Sold Secure are the premier testing and certification house for security products, this includes everything from your home security to your motorcycle. The company was established back in 1992 by Northumbria and Essex Police with extra support from the Home Office.
Sold Secure is also a not-for-profit business. Funded by the Master Locksmiths Association, it focuses solely on mechanical and lockable security. Awards are given depending on how well each product fares in an attack test — the resultant bronze, silver or gold award reflect how long each product held up during Sold Secure’s scientific but real-world tests that use tools typical of the modern professional bike thief.
Essentially no lock is indestructible, but some will take long enough to crack to put off any would be thief. The path (or in this case, lock) of least resistance offers the easiest prize, so make sure your bike has one of the best locks in the bike park.
Security etching is also a good deterrent for thieves looking to break the bike to sell as parts. It also makes life easier for the police. The best ones currently on the market are Datatag, SmartWater and Alpha-Dot. Many manufacturers and bikes shops offer this as a free service or for a very small premium at the point of sale.
Dr Steffan George is the managing director of the Master Locksmiths Association Ltd, the parent company of Sold Secure, the industry benchmark when it comes to rating and approving locks. Who better to give us a few points to consider when it comes to securing your bike?
“When you’re away from home do you always park in the same place? If you leave a chain at that location (rather than carry it with you) then you should check it every time you leave the bike. One of the tricks used by thieves is to cut one of the chain links and replace the sheath around it. Then when the owner has ‘locked’ his bike with it, they can simply unhitch the chain and take the bike.
The location should be well-lit and overlooked and ideally will have specific motorcycle parking with third-party tested and approved ground anchors. Bear in mind that typical roadside furniture, such as railings and bollards, is usually made from mild steel and is very easy to cut. I’d also advise using a bike cover.”
“You must ensure you always lock the bike. Even for a short period I’d advise engaging the steering lock and using a chain or D-shackle as a minimum.
“Locks and chains should always be off the floor and of a size to make access to them difficult. If using a D-shackle then it should be sized and fitted so as to prevent anything being placed between the two ‘prongs’ of the shackle.
“Wherever possible use multiple different types of locks (e.g. a good quality chain and a high-quality armoured cable lock). The reason being that thieves will often come with an item to attack one type of locking device, but not any other.
“If you have a particularly desirable bike, then keep an eye on any strange activity in your area and be aware of anyone following you. Many bikes are stolen to order so they’ll want to know where it’s usually parked so they can come up with a plan to take it.”
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