A motorcycle ground anchor is a brilliant anti-theft device.
When we see images of motorbikes being stolen, they’re most likely dramatic shots of angle-grinder-wielding scumbags attacking a chain, with sparks flying. But did you know that outside of city-centres the most common way that motorbikes are stolen is by being lifted into a van.
If it isn’t locked to something, it’s at a higher risk of being stolen be thieves in this way. It takes just 30 seconds to hoof a bike into the back of a van and the thieves can then deal with the locks out of public view.
This is where a ground anchor and a decent chain come in to play. You can pick up a ground anchor from as little as £15 but we’d recommend spending a bit more? Why? Because the more expensive ground anchors are made from stronger materials which will resist attacks from sledge hammers, angle grinders and freeze-attacks.
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There are two types of ground anchor
There are two types of ground anchor; those that bolt into something and those that are concreted in. Pick the type that works for you.
Type 1: Bolt In Ground Anchors
The bolt-in types require strong drill bits to drill holes into the ground (or wall) and you then secure it with bolts and drive ball-bearings into the bolt heads to prevent them from being unscrewed. With the right tools, you can install one in 30 minutes.
How to fit a bolt-in ground anchor
If you’re drilling in to concrete you’ll need an SDS drill and some decent drill-bits. I bought an SDS hammer drill like this one which I then sold on Gumtree the next day. A normal drill will just about do it but you’ll take a hell of a lot longer (approx. 20 mins per hole compared to 5 with a hammer drill). I know because I tried and failed with a normal drill!
You’ll then need a quality drill bit. The drill above comes with a few sizes which will be great for drill pilot holes. Ultimately you’ll need a 16mm hole for most bolt-down ground anchors. This SDS drill bit is a good choice and not expensive.
Before you buy your drill bit, check what size your ground anchor manufacturer recommends.
Hardened steel – wall or floor mount
A robust deterrent made from hardened steel. We rate this ground lock as it’s made from 16mm hardened steel and can be mounted on the wall or floor, inside or outside. It comes with four long fixing bolts and ball bearings to tap into the heads to keep them secure. The flush design and strong plastic cover can be driven over, meaning it won’t be a trip hazard in the garage.
Sold Secure rated hardened steel ground anchor
Luma is a quality manufacturer and this ring-type ground anchor can also be wall-mounted. It’s made from hardened steel and the nature of the ring means it moves, making it very hard for thieves to get any purchase on it. Another bonus is it sits flush when unused meaning you’re less likely to trip over it. At around £30 it’s great value for money.
Type 2: Concrete-In Ground Anchors
The concrete-in ground anchors require a bit more preparation work and are either posts which can sink flush into the ground or they’re a fabricated structure buried in the ground with two holes to feed your chain in and out of. They tend to take a bit more preparation work to install.
If you’re laying the foundations for a new shed or you’re re-laying the patio down the side of your house, a concrete-in ground anchor is a great option.
A subtle note to thieves: don’t bother
Mammoth’s chunky concrete-in ground anchor is made from hardened steel and features a rotating top ring which makes it easy to feed your chain through and position your bike but harder for thieves to get purchase on your chain or the ground anchor.
Solid ground anchor sits flush when not in use
I you want a smart-looking ground anchor that disappears when not in use, the Autolok Ground Anchor is a great choice. It is sunk underground and when not being used it won’t be a hazard – you can drive your car over it and you won’t ruin is integrity. Made from heavy-duty steel with an anti-corrosion finish, it’s built to last.
Why I Rate The Abus
I use the Abus Granit WBA100 Ground Anchor and I picked it for a few reasons.
Firstly, it uses a chunky 16mm hardened steel shackle, which is bolt-cropper-proof and would take some grinding to get through.
If you mount yours close to a wall, in a well-thought-out position it will be very hard for anyone to get good access to it with an angle grinder. Mounted against the wall and under the bike is a good position.
Secondly it sits flush. I have used a beefier ground anchor in the past (this Almax Defiant) but it stands 5 inches tall and it is a serious trip hazard!
The third is the fact it’s easy to fit. You need a powerful hammer-action drill and proper 16mm masonry attachments but it’s a lot easier than fitting a concrete-in ground anchor.
And last but not least, the opening is large enough to accommodate not only the thickest security chains but I can easily get two 16mm Almax chains through the one ground anchor. Some of the cheaper ground anchors, you’ll struggle to get a chain larger than 13mm through them.
A Guide To Properly Securing Your Motorcycle
If you garage your motorcycle, a ground anchor is an excellent additional layer of security and piece of mind. However if you can only lock your motorcycle outside but you do have access to a ground anchor, then take on board these tips.
Front wheel should be your last option: It isn't common but as the picture above proves, thieves will get a bike by unbolting the front wheel. They'll probably turn up with a spare wheel, unbolt yours, then slot theirs in and they're off.
Cover it up: Keeping your bike out of sight is still a great deterrent. If you can only lock your bike outside but you can use a ground anchor, then cover the bike and use an alarmed disk lock. Any would-be thief tampering with the bike will be warned off and likely pick an easier target
Lock through the frame: Not all bikes will allow you to do this but passing the chain through the frame or a braced swing arm not only keeps it further from the ground but also prevents thieves being able to remove a wheel to circumvent the ground anchor.
Through the rear wheel and the chain: Obviously wheels are easer to get closer to a ground anchor than the frame, so if you do use a wheel to loop your chain through, use the rear wheel and if possible run it through the drivechain too, making it even harder for thieves.
Don't use a crap chain: If you have to keep your bike locked outside, use a quality chain like an Almax or Pragmasis 16mm. Cheaper chains or anything under 10mm will be an easy target.
Sold Secure Ground Anchors
Sold Secure is a security testing scheme that aims to highlight products that have passed a set of tests to prove their ability to withstand an attack.
To see a list of Sold Secure motorcycle ground anchors, you can visit this link.
The cheapest ground anchors
Not everyone has £50 to spend on a ground anchor. If you’re on a budget, your best bet is to get a bolt-in ground anchor which you can bolt in to the floor (or wall) with ease.
For under £10, you can grab this Ryde Heavy Duty Ground Lock. It’s made from 5mm thick metal which will see off a handheld saw and should buy you some time against a battery-operated angle grinder. The only weak point we can see in this is the fact it’s bolted in with two bolts. On anything but a perfectly flat surface you could get under it and start to lever it up.
For a few more quid you could opt for this double-walled ground anchor again from Ryde. Even harder to defeat and it has four bolts meaning you won’t be able to get under it and lever it off.
If you’re looking for a cheap concrete-in ground anchor then this Hardcastle Under Ground Anchor is a good choice at £20.
Dedicated wall anchors
Mounting your ground anchor on a wall is a great idea. It makes it harder for thieves to use a sledgehammer type attack and it makes it harder for them to keep your chain still so they can try and cut it.
You can mount all bolt-in ground anchors into a wall – although some manufacturers say their kits are designed for concrete floors – so always check the quality of your wall. There’s no point mounting it into a breeze-block wall as this won’t stand up to much of an attack from a well aimed sledgehammer.
Similarly if you screw it into your shed panel, you’ll be replacing your shed and your motorbike. So if you do have a shed, best to lay some concrete which you can drill in to and bolt a ground anchor in that way.
Oxford Products make a dedicated wall anchor, the Docking Station which can be used with chains up to 16mm.
If you only secure your bike from home then this wall anchor acts like a padlock, meaning you don’t need to spend £60+ on a padlock and £60-ish on a ground anchor – you can use this instead.
Use an SDS hammer drill and quality drill bits if you're fitting a bolt-in ground anchor. If you don't, you'll be there for ever and a day.
