How Does a Motorcycle Alarm Work?

(Almost) Everything you need to know about how motorcycle loans work and whether they are worth it.

If you talk to even just a handful of motorcycle owners (especially those that have had bikes for years and years), you’ll inevitably hear nightmare stories about “how it happens to everyone” – you come out of your home, apartment, restaurant, or work and your motorcycle is gone!

Thankfully, though, with the help of some pretty innovative motorcycle security solutions – including better alarm systems than were ever available before – you should be able to protect your bike from theft a lot more effectively.

Let’s take a little deeper into how motorcycle alarms work, how they protect your bikes, and whether or not these new security solutions are worth spending money on.

How Does a Motorcycle Alarm Work?

There are different kinds of alarm systems. Let’s break them down into 3 different systems and talk about each of them separately.

“Simple alarm”, “disc brake alarm” and “electric alarm”.

Though there are dozens of companies out there offering motorcycle alarms, the overwhelming majority of options available break down into three categories based on how they operate:

The first kind of alarm is often called a “simple alarm”, an alarm system that starts to screech and screen just as soon as your bike is turned on if the alarm isn’t disarmed before ignition happens.

This is the most common kind of motorcycle alarm you’re going to come across, but it’s also sort of the most useless. It only screeches and screams, and doesn’t disable your motorcycle – and if thieves know what to look for they can disarm it before they trigger it, too.

The second kind of motorcycle alarm pairs an alarm system with a brake disk lock.

The idea here is that if someone goes to steal your motorcycle and the alarm is triggered you not only get an audible alert loud enough to wake up the neighborhood, but you also get a lock put on your disk break – cementing that motorcycle in place.

The third kind of alarm you’re likely to come across is an alarm wired into the ignition of your bike, but one that also has a GPS tracking mechanism tied in as well.

This is the most robust security system you can get for a motorcycle today.

As soon as the alarm is triggered electrical components shut down the ignition system, preventing the bike from being started or killing it if it is currently running. On top of that, a GPS tracker* (hidden inside of the motorcycle) continues to broadcast its location for easy recovery.

How Do Motorcycle Alarms Protect Your Bike?

On the surface, an alarm (especially one like the simple alarm we highlighted above) is only going to offer passive protection from criminals and motorcycle thieves.

What you want to do is bump your security up to something a little more robust, at the very least going with an alarm and disc brake locking mechanism.

But ideally, you’re going to want to spend a little more to wire up an alarm that is foolishly loud while shutting down your ignition system and providing GPS coordinates at the same.

Are Motorcycle Alarms Worth It?

At the end of the day, only you are going to be able to determine whether or not a motorcycle alarm is worth it.

Simple alarms* and set you back about $20 or so (sometimes even less than that), but they provide next to no real protection and no real chance at recovering your motorcycle later down the line, either.

Disc brake locking alarm systems* is a little bit more expensive (setting you back anywhere between $60 and $100, maybe), but they definitely provide an extra level of security that an audible alarm alone never could.

Finally, you could definitely bump things up to an ignition interrupting and GPS tracking alarm system* for your motorcycle – though they can get a little bit pricey.

These units usually run $40-$50 upfront with a $5-$10 monthly charge after that to cover the GPS tracker with mobile cellular coverage.

Now, if you have a really cheap “beater bike” that you only spent a couple of hundred dollars on maybe you’re not all that interested in spending almost as much money on alarm and security components.

At the same time, if this bike set you back a decent chunk of change, holds a lot of sentimental value, or is your main mode of transportation (or if you just don’t like the idea of someone getting the chance to swipe your bike without much recourse) than an alarm and security system upgrade becomes a bit of a no-brainer.

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References: Honda Forum