Motorcycle Theft Prevention: Protecting Your Prized Possession
to a report released by the
National Insurance Crime Bureau back in October 2015, the good
news is that motorcycle thefts have decreased by 6% in 2014
compared to 2013 even though overall motorcycle sales increased by
4%. Even better news is that from 2011-2014 motorcycle thefts
decreased by 8%. So while more motorcycles are being sold, less
have been getting stolen. The bad news is, criminals would still
rather waste their time and energy trying to steal your motorcycle
rather than legally purchase one like everyone else.
Here are a few other facts gleaned from that report:
-42,856 motorcycles were
stolen in the U.S. in 2014 / On the positive side, from 01/01/2014
through 06/30/2015, 17,757 or 41% of the 42,856 bikes were
-Motorcycles are more likely to be stolen in warmer months. In August 2014 12% (4,965 motorcycles) were stolen and in July 2014 11% (4,850 bike) were stolen.
- California, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, New York, Indiana, Nevada, Georgia, and Maryland ranked 1-10 respectively with the most m/c thefts by state in 2014. These 10 states accounted for 58% of total thefts in the US.
-- In 2014 California had the most recoveries statewide (2,764). Nevada had the highest rate of recovery (40%) for the top 10 theft states.
-Las Vegas, NV, New York, NY, San Diego, CA, Miami, FL, San Francisco, CA, San Antonio, TX, Houston, TX, Indianapolis, IN, Los Angeles, CA, Albuquerque, NM, Austin, TX, Columbia, SC, Phoenix, AZ, Philadelphia, PA, Orlando, FL ranked 1-15 respectively as the cities with the most m/c thefts in 2014. These cities accounted for 7,523 of the 42,856 motorcycles stolen.
There's no absolute way to keep your motorcycle (or pretty much any vehicle for that matter) from getting stolen, but if you take a few precautions you can help reduce the chances of your motorcycle being a target for theft.
What Can You Do?
- Lock your ignition and forks. Additionally, use a cable lock or
disc lock to secure your bike or lock it to an immovable
- Whenever possible park your motorcycle in a locked garage--out
of sight out of mind. If you can, block your bike in with another
vehicle to make it harder for thieves to get the bike out.
- When parking on the street park in a well-lit area with high
foot traffic. If possible, avoid parking between vehicles or
near/against hedges that can provide cover for thieves.
- When staying at a hotel/motel try to get a room on the ground
floor and park right in front of your room (we've even heard of
people sneaking their bike into their room-once it's cooled down of
course). If you're staying at a large complex, ask if you can park
in front of the hotel entrance in view of the night clerk (a visit
from Mr. Andrew Jackson or even a pizza might help convince a
lonely night clerk to pay extra special attention to your pride and
- If you have to park in a parking structure try to park in view
of a security camera.
- If you park your motorcycle outside your house install a motion
light to help deter thieves. Cover your motorcycle with a non
descript (no branding, no bright colors) motorcycle cover.
- When locking your bike up lock it something heavy, difficult to
move, or something that can't be taken apart: e.g. a cement filled
pole, heavy steel, or another motorcycle.
- If you're really paranoid you might even consider installing a
hidden kill switch or create some kind manual manipulation that
makes your bike inoperable to an unsuspecting thief e.g. remove the
Types of Motorcycle Theft Deterrent Devices:
Disc locks are often the smallest and easiest to pack on a ride
with you. They're called disc locks because they are designed to
secure through the venting holes/slots on your brake rotor(s) to
prevent someone from rolling/riding your bike away. There are a
variety of different shapes and styles. The key things to pay
attention to are the size of the holes or slots in your rotor and
make sure that the pin or shank on the lock you choose will fit.
Also, if you get a lock that slides onto the disc make sure the
lock is long enough to reach a hole or slot in the disc.
The Kryptonite Kryptolok DFS 10 Disc Lock
sku="313-2062" title=""]The Kryptonite Kryptolok DFS 10 Disc
Lock[/mageProductLink] is an extremely popular disc lock. It
features a hardened drop forged steel body with a 10mm diameter
pin, 8mm slot width and 77mm slot length. The lock comes with a
carrying pouch that you can secure to your bike or toss into you
Kryptonite Evolution Disc Lock Premium Pack
The Kryptonite Evolution
Disc Lock is an extremely heavy duty option that offers a little
more versatility than DFS 10 lock as it can be used to secure a
chain, cable or possibly even a neck lock on some motorcycles. The
lock features a 14mm hardened MAX-Performance steel shackle that
resists cutting and leverage attacks and a reinforced
anti-drill/pull cylinder protection system. The [mageProductLink
sku="313-2111" title=""]Kryptonite Evolution Disc Lock Premium
Pack[/mageProductLink] is a great buy because it comes with a
carrying pouch and Hi-Vis orange disc lock reminder cable that you
can loop around the end of your handlebar so you don't forget to
remove the lock when you're ready to leave.
As the name implies these are heavy duty security devices that are
designed to secure your bike by looping them through your
motorcycle frame and/or wheels. For best results you should use a
cable or chain to secure your bike to a heavy or immovable object
or lock several bikes together.
Kryptonite Kryptoflex 1018 Key Cable Lock
sku="313-2058" title=""]The Kryptonite Kryptoflex 1018 Key Cable
Lock [/mageProductLink]measures 6 feet long and is made up of a
heavy-duty 10mm braided steel cable with a waterproof vinyl skin to
protect your bike's surfaces. The Lock head rotates 360 degrees for
easier handling during lock up and removal. The nice thing about a
cable lock is that you can run it through items like your helmet
and jacket to secure them to the bike as well. Cable locks like
this can be looped around a sissy bar or stored in a saddlebag or
backpack for easy carrying while riding.
OnGuard Akita Series 15 foot Cable
If you're going to be
riding with a group the OnGuard Akita Series 15 foot Cable is a
smart choice. A little more weight to carry than the Kryptoflex
1018, this Akita cable offers 15 feet of steel braided cable making
it easier to lock up multiple bikes or loop through a steel
structure. This cable doesn't come with a lock so you'll have to
provide your own.
Kryptonite New York Chain and Evolution Series 4 Disc Lock
For extreme situations
there's the[mageProductLink sku="313-2112" title=""] Kryptonite New
York Chain and Evolution Series 4 Disc Lock[/mageProductLink]. With
this you get a chain comprised of 6-sided, 11mm, hexagonal,
heat-treated, boron manganese steel chain links and a 14 mm
hardened max performance steel shackle with double deadbolt locking
mechanism. The chain is just over 5-1/2 feet long and is should
probably be carried in a saddlebag (or around your neck if you're
into Run DMC).
Alarms are a great theft deterrent. We've all been woken up in the
middle of the night due to a car alarm squealing away, so we know
how annoying they can be-just think how loud it is when you're
right next to the vehicle.
Bully Billet Steel Alarm Disc Lock
If you want an easy,
inexpensive, and more universal application alarm then the
[mageProductLink sku="313-2243" title=""]Bully Billet Steel Alarm
Disc Lock[/mageProductLink] should be right up your alley. Similar
to the Kryptonite Kryptolok DFS 10 Disc Lock, this will slide over
and secure to your brake rotor. The big difference is this lock has
a movement sensor integrated into it that emits a 110 decibel alarm
when the lock is disturbed. Not only can this help scare a thief
away but if you forget to remove the lock you'll definitely
remember as soon as you move the bike.