Dear MOby,

I’ve about given up on road tests that barely mention, if they mention at all, a bike’s headlight. But why can’t you report if a bike has a helmet lock or not? That’s a simple thing that doesn’t even require you to ride after dark. I’m aware that very few motorcycles have a helmet lock anymore (God forbid two of them), but it happens to be a thing that’s important to me. Nothing’s worse than arriving at an event and having to carry a bulky helmet around the whole time. Tell me you’ll be better about this in the future.

Not Headless Horseman

Dear NHH,

Why not just wear a helmet nobody wants to steal, like the “Predator” in our lead photo?

You’re right, and we’re sorry. Very few bikes have an old-school visible helmet lock anymore, that’s operated by the ignition key, but a surprising preponderance of them do have provisions in the form of a metal stud under the seat, or a plastic tang on the seat base itself for securing a helmet or two. As a matter of fact, until you Asked MO, I would’ve said, no, my 2000 R1 does not have a helmet lock.

Upon closer inspection, it actually has two helmet locks molded into its seat base. It might be a bit clumsy to attach two helmets, but you could probably learn the trick quick enough, especially with two sets of hands.

Locking a single helmet to the old girl is a piece of cake. Just lock the seat back in place and there you have it. Note also the four nylon strap loops at each corner under the seat for securing cargo. The Japanese have always been a crafty bunch when it comes to making the most out of tight spaces.

Does the new Kawasaki Versys-X 300 in my garage have helmet hooks? Pretty sure it does not, but let’s have a look…

Why, yes it does have a pair of helmet locks – which could really lock up lots of things if you looped a steel cable through – well hidden on either side of its seat-to-tank junction.

Et veye-ola! No need to schlep your helmet around.

Those are the only two bikes I have around right now, but I remember finding little cables in the tool kits of several Ducatis, which are used to loop around frame tabs and secure helmets.

A quick poll of a few other MO test units scattered about SoCal reveals a pair of seat-base plastic hooks on both our new Suzuki GSX-S750 and GSX250R, a steel hook-type lock under the Aprilia Shiver’s back seat, a cable type lock under the Kawasaki Z900

… and amazingly, an actual old-school key-type sliding-pin helmet lock on back of our new Honda CRF250L Rally. If you must have one of these and your bike has a place to put one, there are tens of them available on the aftermarket as soon as you google up “motorcycle helmet lock.” Most of them are so inexpensive you could probably defeat them with a popsicle stick, so caveat emptor. But anything’s better than relying on the goodness of human nature.

The easiest and best solution, if your bike has no helmet lock at all, might be this type of thing, which will be instantly recognizable to people who own firearms. Small and easily portable, you can loop this around a footpeg bracket or whatever to secure a helmet or two.

We promise to check the Panigale V4 and Kawasaki H2 SX for lights and helmet locks first when we get our hands on them!

Send your moto-related questions to If we can’t answer them, we’ll at least make you feel temporarily better by thinking you’re talking to somebody who cares even if we don’t. Though come to think of it, we haven’t not been able to come up with a plausible answer that’s provably wrong yet. Hah! Snopes can’t touch us. And we do care, really we do.

Recent Ask MOs:

How Much Better are Tires Compared to 30 Years Ago?
Will I be Shunned If I Ride an Automatic Motorcycle?
Say, what’s that Terrible Smell in my Jacket?

  • Allison Sullivan

    ” but I remember finding little cables in the tool kits of several Ducatis, which are used to loop around frame tabs and secure helmets.”

    So THAT’S what that’s for? I learned something today!

  • Old MOron

    Ha ha ha! Upvote just for that stupid Predator helmet in the lead photo.
    Okay, I can’t upvote the story, but I can recommend it.

  • Starmag

    Great question on everyday ease of use. I don’t take my ZRX’s 1 sec to use helmet lock for granted because my buddy’s Ducati Paul Smart has the afore mentioned cable and I’m always waiting for him to get his helmet locked up and amazed at the lack of thought that went into it. Luckily there’s aftermarket locks that bolt to the frame starting at $10.

    • Diana

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  • azicat

    Helmet locks are great, but they don’t stop other people from using them as trash cans or ash trays.

  • Buzz

    Buy a set of handcuffs at a surplus store or the naughty lingerie place and lock your helmet (as long as it has a D Ring).

