Keep Yourself Safe: 6 Signs That a Motorcycle Has Been Stolen

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In a perfect world, we would assume that everyone’s stuff rightfully belongs to them. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case for some people. Theft is a big problem with vehicles and motorcycles are no exception.

While there are many reasons one might wonder if a particular motorcycle was stolen, the most common reason for this is because they want to buy it. There are a few things you can do to determine if a bike is stolen.

How do you know if your motorcycle has been stolen? You can use VIN inspections online to determine if a motorcycle has been stolen. Contact your insurance company and ask them to search their database. Also, they should contact the shops where the bike was supposedly taken care of.

You can end up in serious financial trouble if you buy a stolen motorcycle. I’ve purchased close to 15 motorcycles in the last few years and have quickly been able to tell when I’m looking at a stolen motorcycle. This is what I’ve learned throughout the process.

How to tell if a motorcycle is stolen

Most people out there are honest. But there are a handful that aren’t and they seem to make the game of buying a motorcycle even more difficult. There are many people who steal motorcycles, make quick cash and then disappear.

There are many ways to prevent your motorcycle from being stolen. These ways will help you avoid making poor financial decisions.

DMV VIN Check To determine if your motorcycle has been stolen, the first thing you can do is go to your local DMV to have a VIN inspection done for you. A VIN (or Vehicle Identification Number) is a unique code that identifies the motorcycle. I recommend you go in person as most won’t do an inspection over the phone.

If you’ve looked at the motorcycle in person or if you happen to get it in some other way, have the VIN written down and prepare to give it to the employee that’s helping you. Most DMV’s will charge a small fee for doing VIN inspections, so make sure you have some money on hand. You will receive a complete history of your motorcycle, including any reports of theft, salvage, and other details.

Do your own Vin Check If you’re in a bind and need to make a quick decision, a good way to see if the motorcycle is stolen is by doing your own VIN inspection. My rule of thumb is to never purchase a vehicle without having the title. Check out my article for more information about buying a motorcycle with no title.

Make sure that the VIN of the title presented by the seller matches the VIN of the motorcycle. Most motorcycles have the VIN located near or on top of the steering neck. Make sure that the VIN sticker or stamp hasn’t been tampered with while you are matching up the numbers. A stolen motorcycle is one that has had any numbers or letters scratched out, or clearly been replaced.

If you’re still not satisfied about matching numbers between the title and the motorcycle itself, you can also use several online platforms that will provide a VIN report. The National Insurance Crime Bureau is one example of such a place. They provide free basic VIN information and allow you to search up to five VIN’s within a 24-hour period.

Get insurance: Insurance can be helpful in more ways than just making sure you’re covered in the case of an accident. You can have insurance for your motorcycle, or just your car. You can also call them to have them perform a VIN inspection using their data base.

If your insurance does this, this option is usually free because your insurance doesn’t want you to buy a stolen motorcycle either. They will give you a brief history of the motorcycle, including whether it has been stolen.

Contact Places: It’s always a good idea to ask for service records of a motorcycle you’re interested in buying. This will not only show how well the motorcycle was maintained but also tell you what the owner did with it. But it also allows you to call an additional outsider to confirm ownership.

Some owners may be wary of you taking pictures of service documents, but an honest seller shouldn’t have a problem with you writing down the VIN and the name of the shop indicated on the service papers. A motorcycle stolen will not be taken to a shop for routine maintenance. These shops can be contacted to confirm that the owner of the motorcycle actually brought it in for service.

Seller Hesitancy Pay attention to the way the seller responds to questions when you ask them. You should be prepared to ask many questions. “is this motorcycle stolen?”

You have a few things that you can do to determine if the item is stolen. “how long have you had this motorcycle?” “What’s your favorite thing about this bike?” And “What kind of gas mileage does this get?”

