It’s a sad state of affairs but motorcycle and scooter crime has risen dramatically over the past five years.
Scooters are particularly vulnerable – thieves love them as they’re easy to ride two-up, can carry their tools and the twist-and-go nature means anyone can ride them.
Bikes like the Vespa GTS300, Honda SH300, Piaggio Beverly 350 are all popular targets and they’re either recoded with new keys, broken into parts or shipped abroad.
Unfortunately, scooter riders aren’t helping themselves to combat this huge rise in bike crime. Scooter riders are often new riders who aren’t aware of how easy it is to steal a moped or scooter if it doesn’t have any additional security.
You’ll need a scooter-specific disc lock as the vast majority of motorcycle disc locks have pins that are too big to fit through a scooter’s brake disc. Anything with a 6mm pin or smaller will do the job.
You don’t need to spend a fortune either, just £30 buys you a decent scooter-specific disc lock. 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 scooter thieves who’d rather move on to the next bike with no locks and take that on instead.
Xena are known for their quality locks and the XZZ6 is no exception. Designed with a 6mm pin specifically to fit scooters, this chunky lock will see off all but the most committed attacks. It also features a 120dB alarm which thieves hate.
Kovix makes a range of high-quality locks but their disc locks are particularly impressive. Very similar to the look and feel of the Xena, this Kovix has a slipper design which makes it hard to angle-grind, while the steel body and barrel will see off hammer blows. The 120dB alarm is a nuisance for thieves.
If you don’t use a disc lock, you should. But I appreciate that price is a factor. Even a cheap disc lock is better than no disc lock. It takes just seconds to snap the steering lock of an otherwise unlocked scooter and push it away.
The cheapest disc lock we could find was this Bike It 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 scooter 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 Luma Enduro 92D which is a mini disc lock designed specifically to fit a scooter. At under £30, they’re both strong locks and good visual deterrents.
Most of the top-end disc locks are designed for motorcycles and therefore they won’t fit your scooter.
However, the Abus Detecto 7000 is a great choice. It’s an alarmed disc lock that fits both motorcycles and scooters.
It features a 120dB alarm, hardened steel shackle and body and it’s designed to be operated with one hand. If you park your scooter outside, the Detecto is a great addition to your security mix.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Can I use a D-Lock?
Yes, a D-Lock (sometimes known as a U-lock) is a great option as it can be secured through a scooter wheel and easily carried on your scooter.
Is my steering lock enough?
Nope! A steering lock can be broken in seconds and your scooter pushed away. You need at least one additional item of security, from a chain to a disc lock or cable lock and ideally cover the scooter at night to make it less visible.
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: