One of my motorbikes was stolen last week – a Triumph 675 Daytona.
It was covered with the steering lock on, locked to my other bike via an Oxford Hardcore XL chain, and both bikes were in a secure underground car park.
When I heard it had been stolen, I had assumed they had a fob to get into the car park, or a device that runs through lots of frequencies until the gate opens. I assumed they drove a van down into the car park and then spent a good while breaking the lock, before lifting the bike into the back of the van. It would take 3 to 4 people to lift a bike by putting bars through the wheels.
I was more amazed that they had managed to cut the lock than I was that they had gained access to the car park. I had bought the lock based on a review I’d seen in a magazine that compared 10-15 locks, and this one came out joint first (I think). I thought it was a good lock.
I realise now that my assumptions were quite wrong.
The lock has 12mm square links, an enclosed 11mm shackle. I figured it was pretty hard to get through. Turns out, it’s incredibly easy to cut through. With a large pair of hand held bolt cutters, you can snip through it in a matter of seconds.
The theft was equally surprisingly low-tech. A group of guys forced their way through the pedestrian entrance to the car park (not entirely sure how), snipped the lock, presumably broke the steering lock, and then pushed the bike up the hill and jump started it on the road before riding away. Literally, all they needed was some ingenuity and a large pair of bolt cutters.
Thankfully, and strangely, they didn’t take my other bike. Even more thankfully, despite only having moved to the flat a week before, I’d met another bike owner in the garage, and it was him that kindly let us know about the theft (I was in Edinburgh at the time). He also very quickly moved my other bike to be locked with his, which was locked with a significantly more secure lock.
After some quick online research, it turns out that Almax are the guys for serious motorbike locks.
I’ve bought 4m of chain. a 2.5m stretch to go around the large concrete pillar and act as an anchor, and then a 1.5m to lock the bike (or bikes) with. These chains feature 19mm links which are most likely impossible to cut by hand (partly because you can’t buy big enough cutters). A photo of the two next to each other says it all:
I’m glad I’ve learned this lesson about motorbike locks, hopefully someone else will get some benefit from it before their bike gets stolen. If you’ve got any doubt as to how secure your bike lock is, if it’s not an Almax, it can most likely be cut by hand in a matter of seconds. Check out YouTube for some videos of lock cutting in action.
UPDATE: The police have found my bike, largely undamaged. The ignition barrel (bit where you put the key in) has been removed, so hopefully that’s the only thing. It’s now at the garage getting repaired so will hopefully be back on the road soon.