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Est. 2004

New Moped Rider - Parking Recommendation in Greenwich

Hi all,

Since moving back into London, I have decided to sell my car and get my first moped. As soon as I take my CBT I will be getting a Vespa Primavera 125.
The one and only concern I have is security. I live in a flat above a shop on the main road, with absolutely no parking. Even my car is currently parked a 2/3 minute walk from me. In Greenwich I can park a motorbike anywhere, but I am just scared that it will get stolen, even if locked up. I’d like to put a rain cover on it each time I park and I will also have a box on the back.
What do you suggest I should do? Or am I just being paranoid?

Thank you all in advance :slight_smile:

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Hi @Adam3313, welcome :slight_smile:

There’s a few things you can do to protect it:

  • Don’t have too nice a scooter
  • Cover it, as you suggest
  • Use a disc-lock and/or chain
  • If possible, find a motorcycle parking bay that has ground-anchors installed (some boroughs do, not sure about Greenwich), and chain your scooter to them. Failing that, somewhere you can chain the scooter too, i.e. railings, a lamp-post, etc.

Two main themes there: out-of-sight and secured to something.

You need to have an alarm and park it where you can then hear the alarm when it goes off. No point on expecting other people to hear it and do something about it. They won’t.

You are not being paranoid.

I don’t want to make you more paranoid but I remember few years ago lots of bikes getting nicked in Greenwich… Made it feel like the area had more or a problem. Don’t know if that’s still the case but I doubt much will have changed.

TBH pretty much around London there’s always a chance. It doesn’t mean it will happen but there’s always a chance

What Jay said is right. What you want to do is make your bike a) less accessible and b) less desirable than the bike next to it.

Pretty looking, newish, maxi scooter with a disc lock will be much more desired than scuffed up tatty looking scooter with disc lock and chain and cover…

All good advice here, also maybe don’t advertise on a public forum where you will park the bike :wink:

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I bought myself one of those monimoto tracking devices. Touch wood never had the bike nicked yet but there’s been the odd occasion I’ve gone out and jumped on without the key fob and my
Phone starts ringing with the monimoto alarm. It’s about £140 and really does give you a bit more peace or mind knowing that if it’s fiddled with you’ll be aware.

This is great help, thank you all very much.
Is there a particular brand and model you would recommend for the chain and disc-lock, please?
After reading this, I decided that I won’t be buying a brand new scooter, God forbid in an eye-catching colour, but I will settle for a pre-owned one which won’t catch so much attention.

Consider disc locks to prevent you pride and joy from being wheeled or ridden away, consider a padlock and chain to tether to a fixed object to prevent it from being lifted into a van or if you don’t have disc brakes to fit a disc lock to. A scooter is most likely to be stolen by being wheeled or ridden away so maybe disc locks are all the security you need.

Two disc locks if you have two disc brakes, three disc locks if you have three disc brakes, if you only have one disc brake for added security two disc locks can be fitted to one disc brake! After you’re sorted with disc locks you might want to add a padlock and chain to tether it to a fixed object, if there is no fixed object to tether to then a security chain is fairly pointless over a disc lock. My weapons of choice here are…

Xena brand disc locks because they have a good reputation and come with their own integral movement detector alarm, although it should be noted some kids find it good sport to set them off for the fun of it. I’ve disabled the alarm function on mine by removing the battery.

Squire brand security chain and Squire brand closed shackle padlock because they are as secure as anything else on the market and favourable priced. Don’t be fooled by all the hype around one brand of chain over another, the bottom line is a 19mm chain takes a thief longer to defeat than a 16 mm chain which takes longer to defeat then a 14 mm chain. A well equipped and practised thief will defeat the heaviest of chains in minutes. Size of chain should be based on practicality, firstly it needs to be long enough to pass through the frame or back wheel and around whatever fixed object you’re tethering it to. Secondly it needs to be light enough to handle, if you need to carry it around you don’t want to be lugging around anything bigger than a 12 or 14 mm link size. A 1.5 or 2 metre length of security chain gets very heavy very quickly as it goes up in link size.

