How Do You Secure A Motorcycle in A Parking Lot?

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Motorcycles are generally a lot easier to steal than cars, especially older motorcycles. When riding through an unfamiliar town it might make you feel better by somehow securing your motorcycle so someone can’t roll it away.

How do you secure a motorcycle in a parking lot? The best ways to secure a motorcycle in a parking lot are by using a chain and padlock, a steel u-lock on the rear wheel, a front disc brake lock, an alarm system, a proximity sensor, and by always parking in the most well lit area of the parking lot.

These relatively inexpensive items can be the barrier between someone stealing your motorcycle or not. I’ll go into further detail on these products below and add some more helpful tips to keep your motorcycle away from vandalism and theft.

Ways To Secure Your Motorcycle In A Parking Lot

There are a lot of ways to secure your motorcycle in a parking lot and a lot of aftermarket devices that you can use in order to make sure it’s still parked where you left it. There are also various alarms and proximity sensors that you can use to help scare away people who want to damage or take your bike.

And for those unlucky few who still have their motorcycle stolen, there are small and concealable GPS tracking devices to help you know exactly where the motorcycle is located. All of these devices will allow for you to easily secure your bike wherever you are.

The first of these is as simple as it gets. A chain and padlock will deter the majority of thieves because they aren’t carrying around bolt cutters to get through the chain. They would rather keep looking for an easier motorcycle to steal, and many assume that if you have a chain you might also have an alarm or GPS.

In order to use a chain and padlock you don’t even have to chain the motorcycle to something else, just wrap the chain around the rear wheel and swingarm. That will stop the rear wheel from being able to spin and no one will be able to push the motorcycle. Anyone who wants to take your motorcycle will have to go the extra step of cutting the chain and padlock.

Another cool invention is a disk brake lock. These are locks that connect to the brake rotor (disk) on your motorcycle. This will prevent the wheel from turning. These are convenient because they are very small and simple to install and remove. They are also very easy to store when not being used.

While chains and locks will prevent thieves from taking your motorcycle, they will not prevent people from damaging or vandalizing it. To prevent these types of scenarios it is best to purchase an alarm system. Alarms can use motion sensors or proximity sensors.

Motion sensors are activated if anyone tries to roll the motorcycle forward or backward and a proximity sensor in order to set off an alarm if anyone gets to close or starts touching your bike. Doing this will prevent others from damaging your bike when you are not around.

On top of using different devices to secure your motorcycle, where you park is equally important. It is important to always park in a well-lit area. In the dark it becomes very easy for someone to do something to your motorcycle. Parking in more crowded public places is generally better as well as there are more people around to discourage anyone who wants to do your motorcycle harm.

Also, be aware of how your bike is parked. Is it parked somewhere that anyone else driving around or parking can easily see it? Is it out of the way to where no one walking by would knock it over? Being cautious about where you park your motorcycle is a very important step in keeping it safe when you’re away.

Is It Safe To Leave A Motorcycle In A Parking Lot?

Leaving your motorcycle parked somewhere can be much scarier than leaving a car parked somewhere. Anyone can easily get onto it, vandalize it, or steal it. All of these things are much easier to do on a motorcycle than on a car.

As a result, it is important that you are cautious and prepared when leaving your motorcycle parked somewhere. We will walk you through a few of the things that you can do to better secure your bike when you have to leave it out in public.

When you are not near your motorcycle, there are so many things that could happen to it. Someone could hit it with their car, a pedestrian or admirer could knock it over (which I have seen firsthand), or someone could vandalize it. I’ve even seen people sit on someone else’s motorcycle and have a friend take pictures of them to make it look like they own it.

But the worst case scenario is to have someone try to steal your motorcycle. The average new motorcycle right now costs over $20,000 USD. And the average used motorcycle is still around $10,000 USD. It’s important to protect your assets and take the appropriate steps to secure your motorcycle.

If you have to go through all of this trouble in order to secure your motorcycle, is it even safe to leave your motorcycle in a parking lot? The truth is that no matter where you park your motorcycle, and no matter how many precautions you take, there will always be a chance that something can happen to it.

Even parked in your garage at home, there are a thousand different things that can happen to your motorcycle. As a result, leaving your bike in a parking lot has it is risks as well as does anything else. You do not need to be too concerned though. If you take the proper precautions, your motorcycle will be safe while left in a parking lot and the chances of anything happening to it will be small.

Why Securing Your Motorcycle In A Parking Lot Is Important

So why is securing your motorcycle important? There are a lot of reasons as to why. The main reason is to simply protect your financial asset. Motorcycles are expensive and if you take care of them they will hold their value fairly well.

While others may not value your property like you do, it becomes up to you to keep it safe. If your motorcycle is damaged and the culprit gets away, you either will be paying for the repairs out of pocket or filing an insurance claim. Either way, you will pay for it.

Motorcycles are very easy targets for many people. Whether their goal is to damage property, steal parts, or steal the entire bike it is fairly easy to do. They are light and simple to take away. All of the components are also easily exposed to everyone and can be easily removed. Lastly, it is easy for anyone to appear like the owner of the bike. If a car is locked, only someone with the keys can easily get into the car. Otherwise, they will have to force their way in.

With a motorcycle, anyone can come and sit on the motorcycle and the people passing by will not bat an eye. Then when the coast is clear, they can damage or steal it. That is why motorcycles are so frequently targeted. They are much easier targets than the other cars in the parking lot.

It is also important to remember that your motorcycle is much smaller than everything else in the parking lot. Other drivers will not be able to see your bike nearly as well as all of the other vehicles in the parking lot. This makes it much easier to accidentally hit your bike while it is parked. Always be sure to find a very visible and safe parking spot while riding a motorcycle.

How To Tell If Your Motorcycle Has Been Tampered With While Parked

If you come back to your motorcycle in the parking lot, how can you tell if someone has tampered with it? Are there any obvious signs? Depending on what the person did to your motorcycle certain things may be more obvious than others. The first thing that you can do is make sure that your motorcycle is still parked as it was when you left it. This will let you know if someone had sat on your bike and maybe walked it back and forth. 

You also can see if anything has been moved from where it normally is. Do the mirrors seem angled differently than normal? Are the headlights or some other switch turned differently than you had left them? Are any of your storage bags or spaces open? These are great ways to tell if your bike has been tampered with at all while you were gone.

A trick I learned from my dad was to put a penny on the top of the rear wheel. If anyone moves the motorcycle while you’re gone then the penny will be on the ground when you get back.

Lastly, you can visually inspect the body of the bike. Are there any scratches or dents that were not there before? Do you notice anything strange or out of place on the body of the bike at all? If so, you will probably want to see if there were any cameras in the area that could have caught someone on your bike.

If you’re concerned about protecting your motorcycle then you may want to consider investing in some security devices to prevent things like this from happening in the future.

This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.

Kyle Cannon

Kyle currently works as a mechanical engineer and graduated with a minor in automotive engineering. He loves restoring motorcycles, has a vast knowledge of how they work, and has sold his restoration projects to customers from all over the United States.

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