A disc lock is one of the best motorcycle security devices. They’re cheap, portable and easy to use.
Sure, they’re not perfect and even the best disc locks can be defeated. But they’re a great additional layer of security that instantly rules out a proportion of motorcycle thieves who’d rather move on to the next bike with no locks and take that on instead.
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It’s not about quantity but quality
Of course, you don’t need to use six disc locks as I have on my ZX-10R pictured above. In fact, using more disc locks doesn’t necessarily result in a linear improvement in security as some motorcycles are lifted into vans with the locks intact. If you’re leaving your bike outside overnight, there comes a point where you’ll have to secure your bike to something, whether that’s a railing, lamp post or ground anchor.
While lots of disc locks aren’t important, where you place your disc lock can have an impact on its effectiveness.
Alarmed versatile disc lock
Oxford makes a range of locks and this one is a decent option for most bikers. You can use it as a disc lock but also use it to pass a chain through. Activate the alarm by lining up the red part of the shackle or switch it over to disable the alarm. Bridge yellow, so clearly visible to would-be thieves. The 12mm hardened steel shackle isn’t unbeatable but it will require serious tools to be defeated.
German-engineered lock packing serious security
The top level of protection from security experts Abus. At the heart of the Granit is a 13mm locking bolt that slides out to allow easy fitment to your bike’s brake disc. The body of a lock is solid but rubber coated to protect your bike. At 780g it’s a lot of metal and it is quite pricey but it’s a massive deterrent to thieves.
The cheapest motorcycle disc lock
Even a cheap disc lock is better than no disc lock. It takes just seconds to snape the steering lock of an otherwise unlocked motorcycle or scooter and push it away.
The cheapest disc lock we could find was this Micro Disc Lock. It gets great ratings but don’t expect any miracles from this lock, the chances are it can be smashed to pieces with a couple of blows from a club hammer but lots of thieves don’t want to carry any tools and they’ll just look for bikes with no locks at all. So while we couldn’t recommend this disc lock, it’s definitely better than nothing.
Cheap locks are – in the main – a false economy. Think about the value of your bike and the hassle caused if it gets stolen. Is it really worth saving £20 and buying a lesser-quality lock?
If you are strapped for cash, here are two great options: the Xena X1-Y disc lock which features a concealed 6mm pin and the Oxford HD Max disc lock which is a mini D-type lock with a beefy 12.7mm shackle. At under £30, they’re both strong locks and good visual deterrents.
The most expensive motorcycle disc lock
If ‘money ain’t a thang’ then Abus have got a disc lock for you. Those crafty Germans have produced the 8008 which has an RRP just shy of £200 but you can find it online for much cheaper.
It is a quality bit of kit. Featuring a massive 16mm locking bolt made from hardened steel. In fact, the whole body is made from hardened steel and the 8008 also features a lock that’s almost impossible to pick and a 120dB alarm which arms when it senses a brake disc but not when it’s being transported.
The alarm is sensitive which has scored it a few negative points from owners but the plus side is that it’s practically impossible to ride off with the 8008 still fitted to your disc due to the sensitivity of the alarm.
Motorcycle Disc Lock Buying Guide
No matter what they are made from, disc locks are a great visual deterrent, instantly eliminating the least capable bike thieves. However should they be attacked, they need to be able to put up a decent fight. Here's a list of things to consider when buying a disc lock.
- Quality materials: Top quality locks are expensive because they use materials that are resistant to chemical attacks (freezing), hammer blows, bolt croppers and angle grinders. No lock is unbeatable but a quality lock like the Abus Granit 77 we've recommended above will see of everything but the most determined angle-grinder attack.
- Security ratings: Motorcycle security is tested to Sold Secure or Thatcham standards. These ratings aren't the be-all-and-end-all (as some quality manufacturers don't submit their products for testing) but if a lock has a rating it's a sign it's up to the job.
- Recessed bolt: Our two best motorcycle disc locks both have a recessed bolt meaning it's much harder for thieves to get at it the bolt order to defeat it.
