Unlike the self contained, capsule security of cars, motorcycles’ lack of doors, locks, or hoods makes them especially vulnerable to theft. Anyone can access the engine or internal electronics - especially if you park on the street, and quickly drive off.Like bicycles, motorcycles can easilly be anchored and lfited up. Security creates a need to hybridize the ease-of-access of a motorcycle and the security of a succinct, closed car. In this blog post, I will be detailing some of the realities of motorcycle theft, and providing some detail as how motorcycle owners can prevent their bike from getting stolen.
Statistics of Theft
The most commonly stolen motorcycles are Honda, with Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki ,and Harley-Davidson leading. Since 2013, all these brands thefts have somewhat diminished, besides Harley-Davidson, which has increased. California is the top state for motorcycle theft, with Texas and New York leading closely behind. The increased usage, hence, street availability of motorcycles in the Summer, makes it the most common season for motorcycle thefts. The higher demand for motorcycle parts during the summer creates a higher incentive for thieves to steal parts from vehicles, which bumps up the theft rate significantly.
How Motorcycles are Stolen
One common method of stealing a motorcycle is rolling it into a van or truck, and simply driving it away - a rather quick process, especially if the bike isn’t locked and can easily be rolled up a ramp. Even if this isn’t the case, a small collection of people could easily lift the bike. Once inside the van, the motorcycle will no longer be visible to passersby - making it a much more stealthy and inconspicuous theft than driving away in a stolen car. Once the bike arrives at another location, they are able to disassemble the structure of the bike, taking off any security device.
Another method of motorcycle theft involves, simply, the thief starting up the bike and riding away on it. Many people don’t even lock their motorcycles - making it easy for thieves with double sided wafer pics,Try-Outs, or even a combination of determination and a screwdriver to start the ignition and drive away.
How to Protect your Motorcycle
One possibility is utilizing a ground anchor to fix your motorcycle to the floor of your property - these devices are usually installed inside home garages to maximize security. For those without home garages, this is not a practical option - so the best route to follow is to purchase a high security lock. Most Motorcycle owners prefer Disk Locks or U-Locks to padlocks because they eliminate the need to purchase a heavy chain. They offer increased convenience, but you’re going to need to purchase a few of them if you want to not use a chain at all. Place the U-Lock through the wheel, so it will stop it from rotating, or use it to lock the wheel onto a metal pole or any sort of anchor point. Make sure to invest in a U-Lock that releases on both sides of the shackle - this will cost any bike thief additional time when attempting to steal your bike.
Dick locks can’t be attached to an anchor - they secure your bike through bolting through a hole in the disk break - stopping the bike’s wheel from being able to spin. It’s best to use two disk locks on both wheels, but if you only have one, attach it to the front wheel as it’s much easier for thieves to remove. Don’t ever forget to take off the disk lock before riding your bike.
As far as padlocks go, you have tons of options - but when you’re making your purchase you should be paying heed to the thickness of the material, it’s weight, and the presence of a shroud that covers the sides of the shackle. Rounded cuts on the shackle indicates the presence of ball bearings in the lock, which upgrades its security level. It’s important to utilize multiple padlocks - as this works as both a deterrent method and a surefire way to upgrade the security level of the bike.
We recommend buying the strongest and sturdiest security chain as possible - these can be secured from various points to add additional padlocks and chains, as the chain is weaved through the multiple open components of the bike to an anchor point. We recommend getting a strong chain as the stronger the chain is, the more likely it is to resist attack from bolt cutters - spring for a chain with at least a 63 rating on the Rockwell scale.
There’s many varieties of alarms - shock sensors, tilt sensors, GPS tracker, proximity sensors, etc. Shock sensors go off if someone hits or shakes the bike. The tilt sensor goes off if the bike is moved from one side to another. GPS notifications tell you the exact location of the bike which is helpful in the event of a theft. And best of all, a remote kill switch allows users to remotely sever the link between the battery and bike starter, rendering the bike incapable of driving.
If you’re really worried about having your bike stolen - whether you can only park your bike away from view or if you live in a high crime area, theft insurance is a fantastic strategy to implement. Think of it this way - if your bike is an investment, it’s worth investing some additional funds to protect and insure it - if the bike ever gets stolen, you can get fully compensated - simply make sure to call the police before you call the insurance brokers, in order to maximize your chances of relocating your vehicle. It’s also a great idea to put custom markings on the motorcycle to aid in it’s recovery - consider utilizing products like DataDot and SmartWater to mark parts on the bike.
In Advance Security
Make sure to lock your handlebars and place your bike within view of your property - at the very least this will act as a deterrent for any thieves who want to avoid being seen. Make sure that the various layers of security that you use with your bike are separate - meaning that they can’t all be removed in one fell swoop, or can be controlled with a single key. Consider using a motorcycle tarp as a deterrent - even consider buying a tarp branded with the logo of a less appealing motorcycle brand to make potential thieves simply pass by.
It’s important, in bike security, to understand that every bike needs custom levels of protection - do whatever works specifically for you and your situation. Don’t go crazy or overthink things - as long as you stay practical, your security system will be both convenient and effective.