Unfortunately, a bike is a lot easier to steal than a car because it is a lot easier to make yourself unseen. Also, cars have many inbuilt features that can prevent theft. Motorcycles, on the other hand, are a lot more vulnerable and you should take extra measures when it comes to securing yours.
Why you should protect your bike
The statistics in the United States do not look very well when it comes to motorcycles. They look better than the ones that involve the theft of cars, but there were 276.3 million motor vehicles that were registered in 2018 in the US of which only around 13 million were motorcycles, so there is a logic behind it.
In 2018, 41,674 motorcycle thefts have been reported and that is a bit much if you consider that this means 114.17 motorcycles a day. To reduce the risk of your motorcycle being stolen, there are some things you can do that will make it harder for thieves to get away with it.
If you use some of the things we recommend in the following section of this article, thieves might not even get close to your bike.
Locks – the best choice to prevent a theft
Use various locks, not just one
The harder you make it for somebody to steal your motorcycle, the less of a target it will be because if it takes a lot of time to steal it, the chances of getting caught are a lot higher. Therefore, there are some locks that you need to add to your motorcycle in order to make that happen.
Some people use only one type of lock, but the more you use, the more you will decrease the chances of theft.
Transform it into a habit
The mistake that some people make is thinking that nobody will steal their bike this time and it is more convenient not to lock it. Does ‘Just this once, I will lock it tomorrow.’ sound familiar?
Well, just this once can be the time when your motorcycle gets stolen. So it is recommended that you make a habit of locking it every time you need to park it in order to tend to other business without any worries.
Attach your motorcycle to a heavy object
A great practice is to lock your motorcycle attached to an object that is very heavy and that people will not be able to move around. In addition, you should choose a chain that is made especially for this which is usually hard or even impossible to cut or break in any way. This will keep your bike safe and will definitely keep away people interested in stealing your bike.
Types of locks
- Use an ignition lock
Locking your ignition is a process that takes no time and you will be very happy that you have used it because most stolen motorcycles get stolen because the ignition hasn’t been locked. It is not hard to use such a lock and it has proven to be very effective in preventing motorcycle thefts, so don’t be lazy and take that extra minute to lock your ignition.
- Use a fork lock
Even if you don’t have an ignition lock on if you use fork locks, nobody will be able to move your motorcycle if you don’t unlock them. There is a multitude of fork locks present on the market and most of them come at a very fair price, so don’t be afraid to use such a lock because it can make a huge difference when it comes to the thieves picking your bike as an easy target.
- Use a disc brake lock
A disk brake lock will not allow your motorcycle to move at all and is one of the most effective locks that you can use which makes most thieves stay away because the time they have to spend to get it off is long and they prefer quick gigs.
The only inconvenience with this type of lock is that it will take more space while you store it, but what’s best, to have a bike with more luggage or to not have a bike at all?
An alarm system is very effective in keeping thieves away
Installing a sound alarm that starts ringing when someone is doing something to your bike is very useful. Even though the sound is similar to other car alarms, it is enough to catch your attention and make you look outside the window to see what’s going on and you will be able to hear the sound immediately so you might be able to prevent the theft.
Furthermore, if you have such an alarm and a thief is messing with your motorcycle, when they hear the sound, they will run away because they will not risk getting caught. Also, an alarm sticker attached to your bike will keep thieves away. If you have both you will decrease the chances of being a theft victim.
Cameras also do a great job
If you park your motorbike in your backyard or in front of your house, a great thing that you can purchase is a security camera. Most such devices give you the option of checking in real-time what happens to your bike and are also very useful because, in the case that your motorcycle will really get stolen, you will be able to identify the thief easily.
Where you park your motorcycle matters
The most important thing that you have to consider when trying to prevent your bike from being stolen is the fact that the more people see it parked in a certain place, the more susceptible it is to theft. If someone is interested in stealing your bike, most likely they will follow your patterns.
These include the time you park the bike, the time you take it on the road again, for how long the motorcycle will be parked in a certain place, for example, if you leave it somewhere during the night, every night, every two nights and so on.
The second most important thing is to take into account that the harder it seems to steal the motorcycle, the less attractive it will be for thieves. So adding as many visible protection strategies as you can prevent it from being stolen.
Therefore, when it comes to parking, there are some tips you should consider:
- If you can’t park your bike in a garage and you have to leave it outside, always cover it because not knowing what is underneath the covers will make it less interesting. Most thieves will not risk getting caught for a cheap motorcycle.
- Never park it in a dark area. This is very important because, as we have said before, thieves set targets that are less likely to get them caught. So if the area is well lit, they will not risk being seen by anybody and will choose another bike that is easier to steal.
- If there are any other motorcycles parked in the area, park yours near the others, but never forget that it should always be in plain view or in organized parking lots. You should park it somewhere else only if you don’t have a choice.
