Torture-testing popular motorcycle locks
FEW THINGS SIT heavier in your stomach than the pit that forms when you realize your motorcycle has been stolen. Many companies have developed solutions to keep your bike yours, and our friends at Cycle Gear sent us a sampling of popular bike locks to put to the test.
There are a multitude of ways to test locks: hammers, crowbars, and even liquid nitrogen, but we used the thief ’s weapon of choice—the cordless angle grinder. They aren’t the end-all for cutting power, but they are potent and highly portable.
Humankind has yet to forge a bike lock that will stand up to a little determination and a diamond cutting wheel, but not all locks are created equal. Our metric was simple: How long would it take our angle grinder to defeat these six models?
1) The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain lasted a full 3:16, beating its next closest rival by more than a minute. That’s thanks largely to its construction: an intimidating 15-pound chain with 14mm links made from T3-hardened manganese steel.
2) The Xena XX-6 Disc-lock Alarm survived for 2:07, securing second place on our list. It was also the only lock we tested with an alarm. True to advertising, cutting the thing triggered a 120-decibel siren that was physically painful to hear. That’s on top of the 119-decibel racket our grinder made on every lock we cut.
3) The ABUS Granit Victory Xplus 68 came in a close third at 1:53, while 4) The Club UTL810 Utility Lock and the 5) Grip-lock fell within two seconds of each other at 1:17 and 1:15, respectively.
6) The Master Lock Street Cuffs managed less than a minute, at 0:40.
That seems brief, but remember, your ultimate goal is to prevent your bike being stolen, so you’re simply trying to slow the thieves down. The longer it takes to steal your bike, the better the odds of it being there in the morning. Police departments suggest a combination of disc locks and chains attached to ground anchors, but even the sturdiest lock will fall to the grinder eventually.