Traveling by motorcycle can be one of the most freeing experiences that you can have whilst staying firmly on the ground, but that feeling of freedom comes with baggage. Riding a motorcycle isn’t as simple as you’d think. You’re not just slinging your leg over a machine and heading off into the sunset. You’ve got to get your boots fastened, your jacket zipped, your helmet strapped up, and your gloves pulled on. Before that, you’ve got to pack your backpack with your locks, chains, wet weather gear, and more. All of this preparation, and that’s before you’ve even left the house.
So what happens when you get to your destination on the other side? You can wear your boots, you can unzip your jacket, and you can stow your gloves in your bag. But what about that helmet? You definitely can’t walk around with that on without causing a scene. You could just strap it to your bike and hope for the best…but that leaves your expensive lid at the mercy of opportunist thieves. You could try and fit your helmet into your backpack – and some backpacks do have helmet attachments – but that’s not exactly practical. Rather than wandering the streets in search of a storage locker, you could attach your helmet to your motorcycle using a tough and sturdy motorcycle helmet lock instead.
These products are easy to use, convenient to carry, and offer exceptional security. Good helmets don’t come cheap, so why take a gamble on losing it? Grab one of these locks and put your mind at ease!
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 to 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 range of different shapes and sizes, catering for 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. Simple! 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 chinbar into one of these, but that largely depends on the shape of your chinbar 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 stowage. 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 an added 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 treat 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 won’t be effective at doing its job.
Helmet Lock FAQs
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 chinbar 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 these 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 locks 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.