- Alarm: Not all quality disc locks come with alarms and not all alarmed disc locks are quality. An alarm is a good deterrent if it's on a bike long enough to deter a thief from trying to defeat the lock but the cheaper alarm disc locks can be smashed to pieces with a few hammer blows before anyone notices.
- Disc lock reminder cable: There are two types of biker: those who have tried to ride off with their disc lock attached and those that will. A disc lock reminder cable, as pictured above, is a useful addition but can be bought separately.
- Carry pouch: Some locks will go under your seat, others you can lock to your pillion seat strap but if it comes with a pouch it makes it easier to carry and if you carry it in your luggage it keeps a potentially grimy lock away from your other kit.
The best scooter disc locks
We’ve written a comprehensive scooter disc lock buying guide here.
Scooters tend to have smaller brake discs and smaller holes through which to secure a lock. Fortunately, there’s a range of disc locks designed for scooters and the majority of these have a pin size that’s 6mm or smaller meaning they will fit a scooter.
Even though this pin is smaller than the average motorcycle disc lock, most scooter-specific disc locks are designed so that the pin is recessed and protected from attack by a chunkier lock body.
Scooters are great city transport and that often means owners park their scooter on the street, rather than a garage and they park them at a home location overnight but a different location during the day. That’s why we’ve focused on disc locks that come with alarms, as an alarm is a great deterrent to any would-be scooter thief.
In no particular order here are five great options for scooter riders:
- Luma Enduro 92 Mini Disc Lock – 5mm chrome-plated locking pin
- Xena XZZ6 Disc Lock – Monobloc construction with 120dB alarm
- Oxford Scoot XD5 – Includes disc lock reminder cable
- Abus Detecto 7000 – Serious lock with 100dB alarm
- Kovix KAL Alarmed Disc Lock – Weatherproof body, 120dB alarm
Don’t forget to grab a disc lock reminder cable to help prevent the embarrassing 3mph spill if you try to ride away with your lock attached.
Sold Secure and Thatcham Ratings
Sold Secure has 2 levels of Motorcycle Security Approval (Gold & Diamond) and two levels of Motor Scooter security (Gold & Silver). A recent change has seen the introduction of a machine based cropping test to 70kN to ensure consistency.
Locks are submitted to Sold Secure and manufacturers pay to have them tested. The tests are carried out using a toolkit based on insurance and police information. If a lock can withstand an attack for a given duration, it is awarded a Sold Secure rating.
Thatcham used to test locks with a similar rating system to Sold Secure but as of January 2019 they have ceased to test motorcycle locks and so you should see these ratings slowly disappear from manufacturer’s promotional material.
Get a disc lock reminder cable so you don’t try and ride away with your disc lock still on.
If you ride a scooter the chances are you’ll need a disc lock with a 6mm or smaller diameter pin.
Lock it to the disc’s most central point in between the fork leg and the brake caliper if you can, to prevent the disc easily being cut.
Thieves really don't like alarms, so if you can find an alarmed disc lock to suit your budget, it's worth going for.
Security approvals can reduce insurance premiums.
There are hundreds of disc locks on the market, so it’s hard to know which one to go for. We’ve picked our top two best motorcycle disc locks above but here are five other worthy contenders that were on our shortlist.
Kryptonite Evolution Premium – Highly visible quality lock with 14mm shackle and reminder cable.
Luma Croma Disc Lock – Quality lock, with a 10mm shackle, comes with a case and reminder cable. A solid bit of kit, giving thieves limited ability to use a hammer and little purchase for an angle grinder.
Oxford Boss Alarmed Disc Lock – 14mm shackle and a great option if you want a disc lock that will hold a chain too.
Abus Detecto 7000 Alarm – 120dB alarm, one-handed operation, includes carry case.
Motorcycle disc lock FAQs
Can I just use a padlock?
Yes, any lock is better than no lock and the right padlock will be just as good as a disc lock. The benefit of a padlock is that it can also be used with a chain (when you’re at home) or on its own (when you’re out and about). You just have to ensure the padlock will fit around your disc.
Thanks to the following websites which helped us research and write this motorcycle disc lock guide:
How to properly lock your scooter:
Sold Secure approved product brochure: