Understanding motorcycle security systems

There are many ways to help keep your bike safe from theft, and a motorcycle security system can provide an additional layer of protection on top of physical measures such as chains and disk-locks. Electronic security systems such as alarms and immobilizers offer more sophisticated anti-theft protection which can’t be circumvented by something as simple as an angle grinder or set of bolt cutters.

Motorcycle security systems offer several mechanisms for keeping your bike safe. The most common of these is a good old fashioned alarm, which works by making a loud noise when somebody tampers with your bike. In theory this will alert bystanders that your motorbike is being stolen so that they can call the police, and in most cases should send thieves running.

In reality most people tend to ignore vehicle alarms, since nine out of ten times they’ve been set off by accident, and you can’t usually expect an innocent bystander to intervene even if they do see somebody tampering with your motorcycle. So in reality a motorcycle alarm system is only useful if the bike is somewhere you can hear it and take action yourself.

Another, more useful, feature of a motorcycle security system is an immobilizer, which will prevent the bike from being started even if it is hotwired. This will certainly stop casual thieves and joyriders in their tracks. Professional thieves may well have the necessary skills and equipment to over-ride an immobilizer, but these guys will be very much in the minority and will most likely concentrate their efforts on high value motorcycles – which you should invest in a higher level of protection for.

Features of modern motorcycle security systems

Motorcycle security systems need to be installed by qualified professionals
Motorcycle security systems need to be installed by qualified professionals

These days you can expect to find more advanced features on offer, such as built-in communications technology which will automatically send an SMS text message to your mobile phone when your bike is being tampered with. This means that even if you are out of earshot of the alarm, you will still be alerted and able to take action if somebody is trying to steal your motorcycle.

Perhaps the most exciting development in motorcycle security systems over recent years is tracking technology which will allow you to locate your bike after it has been stolen. This usually involves fitting the bike with a small device which uses either GPS satellites, or GSM (mobile phone) base station triangulation to figure out its current location. The location information can then be accessed by the owner via a mobile data connection, making it easier to find the bike after it has been stolen. Quite often these tracking devices will be supplied as part of a subscription service which charges a monthly fee to keep track of your bike.