Measure up the space you're planning on fitting your ground anchor in. Can you access it with a bike in the way, will you trip over it? Once it's in, it's in so you want to get this bit right. A good tip is to use masking tape to mark out the area you're going to be using to see if it'll work for you once everything's in place
If you can, fit your ground anchor at knee height on a wall, it'll make it very hard to defeat with a sledgehammer attack when compared to the floor.
A ground anchor is only as good as the chain you use with it. Any chain under 10mm won't be up to the job as they can often be bolt cropped and won't last more than a minute of angle grinding. Ideally buy a 16mm Almax or Pragmasis chain.
Quality chains are expensive so you might be tempted to go for a 1.2m chain but we'd recommend a 1.5m minimum to give you enough chain to pass through the ground anchor and around a rear wheel.
Other Decent Ground Anchors
There are lots of great ground anchors on the market. If our top picks don’t float your boat then have a look at these instead:
Abus Ground Anchors
Abus manufacturers a good selection of ground anchors. Their best model for motorbikes is the WBA 100 which we recommend for any outdoor or garage installation. If you keep your motorcycle in the shed, the WBA 100 might be difficult to fit but the WBA 60 is a decent option, allowing you to secure your motorcycle to something solid.
Almax Ground Anchors
Almax don’t make their own ground anchors but they do sell the Defiant ground anchor which is made by Longstart. You install it using an epoxy resin.
Halfords Ground Anchors
Halfords sells a small selection of ground anchors but most of them are lightweight. While adequate for the average bicycle, we don’t rate them as serious options for anyone looking to secure a motorcycle or scooter.
Kryptonite Ground Anchors
Kryptonite is synonymous with bicycle security and their tough D-locks are what helped them become so well-known. They sell one ground anchor that can be used for motorcycles or bicycles. It’s called the Stronghold and you can see it here.
Milenco Ground Anchors
Milenco are relatively new to the motorcycle world but they have been making caravan and building site security for years. They make two ground anchors, the Dundrod which is a good option for most bikers or the very sturdy-looking Snaefell ground anchor. Both ground anchors get a Sold Secure rating. You can see the range here.
Oxford Ground Anchors
Oxford Products make a wide range of ground anchors, ranging from £20 to £100. Most are bolt-in types but they do sell one concrete-in option, the TerraForce. You can see the range here.
Squire Ground Anchors
Squire are well known for their padlocks and home security. They also sell a decent range of motorcycle security including different ground anchors, all of which have a Sold Secure rating. See their range through this link.
Motorcycle Garage Guide
Here at BikerRated, we think that every biker’s garage should be a sacred place. Not just a place to securely store your motorcycle but space where you can work on it in comfort and enjoy not just riding, but owning and maintaining your motorcycle.
See our motorcycle garage guide for more tips on how to turn your garage or shed into motorcycling nirvana.
Ground Anchor FAQs
Can I bolt a ground anchor to a wall?
Yes. You can mount a ground anchor to the floor or a wall (or indeed any solid object, like a lump of concrete). You just need to ensure that the wall can’t easily be knocked over with a sledge hammer, allowing the thieves to then lift the bike away.
Can you remove a ground anchor once fitted?
You can but for most ground anchor this is a very time-consuming job. Many ground anchors are supplied with Allen-fitment bolts which you then hammer a ball-bearing into the Allen fitment once you’ve finished securing the ground anchor in place. This makes it almost impossible to drill the bolts and therefore removal of a ground anchor is a difficult job.
What’s the best ground anchor?
There isn’t really a ‘best ground anchor’ as there are many different applications and what suits one biker might not suit another. Our choices above are, in our opinion, some of the best ground anchors for any motorbike. The most important things to consider are ensuring it can fit in the space you’ve got and that your chain can fit through the ground anchor.
Do B&Q Sell ground anchors?
They have a small selection of ground anchors that you could use to secure your motorcycle. You can check out their security section here.
Do Toolstation sell ground anchors?
Toolstation sell a range of ground anchors, mainly from Oxford Products. You can check out their range here.