Best Practices: Xena Disc Lock

Hey we’re in the middle of the motorcycle theft season… So if you have a type of bike that’s often stolen (in NY that’s most sportbikes…) then you always want to make it a little more difficult for would-be thieves… My usual practice is…when I park my bike on the street over night I’ll usually chain up the front wheel to a post using two OnGuard Beast chains and locks and on the rear disc I’ve used a little Bully disc lock (these things are cheap – $16 – and work great).  But recently I got a Xena disc lock – and if I had known how nifty these things were I would have gotten one sooner!  So here’s a little mini-review of the thing…

It’s pricey for a disk lock (but cheap for an alarm) at around $70 for the XR-1.  This one has a 6mm locking pin that fits into the holes in the brake calipers on most sportbikes.  It’s also small enough to fit under the seat of my 600RR (the other models run around $100 and are a little bulkier).  These sometimes look a little flimsy in the pictures but when you hold one you can see how solid it is, it seems heftier than the Bully…and the polished metal is cool looking…

The alarm comes with two sets of batteries and a hex wrench to get at the alarm component.  It arms itself when it’s locked onto something.  There’s a sensor in the mouth of the alarm that senses if there’s something in the mouth of the lock which arms the alarm.  This way you can store the unit locked or hang it off your passenger pegs without the alarm activating… Just locking the pin doesn’t activate the alarm, there has to be something in its mouth… This is a great idea – on the one hand you’ll never forget to arm your alarm.  On the other hand, you won’t set off the alarm just carrying it on your passenger pegs or trunk.

The alarm is NOT terribly loud – much quieter than a car alarm (and less annoying), but I can hear it from my apartment if my bike is parked outside…especially at night when it’s quieter.  And it’s not supersensitive: the wind hasn’t set it off, but tilting the bike does…  Also you can use the disc lock without the alarm (or if the batteries die – they’re supposed to last 8 months), and according to the company you can replace the alarm without replacing the entire disc lock.

So if you’re looking into getting a little added security for your bike – I give the Xena two thumbs up…  If you are riding a high theft bike – get some chains, and if you have money left over a Xena for the rear…  If you are a more sensible type and ride a bike that isn’t a common target of theft – then a good disc lock is probably all you need – but the Xena might give you a little extra peace of mind.  Cheers!


5 responses to “Best Practices: Xena Disc Lock

  1. You can also check out the review by WebBikeWorld:

    Where to buy? I got mine from Competition Accessories…

    They’re a little slow in shipping… I think they also carry it at Cycle Therapy, but I think you can find it cheaper elsewhere online…

  2. Do you have safety gear to go with that?

  3. i just picked up one of these a few weeks ago and I love it. It’s also great that it has an alarm, so you don’t forget to remove the lock before riding off and seriously damage your ride.

    Cycle therapy has a model for sale, but it’s $110 their. As with anything else at that store, that’s too friggan expensive.

  4. Okay had mine for about three weeks now and thought I’d do a follow up:

    I started to have an issue with false alarms – it would go off every three minutes when there’s no wind, no animals knocking it about, nothing… I had to stop using it for a few nights so that my neighbors could sleep.

    There are two sensors on the Xena – the infrared sensor that arms the alarm, and the motion sensor (that rattles quietly when you shake it like a loose screw inside). The motion sensor is fine, and not overly sensitive, the problem is the infrared sensor. After it senses the lock is “on” something it arms the alarm with two beeps.

    If the infrared sensor is not blocked (because you put it in a place where the disc doesn’t reach it) then the alarm won’t arm.

    But if you completely block the sensor by putting it in a place where the disc reaches all the way (or most of the way) in, then you get false alarms…

    The solution is to clip it to a spot where the sensor is partially blocked. When you do that the infrared sensor reads the position of the disc and if it changes sounds the alarm.

    I’m not crazy about the IR part, I wish they stuck to just a motion sensor – but I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    Some folks never run into this problem – and other people have sent theirs back because of it – but if you play with the positioning (and make sure the IR sensor and mirror is clean) then it can work fine.


  5. I bought a Xena XN15 and I’ve been getting loads of false alarms. It goes off even when nothing is touching the bike – very frustrating. I’m taking it back because it’s just not fit for purpose.

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