky little disc lock that is light weight and easy to carry and packs a punch!
On top of that I use an old Oxford chain and lock to secure it to a bunch of metal racking I have in the garage. Then there is the garage door, the first defense! A standard wooden Z frame strengthened with sheet metal along the weak points and coach bolts, adorned with Three Kryptonite shackle less padlocks.
If they get through all of that, and then the three locks on the bike which includes the ground anchor with pinch pin, without waking anyone……well….that’s what insurance is for.
When I leave my bike on the streets at work or in London or anywhere else, I still use the same set up, but without the ground anchor, instead I use the lamp post or any available ground anchor to me.
The determined bike thief will always find a way to steal a bike, the opportunist will go for the one that is unlocked every day of the week, no doubt, hands down. The thing to do is to NOT to make your bike an easy target and lock it up front and back as best you can, with the budget you have available to you.
I lock my bike because I want to see it in the morning, or upon my return if leaving it somewhere else, rather than waking up and thinking where’s my bike, or leaving work and saying ‘could have sworn i left my bike there…’
My bike and I have been through a lot together in the 10 months we’ve known each other. We’ve covered almost 16500 miles and we have many shared memories from our visits to the 16 countries we’ve seen so far, I hope to see many more on it. It’s a bike I bought for life and never wish to sell it, it’s precious to me and I hope it is never stolen from me.