A lot of motorcycle owners would like to leave their stuff on their bike and not have to worry about it being stolen. Locking motorcycle mounts can be a good deterrent to theft of the mount itself and, if you have the proper cradles, can also prevent theft of the device that’s being mounted.
Let’s start with the discussion with what it takes to make the mount anti-theft. A good rule of thumb is that if the mount is really easy to install, it’s going to be really easy to remove. You don’t want that. Good locking motorcycle mounts require tools and keys. Those are the mounts we are going to discuss.
From what I can tell, there are plenty of ways to prevent theft of the mount itself. Not too many ways to prevent theft of the device. If you are looking to prevent theft of the mount, we got you covered. Theft of your smartphone, not so much.
We are big fans of RAM Mounts when it comes to motorcycles. They make heavy duty mounts with bolts, locking knobs, metal. That’s what you want when it comes to locking motorcycle mounts. For those unfamiliar with RAM Mounts, read our introduction to this line here.
Lets start with the base. Start with the RAM Zinc Coated U-Bolt Mounting Base. My opinion is this is the most secure base available for locking motorcycle mounts. It takes tools and time to install and it takes tools and time to remove. This has a metal u-bolt to fit handlebars up to 1.25 inches. Installation involves a pair of nylon locking nuts and a set of pliers. While there might always be a thief with a toolbox, it’s unlikely they are going to do this in plain view.
The key to this mount configuration is the RAM Double Socket Arm with Locking Knob. This locking arm connect the handlebar base we just discussed with the cradle assembly. That knob in the middle is a keyed lock. It comes with two keys that are unique to this lock. After getting your device into position, engage the lock by turning and removing the key. The knob then spins without loosening the arm. A potential thief can spin this knob for hours and never remove it.
Now comes the part where you add a cradle to the configuration and this is the most vulnerable point. The variety of locking cradles isn’t too large. In fact, it’s downright small. RAM makes an excellent line of locking cradles called Tab-Lock. These cradles have keyed lock and once engaged, the expansion capability of the cradle is disabled and your tablet stays put. The RAM Tab-Lock Cradle for Apple iPad Mini 1-3 is an example of this type of cradle. Combine it with the RAM Round Adapter and add it to the components described in previous paragraphs to complete your locking tablet mount.
RAM offers a few locking cradles for the higher end Garmin GPS devices. The RAM Mounts Locking Case for the Garmin DEZl 760Lmt, Nüvi 2797Lmt and Rv 760Lmt is one of those cradles. This cradle isn’t locked with a key. It has four screws which are what’s used for security. Yes, a thief with a screwdriver can open the cradle, but it goes back to previous statements regarding how much risk you are willing to take.
On the subject of locking smartphone mounts, there aren’t any locking cradles that I am aware of. While you can certainly lock the mount itself using the techniques previously discussed and combining it with one of RAM’s excellent X-Grip cradles such as the RAM X-Grip Cradle for Smartphones, this will not prevent theft of your phone, so you will need to take it with you.
So there you have the main components for a locking motorcycle mount. These should keep your mount safe, and in a few cases, your smartphone or GPS safe as well. Wile the components we discussed will make the mount difficult to steal, it’s not impossible. Anyone with enough time and the proper tools can steal anything including the mounts and devices we discussed so use prudent caution when leaving your motorcycle, mount and devices unattended.