These are just questions true owners will ask. Any hesitancy and lack of knowledge about the motorcycle may indicate it’s stolen. They may come up with an excuse such as they’re “selling it for a buddy” so they don’t know a whole lot about it. Even if that’s true, stay away because you want all your questions answered before making a big investment like this.

Too Good to Be True You should try to pay attention to the situation and let go of any uneasy feelings. You might find buying a motorcycle to be emotionally charged. It’s important to try and look beyond that. Trust your gut instincts.

If it seems too good to be true, it most likely is. When someone steals a motorcycle, they want to get rid of it quickly which means they’ll sell for a really low price to get rid of it. They don’t have to do any extra work other than stealing the motorcycle.

What to do if your motorcycle is stolen?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate case where a motorcycle you’re interested in turns out to be stolen, there are a few things you should do to ensure your safety and help authorities out.

First, do not let the “seller” You know the motorcycle has been stolen. They will likely move away, making it harder for authorities to locate the owner. The perpetrator’s reaction to being captured is not known and could pose a risk to your safety.

Get in touch with authorities as soon as possible after you leave the seller’s sight. You should explain to the seller your situation and how the bike is suspected of being stolen. Provide the seller’s name, phone number, address, and as much information as possible for authorities to track them down.

After you’ve contacted authorities, do not involve yourself in the situation any more. You should not contact the seller or park your vehicle a few blocks away. “see what goes down” When the police arrive. Keep as far as possible from the seller to protect your safety.

What To Do If You’ve Purchased A Stolen Motorcycle

As unfortunate as it is, buying a stolen motorcycle isn’t unheard of. Despite all of the preventative measures you may have taken, some thieves out there know exactly what they’re doing and can still trick an unsuspecting buyer.

You might also find a situation where the victim buys a stolen bike and then sells it off without having it registered. Even though you may have bought the motorcycle from an honest person, you are still likely to fall for this scam.

You could be held responsible even if the seller is honest. If you were smart, you received a bill of sale from the seller proving the purchase of the motorcycle which holds some proof for you that you’re innocent.

Contact the police immediately if you are the owner of a stolen vehicle.. This may result in the motorcycle getting confiscated and you losing all that money, but that’s better than getting pulled over and the police officer finding out your motorcycle is stolen and you potentially get in trouble with the law.

You can sue the seller if you purchase a stolen motorcycle. If they were the ones who stole the motorcycle, they may be hard to contact since they’ve probably already fled the state. This is why it’s so important to ensure a motorcycle isn’t stolen before you buy it.

Tips for buying a motorcycle safely

In addition to the tips stated above, there are a few other measures you can take to make sure you are covered in case you’re looking at a stolen motorcycle.

After you’ve done a VIN inspection, always make sure you get the title from the owner before handing over the cash. Be sure to include their name on the title. Although a seller may promise to mail the title, it is almost impossible for them to do so. I’ve had a few friends learn this lesson the hard way.

Meet the seller at his/her residence. It’s not always possible to do this as some sellers are wary of giving their address out to strangers, but knowing where they live can greatly help your situation and ensure the motorcycle is legitimate.

During any transaction, make sure the seller signs a bill of sale. This will provide proof of your purchase and will back you up in case it is stolen and you don’t find out until after you’ve bought it. This is a document that DMV’s require anyway to get the motorcycle registered.

Even if you don’t have the money to purchase a motorcycle. A loan can be used to purchase a vehicle. A thorough VIN check will be done by the bank before you buy the motorcycle. This could be considered insurance to make sure you’re buying a legal motorcycle.

Similar Questions

Do I have to buy a motorcycle that’s been abandoned? You can still buy a motorcycle that has been towed away, as the main consequences of this are mostly cosmetic. Discuss the meaning with the seller. “drop” You should look out for signs that the motorbike may have been dragged, rather than dropped. You can read my article for more details.

What are the most stolen motorcycles? Although the exact types of motorcycles that are stolen each year vary, the most common stolen motorcycle brand is the Japanese Yahamas, Hondas and Suzukis.

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