One popular method that motorcycle thieves use is to follow you during the night or even during the day to see where you’re parking the bike and what types of security measures the vehicle has in place. Depending on how they size up the situation, they can then come back to your motorcycle with all the tools needed to steal it.
Thus, one good motorcycle theft prevention is to be vigilant when approaching your destination or a parking lot and focus on your mirrors for a few blocks to see if there’s anyone appearing to follow you. This is particularly useful when going home since you should be familiar with what’s normal in your area and what is suspicious.
If you notice that someone appears to be following you, you should try to lose them and divert from your usual route by going around the block, making a U-turn, or you can pull over and let them pass. If the person still appears to be following you, then he or she is probably up to no good.
You shouldn’t go home or to your school or company’s parking lot until you have managed to lose them. How often do motorcycles get stolen this way? Very often, but if you are vigilant, once the thief will notice you’re aware that you’re being followed, he or she will stop the pursuit and go look for another victim.
Install a kill switch
Apart from using preventative methods, such as a motorcycle U-lock, you should also consider installing a kill switch if your bike doesn’t already come with one installed. If you already have one, you will need to use it to shut off the bike instead of the key. Then, if possible, you should also use a hidden kill switch.
Having two kill switches can improve your motorcycle security, and as always, when looking to prevent motorcycle theft, it is not about how to keep your motorcycle from being stolen since no method is infallible. Instead, you want to add as many extra steps for the thieves to take in order to steal your bike that they find your vehicle not worth their time or energy.
This is why having a kill switch installed is such a good idea. With a kill switch, the engine will only start once it receives a signal from the key. This is why it is important to shut off the bike using the kill switch since if you use the key, the bike will be able to start requiring a signal.
You can also wire up a hidden spring-loaded switch that needs to be held down when you push the start button. The thief won’t be aware that a spring-loaded switch is installed, and this is a simple yet very effective way of foiling an attempted theft when your bike is parked.
Get a tracking device
If you’re serious about preventing motorcycle theft, then you should also consider investing in a high-quality tracking device that you can hide anywhere on your bike. The tracking devices currently available on the market are very small, have a rugged, waterproof design that can take a beating, and battery life that can last for weeks.
A tracking device won’t prevent your bike from being stolen, but it will make it possible to retrieve it if it gets stolen. It can also help you find out where you’ve parked the thing, so that’s a bonus.
There are two main types of tracking devices available on the market: self-monitored and subscription-based. Self-monitored tracking devices are cheaper, but the police will be less likely to help you once it gets stolen.
A subscription-based package, on the other hand, will require you to pay a monthly or yearly fee along with the retail price of the device itself. The fee will keep your motorcycle monitored 24/7 by a team at the company.
Most subscription-based trackers work by notifying the headquarters once the bike has been moved without the key in the ignition. The next step is for the company to notify you to make sure that you’re not the one riding the bike. If the bike has been stolen, the team will immediately begin to track it.
Companies may also deploy staff to help locate the bike, and some may even have ties with the police so that they can gain access to the scene in situations where a warrant may be required.
If you plan to go with a subscription-based service, you should take the time to research the company you want to get the tracker from. There are many companies to choose from, and some of them have a recovery rate as high as 90%. Most bikes are also reclaimed within the first two hours, and this makes this service very useful.
Of course, you shouldn’t rely entirely on the tracker. Locks for motorcycles remain the best and cheapest preventative method. However, even with the best motorcycle steering lock, skillful thieves can still run away with the bike. In this case, a tracking device can help you retrieve your bike.
Be careful when selling a bike
A motorcycle theft alarm and lock can help prevent your bike from being stolen in the parking lot, but what about when giving it to a potential buyer to test out? If you want to sell your bike, you will need to be careful since there have been plenty of instances of thieves responding to ads and taking bikes for a test drive and then never return.
Knowing how to secure a motorcycle is not useful in this scenario; instead, you should follow a few tips. First, make sure to meet the potential buyer in a public place that is well-populated and bring a friend with you if possible.
How to tell if a motorcycle is stolen during the test drive? You should consider taking a friend’s motorcycle to follow along. Similarly, you should also take the time to look at what your insurance policy covers ahead of time. This can help you decide if you can risk allowing a test drive.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau has reported that in 2018 most motorcycle thefts took place in California (7035), Florida (4279), and Texas (3073). Also, they have made a list of the most stolen motorcycle brands and the top 3 was occupied by Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki.
Whether you fall under these categories or you don’t, it is compulsory that you secure your bike because you never know when you can be the next victim of thieves that can easily spot a bike that is not theft-protected.
By following the tips we have given you, you will be able to minimize the chances of your bike getting stolen and, even if you don’t see the importance of these things now, you will thank us later.