Sort your Security
We are currently in the midst of a motorcycle crime wave. Bikes and scooters are being stolen with such regularity, that in certain areas of the country (London, I'm looking at you here…) some bikers are struggling to find insurance.
So, what can you do to make your bike more secure?
Well, most bikers will require two separate security setups – one for home and one for out and about, and each has its own primary requirements.
In this blog we'll deal with security at home...
The vast majority of bikes are stolen from the home, so getting your shed or garage secure has to be your main priority. In order for your bike to be considered “garaged” it must be in a building with three brick walls, a roof and lockable door. Many insurers will consider other secure locations such as bike safes or wooden sheds with concrete bases. You should speak to your broker directly to check what terms they will offer you.
Most garages are secured by a single lock, but the real weak point is the hinges. Look for hinges with properly welded pins which can't be knocked out which would render any other lock pointless. Fitting multiple locks or bolts is a good step. A lock at the top of the door is difficult to work on so this could be a good spot for a second lock or bolt if possible.
If you store tools in your garage think about securing them too. If you chain your bike up next to a set of bolt cutters hanging on the wall, you're really asking for trouble...
It's also a good idea to block the view through any window making it more difficult for passers–by to see what's inside. Of course, it's useful for you to see what's inside so you could consider a security camera either inside or outside your garage. There are a massive range of cameras with full HD, cloud-storage, movement sensors that send recordings to your phone etc, etc. Just make sure that you are only recording your property, and not your neighbours – and that you have a warning sign up that CCTV is in operation – which can also act as a deterrent in itself.
If you don't have a garage (or even if you do), you should employ a three-stage security system at minimum – comprising a heavy–duty chain, a ground anchor and suitable padlock.
A huge variety of chains are available, but really you just want to get the biggest and thickest you can. Look for stuff which has been Thatcham certified, and the bigger the better.
You also need something to attach the chain to, and this needs to be impossible to move or cut through.
There are loads of ground anchors available, from ones designed to be completely embedded in concrete, to those that get attached to concrete with a bolt. Bolt-down units are easier to install, but still need a hefty layer of concrete to attach them to. You may be restricted here by whether you own or rent your home – most landlords will frown on your digging up a load of concrete, so a bolt-in anchor may be your only choice.
Lastly you need a padlock. Many of the chain manufacturers pair padlocks with their products, and are normally pretty good. Your other option is to go bespoke, but make sure you look for a closed or covered shackle for better protection from bolt-cutters.
So...your bike is in its concrete vault, impenetrable and windowless, a veritable fortress. But what else can you do to protect your bike at home? Motion-activated lights are a good deterrent, as are gravel paths and driveways, since each of these makes stealthiness a more difficult task. Dogs are also a great idea for keeping an eye (or ear) out when you aren't able… Tripwires, claymores, man-traps and pits with spikes at the bottom, may however be taking things a little bit too far!
Next time...we look at how best to secure your bike away from your home...