The Cyclone C-11 is a motorcycle alarm and immobiliser system sold in the UK by a british based company, http://www.motorbikealarm.co.uk/. It costs about £23, delivered and has received many positive reviews. I decided that the time has come to get one…
I really wanted some peace of mind whenever I leave the bike anywhere vulnerable (which is basically anywhere public where I won’t be able to see it for a while – even my workplace isn’t 100% safe). I also wanted another layer of security at home – in my garage, which is locked and alarmed as well as being listened to by a big scary dog.
Being a 125, it’s relatively simple to bypass the ignition switch very easily and hot-wire the thing. That plus the ease of handling and lack of ‘kill yourself’ power makes these bikes especially attractive to your common garden opportunistic thief.
So the C-11 offers the following features that will work on the CBF125:
- Immobiliser – will not power the ignition system without the key fob – the starter switch on the bike does not turn the starter motor.
- Remote start – start the engine with a button on the key fob.
- Anti-hijack – arm the alarm whilst the bike is being ridden and the engine will stop as well as the alarm being triggered.
- Panic button – makes the alarm go off whilst the engine is running, or not.
- Location function – makes the alarm ‘chirp’ and flash the indicators to let you know where the bike is (such as in a busy shopping centre car park).
- And… a very loud, OR silent(!) alarm, with which you can adjust the sensitivity.
It’s also worth noting that when installing, you can pick and choose the features you want and leave out the ones you don’t.
The system comes with a wiring diagram specific to the bike – in the case of the CBF, it’s quite straightforward to follow. If you use the immobiliser, you can only start the bike via the key fob – the starter button is disabled on the handlebars and you must bypass the immobiliser in order to use it. You also need the key in the ignition and switched ON in order for the instruments, indicators and brake light to work. The key switch controls those whilst the immobiliser governs the fuel injection system, ECM/ECU and ignition system.
The remote start option isn’t entirely keyless although it will start the engine and run the headlight and tail lights by itself, then you just use the key to unlock the steering and turn on the other bits. It still gave my kids a nice shock when they walked past the bike! You can bypass the immobiliser fairly easily in order to ‘get you home’ if it has failed or the key fob batteries have depleted.
It is worth noting that there is a slightly more expensive Cyclone V2 which will do the whole lot and allow keyed or keyless starting, whilst employing an anti-hotwire feature that sets off the alarm/immobiliser if the ignition is switched on whilst the system is armed. In hindsight, it’s probably better suited to the CBF125.
You also get a 120dB siren and a blue LED (which is very bright). You mount that in the instrument area to serve as a warning when the system is armed. It’s optional though. A word about securing the various bits – they are backed with sticky foam material but I have found it inadequate, so backed it up with cable ties and glue. Belt and braces, if you like.
The alarm function itself is great – very loud and you can adjust the sensitivity of the alarm over 5 steps. When triggered, it gives you a warning chirping sound, then if you trigger it again it will go full-whack for 13 seconds. You’ll get a headache for sure. The key fob has a very long range (I can trigger things from anywhere in my house) – it’s quoted at 100 metres.
I (and others with technical knowledge) think the build quality of these alarms is fantastic – good quality connectors, thick, long wires, solid thick box of tricks which should be waterproof, solid key fobs, straightforward instructions and so on. Technical support is also excellent and based in the UK – via email or telephone. It’s pretty much a one man show and according to many accounts, he is an expert who is well respected by pretty much anyone who has asked him a question. Delivery of the alarm was extremely fast.
Here’s a short demonstration video of arming, triggering, disarming, and remote-starting my CBF125:
I won’t go into too much detail, especially not a How-To, about how to fit one of these, or where to fit, due to obvious security reasons – once a thief knows how a system is installed, it makes it a lot weaker. I will say that you should be confident with electronics and/or automotive electrical systems before you attempt to fit one of these alarms. The company that supply them offer a fitting service for a fee.
A considerably skilled friend from the CBF125 Owner’s Group on Facebook also bought one for their 2009 (M9) CBF and we fitted out both our bikes together. The procedure is exactly the same for both the 2009/10 and 2011 variants of the CBF, as are the functions on the alarm once it’s all done. If you do it yourself, you should properly hard-wire the connections with soldering and heat-shrink, as well as camouflaging the various coloured wires with some kind of flexible conduit. This stops thieves spying for the right wire to cut and actually blends everything in with the bike’s own wiring loom, so the untrained eye would never really know the difference. It also protects against rubbing.
So far I have ridden on a 40 mile trip with no issues whatsoever. I also know quite a few other people who have these alarms (some of whom have more than one in more than one bike) and swear by them. They are excellent value for money and in my opinion, form another good layer of security for your pride and joy. It’s £23 (or £30 for the V2) and has good UK based support. Of course, you’ll probably never stop a determined professional, but frankly, the CBF125 is not an expensive or rare machine, so is unlikely to appeal to thieves of that calibre.