To lock a helmet on a motorcycle, use a bolt helmet lock, a carabiner helmet lock, a cable helmet lock, a key helmet lock, or a combination helmet lock. You may also explore alternative choices like a bicycle cable lock, a gun lock, a padlock, or a U-lock. Another option is to purchase a motorcycle that comes with a built-in helmet lock.
It’s a worthy investment considering an average of 5.4 thefts per 1,000 registered motorcycles in the United States and a disheartening recovery rate of only 42% for stolen motorcycles, the possibility of someone attempting to steal your beloved ride becomes quite significant. Or, even if not your entire motorcycle, leaving your DOT or ECE-certified helmet unattended might still make it an enticing target for thieves—a proverbial ‘low hanging fruit.’
Don’t fall into the misconception that your lid, being average and inexpensive, won’t catch anyone’s attention. Those who pilfer these items are indifferent to their value and will seize any opportunity that presents itself. With that in mind, I now present in detail some simple and highly effective ways to lock your helmet on a motorcycle, but first:
Top 10 Best Motorcycle Helmet Locks Today
Scroll to the right to find out where to buy, discover the best prices, and see if you might be lucky enough to get a discount from the sellers.
Helmet Lock Name Category Size Why I Like It Get Yours
Little World Helmet Lock & Cable Best Overall 0.26 lbs. Affordably priced and with rubberized finish to protect helmet against scratching. Amazon
Onguard Pitbull Std U-Lock Best Value For Money 4.0 lbs. Strong 0.6-inch shackle with 4-feet cable ideal for locking helmet and motorcycle. Amazon
HelmetLok II Best Heavy-Duty 0.35 lbs. Fits around up to 1.5 inches thick frame tube and includes T-bar extender. RevZilla | CycleGear | Amazon
Kuryakyn Universal License Plate Best License Plate Lock 1.2 lbs. Doubles as support for license plate and would look good on a custom motorcycle. RevZilla | MotoSport | Amazon
Biker’s Choice Helmet Lock Best Handlebar Lock 0.5 lbs. Chrome finish blends with my motorcycle handlebars. RevZilla | MotoSport | Amazon
BigPantha Helmet Lock & Cable Most Versatile 0.21 lbs. Combines both carabiner and cable lock systems to lock helmet and even your jacket if desired. Amazon
Master Lock Best Corded Lock 0.65 lbs./14 inches Simple but reliable solution compatible with nearly every helmet type. Amazon
Guami Anti-Theft Best Bolt Lock 0.51 lbs. Low profile lock custom fitted for my YZF R3. Amazon
Bosvision 4-Digit Combination Best Carabiner Lock 0.15 lbs. Grippy rubberized exterior and four digit combination lock. Amazon
Touring Thunder Lock Best Budget-Friendly 0.6 lbs. Simple but reliable solution compatible with nearly every helmet type. Amazon
Let’s now explore the best methods to ensure your helmet’s complete security wherever you go with these products.
9 Effective Ways to Lock a Helmet on a Motorcycle
Throughout my 50+ years of motorcycle riding, I’ve owned an impressive collection of over 20 motorcycles. Some of these bikes, such as the Honda CRF250L Rally, Suzuki GSX-S750, and Kawasaki Z900 ABS, come equipped with built-in anti-theft motorcycle and helmet locks. But for my cafe racers and bobbers, I’ve invested in helmet-specific locks to ensure the utmost security for my helmets.
This dedication to helmet safety provides me with peace of mind wherever I venture, whether it’s in bustling metropolises like Fort Collins or Augusta or enchanting cities like Bali or Nice, known for their captivating blend of cultural richness and natural beauty!
Now, allow me to share the tried-and-tested methods I’ve employed over the years to lock my helmets on a motorcycle:
1. Lock Your Helmet with a Bolt Helmet Lock: Traditional Keyed Security
There are three main types of helmet locks market namely, bolt, carabiner, and cable locks.
