Traveling by motorcycle can be one of the most freeing experiences you can have while staying firmly on the ground. But, to paraphrase a classic bit of wisdom, with great freedom comes great responsibility. Your helmet is not just the most essential piece of safety equipment you’ll use, it can also be a hefty investment. When you get to your destination, you have one of two choices: haul that brain bucket around while you go about your business, or risk leaving it on your bike. If you opt for the latter option, it pays to invest in one of the best motorcycle helmet locks you can find.
While leaving it on your bike gives you access to both hands and lessens the “look at me, I rode here” vibe, it does put that pricey helmet at risk for theft. Luckily, we’re not the only ones who’ve considered this – there’s a wide variety of options for securing your helmet to your bike.
We looked around and found some of the best locks on the market. We found a range of locks from standard cable locks to frame-mounted locks and, even a portable helmet locker. If you’re in need of a good, sturdy motorcycle helmet lock, check out our list and the following buying guide.
Our favorite lock is the Abus Granit Stee-O-Flex motorcycle helmet lock cable. While it’s not strictly a dedicated helmet lock, it’s more than capable of the job. Abus Granit make some of the best motorcycle security devices on the market, and anyone with a bike should invest in their products. The Steel-O-Flex is a flexible steel cable lock, made from super-strong manipulation and drill resistant 25mm thick braided steel cable that comes wrapped in a thick rubber sheath. Combined, the inner cable and outer shell are strong enough to resist knives and all but the toughest of bolt cutters. The actual lock section of the device is wrapped in a hardened steel casing, which protects an Abus-Plus locking cylinder.
In terms of length, the cable is 3ft 3 inches in length, which provides enough slack for you to attach it through your frame and through the visor and chin guard section of your motorcycle helmet. It’s also short enough to provide a tight and secure fit, without any excess slack for any would-be thieves to try and twist and get access to the cable. Weighing in at a mere 4.07 lbs, this lightweight, waterproof, and theft-proof chain is perfect for those who need a motorcycle helmet lock that can also double as a regular lock, which will stump even the most determined of thieves. It’s ranked as the most popular helmet lock for bike couriers in London, so it should do the trick over here too.
Constructed from hardened steel and thick steel braids
In second place we have the Helmetlok II, a very small, compact, and highly portable carabiner-style motorcycle helmet lock from a company that’s appropriately named “Helmetlok.” This is a dedicated helmet lock, and rather than using a loop and a conventional key lock, it’s a combination pin locking carabiner device. It weighs a mere 3.2 ounces and is only about 7 inches long in total, making it an easy object to carry around with you. The carabiner’s locking arm opens outwards, which allows you to attach the carabiner to almost anywhere on your bike’s frame. To attach your helmet, simply slide the D-ring of your helmet’s strap onto the carabiner, and snap it closed, scrambling the in on the lock at the same time.
There’s one obvious downside to this kind of lock: if you’re securing your helmet by the strap, there’s nothing stopping a would-be thief from simply cutting the straps and making away with your helmet. However, a cut strap will devalue the helmet, and an informed thief will know that trying to sell on stolen goods is tricky enough, let alone stolen damaged goods. Apart from that weak point, this is a great motorcycle helmet lock because it’s super strong, incredibly portable, and while it might not be the most secure lock on the market, it will keep honest people honest – and that’s the best that you can really hope for. It has a great price point too as well.
Strong locking carabiner device
Protected by a four-digit pin code combination lock mechanism made from a zinc alloy
Unlike other locks, this is completely keyless
100% Universal motorcycle helmet lock
Highly portable: product dimensions are 8 x 4.4 x 0.6 inches
This product is another excellent budget-friendly choice. It’s not the most technically advanced item on the list but sometimes the simplest methods are the best methods. This motorcycle helmet lock from Master Lock is a no-nonsense device. It’s manufactured from a 12 inch long 5mm diameter steel cable that comes wrapped in a secure plastic and vinyl coverage for added protection. The lock is a sturdy unit that features a four-pin locking mechanism that resists lock-picking tools effectively, and it’s also wrapped in the vinyl and plastic covering to protect your motorcycle helmet and frame from any unnecessary and avoidable scratches.
