Leaving an expensive motorcycle GPS device on your handlebar can be risky. Many motorcycle GPS devices are easy to lift off the bike. It’s often a simple matter of lifting a latch and slipping the GPS off the holder. We are going to discuss methods for deterring theft of a motorcycle GPS.
The first and most obvious way to prevent theft of a motorcycle GPS is to take it with you when leaving your bike. As already stated, most are very easy to install and remove. Often a matter of lifting up a latch, a Garmin Zumo or TomTom Rider GPS are easy to take with you.
If you can’t take it with you, there are some ways to make everything more secure.
Starting with the mount, and it’s the one that came in the box with your Garmin Zumo or TomTom Rider, add a locking mechanism. The RAM Locking Knob for 1″ Ball Arms replaces the flywheel on your standard arm. Simply twist off the current knob and add this locking knob. The knob features a real lock with two keys. You lock the knob and when someone tries to turn it without the key engaged, it simply spins and never loosens the arm.
You can also replace the standard flywheel with the RAM Mixed Combination Pin-Lock Security Knob and Key Knob for 1″ Diameter B Size Arm. Like the locking knob, this security knob replaces the standard flywheel that is found on arm. A second part of this security knob has a corresponding pattern for removing the part that’s attached to the arm. Without it, the knob will simply spin. This is a much less expensive option versus the locking knob, but it’s also a bit less secure since someone could potentially have one of those magic wrench parts too.
After securing the mount, it’s time to work on the GPS. That’s a bit more difficult that simply securing the mount.
The guys at TomTom have it figured out for a TomTom Rider 400. Consider the TomTom Rider 400 Anti Theft Solution. It’s a set of two keyed locks. One is the locking knob we just discussed. The second lock is for the GPS itself. This is probably the most secure motorcycle GPS we have seen. The two locks don’t match so two separate keys are required but who cares. Nice job by TomTom thinking out of the box. Not sure why Garmin has not implemented something similar.
A Garmin Zumo is more difficult. Older Garmin Zumo models, specifically those made ten years ago such as the Garmin Zumo 550 had tamper resistant screws and a super secret screwdriver to keep the GPS in place. That was phased out. Seemed like a good idea, not sure why the idea was dropped.
Garmin then rolled out a feature on certain Zumo models known as Garmin Lock. This four digit PIN would lock your GPS until the proper one was entered. It would also unlock if within 50 meters of your home location. If someone stole your GPS, they couldn’t use it without knowing the PIN or being within 50 yards of the owner’s home. Didn’t help with physical theft and that feature was eventually dropped.
So now Garmin doesn’t have any anti-theft hardware or software features for their line of motorcycle GPS devices. Hopefully that will change with time but for now, it’s best to take the GPS with you when leaving or rig up your own solution. This is especially the case with the latest line of devices such as the Garmin Zumo 595LM and Garmin Zumo 395LM.
Anti-theft devices used for tablets and laptops can add some security to a motorcycle GPS. Consider the ChargeTech Anti-Theft Security Hardware Cable Lock Kit as an example. Adhere one end to a spot on the motorcycle GPS and the other end wraps around a place on your motorcycle such as the handlebar. This is attached when you aren’t riding the bike. There’s a key lock which attaches to the adhesive disk attached to the GPS. It’s not perfect, but it makes it harder to steal the device.
I’m Mike, the author of all of the articles on this site. MotorcycleGPSHub is written from many years of experience outfitting motorcycles with GPS devices and mounting configurations. I’ve had a chance to use not just the old school Garmin Zumo, but more contemporary GPS apps like Waze and Google Maps. To each their own. There’s a good market for a traditional motorcycle GPS as well as those that want to keep it basic with a smartphone app.