    You’ll also have a conversation piece when the ladies ask why you’re sportin a set of cuffs.

    • Bmwclay

      Everyone has keys for handcuffs nowadays. I even noticed that my wife has a couple on her key chain.

      • Rocky Stonepebble

        Tell her I said ‘hi.’

  • Sayyed Bashir

    If you have a $750 helmet with a $400 radar detector mounted on top and a $250 Sena mounted on the side, you had better not leave the helmet on the bike.

    • Shirley

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    • lennon2017

      Yeah, I have to concur with this. Not so much the detector, but unless you have an easily detachable communicator and you can stuff the cable(s) between the cushion and helmet shell, away from raindrops, and really don’t sit apprehensive at the idea of someone just slicing that poly strap to get at a sweet sweet brainsaver for the price of new fabric, which is available because things get gross, I’d rather just wear a backpack with a loop to carry the lid out of bump-bump-bump’s way, and know that there are places you might not want to go on your bike. Or perhaps you do wish to Gentleman’s-Ride your way to the coat check at the symphony, handing over that Arai and gauntlets and saying “What. I’m very environmentally conscious.”

  • better not leave your helmet on bike. it might be stolen or it might rain or the sun will deteriorate it and reduce its life.

  • Auphliam

    Just don’t wear a helmet. Problem solved 🙂

  • Sentinel

    Something else I’m a huge fan of besides built-in helmet security on a bike, is under-seat storage space. Both of which are surprisingly well appointed on my Suzuki SFV650. However, I hear the fools at Suzuki saw fit to rid the newest version of the SV650 of both the helmet security, and the ample under-seat storage area. What a shame if true. Sadly, less usability and functionality has been the prevailing mindset with manufacturers for some time now. This is not a trend I like at all, among others.

    • SerSamsquamsh

      A lock only keeps honest people from stealing your stuff:) a cheap wire lock prevents kids playing with your helmet and dropping it: only a case prevents vagrants peeing in it though:

      • Sentinel

        Not thew ones on my SFV650. The hooks are far enough underneath that you’d be hard pressed to cut the strap, and you’d never get the helmet without dismantling the bike. That’s plenty good security for a helmet.

  • kenneth_moore

    Has anyone figured out a good way to lock helmets with the “Micro Lock ” strap connection? That’s the one with a metal tang that clicks into a reciever on the opposite strap vs. the D-rings most helmets use.

    I’ve put a cable through the visor/chinbar opening, but it’s pretty clumsy. One of the vendors should make a lock that mounts permanently on the bike and has a locking receiver that the Micro Lock tang can slide into.

    • Buzz

      Just carry your helmet into Starbucks Kenneth.

      It will separate you from the rest of the pajama boys in there.

      • kenneth_moore

        “Pajama Boy” is a derisive term for a photograph posted online in 2013 by the American political organization Organizing for Action (OFA) of one of its employees, Ethan Krupp, in support of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

        Geez Buzz, your hero The Donald is President, Republicans have both houses of Congress, and you’re STILL not over Obama? It’s time to move on amigo.

        • Buzz

          Well now that you mention it, no.

          My insurance has now cancelled or left the state for the 3rd time. Starting January 1, my “Affordable Care” will now cost me $571 a month for a crappy Bronze plan. It was $200 a month before Zero your Hero fixed everything.

          • kenneth_moore

            Not to worry. Donald says we’re all getting “Great healthcare, you’re going to love it. ​I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not, The government’s gonna pay for it.”

            Your Christmas Miracle Insurance is just around the corner Buzz!

          • Buzz

            Yeah and Hugo Chavez is dead now and those Venezualans should Move On and stop complaining about how crappy it is there!

          • Jon Jones

            I finally gave up and cancelled my Unaffordable Healthcare. I rather take my chances than feed the evil healthcare cartel any longer.

    • HeliBike

      I have a Micro Lock ratchet-style helmet and use this:

      The T-bar slides into the quick-release buckle and the carabiner loops around whatever hardpoint you want on your bike. Works great.

  • Michael Lasitz

    In all the reports and articles on the new 2018 GoldWing I read in one that they elliminated the lelmet locks. Tell me that isn’t the case.