Bolt helmet lock refers to your traditional keyed lock with a small shackle, which is mounted somewhere on the motorcycle frame, typically on the rear sub-frame. And the Guami Anti-Theft Motorcycle Helmet Lock, which is cut for the Yamaha YZF R3 and a couple of other Yamaha sport bikes, fits this description. But so does the handle-bar mounted 0.5-pound Biker’s Choice helmet lock with a chrome finish that adds a dash of style to your handlebar setup or the Kuryakyn Universal License Plate Helmet Lock, which doubles as a license plate support and aesthetic addition to any fender-eliminated custom motorcycle.
So, bolt types can be either bracket-mounted locks that are bolted onto the frame or clamped onto the handlebar with tamper-proof screws. Lidlox ™ makes miniature-sized helmet locks with four mounting options; bolt mount, bar end, and tube mount. They’re your best helmet lock for keeping your helmet under lock and key, particularly if it has a double D ring closure, which the bolt goes through to secure the entire lid.
2. Safeguard Your Gear with a Carabiner Helmet Lock: Climbing-Inspired Combination Locks
Borrowed from the world of climbers, carabiner helmet locks are essentially climbing clips with a combination lock on the gate. These are made of specialized heavy-duty metal shackles designed for minimal points of failure and are extremely versatile in their use.
Case in point, my top pick, the Rocky Creek HelmetLok Rubberized Universal Motorcycle Helmet Lock, which despite weighing only 0.26 lbs., in my opinion, rivals the 4.0 lbs. Onguard Pitbull Std U-Lock with its 0.6-inch shackle for tensile strength.
Carabiners can be bought single-piece or with some sort of cable and/or T-bar to loop in more stuff, which is amazing. Those with rubberized shackle and laminated cable exterior like our top pick offer the most protection for your lid. Additionally, a four-combination lock is obviously harder to defeat than a three-combination one, all things considered.
3. Use Cable Helmet Lock: Threaded Steel Cable Security
The corded helmet lock is perhaps the most obvious and offers some of the cheapest options. You have a threaded steel cable loop whose both ends terminate in a padlock as is the case for the indefatigable Master Lock Motorcycle Helmet Lock.
It offers a simple but reliable solution to bundle your helmet, jackets, and pretty much anything that has a hole through it and tie them down to your motorcycle frame. But there is another breed of corded helmet locks that uses combination locks in place of the trusty old padlock, so what’s the deal with those, you ask?
4. Key Your Helmet Lock: Reliable Keyed Cable Security
Generally, cable locks with actual keys and locks are more reliable for anti-vandalism. Thicker cables offer more safety, but there is a point of diminishing returns where you are overestimating the length (or should I say width) that someone will go to dispossess you of your prized lid.
5. Opt for Combination Helmet Lock: Keyless Security with Four Combinations
The combination locks are better than no security at all. On the plus side, there are no keys to lose, plus there are ample deterrents for a helmet thief, assuming you are parked in public. But even they are not built equal; three combination locks are easy to defeat with elementary school arithmetic, so you had better get the one with 4 combinations because 10,000 password guesses take quite a while. And that’s how to lock a helmet on a motorcycle.
Besides helmet-specific locks, you may also consider other lock alternatives. The following are not originally intended to lock helmets on motorcycles but motorcyclists make a creative lot. For us, everything has to have at least two uses. So, here goes:
6. Secure Your Helmet with a Motorcycle Chain Lock: Versatile Helmet Protection
There are times when you might forget to bring your helmet lock, and the big strong anchor chain for your bike has to do for your helmet. Again this should be a last resort because I feel these are too large and can cause harm to the integrity of your helmet chin skirt, paint, visor, and sealing gasket.
These chains are bulky and often restricted to garage use where you can install an anchor to tether your beast to, but if you have one on hand when you need to secure your helmet, then go for it!
7. Utilize Gun Lock or Bicycle Lock: Flexible Vinyl-Coated Steel Cable Security
What does a gun owner in Helena, Montana, and a bicycle owner in London have in common? A vinyl-coated piece of braided steel cable with both ends terminating in a padlock. Except gun locks are barely over a foot long (15 inches), whereas a typical bicycle lock is about 6 feet long.
Every gun owner has one lying around somewhere for every gun they ever purchased (it’s federal law in the US), and they are conveniently suitable for locking helmets. Bicycle locks are definitely tougher, don’t mind rainy weather, and can fit more helmets even though you will have to tow along more weight. I would recommend you get the springy type that coils itself to save on storage space.
