This anti-theft device combines a 6-millimeter steel pin brake disc lock with a loud 110-decibel alarm for maximum security. The alarm will automatically activate when it senses any vibration or shock and is easy to lock with a single push of a button. Fits most motorcycles and scooters, including cruisers, choppers, sport bikes, and racing bikes.
The lock is strong, but some users have reported alarm malfunctions in heavy rain and cold.
This 113-decibel wireless alarm is triggered via vibration, tilt, or remote from up to 20 meters away. Boasts 7 different sensitivity levels, 6 unique ringtones, and an IP5 waterproof polycarbonate shell. It can pair to 8 different remotes and even works in the home on doors and windows.
The double-sided installation sticker may not hold up well over time.
Anchored by a durable 7-millimeter pin, this product by Yohoolyo locks at 360 degrees for maximum peace of mind on nearly any motorcycle. The alarm is intense at 110 decibels and is triggered by vibration or shock. The anti-corrosive exterior stands up to weather well, and the product includes 2 keys.
Severe wind can set off alarm if left outside, so the sensitivity may be too high.
This kit utilizes a deafening 123-decibel anti-theft alarm that is triggered by a remote or adjustable shock sensor. It also prevents hijacking with a power-supply cutoff. Using similar methods, the package improves convenience by offering a remote start, which comes in handy on cold days. Works with any motorcycle with 12-volt or 14-volt batteries.
Some users reported quiet sirens and false triggers.
Possesses a one-press operation, making this option easy to lock. It beeps 3 times when it detects vibration. Gives off a continuous alarm for 30 seconds if triggered again. Fits a majority of motorcycles and bikes with disc brakes. Seals against moisture.
Some users say that the alarm is overly sensitive.
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The latest figures from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) tell us that there are as many as 45,000 reported motorcycle thefts per year in the United States. If you’re unfortunate enough to have it happen to you, there’s likely to be financial loss. Insurance often doesn’t cover the true cost of replacement. If it’s your only vehicle, you’re left stranded or reliant on public transport. Investing in a motorcycle alarm is not only a very sensible idea, but it could actually save you a lot of money.
But which motorcycle alarm? That’s exactly the kind of question BestReviews was set up to help you answer, and we’ve been looking at all your options. The good news is that you have many choices. And while you can spend hundreds of dollars, many cost no more than a couple of tanks of gas. Even at that low price, they can be very effective.
Our recommended models underline the wide range of affordable devices available, and in the following motorcycle alarm buying guide we look in detail at the features they offer.
Before we get to the motorcycle alarms themselves, a quick note about motorcycle thieves. They fall into one of two categories: opportunists and professionals. The opportunistic thief is often on foot or driving around in a car looking for an easy target — a bike without any kind of security. Any visible physical deterrent will put off many would-be thieves. An alarm will stop most because there’s probably an easier target for them just down the street.
Professionals frequently target a specific motorcycle in advance. They know how to defeat most forms of motorbike security systems. They arrive in a van or truck and simply lift the bike in. Even if you chain your bike down, they’ll either have bolt cutters or freezing spray that makes chains and shackles brittle and easy to break. Unfortunately, there’s little defense against the pros, but the more security you have, the more chances you have of slowing down or stopping them.
Given the limited space available on a motorcycle, an alarm needs to be compact. There are two main approaches: disc locks with built-in, battery-powered alarms and wired-in alarms that link to the motorcycle’s 12-volt battery. We’ll also look at vibration alarms and handlebar locks.
These are a simple but effective solution. The mechanism consists of a pin that fits through one of the holes in your disc brake and clamps the body of the lock in place. Once fitted, you’ve effectively got a big lump of metal attached to your disc. It won’t go past the forks or brake caliper, so it keeps the wheel from rotating. Locking is usually just a question of pushing the pin home with a button, so it’s very fast. It’s unlocked with a key.
It’s difficult for a thief to disable the alarm when it’s fitted to your motorcycle because access to the battery and circuitry is on the side that’s against the brake disc. They can’t get tools at it. The locking pin is usually forged stainless steel, so it’s very difficult to saw through. Brute force will defeat one of these locks, but they’re an effective, inexpensive deterrent.
