For motorcyclists, an accident is the worst thing that can happen with your ride. The second worst thing is theft. Every year, thousands of motorcycles are stolen, and for die-hard riders who put money, time, and effort into this thrilling lifestyle, replacing their bike can cost thousands of dollars.
When does it happen?
Most motorcycle theft happens in the warmer months when bikes are hitting the open road. June, July, and August are the prime months to be aware of theft, and take necessary precautions to avoid it. The months with the least thefts are, unsurprisingly, December, February, and January. When it comes to getting stolen motorcycles returned to their owners, the success rate is around 50/50, but this can also depend on how your bike was stolen.
How does it happen?
- Sometimes, it's as easy as walking up to a bike, disabling anti-theft devices and locks, jump starting the engine, and hitting the road. It only takes one person. Motorcycle theft can happen anywhere, but those looking to steal a motorcycle will find a situation that makes it easy. If it could take only seconds to grab your bike while attracting little attention, you're a prime target. If anyone nearby notices and assumes the bike belongs to the thief, they won't look for any distinguishing features.
- "Grab and go” is a typical method for motorcycle theft. This takes at least two perps who drive up in a van or other large vehicle, jump out, load your bike, and drive away. These perps are more likely to get caught. Nonetheless, no one wants this to happen.
- A break-in is between these two types of thievery. If you keep your bike in a garage or shed, break-ins can occur without proper security features in place, and the thieves can either ride away on your bike, or load it into their transporting vehicle.
Any of these situations can occur without preventative measures in place. Read on to find out how you can deter thieves from trying to steal your ride.
How to Prevent Theft
There are many precautions you can take to improve your bike's security, but locking up is one of the most crucial. Lock your bike every single time you step away. Even with a motorcycle insurance policy, you might not be able to get your bike back after it's stolen, especially if there weren't any preventative measures in place.
When locking up your bike, it's best not to do so through a wheel, as it's easy to remove. Locking your bike through its frame, or in the gap between the engine block and the downpipes, is more secure. Lock the chain tight – there shouldn’t be much slack between the bike and the floor. If you aren't able to do this, you need a shorter chain. A loose chain is much more vulnerable to sledgehammer attacks and bolt cutters.
Whenever possible, park your motorcycle in a well-lit area, and make sure to add an audible alarm that will make noise if someone attempts to steal it. Being noticeable is key – make sure your bike is easy to spot on and off the road. If there's a decoration or feature on your bike that distinguishes it from others, people will be more likely to notice it, which offers a higher chance of getting your bike returned, should it get stolen.
Depending where you keep your bike overnight, you should think about installing a motion-activated spotlight and alarm system. If you keep your bike in a garage, park it as far away from the door as possible. You can also park your car in front of your bike to make it difficult for someone to get it out. If possible, lock your bike even when it's in the garage. Parking on the street is riskier, so make sure to use a cover that doesn't draw attention and will fully hide your bike if you're doing so.
The final just-in-case measure is finding a solid insurance policy for your bike. Get the mandatory protection you need, while ensuring you're covered if theft does happen to occur. With motorcycle theft this common, its best to be prepared. Check out Armour Insurance's motorcycle insurance page to discover how to best protect your bike this summer.
This spring, we'll take you through a full Summer Insurance Guide via the Armour blog. Stay tuned to see our latest entries on how to have the best & safest summer with Armour Insurance!