Whether you use it for pleasure, to get you to and from work – or both – it’s important to keep your two-wheeled machine safe and sound. Here are our top tips to keep the toe-rags at bay…
1: If you’ve got a steering lock – use it
So many people don’t utilise this feature on their scooters – all it takes is an extra turn of the key when you park up and it’s done. It makes it harder for undesirables to simply wheel your scooter away. Simple but effective.
2: Don’t advertise your goods
As much as you’d love to tell the world all about your new purchase on social media or in the pub– bear in mind, your online friends could know an undesirable who might fancy making your new purchase their own. If you keep your machine outside, get an unbranded cover so that it isn’t obvious what’s under it. Oh and that sign that says Vespa parking only? Put it somewhere people can’t see – don’t tell them what’s in the garage as it might make them want to get in.
3: Fix your machine to something immovable
You’ve gone as far as getting a lock and chain, now make sure you use it properly and attach it to something immovable. Whether it’s a ground anchor or a garage workshop bench, make sure it’s attached to something which can’t just be moved. If there isn’t something close by, then link two chains together to reach. If you can, try and make it so your chain and lock aren’t on the floor too – this makes it harder for thieves to attack it.
4: Hide your keys
We all have a favourite place for keys – don’t make it by the door, in full view of a thief – and maybe don’t put that Lambretta key fob on to make it obvious which bike it’s for. You’d be amazed at the number of people who keep their keys in their scooters – “I know where they are then” – yes, you do – and so do thieves! It makes their job easy when they go into your garage in the middle of the night.
5: Invest in a disc lock
Disc locks are great to carry around with you in case you need to park your scooter up away from home. They are just as vulnerable – if not more so – when they’re away from home and don’t rely on the public to stop anyone from taking your bike. These locks are also handy to use in conjunction with other security measures such as a lock and chain. Classic scooters don’t have outboard disc brakes, but many modern equivalents do; for those who have, remember that some disc locks won’t go round some scooter discs – check before buying.
6: Buy the best
When looking to buy locks and chains, make sure you’re getting the best for your money. Look for ratings such as ‘Thatcham approved’ or ‘Sold Secure’. These are independent tests done on security devices to check that they’re up to standard.
7: No-one likes noise
Why not consider an alarmed lock? The noise often shocks thieves and will make them disappear before they’re found – meaning they might not have the time to take your beloved machine with them. Even having a gravel driveway may act as a deterrent as in the dead of night, it makes a racket.
8: Take it further
If you’re really worried, or if your bike is parked up for a while, why not think about loosening a spark plug or pulling a fuse? If your bike won’t start thieves might reconsider taking it in the first place – unless of course they want it for parts…
(Pic courtesy of Wemoto)
9: Mark your bike
Some new scooters are marked straight from the factory – but your classic scooter won’t be; but there’s a number of ways you can mark it. It’s essentially an electronic fingerprint on your bike which tells everyone – including the authorities – that it’s yours. Often if thieves see something like a Datatag (www.datatag.co.uk) sticker and it makes your property much less appealing.
10: Use more than one
Don’t rely on one method to keep your bike safe, combine a few of them so that the thief will have to overcome a number of obstacles to get it. Hopefully they’ll get bored or become spooked that it’s taken them longer than they thought and leave it.