Monday, January 25, 2010

Lock it down

I felt I didn't have to worry about motorcycle theft. Until my most recent acquisition, my 2-wheelers have been bikes that wouldn't attract theives (or at least I believed this). A Ninja 250, a Honda Shadow VLX, a Triumph Thunderbird, and an SV650. I mean, these are way-cool machines, don't get me wrong. But anyone I know who's had their motorcycle stolen lost a 600 supersport.

So the ZX-6R came with a bit of baggage: theft paranoia. I did a lot of reading to uncover that magic trick for securing your motorcycle. You know, that simple thing that doesn't cost much yet ensures your bike will be there every morning when you wake up? Yeah, I don't think there is such a thing. I instead came to the following, common-sense conclusion:

If you don't want your bike stolen, chain it to an immovable object.

Obviously, the conclusion above assumes an impenetrable chain. A chain you can't cut through. The chain of all chains. The Almax.

Checkout how easy it apparently is to break most chains:

...and how apparently impossible it is to beat an Almax chain:

I read about the Almax chains in Motorcyclist. A few issues ago, there was a short blurb about chains and bike security. After digging up these videos, I was convinced that if you want a chain you could trust, you buy an Almax. Is an invincible chain really necessary? Is the Almax even invincible? I don't know, but I think so :)


The chain is ridiculously heavy (and the links are huge!). I didn't weigh it, but its gotta be 5-10lbs. It fits in a tail bag, so size is not a problem. But my opinion is that it's a stretch to call this chain portable. However, after the price I paid for it, this chain's coming with me on the road one way or another!

Immovable object
Chain? Check. Immovable object? Hmmm...I wanted to chain it to one of our cars. I figured a parked car to be rather immovable. But I couldn't trust myself or someone else to throw the Element into reverse after considering that a motorcycle might be tethered to it. So opted for a dedicated ground anchor.

Almax sells a ground anchor made by Hardie-Secure. It's a neat, flat, presentable-looking ground anchor. I wanted something tough, but as low-profile as possible for aesthetics. Plus, this thing's so flat I can run the motorcycle over it while parking. Since we constantly have to get creative when extracting the parked-in bikes, the shallow anchor is almost a necessity.

Installing the ground anchor was...interesting. It requires drilling a 20mm diameter hole, 100mm deep. That's a big freakin' hole to make in concrete. Thankfully, the anchor comes with a huge masonry bit to use. You have to supply the hammer drill. And I'm thinking you probably need a hammer drill for this one. It took about 30 minutes to get 100mm down. And it was quite a workout.

It's fun to call an Almax the best chain and to assume they make and sell the best products for securing your motorcycle. But it's not fun to look at the bill after placing your order. I converted the GBP value to USD once, forgot the number, and have decided not to think about it again.


They are expensive products that will only be worth their cost if you use them constantly and correctly. I welcome the challenge.

Insurance rant
I called Progressive to see if they'd lower my comprehensive insurance rate since I will now be chaining my motorcycle to a ground anchor. They said that they'd only lower my comprehensive insurance cost if I get lojack, which is ridiculous in my opinion. Sure, maybe lojack can disable the ignition - but we're talking about a motorcycle here. 3 guys and a vehicle can pick up a bricked motorcycle and be done with it. And sure, Lojack might assist in motorcycle recovery. But my guess is that theives will find and disable the lojack. It's a freakin' motorcycle. Where the hell can Lojack hide things? If their product is outside the crankcase, then I'm sure I could find it if I wanted to.

As far as recovery goes, that's the last ditch hope, in my opinion. If my bike is gone one morning, Lojack or not, I don't expect to get it back. Priority #1 should be keeping the theft from happening in the first place. Progressive doesn't appear to think so. Always reactionary, never preventative...

No comments: