Motorcycle and Scooter Locks and Alarms

By: On: September 1st, 20082 Comments »Updated: December 17, 2011

Motorcycle Cable Lock

Motorcycle and scooter theft is on the rise as is the number of motorcycles and scooters being sold, but how many owners are using motorcycle locks to keep them from getting stolen? According to National Insurance Crime Bureau Statistics in the US, a motorcycle is stolen every 7.4 minutes and the states with the most motorcycle thefts have been California (by far), Florida and Texas.  Chances are pretty high that few if ant motorcycle locks were being used when these bikes disappeared.

Also, with so many people customizing their motorcycles with expensive aftermarket parts, it’s easy to imagine how attractive those parts might be to some thief for a quick resale.

So, what can be done to help prevent your motorcycle or scooter from being stolen?  Motorcycle locks are available in several varieties as we discuss here.

If a thief wants it, he will probably will find a way to get your motorcycle or scooter, but there are some things you can do to make it more difficult to steal.Scorpio Motorcycle Alarm

Here are some tips:

1. According to LoJack, every 2 out of 3 motorcycle thefts happen between 11 pm and 6 am. This is probably not a surprise, but at least it’s good to be aware of this fact so you will think twice about where you park it overnight, or if you are going to park it somewhere while you are out late at night.

2. Keep your motorcycle out of sight by keeping it in your locked garage or at least well covered up. A fancy motorcycle cover with the name brand on it might be nice to have, but why tell a thief what is under it?

Scooter Lock3. Using the steering lock on your motorcycle may just be enough to deter amateurs, but for professionals, it might just make the theft process take a couple minutes longer. Anything you can do to make your motorcycle more complicated to steal will be a plus, such as using other types of motorcycle locks, but realize it may not be enough.

4. Some motorcycles are light enough for a couple criminals to pick up and carry or drag it into a truck or van. So locking it up using cables or motorcycle locks at the wheels (disc locks) alone may not be enough. If there is something solid around to lock the motorcycle to, do so because that would make it more difficult to carry it away.

Motorcycle Disc Lock5. Disc Locks are small motorcycle locks that you place through your brake discs so that the wheel can’t rotate.  Make sure you remember that you have this on before you try to move your motorcycle. Again, this won’t stop the bad guys from carrying it away, but it will make it more difficult to take.

6. Motorcycle Alarm Systems are available with all sorts of features and capabilities and vary widely in costs. Another layer of security can be accomplished by combining motorcycle locks with an alarm system. A few popular motorcycle alarm manufacturers are Scorpio and Talon.  Some motorcycle alarm systems are advertised as “approved” for insurance discount, but you really need to talk to your motorcycle insurance company about this first to see if they agree to a discount, and how much of a discount will get.

Some motorcycle alarms systems simply trigger an on-board siren if it senses some movement. This is good, but keep in mind that people don’t seem to pay much attention to car alarms because they go off so often by mistake. It’s obviously better than nothing though.

Higher-end motorcycle alarms can do other sophisticated things, such as disabling the ignition and even calling or texting you on your mobile phone.  Some systems actually come with a special pager that works up to a half mile away. This could be a good solution if you are at a restaurant, at work or some place like that, but how well the receiver works indoors would need to be tested.

7. LoJack for motorcycles is a radio system to help police recover stolen vehicles, including motorcycles. While a LoJack system does not do anything to prevent someone from stealing your motorcycle, it does help make for a very likely quick recovery of it. LoJack is a battery-powered system that is mounted on your motorcycle in some mysterious, hidden location. They say you are not even supposed to watch them install this system on your motorcycle because the actual location needs to be kept secret. If your motorcycle is stolen, the police can use LoJack radio signal to track it down. They enter your VIN number into their database and a special code triggers the system on the motorcycle to emit a silent radio signal that they can track. LoJack claims a 90 percent recovery rate and most are within hours of the theft.
Cyclone Motorcycle Alarm
Because the LoJack motorcycle system is not something you can test yourself, you are supposed to have it checked every two years. It runs on your motorcycle battery and also has a back-up battery also just in case. The average current draw is only 1 mA, so not much to worry about there, but they do recommend a battery trickle charger be put on your battery if your motorcycle will be stored for the off-season or for long periods of time.

In some locations, LoJack also offers an Early Warning motorcycle alarm system that automatically sends you a notification that someone has moved your motorcycle. This Early Warning system can contact you wherever you happen to be via your choice of method using a phone number, email or pager.

Let other riders know what motorcycle alarm systems, motorcycle locks, or scooter locks you have tried by leaving a comment along with your motorcycle info here.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

» has written 131 posts

2 Responded

  1. Margaret says:

    Thank you for listing so many options. Right now I put a large master lock on my rotor.

  2. David S says:

    There are so many different alarm systems and prices for those vary greatly. You have to decide if you want a passive alarm vs a true monitoring and tracking style alarm. There are great features to either system.