If you’re on street parking don’t park it up in exactly the same place day after day or night after night unless you really have to. Motorcycles that are tatty or have distinctive features are less appealing to thieves, accessory and modification laden motorcycles are more appealing to thieves. Parking close by a more appealing motorcycle is another layer to your security.

To cover or not to cover? A thief might think a cover is an indicator that something special is being hidden. No cover and an unattractive motorcycle will be seen for what it is and what it is is less desirable to the thief. Thieves have pride too, why steal something less desirable over something a little bit special?

Something to also consider. As someone who used to park on the road and used to chain, disc lock and cover up. Both at home and at work.

It gets really annoying really quickly to do it twice a day. Trying to faff around with disc lock, chain and cover when it’s pissing it down (even with goretex clothes and lid on) is a ballache. Doing it when it’s freezing is also not nice.

Carrying a chain around is also hard work. I was carrying an Oxford 12mm, a relative feather compared to the Almax / pragmasis 16 or 19 mm people will suggest.

I gave up after a few months and would only chain it up overnight, not at work or anywhere else. There I used a disc lock which I carried around.

In the end I realised that all the security was getting in the way of my enjoying riding the bike daily… I stopped worrying about the theft. But then I was lucky and only had one (poor) attempted theft against it, and one scoping (which I saw from a balcony). Not sure I would have same attitude had I lost a bike to theft

I used to park in bays on the street in Angel but then moved the bike onto the grounds of the council estate I was renting a room. I found a space that bothered noone. Worst thing that happened was my bike was part of a crime scene (double murder). Funnily enough the kids on my estate did not seem to want to nick a bike from someone on their estate (we are not talking prep school kiddies here!

Not sure an odd road space is doable in modern estates with CCTV and parking enforcement but worth seeing.

I strongly recommend and use Almax security chains on my toy. I also use a Xena alarmed disc lock.

I’m local to Greenwich and lived there for a number of years in the not too distant past. Yep it’s a nightmare for bike theft (but where in London isn’t?). I’ve had two bikes stolen or attempted when I lived there. Your best bet is as said, get an old skool looking one that is cosmetically tatty but sound mechanically. Get a decent chain and lock it to something and don’t bother with a cover if you get a tatty looking one. Not what you want to hear when you go bike shopping but it’s better than dealing with a theft and hiked premiums. Buy a cheap one for your first try and see what happens…

get the largest fuking link chain you can afford
the get the biggest fukoff disc lock
both not cheap but you can put a price on decent security

This is good advice.

Stuff does get stolen with depressing regularity in London but it isn’t all doom and gloom. As a counterpoint, my partner parks her Piaggio 125 on the street outside her work in RBKC every day, has done so since she bought it 14 years ago. She’s had the mirrors stolen a few times but the bike has survived. She uses one Kryptonite d-lock usually on the rear wheel because it makes it more difficult to wheel away.

The scooter is now worth buttons probably less than a good Almax chain and padlock so she is happy to park it anywhere now. Some day it will be stolen but she has well had her money’s worth out of it and probably wouldn’t even bother with the insurance claim.

Hi Adam,

I also live in Greenwich and am sorry to say that bike theft in this borough is pretty awful. I have had several attempts on my bike even though it is covered, has several locks, is well lit and overlooked by numerous properties.

I also strongly recommend an Almax chain. It weighs a ton but is the reason I still have my bike. As suggested also have an extra disc lock on the front.

This makes it a very unappealing target as there are easier bikes to steal elsewhere.

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I considered a move to Greenwich but was nervous about parking motorbike on street. It didn’t push through in the end but would echo the same advice already mentioned:

  • heavy chain attached to ground anchor
  • heavy disc lock with alarm
  • it’s a faff but cover anytime you leave it

The bike with the least deterrents will seem easiest to nick. Not a guarantee but those are the odds.

Also I’m considering using a tracker like this Sizzapp
Am sure there or other tried and tested options as well.

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