BikeTrac aren’t known for their visible security. The firm offers cutting-edge motorcycle trackers, designed to be discreet but robust and reliable.
Now in their tenth year, BikeTrac don’t just offer tracking security – they now offer two different forms of ‘hard’ security, their Ground Anchor and this Grab Bag & Chain.
The Grab Bag & Chain takes the concept of ‘any security is better than no security’ a little further by making it easier for you to use a higher-level of security, no matter where you are or what bike you’re on. If you ride a scooter or a bike with hard luggage, you can easily carry a decent chain but for the rest of us, it’s hard to get even a decent disc lock under your seat on modern bikes.
That’s where this Grab Bag comes in. The package features a Thatcham Level 3 10mm chain that’s bolt-cutter resistant, an Abus disc lock, the carry bag and strap, a set of gloves and a disc-lock reminder. The whole lot weighs in at 3.5kg. The chain is available in two different lengths, 1.2 or 1.4m, prices at £149.95 and £169.95 respectively.
It’s a quality bit of kit. The chain is reassuringly heavy but not so large that you’ll get a hernia moving it around. It will see off an attack from a 42″ set of bolt-croppers and that aone is impressive.
Sure, a thicker chain would see off more attacks from different types of tools but, for me, the main point is that the chain allows you to lock your bike to something solid, giving you an extra level of security over a disc-lock alone. The fact that it’s portable is one of it’s biggest strengths; because you’ll end up using it.
I’m not sure I’d ever use the gloves (there to keep your hands clean) and I’d rather use one of these disc lock reminders but the core components are top-notch.
I’m sure the folks at BikeTrac will cringe at the very top image, as that’s exactly how they recommend you don’t lock your bike (they recommend using the disc lock through the disc, connecting up the chain and where possible, keeping the chain off the ground).
However, when as many as 1 in 3 bikes don’t use any security other than a steering lock, the sight of this chain and disc lock should be enough of a deterrent to ward off all but the most determined of criminals.
When it comes down to the question of just how secure this BikeTrac hard security is, a bit of that depends on how you’re going to use it and what the crime is like in your area. Would I park a brand new S1000XR out overnight in London with this lock and chain? No but then I live in a high-crime area and I know the thieves are numerous enough and experienced enough to take this on.
If I was parking the bike in daylight (nipping into town to grab a few things, for example), I’d be confident it would present enough of a deterrent not to be messed with. While the threat of angle-grinder attacks scares most of us bikers, the fact is, they’re still not that common. Lifting a bike into a van or snapping the steering lock of an otherwise unsecured bike are far more common approaches thieves use. If your bike is locked to something solid, it’ll massively reduce the risk of this happening.
The image above shows the difference in size between an Almax Series IV, the BikeTrac 10mm chain and an Oxford 14.5mm Monster chain. Where the BikeTrac scores really well is its portability. There’s no way I’d want to lug the Almax around with me – but it’s a perfect chain to give me peace of mind when the bike is locked in the garage – a thief is going to have to make a lot of noise an take a fair bit of time to get past the Almax. The Oxford chain is there for comparison, it’s much larger than the BikeTrac, and much heavier but it doesn’t offer any more security. It’s just as resistant to (or susceptible to, depending on how you look at it) an attack from an angle grinder but they’ll both see off a concerted effort from a couple of lads with a set of industrial bolt-croppers.
It would be good to see BikeTrac experiment with slightly larger chains, to make this even more resistant to angle-grinder attacks. Something like 12-13mm would do it, then I’d be confident it would be the only lock and chain you’d need in the majority of situations.
In short, if you’re looking to beef up your everyday security and you can’t figure out a practical way to upgrade from just a disc lock, then this BikeTrac Grab Bag & Chain is a great option. From £149.95, it’s a prices well. See it on BikeTrac’s website here.