Secure motorcycle parking is an issue for many riders, especially those who live in the cities – where space is at a premium and theft rates are above the national average.
The best solution for most motorcyclists is to park their motorbikes in a garage overnight, ideally with additional security measures such as a Thatcham approved lock and chain. For those without a garage, being able to park up securely in a friend’s lock up is sometimes an option, but that’s a rare luxury for most city dwellers and less than ideal unless that friend also happens to be a near neighbour.
As a worst case scenario, those who have to park on the street can take precautions. Parking in a busy and well-lit area is always a preference, and locking your precious motorcycle to an immovable object, such as a ground anchor or lamp post means that any would be thieves are unable to simply lift your bike into a van. Alarms are another deterrent, while trackers and indelible markers (such as Carole Nash’s free DNA system) make the bike both easier to find and less attractive to criminals, should it be stolen. At the very least, a bike cover is an expensive and well proven way to reduce the risk of theft. Keeping your bike hidden away under a cover is a surprisingly effective way to reduce the risk of theft, as police forces will attest to, but for an increasing number of motorcyclists there is an alternative.
Garden sheds are nothing new. For years, riders have been parking up in their back yards and while a traditional garden shed offers some protection from the elements, they are easy to break into and offer minimal security to a determined thief who knows that a bike is on the premises.
However the recent rise in bike thefts has seen a rise in more secure, dedicated bike sheds designed to offer greater security for motorcycles. These sheds, usually made from metal, are just big enough to house a motorcycle and have far, far greater security features than a typical garden shed, which makes them difficult to break into. They’re not cheap, but the good news is that your insurance company may well recognise it as a garage and offer a reduced motorcycle insurance premium as a result.
Staffordshire company Owens Moto Classics are just one company offering such a product. Better known for their ability to source some of the most desirable classic motorcycles in the world, the company has identified the demand for such bike storage units and has produced its own ‘Fort Knox’ of bike sheds.
Tested and approved by Thatcham, the motor insurers’ automotive research centre set up to contain and reduce the cost of motor insurance claims while maintaining safety standards, Owens’ shed has a full 2mm steel construction with all corners and edges double folded, hidden welds and four pin, six lever deadlock security locks. The shed has been designed to be just big enough to hold a motorcycle and features a front wheel clamp to allow the bike to be further secured while in storage. Being relatively low means that they can happily be placed in front gardens too, without proving to be an eyesore or blocking sunlight.
So, are they worth it? Well that’s very much a subjective question. The Owens shed comes in at £2300 (other motorcycle storage sheds are available, but few have the same level of features) which is quite a wedge, but when compared to the costs and inconvenience occurred if your bike gets stolen, not to mention the role it plays in protecting your bike from the elements, you may well consider it a worthwhile investment.