With motorcycle theft on the rise in the UK, it’s important to make sure your bike is secure at all times whether it’s parked in your garage or in the street. It takes less than 3 minutes for a group of thieves to wheel away your bike or throw it in a van and drive off.
A security chain is the most basic security measure you can implement. It is not theft-proof, nothing really is, but it effectively deters most would-be thieves. It would attract too much attention to try and disable the chain.
Security chains for motorcycles are usually made from toughened steel that is hard to cut even with a power tool. As long as you secure your bike around a strong fixed object, no one can take it away.
Most security chains also come with a fabric or rubber covering to prevent it from scratching your bike.
You don’t need to get a specific bike model-compatible security chain. Most security chains have a universal design that work well with practically any bike. Just make sure it’s long enough to fit your security needs.
Note: Thieves have become smart. Some defeat the chain by taking off the wheel. Others are brazen enough to cut through the chain. Don’t rely on a security chain only to secure your motorcycle. Use other security measures as well including a disc lock, alarm and tracker.
What to Consider When Buying a Security Chain for Your Motorcycle
1. Thickness and shape of chain links
The very first thing you should check is how thick the chain is. This greatly determines how well it will stand up to an attack with a tool.
The most common link thickness is 10mm though some can go up to 13mm. The thicker the cross section of the links the more secure your bike will be.
But don’t get a chain that is too thick if you are planning to carry it around with you. A thicker chain be heavier and more cumbersome to lag around.
Read also: How To Choose The Best Motorcycle Ear Plugs
2. Chain quality
Check which material is used to make the security chain. It needs to be strong and resistant to different kinds of attacks as well as corrosion and rusting.
The most common material is tempered steel usually combined with other materials like magnesium and titanium.
3. Chain length
The best chain length will depend on your needs. Most motorcycle owners prefer wrapping the chain around the wheel as well as other components like the exhaust pipe to make it even harder for thieves to free the bike.
Motorcycle security chains start at around 1.1m but you can find some as long as 1.5m or even 2m.
A longer chain gives you more versatility about where you can secure your bike. For instance, you can use a thick pillar that a shorter chain would not be able to go around.
4. Link design
In addition to the type of materials used, the design matters as well. Some chains have special designs that ensure someone with a bolt cutter doesn’t get the leverage they need to cut.
Others have specialized links at the ends that loop into each other for better security.
Another design feature to check is the shape of the link cross section. Are the links round or angled?
Angled links – usually square but sometimes also hexagonal – are the best because they are harder to cut.
5. Accessories included
Finally check which accessories are included along with the security chain.
Does it comes with a padlock or do you have your own?
Does it come with a ground anchor for use at home?
Best Motorcycle Security Chains Reviews
When it comes to motorcycle security, Abus is a trusted brand. They have been protecting bikes and motorbikes for decades.
This 1.1m chain comes with 10mm links, providing robust security in most situations. It’s made from hardened steel that can withstand most cutting tools.
The steel is resistant to rust so you can use it outside without worrying that it will corrode and get weaker.
A fabric sleeve on the chain prevents it from scraping against your motorbike’s paintwork.
Note that this chain does not come with a padlock. You have to buy your own.
The links at the ends are large enough to slide a padlock through. You can also slide the links through each other and attach a padlock to one of them.
Make sure you buy a secure padlock to avoid creating a weak point that thieves can take advantage of.
A good choice is the Abus 37/60 Granit Insurance Padlock Closed Shackle also by Abus. It is resistant to drills, saws and bolt cutters.
What we like about it:
- Sleeve for scratch-protection.
- Small and light enough to carry with you.
If 1.2m or 1.5m is not long enough for you, perhaps this 1.8m Mammoth security chain will do. The extra length gives you more freedom about where to secure your bike.
The chain is quite hefty; it comes in at 4.2kg. But that’s a fair price to pay for peace of mind.
To keep your bike secure, this chain has three important features.
There is the material itself – hardened steel that is difficult to cut through.
There are the thick 10mm links with a square design to make a thief’s work even harder. A bolt cutter cannot snap the chain.
Then there’s the included heavy duty padlock. It’s just as secure as the chain and comes with an extra spare key.
What we like about it:
- Very secure.
- Includes lock.
The links on this chain are a bit thinner at 9.5mm but still good enough against most hand tools. The links have a square cross section which should make it harder for thieves to cut through them.
But I highly recommend backing it up with other security measures including a disc lock for both wheels and an alarm system.
The chain is 1.5m long, which is plenty enough for most people. You can easily loop the chain through the front wheel and around the bike’s frame. This ensures that thieves can’t take off the front wheel and free the motorbike.
But the extra length means that it’s quite heavy (3.6kg). Keep this in mind if you are planning to carry the chain with you.
The chain comes with a heavy duty double-locking padlock which can also be used as a disc lock. The lock is easy to operate and comes with a set of three keys in case you lose one of them. If you lose all three, you can order more from the company. You don’t have to cut the chain.
What we like about it:
- Includes secure padlock.
The FD-MOTO chain + anchor package saves you the trouble of buying a ground anchor separately.
It comes with its own secure anchor that you can install in less than 30 minutes. They even include a free Allen Key. It secures to the ground or wall using hardened steel bolts that are designed to be inaccessible when the anchor is in use.
The chain itself is very secure and is resistant to saws, bolt cutters and other tools. The links are 10mm thick and have a square cross section for added resilience. Each link is welded to ensure no one can pry them open.
The chain is made from hardened steel that is resistant to rust and corrosion. A protective sleeve keeps your paintwork scratch-free.
Despite being just 1.2m long, it’s still weighs a hefty 3.8kg. It might feel a bit tedious to carry around with you. But at least you can be sure that your motorcycle is safe.
What we like about it:
- Tough and secure.
- Includes chain lock and ground anchor.
- Long enough for most people’s needs.
This is another good choice if you are looking for a chain that comes with a padlock and anchor. The only downside with this one from Ryde is that the chain is only 1m long.
While this should be long enough for most bikes, check whether it’s ideal for you before you buy it.
The chain links are 10mm thick while the anchor loop is 40mm thick. It will be very difficult for anyone to steal the bike either by cutting the chain or the anchor.
The anchor secures to the ground or wall using heavy duty steel bolts with coverings and ball bearings to prevent anyone from unscrewing them.
The padlock is also very secure and resistant to most hand tools.
What we like about it:
- Includes chain lock and ground/wall anchor.
- Very secure setup.
Frequently asked questions
What length motorcycle security chain do you need?
It depends on the size of your motorcycle. For most motorcycles, a 1.5m to 2m long security chain is ideal. This length gives you flexibility when securing you bike. You have enough length to loop the chain around a wide range of solid objects.
With a short chain, you’d have to find the perfect place that the chain will fit around. This is not a problem if you park your bike at the same place such as at home or in a garage, but can be an issue if you park it in different areas every day.
How can I secure my motorcycle?
The best way to secure your motorcycle is to have multiple layers of security. For example, you can use a security chain to deter thieves from wheeling the bike or lifting it into a van.
Then add a disc lock to prevent thieves from riding off in your bike or wheeling it away should they manage to cut the chain. Install an alarm to deter would-be thieves.
If all these measures fail, having a tracker makes it easier to recover your stolen motorcycle.
How do I secure a motorcycle security chain?
Loop the chain around an immovable object like a lamp post or metal railing. For home security, buy a ground anchor to secure the chain.
Don’t forget to use a strong padlock to close the chain around the motorcycle wheel or frame.