Under Lock and Key

30 April 2007

Of prime importance to any motorcycle, scooter or dirt bike owner is the issue of security. Unfortunately being the highly mobile machines they are, bikes are relatively easy pickings for thieves, and the smaller and lighter the target, the easier it is to pinch.

Insurance should your first line of defence, but while that will ensure you're not out of pocket if your pride and joy is stolen, it won't avoid the inconvenience of the situation, or the fact that something with which you share a very real attachment, is gone.

So, before all else, try and keep your machine out of sight – especially when it's at home. Thieves are opportunists, and they won't go for something they can't see. If you have to leave your bike out on the street, put a cover over it – not only will it protect your bike from the elements, but thieves will be less likely to be interested in it, as the extra risk of having a look under the cover is involved first before they decide whether it's something worth nicking.

Next, ensure you use a decent lock in addition to the steering lock. A heavy duty chain and padlock is good because you can then lock your bike to an immovable object, such as a telegraph pole or street sign, adding further peace of mind. Chain or heavy duty cables are a good idea for scooters – lighter models can be whipped into the back of a waiting van in the blink of an eye.

More easily transportable than a chain and padlock is a disc lock, which fits to your brake disc, or a 'D' lock, which threads through your front wheel, brake discs and all. Disc locks can be simple devices, like the red one pictured, or they can even have a built-in alarm – like the silver 'Xena' disc lock, also pictured.

But a word of warning. It's easy to hop on your bike and forget you've got a disc lock in place, meaning you'll take a very short and very expensive trip of about 30cm or so before the lock brings you to a grinding halt, possibly damaging your disc, caliper or front guard in the process. If you do this with a D lock on, you could face bending it and jamming it on, in which case you'll probably need an angle grinder to get it off. In any case, a piece of bright elastic stretched from your lock to your throttle, or even just a bright hair tie slipped over your throttle and front brake lever, is an inexpensive and easy reminder.

Protect your Bike. Call Shannons Insurance on 13 46 46 to get a quote today.