Affordable ATV Security

November 02, 2013

Whether you've owned an ATV for years or are preparing to buy your first, we're sure you think of your ATV as an investment. It's an investment that you'll want to protect during both travel and storage. Our ATVs are kept very secure when we're at home, but we are bad about not locking things up like we should when we travel. This has been bugging me for some time now, but wasn't sure how I wanted to approach the problem.

At first I considered something simple - a log chain wrapped around the frame of our ATVs and pad locked to the trailer. It's a viable option but I didn't like the idea of scratching up the frame of our ATVs and log chains are so heavy that I could see it being a little impractical for travel.

ATV Security

So partially because the log chain idea wasn't working out and partially because I wanted to buy a new toy, I started doing some research. I spent the last few days looking around and I've come up with a few affordable and practical solutions for ATV security.  

Rotor Lock

If you have disk brakes in the rear, a rotor lock could be your best friend. Rotor locks are very simply designed. They are a u-shape and have a pin that goes through the rotor. On the most basic of models, the pin locks and unlocks with a key. When the rotor lock is in place, the ATV can only roll so far before the lock is caught on the caliper. Think of it as a hand sized boot for your ATV. Rotor locks come in a variety of price ranges. Some are pretty basic but there are some out there with some pretty cool features. On the super low end of the price range, I found this rotor lock on Amazon for under $6.

ATV SecurityOn the other end of the spectrum, I found the Xena XZZ6L on Amazon for $80-$90. (The first time I looked, the price was $90. When I came back the next day, it had dropped to $80.) Not only does it have a double locking pin, but it features a 110dB motion sensor alarm.

ATV Security

Anyone that knows me, knows that I am cheap but I do not like cheap products. I know that seems crazy but there is normally a middle ground that makes me happy. So I started exploring some more of the Xena disk locks and found the Xena X1.

ATV Security Since I have been looking at rotor locks, I have found some pretty cool features. The biggest one for me is the pin that goes through the rotor. The cheap rotor lock above does go through the rotor but is not locked on the other side. With a little work, you could eventually pry it off. The X1 is Xena's entry level disk lock, but even in the lower price range, all of the Xena locks have a locking pin.

ATV Security

At around $30, the Xena X1 seems like a great deal and it's something that will definitely be making its way onto my Christmas wish list. While I love the simplicity of the rotor locks,  I feel like they would be best for a situation where the ATV is going to be stored on the ground. (As opposed to in the bed of the truck where it can easily be lifted and moved into the bed of another truck.) So I started looking into some options for securing our ATVs to the trailer.

Cables

If you're looking for something to secure your ATV to the trailer or your truck bed, cables have always been the go to method. To be honest, I don't really like cables that much. Some of them are really cheap and easy to cut. But, if you were going to look for a cable, I recommend getting one with a built in lock. The reason you'll want the lock built into the cable is because unless the lock is rated the same as the cable, it's going to be a weak point.

If you want to get a good locking cable without spending much money, I found the cable below on Amazon for around $25.

ATV Security

Of course, the cable above is certainly not your only option. Because I have seen so many cables cut with small items like bolt cutters or linemans pliers, I would recommend to choose a cable that is at LEAST 1/2" in diameter. Most of the small, concealable tools that could cut through a cable won't open wide enough to cut through a half inch.

Lockstraps

If you're looking for something with the functionality of a cable but willing to spend just a bit more, I found this locking strap on Amazon for around $30. Made by Lockstraps, this is a locking tie down strap that can be used on anything. Until I found Lockstraps, I had never seen anything like this. A steel cable runs the entire length of the strap and the two ends have carabiners with built in combination locks.

ATV Security

The carabiners can be used to attach the straps to the trailer or truck bed at two tie down points. Because they close and lock, there is no worry that they will come loose. This would work great if you have a loop or access to the frame to run the end of the strap through. Lockstraps also makes a 24 foot strap to loop through the frame of multiple ATVs or around a post in the barn. The extension is around $40, but the longer strap adds so much more functionality that it seems worth the extra price.

ATV Security

  When I first found the Lockstraps, I had a pretty good idea of how I would use them. But then we found the video below and came up with even more ideas. In the video they show coolers and fuel cans, which are great ideas. A lot of times when we travel, we just throw our clothes in plastic bins and toss them in the bed of the truck. There's not always anything valuable in there, but if we're going to strap them down anyways, the Lockstraps will give us some extra peace of mind. [youtube id="neC63oVMRB8" width="600" height="340" position="center"] Since we're still in the research phase, I haven't tested any of these options yet. But I can say that we will be doing something before the end of the year. Once we've picked out a solution and had time to use it, we'll do an update about what we went with and why and another for the pros and cons. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you guys. What do you use to secure your ATV? Have you tried any of the options above? Have you had an ATV stolen, and if so, was it locked and with what? Let us know on Twitter and/or Facebook. Got a lengthy story? We'd love to chat through email.

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