There is no worse pain for the motorcyclist (and the scooterist) than going back to the parking lot of your vehicle and finding it desolate empty.
Yes, insurance helps a bit, but it is your bike that is no longer there and nothing can ever really console you with the loss.
That’s why each of us works hard to defend the bike or scooter with one or more anti theft devices that can give him back some security in the use of the parking lot. Among the devices that can defend our good and that are always part of the burglar alarms in use, the disc lock deserves a prominent position.
The ability to immobilize the wheel with a small tool, easy to store in the saddle or in the case and the wide variety of costs and models ranging from the cheapest to a few dozen euros up to more than a hundred of the most sophisticated, make the disc lock one of the most used burglar alarms for motorcycles and scooters.
But how to choose the safest disc lock and especially how to use it in the best way to ensure maximum safety for our bike?
How the disc lock works
The defensive function of the disc lock is mechanical: a pin, passing through the brake disc of the front or rear wheel, blocks its rotation, thus immobilizing the vehicle. Theoretically simple, mechanically effective. But nothing is ever as simple as it seems.
Although the operation is in fact the one described, in reality each element of the disc-blocker is designed and built to perform the maximum capacity of defense of the vehicle on which it is installed. Let’s see in detail the elements of the blockadisco.
The locking pin
The locking pin is the part of the disc lock that fits into the holes of the brake discs and whose function is to prevent the rotation and therefore to lock the medium. The diameter of the pin has a great influence on the strength of the apparatus: the larger the diameter of the pin, the greater its strength.
When purchasing the disc lock it is therefore essential to check the shape of the discs and that the diameter of the holes in the brake disc are compatible with the diameter of the pin. Usually the insertion of the pin in the outer holes allows the choice of larger diameter pins.
However, if the bike is equipped with ABS, the ring nut may make it difficult to insert the pin in the holes. The best thing to do is to try the disc lock on your bike beforehand.
It must be able to enter easily while leaving no room for any maneuver of intrusions of objects that could be used to force the blocker.
The padlock for closing the disc lock
The locking pin, once inserted in the hole of the brake disc, is locked by the padlock. When choosing an effective disc lock, the lock type of the lock must be taken into account. The lock can have classic, tubular, bush, or ciphered keys. Absolute security does not exist and for each of these locks there is a way to break them in. However, we tend to say that a lock with keys with encrypted surfaces should be more demanding for the attacker, and therefore have a better deterrent function against theft.
The reminder lanyard of the disc-locker
The reminder lanyard is an accessory of the disc lock, but for a correct use of the device it is always better to use it.
The lanyard connects the disc-locker to the handlebar and its function is to remind us that we have inserted the disc-locker and that if we leave without removing it we will do damage to ourselves and to the bike.
Usually the lanyard is brightly coloured to help us notice it.
It also has a visual anti-theft function, not only to help us remember that before starting off with our bike we have to remove the disc lock, but also a “deterrent” for any malicious people who immediately notice that the anti-theft is on.
Shapes and dimensions of the disc lock
The shape and size of the disc-locker as a whole must be compact and must not allow thieves to force them by inserting levers or objects into the spaces between the pin and the padlock.
Not only are they risk-blockers with the classic rounded shape, but now on the market there are (for example ABUS 8077 disc-blockers) Rectangular shaped anti-theft devices with extendable pins so as to be compatible with a large number of motorcycles.
Different types of disc block material
Of course, all, or almost all, disc locks are made of steel, but not all steels are the same and never, as in this case, can the degree of quality make the difference.
For the strength of the pin is certainly not the same if it is made of hollow or full steel, if we are talking about a simple steel or a composite alloy that has undergone treatment to increase its resistance to various types of attack, both mechanical with resistance to drilling and torsion, and chemical with resistance to freezing with nitrogen.
The larger disc-blocks they offer are made of case-hardened, hardened, nickel-plated and chrome-plated steels.
Materials and treatments that make the burglar alarm particularly resistant to aggression with levers or hammers.
In addition to high-strength materials, the technology now offers additional security on the blockers, equipping them with an alarm.
I disc lock with alarm
They are commercially available disc locks with audible alarms. The disc lock, through a motion sensor is able to recognize when the vehicle is moved, and in that case activates a deterrent siren that can be effective against theft.
They are devices equipped with batteries and therefore need special care both to prevent discharge and consequent loss of effectiveness, and in positioning for use on the road. As they are sensitive to movement, a road with a lot of traffic could cause accidental unloading and unintentional activation.
Some models are equipped with a phone card and in case of activation are able to send SMS on your smartphone.
The disc lock as a whole is an effective burglar alarm if well chosen and well used.
Well chosen taking care to seek the quality of materials and technologies, and well used taking into account that its effectiveness is in blocking the vehicle but not in its immovability, and therefore its best effectiveness is for short-term stops and integration with other forms of burglar alarm that make the vehicle not removable in any way.