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2015 Motorcycle Thefts Rise 6 Percent

Chaparral Motorsports
April 15, 2016

Last month we posted an article about motorcycle theft prevention, and in that article it talked about the 6% decline in US motorcycle thefts from 2013-2014. Yesterday the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) posted its report for 2014-2015 and it shows we've taken a turn for the worse with a 6% increase in thefts. A total of 45,555 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2015 versus 42,856 in 2014. The bright side (if there is one when it comes to stolen motorcycles) is that even with this 6% increase we have experienced a 32% decline in thefts since 2006 when 66,774 bikes were stolen.

In categories such as: states with most motorcycle stolen, cities with most motorcycles stolen, manufacturers with most motorcycle stolen, and months with the most/least amount of thefts, much of the information (other than the figures for the number of bikes stolen) is the same from 2014/2105. There are a few fluctuations with states and cities changing positions in these categories, but the constant is the majority of motorcycles are stolen in the summer months, notably August and fewer bikes are stolen in the winter months, notably February. Obviously this bit of info makes sense as those are the times when most people bring their bikes out or store them away.

The interesting thing is that for 2014 motorcycle unit sales were at 483,526, up 3.8% (according to the Motorcycle Industry Council) from the year prior, even though thefts were down 6%. While we were unable to track down final motorcycle unit sales numbers for 2015, what we did find was that as of the third quarter of 2015, total motorcycle sales were at 413,128, a 4.7% increase compared to the same period last year, but now motorcycle thefts have completely swung the in the opposite direction.

On a more positive note 1,644 more motorcycles were recovered in 2015 for a total of 16,850 units ( 11% increase) compared to 15,206 units recovered in 2014. Last year there was actually a 1% decrease in recoveries when comparing 2014/2013. 2013 saw 15,431 motorcycles recovered and in 2014 there were 15,206 motorcycles recovered, a difference of 225 less recoveries.

Below is a 2014/2015 comparison based on the statics in the NICB report:

2015 2014
Top 10 states w/ most reported motorcycle thefts (# of bikes)
California (7,221), California (6,355),
Florida (4,758), Florida (3,981),
Texas (3,403), Texas (3,274),
South Carolina (2,160), South Carolina (2,146),
New York (1,902), North Carolina (2,117),
North Carolina (1,866), New York (1,544),
Nevada (1,408), Indiana (1,508),
Georgia (1,393) Nevada (1,488),
Indiana (1,333), Georgia (1,455)
Virginia (1,253). Maryland (1,127).
Top 10 cities for motorcycle thefts
New York (1,340), Las Vegas (1,163),
Las Vegas (1,042), New York (1,034),
San Francisco (729), San Diego (650),
San Diego (717), Miami (541),
Miami (713), San Francisco (516),
Houston (517), San Antonio (447),
Los Angeles (486) Houston (439),
San Antonio (431), Indianapolis (422),
Indianapolis (375), Los Angeles (397)
Albuquerque (373). Albuquerque, N.M. (390).
Top 10 most stolen motorcycles
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (8,674 thefts), American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (8,045),
Yamaha Motor Corporation (7,214), Yamaha Motor Corporation (6,728),
American Suzuki Motor Corporation (6,065), American Suzuki Motor Corporation (5,987),
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (4,920), Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (4,497),
Harley Davidson, Inc. (4,416), Harley Davidson, Inc. (4,146),
Taotao Group Co. Ltd (2,757), Taotao Group Co. Ltd (1,730),
KTM Sportmotorcycle AG (630), Astronautical Bashan (535), J
Astronautical Bashan (620), onway Group Co., Ltd. (503),
Jonway Group Co., KTM Sportmotorcycle
Ltd. (520) and Kymco U.S.A., Inc. (512). Genuine Cycle (449).
Month most bikes were stolen
August (5,269) August (4,965)
Month least bikes were stolen
February (2,093) February (1,978)


For those that didn't read last month's article here a reprint of our tips on how you can help keep your motorcycle safe.

What Can You Do?

  1. Lock your ignition and forks. Additionally, use a cable lock or disc lock to secure your bike or lock it to an immovable object.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 joy).
  5. If you have to park in a parking structure try to park in view of a security camera.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 main fuse.


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