There’s not a lot of slack on this steel cable lock, but if you’re clever about where you put it, it’s possible to thread a helmet’s chin bar through the cable’s loop and secure your helmet to your bike’s frame. If not, you can secure your helmet via the D-ring. It’s not the most effective way of keeping your helmet safe, but it’s more than enough to deter a thief. And with a price of under $10, it’s very hard to complain about the quality of this lock. It’s cheap, and if you’re looking for a motorcycle helmet lock cable that does the job and won’t bankrupt you in the process, then this is one to consider.
Next up, we’ve got another lock that isn’t strictly for helmet locking. The Double-Team Pitbull lock from OnGuard has actually been designed as an overall bike lock, but since it features two heavy-duty locking mechanisms, it has more than enough locking power to lock your bike up, and keep your bike helmet safe too. As you can see from the picture, there are two locks at play here. One is a sturdy U-lock, while the other is a tough steel cable lock. Together, they’re a formidable partnership for protecting your motorcycle, and you can lock your helmet up with them too.
The actual locking system is a standard U-Lock that has been upgraded with a four-foot long braided steel cable that can be wound through the motorcycle’s frame and around an immovable object, plus through your motorcycle helmet’s chin bar, securely locking it – and the rest of your motorcycle – into place. The U-lock features a hardened stainless steel shackle with a 14 mm diameter, and the cable is a handy 4 foot long. It’s tough, versatile, and probably overkill. There isn’t much to complain about with this lock, other than that it might be too much for those who just want somewhere to stow their helmet safely. If you’ve got an expensive helmet, there’s no such thing as too much protection though.
BigPantha is a company with a good reputation for producing quality motorcycle security products, and this carabiner lock is no different. It’s a simple and easy lock that you can attach to a variety of places on your motorcycle’s frame. The carabiner is fitted with a cool 3-digit pin lock, which also holds on to an extendable and self-coiling steel braided cable, which can be stretched up to 6 feet in length. The coiled cable can be used to attach more than one helmet to your motorcycle, or other personal effects, such as your jacket or saddlebags. All you have to do it open the carabiner, find a mounting point, attach your helmet via the D-ring, or thread the cable through your chin bar, and snap the carabiner shut whilst scrambling your secret code.
The actual lock portion of the carabiner is protected by a rubberized sleeve that keeps any sharp metallic edges away from your expensive helmet lining or motorcycle paintwork, whilst keeping the elements out and adding another line of defense against any thieves. The cable portion also boasts a weather-resistant covering which makes this lock completely waterproof and rustproof. If you need a versatile, strong, and compact lock that has an appropriate price tag and hardly any negative points, then consider this one.
Unlike the others on this list, this product from Kuryakyn fixes directly to your motorcycle frame, creating a permanent anchoring point and locking mechanism. If your motorcycle has a standard sized license plate and a standard license plate attachment, you can install this special lock. Essentially, it’s a backplate that can be mounted behind your existing license plate holder. The backplate comes with an integrated lock feature that you can use to hang your motorcycle helmet on. All you have to do is turn a key to open the lock, attach your helmet via the strap fastenings, and snap the lock back into place. It’s as simple as that.
This helmet holder is pretty easy to install, providing that your bike has an ordinary 4 x 7-inch license plate. If not, it might need a bit of outside-of-the-box thinking to make it work. The company does explicitly say that it won’t fit curved plates or any that are at a funny angle or not quite standard. Still, if you’re looking for a convenient and easy to use motorcycle helmet lock that’s virtually unnoticeable, and doesn’t require you to carry any extra locks or chains, then this is a great product that you should consider. Plus, it’s reasonably priced for what it is. It’s far cheaper than similar products offered by manufacturers as optional extras, for sure.
Next up, we’ve got another excellent product from Kuryakyn. This time, rather than a permanent license plate lock, we’ve got a permanent universal lock that can be secured to any parts of your frame that feature rounded steel tubing, between the diameters of 7/8″ to 1 1/2″. Although it says that it’s universal, make sure that you check your measurements before buying because there are some bikes that this just won’t fit. Once it’s installed, all you have to do is unlock the clasp with one of the two keys provided, and lock your helmet into place via the helmet strap, and lock it up. It’s as simple as that.
The installation is pretty painless too, providing that it fits the section of bike that you’re attaching it to. The lock is a two-piece clamp-like fitting that you can screw together around your bike’s handlebars, crash bars, frame sections, or any other tube sections. Simply fastened the one-way bolts, and the installation is complete. The lock is made from heavy-duty steel, with an aesthetically pleasing chrome finish. All in all, it’s a nice and convenient lock that comes at an affordable price point. A great product for those who want secure helmet storage but don’t want to carry around locks, carabiners, and chains.
Strong, permanent, universal helmet lock
Easy to install, easy to use
Universal lock that fits most motorcycles and all helmet types
Here we have an excellent security product from Kryptonite. This brand has a reputation for producing good quality chain and lock security devices. This particular product isn’t a dedicated helmet lock. Instead, it’s a safe and secure integrated cable and lock product, which locks tight with a 4 digit lock combination. The Kryptonite Kryptoflex can easily be adapted for helmet security though. All you have to do is weave the lock between your frame and through your helmet’s chin bar. What makes this such an excellent choice is that it can also double up as a regular motorcycle security chain if you use it correctly. That way you can stop a thief from stealing your motorcycle as well as your helmet.
The Kryptoflex is based around strong braided steel with a 15 mm diameter, with a handy vinyl covering that protects against any unnecessary damage to your frame and helmet, and keeps the effects of the elements at bay. The actual cable is 25.5” long, which gives you plenty of room to weave and route the cable through your motorcycle frame. It’s a long cable, but it’s actually quite light, with an overall weight of 1.35 lbs. There’s not much else to this lock, apart from the toughened lock section which houses a cool four-digit pin lock, which is almost impossible for any would-be thieves to crack. Kryptonite is a brand name that you can rely on, and their products have never let us down.
15 mm thick braided steel cable
4-Digit resettable pin code lock
360-degree rotating lock head
Protective vinyl covering
Advanced locking cylinder that prevents lockpicking
This lock is a little different from the others on the list. It focuses on a heavy-duty pin locking carabiner like some of the others, but it also features a tough Nylon strap that has a braided steel cable woven into the middle of it. It’s very easy to use, and totally multifunctional too; you can use it for securing helmets, tying down luggage, or as an improvised steering lock. The carabiner part is made from tough heat-treated steel with a clever 3-digit pin lock and galvanized and element-proof rivets. The tough strap is 3 feet long, which is more than enough for you to make a secure loop to mount your helmet to.
There are negative points though. While the lock mechanism is tough and durable, and the braided steel cable is tricky to break, the actual rivets that the locking mechanism depends on could be forced fairly easily by a determined thief. Most security measures are deterrents rather than fully theft-proof, so this is probably not too much to worry about. But we thought we’d better mention before you hit the buy button anywhere. Still, it’s a highly versatile, practical, and budget-friendly lock. It might not be the best one on the market, but it’s still very good at what it does. Just make sure it’s the right lock for you before investing.
There are two types of universal helmet lock from Motion Pro, one with a bolt-on two-piece clamp, or this one which is secured with a worm-drive hose clip. It’s the hose-clip style mount that we absolutely love about this one. Since it’s such an easy to use means of securing a lock, it makes it super easy to install and it can be mounted almost anywhere on your motorcycle, on a wide variety of frame types, no matter the tube shapes or sizes. The adjustable steel clamp that makes all of this possible is tougher than your usual hose clip and will give a would-be thief a hard time.
The actual lock mechanism isn’t particularly exciting. A standard key lock opens a small clasp that you can attach your helmet to. Once you’ve got your helmet in place, all you need to do is manually close the clasp, and secure the lock with a key. It’s not the most advanced lock on the market, but it’s effective. It’s also useful for those who want a permanent lock on their motorcycle but their frame shape and pipe diameter won’t fit other standard lock mounts. Each lockset comes complete with a protective sleeve that protects your frame against the sharp edges of the hose clip, which also protects the clamp from the elements too. Currently, this motorcycle helmet lock is only available in a chrome finish. Two keys come as standard.
Innovative hose-clip fastening for easy installation
While not technically a lock, the OX642 Lockable Helmet Bag is compatible with chains and cable locks to securely attach your helmet to your bike. This bag basically acts as a portable locker for your helmet. The bag keeps your helmet dry during short cloudbursts and safe from random bumps and jostles in crowded parking lots.
It doesn’t come with a lock, so you’ll have to purchase one separately. It does have a waterproof slot for a cable or chain to pass through, so you can secure it to your bike. If you tend to ride in inclement weather and don’t want to carry your helmet with you when you park your bike, the Locking Helmet Bag is worth a look.
Keeps helmet dry
Waterproof chain tube
Velcro hanging strap
Motorcycle Helmet Lock Buying Guide
Since your motorcycle helmet is just as important as your motorcycle, it makes sense to invest in a security device that will keep it safe. There are a lot of motorcycle helmet locks on the market, and the sad truth is that none of them are guaranteed to keep your helmet safe from thieves. However, the better protected that your helmet is, the lower your chances of being a victim of theft. Knowing what kind of protection is available and what you should look for is important, and the first step to keeping your helmet safe.
What Is A Helmet Lock And Why Do You Need One?
A motorcycle helmet lock is exactly what it sounds like it is: a special device that promises to keep your helmet safe and secure from thieves. But why do you need one? Good helmets are expensive, and expensive things are attractive to thieves. Motorcyclists who take their riding seriously invest in good quality and expensive helmets. A good helmet can cost anywhere from $300 to upwards of $1,000. While the market for stolen helmets might not be an obvious one, it does exist and if your lid isn’t tied down, someone will walk away with it.
Theft is the obvious reason to keep your helmet safely secured but most people like to safely lock up their helmet because they don’t want to carry it around with them. Carrying a helmet around is annoying. Unfortunately, storage lockers aren’t available everywhere and very few of them have the right dimension to accommodate a full-sized helmet. Your only real choice is to leave your helmet on your motorcycle, and that’s why you need a proper motorcycle helmet lock. A good lock will be able to conveniently accommodate your helmet and deter any potential thieves from running away with your expensive Italian headgear. But what kind of lock should you buy?
The Different Types Of Motorcycle Helmet Locks
There are a variety of different lock types available to buy, each with varying levels of security and practicality. Specific locks for helmets come in a range of different shapes and sizes, catering to different rider’s tastes. Also, many of the best motorcycle helmet locks haven’t even been specifically designed for securing helmets, they just happen to be excellent at it. Here are the most popular lock styles on the market:
These locks are small and compact, strong and sturdy, and highly portable. These locks consist of a toughened carabiner with a lock that’s secured with a pin code. Locks like these are highly versatile and can be hooked to your motorcycle in a variety of ways. To secure the helmet, simply find a part of the frame to hook it to, and attach your helmet onto the carabiner by securing it with your chin strap fastener. Simply snap the locking part of the carabiner closed and scramble the code. Locks like this are small enough to be carried in a pocket, which makes them incredibly convenient.
Flexible cable locks are popular helmet lock choices. These locks are generally made out of a braided steel cable that locks together with a locking cylinder. Usually, they come with a rubber coating or wrapped in a plastic sleeve to keep the elements out and protect your bike’s paintwork. The cable can easily be threaded through your helmet and out through the visor opening, and then attached to your motorcycle’s frame. These locks are incredibly easy to use and offer good protection. Unfortunately, they lack the easy pocket-sized convenience of a carabiner lock, but they’re still quite portable in the grand scheme of things, especially if you usually travel with a dedicated biker backpack.