8. Ensure Helmet Safety with a Padlock or U-Lock: Hardened Steel Protection
A good old hardened steel padlock can save your helmet on more than one occasion. U-locks are just a fancy iteration of the centuries-old tried and true security system. First of all, let’s make it clear that these two mechanisms will work best for helmets with the double D retention mechanism.
Okay, with that said, a large padlock can be bulky and old-fashioned to carry around so perhaps a U-lock will do better for securing a helmet. Furthermore, the right U-lock sizing means you can use it for your disc brake lock as well.
9. Explore Motorcycles with Built-In Helmet Locks: Convenient Integrated Security
An external old-school key helmet lock like the one you find on the tail of a Honda CRF250L Rally is a rarity these days, but if you look keenly under the seat of the new Suzuki GSX-S750, you will discover a set of plastic hooks that serve more or less the same function.
Aprilia does one better on their new Shiver with a steel hook, but if you prefer old school, then the Kawasaki Z900 comes with a cable lock under its pillion seat. Incidentally, the retro-styled (I hope that’s what the RS in Z900RS stands for) is equipped with an external helmet lock that uses the ignition keys.
Yet, these hooks are not unique to these models. In fact, rush over to your garage right now and pop open your backseat if your bike has one, or check under the main saddle near the junction where it meets the tank. Yes, that’s where all the helmet locks went! Manufacturers have found a way of making it less obvious while cutting costs significantly much to the detriment of their lock suppliers.
Lock Your Helmet Safely Under the Seat: Step-by-Step Guide
To secure your helmet on one of these underseat-type mechanisms, you will need to lift up the seat (almost always requires only the ignition key and no additional tools) and loop the helmets retention strap through the hook, leaving the buckle or double D rings on the inside then replace the seat to secure the helmet. Granted, most ratchet-style retention systems are incompatible with most stock helmet locks, but you could try to clip the ratchet under the seat and then lock the seat back in place.
Open-face helmets and those with no chinstrap at all like the futuristic, Aussie, Vozz Helmet may be tricky to anchor down. It helps if the lid comes with D ring closure because then you can use an inexpensive cable lock or padlock.
Pro Tip: Most built-in helmet lock mechanisms rely on the length of the chinstrap and are mostly compatible with double D ring closures, which are considerably easier to loop through the small hooks.
When Not to Lock Your Helmet to Your Motorcycle
If motorcycle theft trends are anything to go by, the likelihood that your helmet will get swiped also varies according to the season and where you are riding. In 2020, 52,000 cases of motorcycle theft were reported in the United States, with 26,660 (51.3% ) occurring in the warmer months of June, July, August, September and October, while the remaining months had reported theft cases as follows: January (3,300), February (2,500), March (3,400), April (3,500), May (4,500), November (4,000), and December (3,500).
When there is rain, scorching sunshine, dusty winds, or pesky bugs that might inhabit your lid, then it’s less than ideal to lock it to the bike’s chassis and leave it exposed. I always leave it right-side-up in case it rains while I get groceries because riding in a soggy helmet is no fun as I once painfully learned. Exposure to the hot sun for prolonged periods also deteriorates the helmet paint and plastics.
I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!
FAQs on Helmet Security — I Have the Answers!
Q: How Do I Keep My Motorcycle Helmet From Being Stolen?
Use a sturdy helmet bolt lock, a locking cable, or carabiner clip to lock your helmet onto the bike’s frame or other fixture such as the handlebar.
Q: How Do I Lock a Helmet on a Motorcycle?
To lock a helmet on a motorcycle, lift up the seat (which usually requires only the ignition key and no additional tools) and loop the helmet’s retention strap through the hook of the helmet’s lock located under the seat. Make sure that the buckle or double D rings are on the inside. Once the strap is properly looped and positioned, replace the seat to secure the helmet. Ensure that the D-ring is securely fastened and locked in place.
Q: How Do I Lock a Helmet to a Motorcycle Without a D-Ring?
If the helmet has no D-ring, you can use a cable or chain mechanism passing it under the chinbar area and emerging through the visor, then securing it to the bike.
Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations: