Motorcycle Chain Locks – Guide on What to Look for When Buying

Motorcycle chain locks are the most common way to secure your bike against theft. Chaining your motorcycle to an immovable and solid position would be troublesome for anyone who wishes to take it away from you. They will need heavy-duty power tools and hours on end to successfully wheel, tow, or ride away your motorcycle.

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There are plenty of motorcycle chain locks available in the market, but do you know what to look for when buying one? You will need to consider its size, weight, length, durability, strength, and portability.

Moreover, while it is necessary to have a chain lock, are they effective enough against theft? Will the locking mechanism you choose to make a difference? Or is it better to go for cables to protect your bike? All your questions on motorcycle chain locks will be answered further.

What Should I Look for in a Motorcycle Chain Lock?

Having a quality lock chain is a reliable way to secure your bike and is excellent to collude with other forms of theft deterrents and protection. Buying a motorcycle chain lock is easy if you know what to look for. There are a few aspects that may either make or break the chain’s purpose. You need to consider three main things when buying a motorcycle chain lock: its materials, chain length, and link diameter.


A motorcycle chain that is built with durable material and resistant to rust go a long way. You won’t need to replace it after being exposed to sunlight or downpours. A great combination of materials is steel with titanium or magnesium as these are strong and won’t deteriorate.

Chain length

It is ideal for security chains to be shorter as possible while fitting your motorbike. If a chain lock is loose-fitting, it is easier for potential thieves to use bolt cutters around the links.

Link diameter

A link diameter of 10mm to 16mm is the principle when buying lock chains to prevent potential theft and forceful breakage. However, it would help if you also remembered that a larger diameter comes with a heavier product.

It helps to read reviews on the best motorcycle chain locks. Expect to spend a hefty amount of money to get the best and most secure lock. Investing a great deal of money in your motorcycle also means spending much to keep it safe.

Are chain locks an excellent anti-theft device for motorcycles?

Chain locks are built to lock your motorcycle, stopping thieves from picking up your bike when attached to a fixed position. Padlocks and chains are commonly attached around the bike’s frame or the wheel, preventing your bike from getting stolen.

However, the locks (significantly cheaper ones) can be a weak link in your motorcycle’s chain lock and may not deter thieves. You may need a specialized lock with a quality chain, for instance, a monoblock padlock or a mini U-lock.

Not to be confused with motorcycle cable locks, these often have combination locks. You may think it is very secure, but it’s quite the opposite. Cheap locks with low-quality combination locks, thieves may find it easy to look into the mechanism, analyze the ridges and decrypt the combination.

Thieves may steal your bike with hand-powered bolt cutters, but one way to completely prevent them from doing so is by considering locks with thicker diameters (16mm or more).

Choose motorcycle chain locks that are looped on each end, together with expensive padlocks. Motorcycle chain locks and cable locks come in different price ranges, so you will get what you pay for. If you opt for the cheaper ones, then do not expect tight security.

Are chain locks effective for motorbikes?

Investing in the best and super-secure locks can remain in one location, such as a garage or bike shed. Ground anchors are great allies of chain locks thanks to their greater strength, length, and size. Most portable chain locks are 23” long, giving you multiple locking possibilities thanks to their flexible chain link shackles and distance.

If you consider a D lock, securing your bike to lamp posts may not be as effective as the portable chain locks do. Meanwhile, transporting a chain lock around can be a struggle, and they do not always come with a carry mount.

So that leaves you with two options: intertwining the chain lock around your motorbike’s frame or storing it in your bag and taking it with you.

Whether your chain locks are portable or not, they are heavy. So, fixing it on your bike while riding can do more harm than good. Some chain locks can be worn around your waist or over the shoulder, making it easily accessible though it can be uncomfortable.

If you have invested in an expensive bike, then it would be wise to store your portable chain lock away in your bag. It may be a hassle for you, but it is an effective way to avoid your bike damage.

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Is chain or cable security better?

Potential thieves often find mobile machines (motorbikes, motorcycles, trailers) as easy targets for stealing. A way to prevent the loss of your bike and other portable items is to implement appropriate meticulous security.

The security you choose to attach with your chain lock is only ever as good as the weakest link. This security may be a cable, chain, or the anchor point of attachment. A rule of thumb in motorbike security is spending around 15% of an item’s safety value. It would be useless to secure your expensive bike with a cheap lock, so always use the best security you can afford to avoid losing your motor or motorcycle.

Further, having a decent chain is better than cable locks since they can be cut with hand tools that fit in a thief’s pocket. There are attributes to determine the level of security your chain lock can provide: diameter and the alloy steel material condition.

Chain locks of more than 11mm in diameter with welded links with hard cases offer the best and highest level of security. These chains are chosen to secure expensive motorcycles, scooters, and other mobile items.

