With more scooters and bikes going missing every year, it is proving essential to find ways in which to protect your bike by any means possible from theft. 

According to metropolitan police, the best way to secure your bike is by using a chain through the back wheel and securing your bike to an immovable item such as a ground anchor in a locked garage.

However, there are other methods that you can do on top of this, to help deter thieves from attempting to steal your pride and joy, with the bonus that this can also help identify and recover your vehicle should it be stolen. Plus you might also be surprised by how affordable it can be!

Today in this blog, we are looking at and comparing the popular Datatag and Datatool security products for scooters and motorcycles in the UK - so without further ado, let’s get started, shall we?

Keep your scooter secure

Even the thought alone of having your motorcycle or scooter stolen will undoubtedly fill you with dread, and naturally, most of us who care about our machines will want to do as much as we can to prevent them from being stolen.

As I mentioned the ‘Lock, Chain, Cover’ slogan of the MET Police previously in regard to the recommendations for bike security, it is important to note that bike security doesn’t have to stop there. Generally, affordable security products such as datatag or data tool might also help to make you feel more rest assured when your bike is parked up unattended.

How does a Datatag Datadot work?

Datatag utilises a variety of methods that will permanently mark your motorbike, making it easily identifiable to the police in the event that it is stolen. Datatag considers their product to be multi-layered - and if we are honest, it is hard to disagree.
The Datatag motorcycle pack for instance includes:

  • UV Etch - a unique code permanently etched into parts of the bike.
  • Datadots - The dots can be applied to any surface of the bike.
  • Forensic DNA - A unique invisible DNA solution, which is linked to the Datatag database accessible 24/7 to the police forces.
  • Glass and Flat Transponders - containing unique code programmed into their circuit, both of these cannot be altered or deleted. To give you a sense of scale the glass transponder is roughly the size of a grain of rice!

And lastly, of course, the deterrent itself the warning labels, which lets the would-be thieves know the high risk of the motorcycle being traced should they be daring enough to steal it.

How does a Datatool DNA work?

Datatool has a vast collection of security products available, however, for this comparison, we shall be looking at the Datatool DNA product - which as you might have guessed by the DNA name works in a similar fashion to Datatag. 

Using the invisible microdot system, Datatool DNA allows users to place unique coded microdots in numerous places on their bikes. This means if your bike has been stolen and police manage to recover it, they can scan the system for the code and return it to its rightful owners.

Like Datatag, Datatool also has its own database which is shared with police forces throughout the UK. However, unlike the Dtatatag product, Datatool DNA is a bit simpler and consists of microdots and warning labels  (it does not include the transponders for instance).

Datatag vs Datatool: Which security marking system is best?

When deciding on which security marking system is best for you, will really depend on your personal preferences.

It is always best practice to think about what will work best for you depending on a variety of factors such as price range, looks, and where you park your motorcycle or scooter.

All in all, Datatag is a more comprehensive product with more elements to its arsenal, but that doesn’t rule out Datatool which still offers a great product at an affordable price.

How much does a Datatag cost?

When researching typically you can pick up the Datatag Motorcycle Kit for £89.99 via their website. However, if you head over to everyone’s favourite American bookseller Amazon - you can pick up for a tenner cheaper at £79.99!

On the other hand, if you wish to put the Datatag kit on your scooter, you’ll be pleased to know this kit can be picked up for £59.99 direct via their website or £69.99 from Amazon.

How much is a Datatool DNA?

When it comes to the Datatool DNA Kit, you will be able to pick one of these up for £39.99 directly via their website or through Amazon for £39.95 if you wish to utilise your Prime next-day delivery!

Where do you put a Datatag sticker?

For those out there who prefer their bike to look untouched and perfect, the data tag warning sticker needing to be placed in a visible location may come as a hard pill to swallow. However this sticker isn’t to ruin the aesthetic of your scoot, instead, it is there to act as a deterrent and a warning to potential thieves.

Yes, whilst it may look a little garish and out of place, it is essential to place it somewhere people can easily spot it. Popular placements include; the frame, headstock, yokes, and fuel tank.

How to apply a Datatag Datadot to your scooter

First things first, it is good practice to clean the surfaces of your bike before applying any of the data tag security items.

Application of the Datatag datadots is simply done by using the datatag dot applicator to place/brush the dots onto various important components on your bike including the suspension, engine, and any other parts you deem necessary - just make sure to place the dots in discrete areas that are not prone to normal wear and tear!

Where to install the Datatag Glass RFID Transponders

Installing the RFID transponders can be done easily using the needle tool that is provided. It is recommended that the transponders are placed very carefully within the seating area or the wiring loom.

Where to place the UV Etch

You can quickly and easily place the UV Etch in a few simple steps.

Remember, it takes just one to get a result and indeed Datatag has made a major impact on reducing theft, and the Crown Prosecution Service has a 100% successful prosecution rate when evidence has been supplied by Datatag:

  1. Carefully place the UV stencils sticker on places of the motorcycle such as the tank and bodywork as well as having at least one somewhere hidden externally.
  2. When you have positioned the stencils nicely, paint over the stencil stickers with the etching fluid using the etching fluid applicator. 
  3. Allow to dry for a minute or two before removing the stencil and then wipe over with a clean cloth. 
  4. Once this is done, the etch can be checked over with a UV light.

*Important: Be sure to follow the latest instructions with your product for up-to-date installation guidance.

How to use a Datatool correctly

Similar to the Datatag kit, you will want to give your motorbike or scoot a wipe-down before you start applying any of the Datatool kit components. 

After this, begin painting on the dots as well as the forensic DNA by using the brush supplied onto the desired areas of your bike - making sure that both the dots and the adhesive are applied sparingly.

Once your dots have been installed, lastly you can then add the warning label on the outside of your bike in a visible location then also the tamper-evident warning label under your seat or in a non-prominent location. Once these have been attached, then you’re done!

Where to install the Datadots and DNA

It is recommended that you attach these dots to areas such as under the seat, the wheels, trim and fairings, the dashboard, or even on the electrical components.

It is however worth noting that Datatool themselves advise not to place the dots anywhere near areas that get hot such as the exhaust or the cylinders.

What to do once you’ve installed your Datatags or Datatool

Once you have installed your Datatag you will need to register it. This means that if you ever find yourself in the position where your bike has been stolen when reporting this to the police you can inform them that it is data tagged.

The Datatag will stay with the scooter for as long as it exists and can be transferred to a new owner if you wish to sell your bike for a very small fee.

Protect your scooter with the correct insurance

So there you have it, here is our rundown on how to mark your scooter effectively and efficiently.

If you want to know about how to secure your bike, it is worth reading our Top 10 Motorcycle and Scooter Security Tips article.

Another way in which you can look after your scooter or motorcycle is by having the correct insurance. If you're in need of insurance for your motorcycle or scooter, make sure to get a Scooter or Motorcycle Insurance quote direct with Lexham!