Knowing where and how to park and secure a motorcycle can make all the difference if you want to be able to enjoy your ride.
Unfortunately, motorcycles make appealing targets for thieves because ownership has increased and also because motorcycles are easier to transport than cars or larger vehicles.
The key to keeping your motorcycle safe is understanding that no one solution can protect you. Thieves can cut a chain or break a lock in seconds. Instead, the solution is to make your motorcycle a less attractive target by applying multiple layers of protection. The more layers of protection that you use, the less likely it is that thieves will want to target your motorcycle.
These layers of protection include
- Knowing the Risk Factors
- Knowing Where to Store Your Motorcycle
- Using a Cover
- Knowing Where to Park
- Locking onto a Stationary Object
- Locking the Brakes
- Using a Kill Switch
- Installing an Alarm
If you want to keep your motorcycle from being stolen, the following tips can help you to enjoy your ride for years to come.
1. Know If You’re At Risk
The only place where thieves ride off on their stolen motorcycle is in the movies.
Most motorcycle thieves aren’t looking to ride off on your bike. Instead, they use a van or truck for a quick, low-profile getaway. Then all they have to do is break the lock, roll it away, and toss it in the back and go. Because thieves are looking for parts, they don’t mind damaging the motorcycle in the process, so don’t assume your dented and scratched motorcycle is immune.
Recent statistics from the National Insurance Crime Bureau also show that the biggest targets for bike thieves are powerful Japanese models with street-racing capabilities and profitable parts. Be extra careful if you ride a Honda, nearly one out of every five motorcycles stolen is a Honda.
Where you live can also make a difference with warmer states like California, Florida, Texas and the Carolinas reporting the most thefts.
Also, according to insurance reports theft risks increase during the summer months between July and September, so you’ll want to be extra diligent at this time. Knowing when and how you’re at risk, can help you to take the appropriate steps to prevent your motorcycle from being stolen.
2. Know Where to Store Your Motorcycle
Where you keep your motorcycle when it’s not in use can affect whether or not it will be stolen. Never store an uncovered motorcycle out front at home; it’s far safer in a garage or shed. Even if you have a garage, keeping a motorcycle parked on the street during the day makes it more of a target, and if you’re not riding daily, try to put a physical barrier between the motorcycle and the door.
If you don’t have access to a garage, or you park in a public garage, avoid parking your bicycle in the open. Remember, the more visible the motorcycle, the easier it is for a thief to see it as a target. Look for someplace out of the way like a backyard or an alcove, and if possible, park somewhere in sight of a security camera.
3. Use a Cover
Putting on a cover is another simple way to deter thieves. If they can’t see what kind of motorcycle you’re using, they’re less likely to target it. Having a motorcycle cover made from durable materials and built-in hardware for a security chain can also serve as an impediment. As an added bonus, your motorcycle will be protected from dust, grime, rain, environmental pollutants as well as scratches or dents.
4. Know Where to Park on the Street
If you’re taking your motorcycle out to run errands or out for a quick bite, your strategy should be the opposite of the parking at home strategy. Parking in areas with heavy foot traffic means potential thieves will be discouraged due to the increased risk of witnesses, security guards and police presence. If you’re in a quiet area without hi-visibility options, look for a parking space within the obvious view of a security camera.
5. Lock your Motorcycle to a Stationary, Immovable Object
Having an expensive lock and chain is great. But if you use it to lock your motorcycle or scooter to a chain link fence that can easily be taken down by bolt cutters, it won’t do much good. While they may be hard to find, look for objects that are anchored to the ground and immovable.
Also, when you connect your chain, make sure it goes around the frame and not the wheels. Thieves can remove wheels in a matter of seconds and walk away with the rest of your motorcycle.
6. Lock the Brakes
While a chain lock may slow down a thief, they’re even more likely to be slowed down if they can’t roll your motorcycle away.
Disc locks are a great way to keep your motorcycle in place. They’re small, but these heavy-duty locks can immobilize your wheel. For a thief, even seeing a disc lock may provide enough discouragement that they’ll move on to another target.
7. Install an Alarm
Everyone hates car alarms. They’re loud, bright and hard to ignore. While they can be annoying when they go off on your street at night, they serve a purpose. They give thieves an incentive to get away quickly.
The good news for motorcycle owners is that there are now many security systems available on the market. This may include:
- Flashing lights
- Early warning system
- Keyless locking system
- GPS Tracking
- Remote Engine Disconnect
Any of these options can make life difficult for a thief and discourage them from giving your motorcycle a second look. Most of these systems can be wired into your motorcycle with minimal effort, and even a sticker or label that warns of alarmed locks or a GPS tracking system can sometimes deter thieves.
You Can Keep Your Motorcycle from Being Stolen
Applying a combination of these strategies can help you to protect your motorcycle and keep it away from thieves. Don’t forget to reach out to your insurance company, they may offer you an anti-theft discount depending on your coverage and the type of measures you apply.