U-shackle locks can be used to keep a helmet secure, but they’re not the best. Luckily, they are pretty good at protecting your motorcycle, so you can just attach your helmet to them and kill two birds with one stone. These locks feature a large U-shaped shackle that acts like a giant padlock. It’s possible to lock your helmet by the chin bar into one of these, but that largely depends on the shape of your chin bar and the size of the U-shackle. Apart from that, it’s possible to secure your helmet with one of these using your chin strap, but it’s not an ideal fastening. These locks are great if you want something to lock your motorcycle that can double up as a “last resort” helmet lock – but a dedicated helmet lock will be much better.
Some of the most reliable and practical motorcycle helmet lock devices are the ones that you can permanently secure to your motorcycle. These permanent locks attach to your motorcycle in a variety of ways. Some use bolt clamps to attach to tubular sections of your frame, while others, such as the license plate model listed above, attach to other parts of your bike. The locks are usually small key-operated locks that open and close a small clasp designed specifically for helmet storage. These locks are great because they’re always with you. They might not be as secure as some other locks, but the convenience of them makes them very attractive options.
Things To Consider Before Buying A Dedicated Lock
Now that you know the kind of locks available, what other things should you be looking for when buying a helmet lock? What’s right for one motorcyclist’s situation may not be suitable for yours, and what one person thinks is secure might be overkill for what you need, or not nearly enough. Here are some important things to keep in mind before investing in a dedicated motorcycle helmet lock.
If you usually ride with a motorcycle pack, portability isn’t an issue. But if you like to hop on your bike and ride without carrying extra gear, a helmet lock that’s easy to carry on your bike or person is important. The first and most obvious choice is a permanent fixture lock. These locks usually use bolt clamps that attach the lock permanently onto your bike. These locks are perfect when it comes to portability because you don’t have to carry them on your person. As a bonus, you never have to worry about leaving it at home, since it’s permanently fixed onto your bike. The carabiner is another portable lock. We’re fans of the carabiner because it’s easy to clip the carabiner onto a belt loop and take it with you when you ride. During our testing, we used the Helmetlok II Carabiner Lock as a keychain. Not only did it keep our keys secure while our tester rode, but also was a great way to prevent leaving it at home.
Strong materials make for strong locks. Make sure you look for high-quality metals that can’t be easily manipulated by thieves. Strong steel, though heavy, will withstand more punishment than lightweight cast aluminum. However, if a lock is too heavy and cumbersome that you neglect to use it, then perhaps a lightweight lock could be better in the long run. It’s also important to look at other materials used. Rubber and silicone covers that protect your motorcycle and helmet from sharp metals can be really useful if it looks like the lock you want to buy could scratch or damage your motorcycle.
Your helmet lock is probably going to be exposed to the elements for most of its working life. If you’re going to spend big money on a lock, it had better be rust and corrosion-proof. If you’re investing in a cheap lock that you plan to replace regularly, this might not be so important. If you’re going to be parked outdoors, getting something that can withstand the elements should be an important factor in your buying process or treating your motorcycle to a bit of additional weather protection to keep the elements out.
Do you have time to thread a stubborn chain through a hard-to-reach part of your frame and then carefully slide your helmet into place and desperately try and lock the cylinder without dropping your key and the whole thing falling apart? No? Very few people find things like that fun. That’s why it’s important to find a lock that you can secure into place without any hassle. A good helmet lock will be easy to use, and you should be able to lock your helmet up safe with it in a matter of seconds. If a lock is super secure but gives you a headache using it, it’s not worth having.
In the end, it always comes down to budget. Of course, you should always buy the best lock that you can afford – that should go without saying. The most expensive lock isn’t always the best motorcycle helmet lock for your needs though. Don’t throw money at a product just because it’s expensive. Take the time to do your research and buy something that truly suits your needs instead. A lock that’s expensive but doesn’t do the job won’t be much good to you, will it?
Similar to the ease of use, a lock has to be easy to install. But how do you install a lock on your motorcycle? Most locks on our list aren’t permanent fixtures and simply need attaching on an as-and-when basis. Usually, these locks just requiring their chains to be routed through parts of the frame, or have special rings that can be fixed attached easily. But what about these permanent locks: how do you actually attach them?