However, high-security lock chains can be heavy and tedious to carry around. In a situation with lower levels of security, cables can be more useful. Cables provide flexibility, allowing them to be woven around and through fixed objects.

To double up your motorbike’s security, couple your chain or cables with the appropriate padlock and anchor point. This way, you will have a massively improved level of protection for your motorcycle.

How Do I Protect My Motorcycle From Theft?

You never know when your motorcycle can get stolen, so it is better to protect it from potential thieves. Being a mobile item, your motorbike is susceptible to being lifted into the back of a van. Even if you carefully lock and cover it up, it can be easily stashed away. Garages, motorcycle shows, rallies, and more are often targeted areas of thievery. Even urban areas are not safe from motorcycle theft. Everyone and everywhere is susceptible.

However, you can still take a few precautions to protect yourself from motorcycle theft. “Out of sight, out of mind” is an old saying that holds true. The less your motorbike is seen, the less likely a thief will warm up to it. Keep your motorcycle covered if you do not have a garage to store it in. Putting an unbranded cover on your bike will mystify what’s under it.

Here are 11 ways to prevent motorcycle theft:


Layering your security reduces the risk of becoming a victim of motorcycle theft. A disc lock can be used to secure your front brake or a grip lock to secure brake and throttle controls. A D-lock on the front wheel can also stop it from being wheeled away.


To deter thieves from breaking your steering lock and wheeling your bike away, use a chain lock through its back wheel. A lock taut to an immovable position or object (ground anchor or street furniture) secures your bike. Thieves will have second thoughts from cutting a lock trailing on the ground with an angle grinder. If you cannot do so, thread the chain through your bike frame and back wheel.

Covering your bike

This makes it less attractive to them and provides more time for the thief to snatch it away. Further, thieves choose a particular bike model to prey upon.

Doing these security measures does not entirely guarantee your bike’s safety, but it does make it harder and less attractive for potential thieves.

Anchor Your Lock Off The Ground

Never rest your lock on the ground; this will likely give more leverage for breakage. Attaching the lock up and away from the ground enables the thief to have extra leverage in prying the lock open. The lock or chain must be secured through the frame, fork, or wheel.

Lock Your Motorcycle To A Solid and Hard Object

Disc locks may be troublesome to joy-riders, but resolute thieves can lift your bike into a waiting truck. Adding a cable and locking it into something substantial makes it a formidable foe. Even if you’re parking it inside a garage, it must be securely locked.

Use Multiple Locks On Your Bike

In addition to your motor’s built-in lock/s, it is best to use two or more for tighter security. A potential thief will not be prepared to beat various locks, and if one of the locks is anchored into an immovable position, they won’t be able to carry it to a truck.

Use Best, High-quality Locks, And Chains

When shopping for your bike’s security, always get the good stuff. The more expensive, the tighter security it provides. Alarmed disc locks, asymmetrical chains, and U-locks of hardened steel are great security additions.

Wire Up A Hidden Kill Switch

Installing a hidden kill switch or spring-loaded switch will frustrate the bad guys. Doing so will thwart attempted thefts by merely removing the main fuse when parking their bikes.

Park Your Motor In A Well-Lit Area

When parking your motor outdoors, choose a conspicuous area with good lighting. If you cannot lock your motorbike to something immovable, try locking it to another bike. Another way to discourage thieves is by plastering your motor with “Alarm Installed” stickers.

Motorcycle Alarms

Another great way to secure your motorcycle is by installing alarms. This will attract attention, suggesting that someone is attempting to steal your motor. However, in most cases, people are used to false alarms that they do not seem to investigate further or bother to look. But people will pay attention to any sound of destruction. You can lodge a stack of breakable bottles with a tripwire, making a sound that people will investigate when it breaks or tips over.

Be Watchful

Expert thieves usually follow the motorcycles they want to steal too, parked, day and night. After thorough monitoring, they will assess the situation and come back with the necessary things to steal the motorcycle.

Thus, it is crucial to be mindful of your surroundings. As you approach your destination, check your mirrors for several blocks. If someone is following you, lose them by pulling over and letting them pass. This leaves an escape route if they are indeed bike-jackers. Also, try making a U-turn, or going around the area. Anyone suspicious will continue to follow you. Never go to your destination until you have shaken them off.

Current Best Selling Motorcycle Chain Locks on Amazon:

Advert. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not affect the price you pay.

Never Forget To Lock Your Motorcycle (Conclusion)

Lastly, always keep in mind to lock up your motorcycle. It may take time between your rides, but five minutes will not hurt to take some locks off. This is better than calling the police and waiting another 15 minutes for them to arrive and gather your information.

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