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Securing a ratchet helmet to your bike

Cable lock for ratchet helmet

Many helmets now come with quick-release ratchet-lock chin straps that present a problem in securing them to your parked motorcycle because they don’t have D-rings.

Some people like ratchet locks because they are convenient yet others believe the D-ring is far safer. All motorcycle racers have D-rings. But it didn’t seem to help Marco Simoncelli.

Safety aspect aside, ratchet locks make it difficult to secure the helmet to your parked bike.

It is also an issue for the new Aussie-designed Vozz helmet with no chin strap at all!

Revolutionary Vozz Helmet ratchet
Revolutionary Vozz Helmet has no chin strap

While we have never heard first-hand of a helmet being stolen from a parked motorcycle, we have heard second-hand stories of helmets being stolen.

We’ve also heard second-hand of chin straps being cut to take them. We’re not sure what the thief would then do with the helmet!

It is understandable that riders with expensive helmets and intercom systems attached are nervous about leaving their helmet untethered on their bike.

One reader recently asked us about swapping the ratchet on his Shoei Neotec helmet to D-rings so he could secure it to the helmet lock on his bike.

However, it is not only illegal to modify a helmet, but also changing to a D-ring could seriously weaken the chin strap.

Instead, you could try securing your helmet by putting the ratchet end under the seat, then locking the seat in place.

helmet lock ratchet
Helmet locked under seat

However, that can be difficult with some seats not having a simple lock like my Bonneville T100 or where the chin strap is not long enough to reach in this position.

You can also buy a small and cheap cable lock. This one with a combination lock costs less than $25 and is retractable, so you can easily carry it in your jacket pocket.Cable lock for ratchet helmet

Simply thread the plastic-coated steel cable through the bottom of your helmet and out through the visor area and include a secure part of the bike in the loop such as the frame.

You can also thread the cable down a jacket arm to secure your jacket.

Because the wire is plastic-coated, it won’t scratch your helmet or rip your jacket.

Vozz helmet secured with a wire cable lock ratchet
Vozz helmet secured with a wire cable lock

But remember, they are a deterrent only. They are not invincible as a thief with strong wire cutters could cut through.

You can also buy more expensive, but heavier and bulkier, cable locks such as this Rottweiler for about $84 which are resistant to wire cutters and even bolt cutters.Cable lock for ratchet helmet

  • Do you like ratchet-lock chin straps? How do you secure your ratchet-lock helmet to your bike? Leave your comments below.

  1. I have been riding ratchet strap helmets for about 8 years and love it. I am ok with D rings, but they are a hassle in comparison. The ratchet is a much better design for emergency removal or removal with gloves on.
    I never leave my helmet with my bike due to theft, rain or shitheads messing with it. Locking isn’t an issue I have even thought about.

  2. Definitely with the D ring option to the underside post on the rear seat cowl. Simply because I have one and it is so convenient when walking around to not to carry a helmet and jacket. My jacket also has a hook hanging threaded into it sits there with the helmet…hopefully awaiting my return.. I have thought ‘what if’ someone snipped it off, even if just out of curiosity, but thankfully so far, so good. The less baggage, the lighter the walk on foot, the better. So far, so good. Recently I was pleasantly surprised after a 3 hr ride to Brisbane’s CBD and finding so many free motorcycle parks that most bikes had no front or rear wheel locks. Complacency or a reasonably safe city? I was also amazed to see someone left a tank bag right there on the tank..strapped on of course, & most probably empty, but none the less, it was simply almost like the honesty boxes I see around where I currently live with pineapples, tomatoes and other fresh grown food stuffs on the road side for a small gold coin. It just restored my faith in the big smoke, without getting too comfortable. Brisbane just has such a safe air of grace to it. Always has. So great to have free motorcycling parking. Best way to fulfill spare time is walking around looking at all the bikes adorning the pathways.

  3. Been using ratchet helmets in Europe for 10 years; definitely more user friendly than D rings! You can even do it up if you’ve absentmindedly put your gloves on before your helmet. And it offers the convenient flexibility of a loose or a tight fitting, adjustable with one hand whilst you’re riding.

  4. I installed ISO Grips, like some other brand aftermarket grips, have the ability to accept the add-on, Kewl Locks. They attach to the end of specific aftermarket grips, like most handlebar weights. They have two T-shaped bars that are thin enough to slip behind most strap hinges, thus creating a secure connection to your handlebars when locked.

  5. “We’ve also heard second-hand of chin straps being cut to take them. We’re not sure what the thief would then do with the helmet!”

    Cheapest way to satisfy helmet laws. The thief doesnt care about safety.

  6. I got a piece of plastic covered wire rope. Threaded both ends into a big crimp to form a loop 10cm long. I push it into the ratchet, the crimp is too big to go through. I lock the helmet through the loop

  7. Regarding your comment about Marco Simoncelli – His chin strap came unfastened from the inside of the helmet, not the D rings. If you carefully watch slow motion video as you see his helmet rolling away, you’ll notice that there is only one chinstrap attached to the helmet, yet it is inordinately long. That is because it came loose from the other side. This is most likely because that was the impact point of Valentino Rossi’s front tire. Tragic regardless.

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