Motorcycle Parking Safety & Brake Disc Locks
Motorcycle parking safety around the world is never the same and the safety is often an illusion even if precautions are made and the motorcycle is locked in place with a pair of proper brake disc locks and chained to a solid object. Motorcycles are generally quite easy targets for criminals due to the reason that they are less protected than cars and more vulnerable for hauling away. There is probably no country where the thieves are not going to use the opportunity when it presents itself. If a professional and motivated thief is targeting a bike, it`s only matter of time when it happens, but until then there is quite a lot motorcyclists can do. The biggest mistake would be ignoring the opportunity and therefore ensuring the surprise sooner than later, during a trip when least expected.
To increase parking safety, there are a lot of motorcycle brake disc lock alternatives to choose from, but simply rely only on quality locks and biggest brands due to better raw materials, production techniques and advanced safety features. Usually this means that the locks are bigger, locking PINs are thicker and the locks are from the heaviest end. Inexpensive locks and chains give no real value for the money and fool no professional thief. Basically the disc lock should be also as visible as possible and bright colors such as reflective yellow would be the best. Highly visible brake disc locks can be seen from the distance and that may prevent further action plans from happening. Pay attention to the key way and lock cylinder. Lock-picking is very common and traditional cylinders with springs are not able to provide adequate protection. If there is no key management organized be the manufacturer, the number of key combinations may be low and copies easy to get. Make sure that the lock has at least one security test certificate from a respected test laboratory.
There are few basic safety principles to follow. First of all park the motorcycle strategically wisely. Note that the front end of the motorcycle is heavier than the rear which makes it more ideal for locking, but by ensuring both ends, higher protection level would be accomplished. Place the brake disc locks as high as possible on the brake discs so that the potential bolt cutter leverage would be as weak as possible and hammering difficult. If possible, anchor the bike with a chain to a solid object. Remember to keep the MC -documentation and insurance papers on you and never in the bike.
Strategic Parking & Alarm Systems
I think that the best you can do is to choose wisely where you park your motorcycle and make your bike less interesting as a target. Alone the electronic burglar alarm is quite weak against the professionals. They can be silenced too easy and they do not really hinder hauling the bike away for further actions. Then there is a small change that the remote control unit batteries run out when you least expect and the system leaves you hanging somewhere and wondering how to get a couple of special batteries. Believe me I know from experience. Sonic alarm systems are also available with some of the brake disc locks and they need no remote.
Parking the motorcycle strategically in a place with sufficient night-time lighting and open space with clear view to several directions where are as much windows as possible and therefore people, perhaps even frequent traffic on foot, makes a difference. Stores close by would be beneficial because of window shopping and additional lighting. People`s attention is usually quite effective and the longer there are people around minding their own business, the better. Turn the bike (register plate) visible for the traffic so that the police and the security staff patrolling the area would notice the bike and be able to identify it easily for further actions when necessary. If possible do not park between two cars blocking the view and providing better privacy for the thief. If there are surveillance cameras in the area, make sure the motorcycle is well in front of the camera. Another strategic location would be close by the entrance.
Pair of Quality Brake Disc Locks
A single high quality brake disc lock is good, but a pair of quality disc locks would secure both wheels even more efficiently. The burglar would not be very eager to stay a double the time at the crime scene. If the disc locks are equipped with sonic alarm systems, several attack methods are necessary requiring even more time. When the steering column is also locked, moving the motorcycle without a team of strong individuals would be more difficult and require significant dedication. If the bike is additionally locked with a proper chain to a solid object such as metal railing, heavy street sign or fellow rider`s motorcycle, that would be even better. The thief would probably choose another bike instead.
A pair of quality brake disc locks need a practical way to carry them in the bike itself. Some of the disc locks come with a travel bag which could be placed anywhere in the luggage system, but I would rather have a quick access to the locks independent from the luggage system. That way I could easily secure the bike or remove the locks anytime even if the panniers are full or still in the hotel room. Especially the best disc locks are from the heaviest end and therefore slightly more challenging to place practically. There are some kind of holders, but I have been looking for a small box which could be fastened for example below the rear rack, keeping the disc locks clean and securely in place. Perhaps one of the equipment producers would make few alternatives if the lock producers are not acting on the tip.
At least ABUS and XENA provide interesting brake disc locks, combined with sonic alarm systems and holders to fasten the lock onto the bike securely. Pay attention to materials that they are ice spray and saw proofed and drilling resistant. Internationally tested and certified locks provide more than just a convincing appearance. By having a sonic alarm, you can also prevent forgetting the disc locks in place and falling right next to the parking place when leaving. On the other hand, disc locks without the sonic alarm, would be not easily forgotten when a colorful stretch line from the lock comes to the handlebar for example.
Brake Disc Lock Security Rating
In order to evaluate the quality of brake disc locks, there are few national certifications indicating that the lock has passed a series of security tests. Unfortunately there are no uniform tests to rate and compare brake disc locks. Each certificate includes different burglar attack methods, level of brutal force and tools, but without a certification the lock offers probably a medium level of security at the best. I would not count on any brand-less or inexpensive brake disc locks, since the quality of used materials and production methods make all the difference.
Europeans are very eager to establish they own test standards and certifications for brake disc locks. Here are few most common certifications mentioned. The British SoldSecure has a simple 3 stage classification system called gold-, silver- and bronze, but only the gold level is truly relevant. The SoldSecure Gold level test includes lock picking, drilling, hammering, sawing, wedging and bending for 6-8 samples after a careful study of the technical drawings in question. Certified brake disc locks are also annually retested. The French NF -certification for a brake disc lock is rather harsh and requires anchoring to a fixed object. Tests are made using machines to pull, saw, crush and bend disc locks. Additionally the NF -test includes a comprehensive factory inspection and annual auditing. Another French certification would be a Classe SRA which is not as harsh or comprehensive, but includes heavy duty tools and brutal human forces against 5 lock samples. The SRA -approval requires also inspection of technical drawings and annual retests. The Dutch ART -certification has also a factory inspection on top the versatile machine tests including pulling, bending, cutting, freezing, but also corrosion and dust testing.
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