Usually, these permanent motorcycle helmet locks are attached directly to the frame. They use a two-part clamp that you wrap around a tubular section of your frame and secure them together with a pair of one-way bolts. These bolts are designed to be screwed in, and can’t be unscrewed (in theory). It’s important that you check that you’re happy with the lock location before using the bolts; check how the helmet would be secured, how it would hang, and the overall ergonomics of it all before fastening the bolts. Otherwise, you’ll be left with a lock that you don’t like, and the only sure way to remove it would be with an angle grinder.
Some permanent motorcycle helmet locks use existing fixtures, such as the license plate holder, or other existing bolt holes to make installation nice and easy. Every product is different, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions properly. Don’t throw those instructions in the trash straight away. If you install a product incorrectly, it’ll be your only way to figure out what you did wrong.
Motorcycle Helmet Locks: In Summary
So what is the best motorcycle lock that you can buy? It largely depends on what you want out of the lock, what your budget is, and how important your helmet’s security is to you. A determined thief will be able to crack any lock – we can’t stress that enough – but if you want to give your helmet a fighting chance, any one of the items listed above will help keep opportunistic thieves at bay. However, if you want to know which ones we rate the highest, here they are.
The best budget lock has to be the BigPantha Motorcycle Helmet Lock and Cable. It’s a very strong and smart pin-code secured carabiner lock with a very useful cable attached to it. It’s a very versatile and highly portable device and an attractive price point.
The best premium lock on our list is the Abus Granit Steel-O-Flex. Abus is a brand that you can rely on. They make strong and sturdy chains and the price is more than fair for the level of security their products offer. This one might not be a dedicated helmet lock, but it’s so good we’re prepared to overlook that minor thing. It might not be a proper motorcycle helmet lock, but it’s a really versatile product that it’s more than worth the money.
As for the best overall helmet lock, that’s probably the OnGuard Double-Team Pitbull U-Lock and Cable. Again, it’s not strictly a motorcycle helmet lock, but it’s an excellent two-in-one combination that will securely lock your helmet AND your motorcycle at the same time. If you want to carry one lock around that does several jobs, then this one is definitely worth considering.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I lock helmet to a motorcycle seat?
Depending on what type of motorcycle you ride, this can be really easy or quite difficult. The most common way of locking a motorcycle helmet to a seat is to open the seat, and while it’s popped up, put one of your helmet’s chin strap clasps in the recess underneath the seat. All you have to do is pop the seatback down until it locks into place, and it should be holding on to your helmet securely. This isn’t a great way to keep your helmet safe though. A thief could simply cut your helmet strap and you’re left helmet-less. There are other ways, but this is the most common way to lock your helmet to your seat.
How does a helmet lock work on a motorcycle?
Helmet locks work by securing your helmet to your motorcycle in a manner that makes it difficult for thieves to remove them and escape with your goods. Most helmet locks use part of the helmet’s strap to secure it to an integral part of your motorcycle’s frame. Other helmet locks use cables and chains that wrap around your helmet’s chin bar section and part of the bike frame to stop thieves from getting away with your helmet. A good helmet lock won’t leave any opportunities for thieves to have their way.
Do motorcycle helmet locks require maintenance?
Like all mechanical devices, a motorcycle helmet lock will require occasional maintenance. This may come in the form of a few squirts of WD-40 to keep the lock mechanism dirt free and nicely lubricated, or it might mean that you should regularly change your pin code, check that any of your permanent fastenings haven’t come loose, or replace any parts of your lock that have become damaged. If a lock is showing signs of wear and tear, it’s time to replace it. If rust and corrosion are becoming a problem, if your keys are beginning to bend, or if a mechanism isn’t working as well it should be, it’s better to get a replacement lock than have a thief take advantage of a poorly-maintained security device.
Joe is a motorcycle industry veteran who has not only been paid for his words on the industry but also to throw a leg over a bike on the track. Besides riding, and occasionally crashing motorcycles, he also likes to build up older bikes in his garage in Germany. He says; "I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…" We like Joe's educated opinion and hope you do too.