Suzuki Tested: Abus Granit Victory disc locks – old vs new

Abus disc locks

An ancient, hard-edged, curmudgeonly chunk of obstinance reviews an Abus disc lock

Not rated

How much: £90-100 street price (for new 68 version)
From: www.abus.com

Pro: Very well made, lasts incredibly well.
Not so: Pricey, slightly fiddly till you work it out, doesn't fit all discs.

I've been in this job for a while now, and along the way, I've picked up a few bits and pieces which have definitely stood the test of time. I don’t mean a couple of years – I mean more than a decade and a half of regular use. And this Abus Granit disc lock is one of the standouts. I genuinely don't remember exactly when I got it – but it feels like it's been by my side for most of the 2000s. It's a Granit Victory 39 model, which is discontinued now, but has been replaced by the 68 (which I also have on test – woo).

The old one is dead simple: a chunky bullet of steel, with a locking side pin that slips through a hole in your brake disc, stopping it from turning past the caliper. It's designed so the pin can rotate in the lock, which should make cutting it with a grinder or a saw very tricky indeed – the pin will just spin as you try to slice into it. The body is super-tough German steel, so will be a bugger to cut as well. Sadly, thieves are more likely to bypass the lock by cutting the disc, or just carrying the bike away to a van. But as an extra layer of faff, it's well worth a place in your armoury – it'll put off casual baddies, and also means another few minutes of work for a professional. If you have a solid disc lock on each disc (and maybe the sprocket too), that's a few hurdles to jump for the cordless grinder scooter bandits, and might send them off elsewhere.

In use the 39 is a little bit fiddly – you have to carefully line up the locking mechanism and the key, and make sure it's fully open before the pin will go into place. It also won’t fit all discs – my GSX-S750 discs have various sizes of holes in them, but they are all either too small for the pin, or too big so the pin backing plate is able to slip through completely.

Anyway. The original Victory 39 lock is still working a treat (although I think I've lost all but one key for it, which is slightly worrying), and is in daily use. But I've also picked up the newer version, the Victory 68. This uses the same principle, but is made up of two round pieces, which spin even easier, so it will be far more of a bugger to try and grind or saw. It comes with a handy self-retracting reminder strap to go on your front brake lever, and the pin plate is bigger, so it will work on more discs. It's slightly tricky to work until you learn how – if you grasp the outer rim of the main lock, then the inner part won't spin, so you can turn the key to unlock it more easily. Sounds more of a faff than it is.

You get three keys with it, one with a LED light built-in, and a key code so you can order more keys easily if LIKE A FOOL you manage to lose them. Abus also offers a 'key-alike' service, where you can get all your locks made with the same key fitting. I have two disc locks and a chain with the same key code now, which is properly useful.

Either of these disc locks will do a solid job – but only as part of an overall security plan of course. Don't think that a £90 disc lock will keep a £20k superbike safe on its own – factor in a chain or two to a solid locking point, alarm, tracker, cover plus another disc lock or two, and you'll have a fighting chance…