Cord: A disc lock comes with a “reminder” cord (usually a nylon-covered steel cable) that extends from the lock and loops over the handlebars so you don’t forget the lock is there and try to ride off with it attached.
Alarm: The vast majority of disc locks include a motion-activated alarm that goes off if someone tries to move the bike. The volume is usually around 110 decibels (dB), which is loud enough to cause physical discomfort if you’re nearby.
These alarms are wired directly to the 12-volt system of the bike, and while they don’t offer any kind of physical locking, they have a motion-activated alarm that can hit 120 decibels or more. Basic models stop there, but others offer several enhancements.
Cheaper models (the same price range as disc locks) include flashing the lights and/or turn signals, sounding the horn (in addition to the alarm), and a remote engine kill switch. The latter function also provides the ability for keyless remote starting. While it isn’t a security measure, it can be convenient.
Sensitivity: These alarms usually have several levels of adjustment because sensitivity can be an issue. They’ll go off if someone stands the motorcycle upright to move it, but a large truck passing might also set them off.
Monitoring: More advanced models can monitor the current in the electrical system and will be set off by someone trying to hot-wire the motorcycle.
Alerts: They may also provide alerts via a pager built into the remote, so you get a warning that someone is trying to steal your bike. However, the range is usually limited to about 1/2 mile.
Battery backup: This means the remote will still work even if someone cuts the cable between the unit and the battery.
Sensor: We know of one alarm that has a proximity sensor that will go off if anybody comes near. It sounds clever, but it’s difficult to see when or where that would be of practical value.
A vibration alarm is a very cheap option that doesn’t require wiring because the unit is battery powered and self-contained. Basically, it’s a loud alarm in a small box fixed to the bike with a sticky pad or cable ties and activated by a remote. There’s no doubt the noise would be something of a deterrent (100 decibels and more), but there’s no physical security, and once the alarm is found, it’s pretty easy to remove it and simply throw it away.
A handlebar lock isn’t strictly speaking a motorcycle alarm because there’s no audible element, but one is easy to carry and worth thinking about as an additional means of security. Basically, it’s a very strong hinge and lock mechanism. It can be installed in seconds, usually over your throttle and front brake lever (which applies the brake and stops the bike moving) or on the left-hand handlebar and clutch lever. Some even come with a holster for your belt. It doesn’t need batteries or wiring, so there’s really nothing to go wrong, and it effectively immobilizes your bike. A thief would either have to jimmy the lock (not easy) or lift the motorcycle to steal it.
Inexpensive: There are lots of cheap motorcycle alarms available. For between $20 and $30, you can find dozens of wired-in models, plus numerous disc and handlebar locks. Each is a very affordable form of motorbike security.
Expensive: While we usually include the prices of mid-range models, as far as we can tell they just don’t exist. We found one at around $70, but it does little more than those that cost $30. That aside, it’s a big jump to either big-brand physical locks, at around $100, or those that will page you at a distance. Prices for the latter start at just under $200 and reach almost $400.
Q. Do I need an alarm if my motorcycle comes with an immobilizer?
A. We’d recommend it. Though modern immobilizers are complex devices, high-tech criminals always find a way to hack them (the components cost as little as a few bucks). Given the affordability of many bike alarms, why not add another layer of protection?
Q. Are wired-in alarms easy to fit?
A. They do vary quite a lot. Basic alarms just need to be connected to the battery, and high-end models with remote paging can be very straightforward. If it links to the turn signals or offers remote starting, you can end up with quite a few wires. If you’re not comfortable working with motorcycle electronics, it’s probably best to call in a professional. It shouldn’t take a competent engineer very long.
Q. Will a bike alarm lower my motorcycle insurance?
A. Unfortunately, popular low-cost alarms don’t qualify. You would need to find an anti-theft device that incorporates radio frequency tracking, GPS positioning, and/or a remote kill switch. In those cases, we’ve heard of savings of around 10% being offered, but it very much depends on the individual company. You need to talk to your broker.