How to Prevent Motorcycle Theft
You love your motorcycle. It gives you a sense of freedom when you are on the open road that is hard to duplicate. Motorcycles are often targeted for theft, though, so it’s important to take every possible precaution to secure your bike when you leave it outside in order to prevent motorcycle theft.
The Most Stolen Motorcycles
Motorcycle thieves seem to prefer certain bikes over others. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) between 2013 and 2016, overall thefts were up 2 percent, for a total of 46,467 stolen motorcycles. For 2016, the NICB reported the following statistics regarding how many reported thefts there were of the most-stolen motorcycles:
- Honda: 9,052
- Yamaha: 7,723
- Suzuki: 6,729
- Kawasaki: 5,221
- Harley-Davidson: 4,963
Most Common Motorcycle Theft Methods
Someone Rides Your Motorcycle Away
This is one of the most common forms of theft. It only requires one person with a few basic skills. All a thief needs to know is how to defeat your locks and how to jump-start your engine, and they can easily ride away on your bike.
They Put Your Motorcycle in a Van
This requires multiple people to accomplish, but it is possible. It requires very little, in fact, especially if your bike is not chained to a fixed, unmovable object. Your motorcycle is simply rolled (or lifted, if necessary) onto a dolly and loaded into a van, and off it goes. Once they have your motorcycle at a secure location, they can disable any locking mechanisms.
They Take It from a Home
Many people believe that their motorcycles are safer at home, in the garage, so they are not as careful to secure the motorcycle there. Motorcycle thieves know this, so many motorcycles are stolen by breaking into the garage or shed that house them. Don’t be fooled by your electric garage door, either. It is surprisingly easy to disable an electric garage door mechanism, so the door can be manually opened. This requires no forced entry and leaves no trace.
Steps to Prevent Motorcycle Theft
Use Locking Devices and Alarms
It is a good idea to put as many obstacles as possible in the path of a potential thief. This can include devices like a disc lock alarm. This will immobilize the wheel of your bike and make it impossible for someone to simply drive it away.
Combine this with a really heavy cable lock that you secure to an unmovable post, and this is a pretty good deterrent, providing many steps a thief would have to take in order to ride the bike away or lift it into a van. Kryptonite locks for motorcycles are an excellent product.
Carefully Choose Parking Places
Wherever possible, park in well-lit places that are in plain view of the public. If you are at a place, such as the beach or an outdoor café, where you can keep an eye on the bike, then park accordingly. If your motorcycle has a hidden kill switch, use it, and always lock your ignition!
Install Better Locks on Your Storage Compartments
Sometimes, thieves don’t try to steal your motorcycle, but instead break into your storage compartments. It is important to have excellent locks on these compartments to protect any valuables you may be carrying with you. The original locks that come with these storage compartments may not be as secure as you want. Consult motorcycle locksmiths to see if there are more secure locks for motorcycles.
Hidden Kill Switches and Ignition Locks
Use your bike’s hidden kill switch, if it has one. If your motorcycle does not have a hidden kill switch, one can be installed, and it’s a good idea to have it. And, of course, always lock your ignition
Install a Motorcycle GPS Tracking Device
Finally, to prevent motorcycle theft, use a motorcycle GPS tracker, such as LoJack or the Coban GPS GPRS SMS Real-time trackerTK103A. A motorcycle GPS tracking device can help law enforcement locate your motorcycle quickly if it does get stolen.