Motorbike security and insurance

Find out how your motorbike’s security affects the cost of your insurance and what you can do to improve it.

Amy Smith
Amy Smith
Updated 2 September 2019  | 4 min read

Security is a major factor when it comes to calculating the cost of your motorcycle insurance.

Motorbikes are an easy target for thieves – they can quickly be wheeled away or picked up and driven off in a van.

There are ways you can improve your bike security though, and potentially lower the cost of your insurance too.

Key points

  • The right security can help reduce your motorbike insurance premiums
  • Insurance savings will not necessarily outweigh the cost of a security device
  • Look for Thatcham-approved devices, and check whether insurers recognise them before buying
  • If you tell your insurer you have a particular security device, make sure you use it

Security and motorbike insurance

Every provider will have its own criteria for covering your bike as security devices and anti-theft measures are rated differently between insurers.

Insurers will usually want to know about any sort of alarm, immobiliser and tracker you have, and whether you have any security markings on your motorbike.

It’s worth mentioning any mechanical security devices too, like disc locks, chains, padlocks and u-locks.

Some insurers will only apply one security discount, even if you have more than one anti-theft measure in place.

The savings you make on your insurance premiums might not outweigh the cost of investing in security devices, but there are other benefits to consider, like your own peace of mind.

If you tell your insurer that you have a security device, you must make sure you use it.

How better security on your bike could save you money on your insurance

Finding security devices that impact your motorbike premium

Here are a few tips to help you find anti-theft products that could lower the cost of your motorbike insurance:

Compare security devices

Look at a range of devices within your budget and make a note of the most suitable ones.

Compare insurance quotes based on the ones you’re considering to find out which devices insurers prefer.

Retain proof of the device you’ve installed

Your insurer might ask to see proof during your policy, so make sure you keep the receipt.

Look for the Thatcham seal of approval

Thatcham are experts in vehicle security and rate all types of devices from chains to immobilisers.

Insurers are more likely to recognise a Thatcham-approved device, but other marks of approval include Sold Secure and Classe SRA.

Don’t go overboard

Even though your insurer might only offer you a discount for one security device there are other benefits, as the harder your bike is to steal, the less likely you’ll need to make a claim.

Did you know...?

A bike is twice as likely to be stolen as a car, so it’s doubly important you’ve got the right security and insurance in place[1]

Motorcycle towing speed limits

  • Up to 60mph on a dual carriageway or motorway
  • Up to 50mph on a single carriageway with a national speed limit

You must comply with the set speed limits on all other roads.

Ground anchors, bike garages and mechanical security

Locking your bike to something solid and immovable with a Thatcham-approved chain or lock is a great deterrent.

Just make sure you’ve chained your bike up in a way that’s difficult to remove, for example, through the gap in the swing-arm at the rear.

You can also apply a steering lock for extra security.

At home

Keep your bike out of sight in a sturdy shed or garage. Alternatively, install a ground anchor on your wall or concrete floor.

If you park your bike on the street, invest in high-security steering and wheel locks.

On the road

Lock your bike to a dedicated motorbike/bicycle stand. It should be well lit and there’s likely to be a CCTV camera.

Where that’s not possible, use a lamp post or any other immovable object. Make sure your bike fits snugly against the post with no slack on the lock or chain.

Regularly check the chains to spot damage and prevent future thefts. For example, canvas-covered chains can be tampered with and covered up, ready for the thief to return and steal the bike later.

Disk locks are useful deterrents but should only be used in combination with other security devices as some professional thieves can easily remove them.

Immobilisers, alarms and trackers

You can check whether your motorbike has a factory fitted immobiliser by checking its handbook.

A poorly fitted immobiliser won’t work as effectively, but immobilisers can be installed easily by a professional. If you’re planning on fitting one yourself, make sure the kill switch is well hidden.

Many Thatcham-approved immobilisers will come with a combined alarm.

If your motorcycle has an alarm fitted, make sure it’s obvious to thieves, or it won’t deter them.

Don’t rely on an it alone though. Use an alarm in conjunction with a chain as by the time your alarm is triggered it could be too late.

Trackers are widely recognised by insurers and can be a handy way to trace your bike if your other security methods fail.

Secure markings

Secure markings, data etchings or coding means that thieves will find it much harder to sell on the bike.

It’s also easier to trace your bike and identify it if it’s recovered. Secure markings are the cheapest insurer-acknowledged anti-theft method you can go for.

The code or markings are only visible if you know what you’re looking for. Thieves certainly will, so a mark can be a major deterrent.

As always, look for approved secure marking techniques and compare your options to find a security system that works for you.

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[1]Last checked 27 February 2023