  • kawatwo

    My Ninja 650 has helmet locks with the metal tangs under the seat but they are a pain to use. Sometimes once you get it on there it is a bear to get the thing off again. I am afraid someday it will get stuck for good. I think a cable extension might help. I miss the old style ones that were mounted under the seat that swing nice and wide open. Guess I’m getting old but I thought technology was supposed to make things better. You would think they could design some easier to user helmet locks. OH and also bring back center stands and passenger grab bars. Unless I am on a racetrack I could really use those things.

    • Andy C

      My 2009 650R came with a small cable on both sides under the seat that I’d hook through the helmet’s D-ring and then around itself to get the helmet close to the seat. When the seat was set down, the helmet’s strap was barely showing. No sense letting the bandits have access to an easily-cut helmet strap.

  • Tim Sawatzky

    One of the reasons I love my Valkyrie Interstate is that I can just throw the helmet in the trunk. It does have helmet locks for when the trunk is full, but it’s really nice when I don’t have to fiddle with those. It the trunk it stays clean and dry and not stolen.

  • Dan

    I don’t understand the big deal about a helmet lock. I’ve got an inexpensive 3′ bicycle cable lock (with combination lock built in so no key or padlock needed) that I keep wrapped around the rear pillion handles of my bikes and use it to lock up my helmet and sometimes even my jacket (run the cable through a sleeve, lay the jacket over the seat). There’s always some way on a bike to wrap and lock up such cable (even when not in use), even when I had a 600 sports bike, and sometimes its handy to have along for other things too. I’ve done this for 20 years and never had a problem, and I live in part of CA where anything not bolted down gets stolen. Although my helmets are nice, they don’t have bold graphics, and I figure most potential thieves don’t appreciate the cost of them or figure there’s much of a black market for used motorcycle helmets. I would never waste a hard bag or under seat space on a helmet, I used the same lock and method when I had a bike with hard bags and on my scooter . Obviously its not for long term storage outside, but I take my helmet in at night and when its raining.

  • TC

    Plus one on the firearm cable lock, put the key on the same ring as the ignition key. They also make a helmet lock that mounts under the rear license plate, and holds two helmets.

  • HeDidn’tWeDid

    Maybe just a Little Rock thang…but the helmet locks are really place there so you can ride around town with your helmet hanging off the back of your (pick any sportbike built since 1999).

  • RyYYZ

    Using a cable through the chin bar, if you’re not wearing an open-face helmet, is a lot more secure than locking the strap to the bike. I’ve heard many reports of helmets being stolen by cutting the strap. You might, and so would I, think that this would render the helmet useless to the thief or anyone else, but thieves aren’t known for their intelligence.

    Most of the time I don’t worry about it – just throw it over a mirror. If there’s nothing in there already, I’ll chuck it in my bike’s trunk. That’s usually the case if I ride out to an event, as whatever was in the trunk comes out when I get there. I don’t know if I’ve ever used the hooks under the seat on my current bike. My previous bike, a V-Strom (’02) had both a real helmet lock, and hooks under the seat.

    • Andy C

      Unfortunately, the helmet manufacturers sell new straps, which the bandits mount on your stolen helmet and sell on Craigslist.
      You’d think a helmet with a life of only about 5 years would not need a new strap ever but…

  • Wrong House

    2014 yamabolt no,2014 nomad yes, and 2016 fury(dealer sales associate handed it to me and said ” we didn’t wont to disturb the smooth flow of the rear fender” but it was disturbed by the rear pegless brackets.)

  • Andy C

    They should come out with a bike that has its own lockable storage space for a helmet. So you can just put your gloves inside the helmet and the helmet inside the storage compartment. Maybe even some space for a few other things and a power port…

    Oh wait, they already did, which is why I got my 2016 NC700X!
    Unfortunately my new Large Shoei Neotec won’t fit!

  • Rob Mitchell

    No, No, no. A hook under the seat and a bit of wire is not and never will be a practical helmet lock, particularly since bike makers won’t hinge seats, instead they expect you remove the seat and put it in the mud. My last 2 bikes BMWF800S and Honda VFR1200F, don’t have either, usable helmet locks or hinged seats

  • Ronald Vennell

    I prefer the cable lock. I have a fairly long coiled cable lock that easily accommodates two helmets and two jackets. The firearms lock you picture works well for a single helmet.