Motorcycle theft prevention can be tricky. There’s no one tried and true method to protect your motorcycle in every situation. Also, with criminals becoming more crafty, motorcycles can be stolen in the blink of an eye. Although expensive and popular bikes are stolen most often, even junkers and clunkers aren’t safe from being nabbed. Protecting your motorcycle from theft requires you to think like a thief, follow some guidelines, and maybe invest a few bucks.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that there were 40,830 motorcycle thefts across the country in 2019. Some of these stolen motorcycles were recovered, but many were never seen again. Security systems can help deter thieves, but none work to deter all criminal acts.
First, think like a thief. Criminals love to go after bikes that are easy to nab. Motorcycles that are sitting out, unattended, especially in isolated areas are more prone to being stolen. Criminals love dark areas where they are not likely to be seen while they do their dirty work. And, beyond the value of your bike itself, thieves love to nab accessories and aftermarket parts that they can sell anonymously.
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It takes only seconds to use a bolt cutter and bypass many locks. Tracking devices are helpful, but can be removed if thieves steal your bike. Across the United States, security devices are being sold to help prevent theft, but some of the best tips involve taking preventative measures to keep your bike from the eyes of thieves.
Applying that knowledge, and some statistics on motorcycle theft, here are some basic guidelines to follow to keep your motorcycle safe from theft.
Tips to Prevent Motorcycle Theft
1. Keep it covered! When you aren’t on your bike, keep it out of the eyes of criminals. Your best bet, of course, is a locked garage. But even a motorcycle cover will help protect your bike from more than just the elements: criminals are less inclined to investigate and see what is under the cover and your bike will be less likely to be stolen.
2. Lock your ignition. It sounds basic, but locking your ignition and removing the key is one step that would prevent a large number of motorcycle thefts. It only takes a moment and provides a lot of extra protection.
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3. Keep your bike in eyeshot. If you are running into the store, getting a bite to eat, or hanging with your buddies, people will be far less likely to mess with your bike if you (and others) are nearby. Park your bike near the front of a business, or near a large window where you can view it as you dine. Simply having a visible presence of yourself (and others) near your bike is enough to deter many thieves. And, if someone does start to mess with your bike, you can intervene.
4. Park in a well-lit area. If you are parking your bike overnight, be sure to stay in a well-lit area. Avoid parking in isolated locations, if possible.
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5. Purchase an audible alarm for your bike. Locks are great, but most aren’t foolproof. An audible alarm, however, sends a message! Prices range from just a few bucks to several hundred and alarm systems have a variety of different features, so shop around for the best security for your buck.
6. Photograph your motorcycle, as well as any accessories on your bike. In the event your motorcycle is stolen, this will help law enforcement locate it. Also, it can help your insurance claim, if you have coverage for accessories, to document your losses.
7. Use a hidden kill switch. Some bikes come with kill switches pre-installed. If yours does not, you can fairly easily install one yourself.
8. Invest in a solid cable lock. There’s an ongoing race between cable lock manufacturers and criminals. Manufacturers come up with a secure lock, criminals learn to destroy it, and then the cycle repeats. Spend a few extra bucks and buy the best lock on the market, and secure your bike to a solid, immovable object like a light pole.
9. Secure your motorcycle to your buddy’s motorcycle when you are traveling together. Remember not to secure your motorcycle to a stranger’s motorcycle, or you might be in for trouble!
10. Keep all identification, insurance information, and your bike’s registration on your person instead of with your bike.
Motorcycle theft remains a major problem in both cities and rural areas across the country. As the values of motorcycles increase, thefts rise as well. Having your bike stolen sucks, so do all you can to protect it.
At Kass & Moses, we know all about protection. We protect injured bikers when we represent them in court. We have the experience on our side to help bikers after motorcycle crashes get the settlements they deserve for their pain and suffering and damages. Contact 1-800-MOTORCYCLE today if you have questions about a motorcycle crash. Also, follow us on Twitter for the latest motorcycle news!