by Rick Williams for webBikeWorld.com
Motorcycles are great but they typically don't have much room for storage.
And leaving your riding gear on the bike when it's parked can be a nuisance.
I ride with a jacket and a helmet year 'round, and although I can carry them with me when I'm walking through a park or a store, it would be much better if there was a worry-free way of securing everything to the bike.
Well, here's a neat little gadget which can take care of the problem -- it's called the Voltage Valet.
The Voltage Valet is a palm-sized lock and alarm device that features a four foot long self-storing cable with a three digit combination lock.
It is available in either black or yellow, it's powered by a single 9-Volt battery, it comes with a one-year warranty and it also includes a flashing LED light to warn potential thieves that it's armed.
The cable can be pulled out of the Voltage Valet by pressing a release lever on the side of the unit. The cable is then threaded through the items to be secured and through a convenient location on the bike, such as a frame member.
When free end of the cable cable is released, it snaps back into the Voltage Valet, which then generates a single beep from the unit. Spin the combination on the lock and it's all set.
A 110 dB alarm will be set off if the cable is cut, which is loud enough to deter most thieves.
But thatís not all: the Voltage Valet also has a motion sensor mode! After the unit is locked, the button on the front of the case is pressed and the unit beeps twice and a light flashes for 4 seconds.
After four seconds, moving the Voltage Valet will cause it to sound three warning beeps and then four seconds later the alarm will sound for 40 seconds, then it will stop and rearm.
So if the Valet is still being moved it will alarm again after 4 seconds and keep doing so until it is either no longer in motion, the 9-Volt battery wears out or the unit is disarmed.
The Voltage Valet is disarmed by spinning in the correct combination on the lock and then pressing the cable release button. The owner can choose any number for the combination.
Since the unit's alarm will sound within 4-5 seconds from the time it is moved, it typically goes off for a second or two before I have enough time to dial in the combination and release the cable.
This is an annoyance, but considering how fast some thieves are Iíd prefer having the alarm sound sooner rather than later.
I have a seat bag on my motorcycle which is secured to the bike by bungee cords.
The dumbest criminal alive could steal the bag in five seconds which minimally would net them the bag, a few tools, a tire gauge, the rain liner for my Kilimanjaro Air jackets, a bunch of maps and some other odds and ends.
So I usually hang my helmet on the helmet lock and run the cable from the Voltage Valet through the bolt on the helmet lock, through the visor on my helmet, then up through one sleeve on the jacket, then through a ring on the seat bag.
The Voltage Valet itself goes into the bag on top of my goodies. If anything gets a tug by a would-be thief, the alarm goes off. Same result if some nefarious character decides to rummage around inside the bag!
Sound File: Here is a .wav sound file illustrating the sound of the Voltage Valet alarm.
Of course if you are a minimalist and donít have bags, helmets or a jacket to secure, the Voltage Valet can also be hung on the bike and used as a motion sensor, or the cable can be run through the wheel as an alternative to a disk lock.
The nice thing about the Voltage Valet over a disk lock is that if you forget to remove the Valet, there is less chance of doing damage to the bike or yourself.
And here's a bonus: off the bike, the Voltage Valet can be used on hotel room doors, doors on trailers, yards, barns or anything else you wish to secure.
At a list price of $29.95, the Voltage Valet does a credible job securing items but the four foot long cable does hinder its usefulness.
Overall though with a bit of creative arranging, quite a lot of gear can be secured at a very affordable price.
|wBW Product Review: Voltage Valet|
|Available From: Voltage Valet (Apparently no longer in business)||List Price: $29.95|
|Review Date: October 2006|
From "Tim W." (November 2008): "I have owned a Voltage Valet for more than a year. I had trouble with the unit right away, and I set it aside and promptly forgot about it.
But after coming across it again after a recent move, I contacted the company via e-mail and described the problem with the unit (it had trouble latching properly).
Even though I had bought the unit more than a year ago, and hence was past the one-year warranty period, the folks at Voltage Valet (David and Rick) were very responsive and arranged for a replacement that is working just fine.
So Iím writing to let webBikeWorld readers know about the very good customer service I received from the Voltage Valet people. In my opinion, you can buy this product with confidence."