Motorcycle locks, alarms, and chains can all be defeated, but they also make your bike less convenient to steal. A thief will often prefer a softer target that they can steal quickly while making minimal noise or using obvious tools. There are a number of different anti-theft devices that can discourage a thief.
Many late-model motorcycles, including most Harley-Davidson® models, come equipped with a security system that electronically immobilizes the ignition when the owner’s key fob is away from the bike. This helps prevent a thief from starting the bike to ride it away. In some cases, security systems that defeat the ignition can be added to motorcycles not so equipped by the manufacturer.
The owner of an older motorcycle can often add a hidden switch to disable or disconnect the ignition system. The thief may be able to jimmy or hot wire the main ignition switch to try to start the bike but will not know how to activate the second switch.
For an added layer of protection, a siren or alarm can be added to many security systems. These alarms often have a motion detector that triggers the armed alarm if the bike is moved, or if the bike is lifted off its side stand. Harley-Davidson offers a Security Siren Kit that easily plugs into the Harley-Davidson® Factory Security System on most late-model bikes. A loud alarm is not a sound a thief wants to hear.
Garage-kept motorcycles are stolen at a much lower rate than those parked on the street or in a driveway. You can keep your garage secure with quality locks and covering windows to prevent prying eyes. Consider adding a security device or back-up lock to an automatic garage door opener, which can be defeated by clever and determined thieves. Disconnecting the power to a garage door opener with also make it disabled. An obvious security camera will discourage a thief. Don’t leave the keys or security fob with the motorcycle.
Consider adding an extra layer of protection by locking up the motorcycle inside the garage. A security anchor that is permanently mounted in the floor is a great addition in a private garage. Covering the motorcycle while it’s in the garage will also make it much harder to identify.
If you live in a city, there may be the option of a gated parking garage specializing in motorcycle storage.
Look for a motorcycle parking spot that is highly visible, is directly under an overhead light, is in a highly trafficked area and has obvious security cameras. The more people that are around, the less likely your motorcycle will be stolen. When you are out and about, try to park the bike where you can see it while you are in a restaurant or bar, for example.
Many motorcycles are equipped with a basic helmet lock, but an accessory helmet lock can be added to a bike not so equipped, or to secure a second helmet. A jacket can be secured by looping a thin security cable through a sleeve and then locking the cable to the motorcycle.
Before leaving the bike remove and stow away an accessory motorcycle navigation device or mobile phone holder that could be quickly removed and stolen, and either take it with you or place it in locking luggage.