Motorcycles typically get stolen for several reasons. Some people steal them simply to joyride around, and the theft was one of opportunity. Others steal motorcycles to commit additional crimes with them. The acceleration, maneuverability and smaller size of a motorcycle makes it an ideal getaway vehicle, depending on what the crime is. Finally, others steal motorcycles to strip them for parts or to sell them, and the theft is how the thief makes a living. This is the toughest type of thief to protect your motorcycle from, because he is better prepared to deal with typical motorcycle security measures than an amateur looking for a quick ride. The same features that make a motorcycle fun to ride make it easier to steal.
Motorcycles are small, and the ignition is in the open air, without doors or a roof protecting it from burglars. A thief therefore has easier access to the motorcycle controls, and he can also tow a bike away without much difficulty if he has the time and the equipment.
The motorcycle’s smaller stature also makes it harder to locate it after it has been stolen. Motorcycle’s are easily hidden and stored. However, this also works to your advantage when protecting your bike from thieves.
Keep your motorcycle out of sight when not using it. A cover helps protect it from the rain, and also makes the bike harder to see if you choose a neutral color. The cover also hides the type if motorcycle and its features, making it less of a target for thieves looking for specific types of bikes.
Park your motorcycle strategically. Keep it in a garage if you have one, and park it close to cars when out in public. If your bike is parked by itself, it is a more attractive target.
Always use the ignition lock. They are far from fool-proof, and an experienced thief works around them. However, an ignition lock provides another barrier that takes time to break. The harder your bike is to steal, and the longer it takes a thief to steal it, the safer it is. Many bikes that get stolen either didn’t have an ignition lock or didn’t have it properly engaged at the time of the theft.
Lock your bike to a proper barrier whenever you can. Use a strong lock to anchor your motorcycle to a lamppost or a rack that is bolted to the ground when parked in public. Use a thick chain and run it through the center of the motorcycle’s frame.
A disc lock is also useful. It locks onto the bike like an additional brake, and the wheel can’t turn until the lock is removed.
An alarm system is an additional theft barrier. It functions in the same fashion as a car alarm, creating a loud noise when it gets disturbed.
Some cars have kill switches that shut off the fuel supply to the motor when the car gets tampered with. Motorcycles have something similar, and a thief won’t know where the kill switch is located. They are inconspicuous and difficult to spot.
Never leave your helmet or any supplies with the bike when it is parked, unless those items are secured. Some motorcycles have a storage space with a lock. Make sure the lock is strong if you have one, and always lock the storage locker when leaving the motorcycle unsupervised.
If you don’t have a storage space on the bike, keep your belongings in a backpack when you use the motorcycle. Keep the backpack with you once the motorcycle’s parked.
Whether you use your motorcycle for regular transportation or just for recreation, it represents an investment that you don’t want to lose. Take as much time and care protecting your motorcycle as you did purchasing it. Keep detailed records of your bike and its components as well, so you can prove a stolen motorcycle is yours if it gets recovered.