We haven’t always been keen to get involved in the motorcycle security business. Clothing is really what we know. And we do get concerned about making promises we cannot keep.
A couple of years ago we sold a device called a Litelok. It was a pretty impressive and nifty product. It was light, and rolled up small so that it could be fitted into a pannier or top box without any fuss. It was rated ‘Gold’ under the then ‘Sold Secure’ standard. To be fair, we had always made it clear that one of the main benefits of the Litelok was its deterrent effect, but a couple of customers had their bikes stolen when they had Liteloks on. We felt bad about this.
And then we heard about a chap in America called the ‘Lock Picking Lawyer’. This guy has a YouTube channel where he tests motorcycle locks, and attempts to break them. He got through the Litelok with a sharp Japanese cutter in a matter of seconds. And that was enough to persuade us to move on.
More recently, we were approached by Squire who wanted us to offer their largest and strongest motorcycle lock and chain. This package includes what they term the strongest padlock in the world. It certainly looked impressive, but we felt that we had heard claims like this before, so were a little sceptical. We wanted to do some research before we took it on. Well, we’ve done our due diligence, and so now we feel that this is the one piece of motorcycle security that we have the confidence to get behind.
The Behemoth padlock and chain comprises a dual-key operated padlock with a 22 mm. diameter chain that is 1500 mm. in length. The padlock is the mother of all padlocks. It measures some 150 mm in height; that’s about 6”. It’s 100 mm in width, 62 mm. in thickness, and weighs some 4.3 kg.. That’s about the same weight as a women’s shot in shot putting. You can pick it up, but most of us are not going to be able to throw it very far. It probably means you are not going to carry it in your pocket, or even a pannier. You should also check that a chain this thick is going to fit through the wheels or frame of your bike. It won’t, for example, work on my RnineT.
The padlock is formed from a 100 mm. hardened steel body. The closed shackle is a 20 mm. in diameter, and is made from a toughened boron alloy steel. Under the latest, upgraded Sold Secure classifications, the padlock is rated Diamond; that’s the highest level. The padlock has two barrels, and so needs two keys to open it. The barrels are fitted with six-pin cylinders, with anti-drill protection.
Now even though this looks like a padlock and chain that nobody is going to mess with, you cannot always judge a book by its cover, but we’re going to tell you why we don’t think you’ll find anything stronger.
Clearly, we are not equipped to really gauge how strong this lock actually is. But, by the same token, we are not the kind of company to blithely accept what manufacturers tell us. And so, for our support, we are going to rely on the investigations undertaken by our friend: the Lock Picking Lawyer. And that’s because he has spent years in dubious company learning how to pick locks. He also has access to the kind of Samurai slaying knives and automatic weapons that we just can’t get our hands on in Guildford.
In his video on the Behemoth padlock he confirms that its safety rating means that it is designed to withstand an attack with a cordless angle grinder equipped with three discs and a spare battery for a full 10 minutes.
Now, with a full suite of lock picking tools, working from the warmth of his office, it took him a full three minutes to unlock both barrels. Now, on one level, that doesn’t seem massively impressive. But before he went on camera, you can bet that he spent many hours of trial and error to make sure he got it right first time for his video. I think it would probably be safe to say that an intruder trying to do this with your bike parked in the garden of a night would not get close to this. I would also suggest that anybody with these kinds of skills will be looking for higher returns than he’ll get from a stolen motorcycle!
But to test how strong the lock was, our lawyer friend brought in the big guns. Very big guns. Down on the range, they shot 60 5.56 rounds at the block. This is a common round used in many rifles used by NATO forces. They followed this by 40 .308 armoured piercing rounds. After this onslaught, the lock looked pretty untouched.
And so they turned to 25 mm BMG rounds. Now these are frightening. They can penetrate an inch of steel at 1000 yards. They will pierce an armoured personnel carrier. They will go through 8” of reinforced concrete from the length of a football field. This is scary stuff. Yet it took 20 rounds to break the lock, and even then there was an element of luck involved, as some of the rounds penetrated the boron shackle. The main lock itself still remained relatively intact, although not particularly pretty.
I will leave the last words on the matter to the Lock Picking Lawyer. Now this man is the scourge of the lock world. He takes a kind of delight in mocking the over-blown claims of lock manufacturers. But when he came to this lock he finished by stating that: “This is definitely the strongest lock in the world. No doubt about it”.
There is nothing that can guarantee that somebody won’t steal your bike. If somebody can break into the safe deposit building in Hatton Garden, they can steal your bike if they really want it. They probably won’t get through this padlock, but that’s not the only way to grab a bike.
My personal view, however, is that most would-be thieves will take one look at this lock, and decide that there must be a better way of acquiring their ill-gotten gains.
As we’ve said, this set up won’t work with all bikes. You will also need a similarly robust ground lock if you’re securing the bike at home, because what it’s anchored to is an obvious weak link.
Is it too heavy to carry on the bike? Potentially, yes. You wouldn’t want the lock and chain in one pannier. And I’m not even sure I would want it moving around in a top box. This having been said, where there’s a will there’s a way.
The one thing I think we can clear about is that if you want to edge things in your favour with the best padlock and chain that money can buy. This is it. At £650, this is clearly not a cheap set up, but that’s less than the excess many of us have on our bike insurance policies. And then there’s all the hassle involved when a bike gets nicked; not to mention the increased premiums if you do lose your pride and joy. That is, of course, if they’ll insure you again at all!
For more information and to buy online, click Squire Behemoth motorcycle lock and chain.
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