This guide will show you how to keep your motorcycle safe from theft.

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Part of the reason motorcycles are so fun to ride and own is due to the fact that they’re smaller and easier to get around. Because of their size, motorcycles are easy targets for thieves.

If you own a motorcycle, it’s important you take the proper safety measures to ensure it never gets stolen. It only takes a few minutes for a thief to take your motorcycle. This article contains some useful tips to prevent your motorcycle being stolen.

How Motorcycles Get Stolen

Before we dive into how to prevent your motorcycle from getting stolen, let’s discuss exactly how a thief steals a motorcycle. Understanding how it’s done can help you take the measurements you need so you can stay one step ahead of them.

It is possible to steal a motorcycle anywhere you have it. However, there are some places that motorcycle thieves are known to frequent. Parking garages are one of the most popular. “hot spots” These places are often unsafe for motorcycle parking.

Motorcyclists often assume that since you have to pay to get out of the parking garage or that there are security guards, they don’t need to lock up their motorcycle. Thieves are aware of this and take advantage.

Motorbike thieves also frequent college campuses. This is mainly due to the fact college campuses often have parking spaces that are only for motorcycles. This provides thieves with a variety of options. This makes college students a prime target.

Thieves often look for motorcycles in apartment complexes, unfortunately. This is because a lot of apartment complexes don’t have a garage to place the motorcycle in and if they do, the garage is usually detached and easy to break in to without getting noticed. Thieves are able to see tenants’ motorcycles and use that as a cover for their crimes.

A motorcycle theft is done in the simplest and most straightforward way possible. Thieves simply put it in neutral, then roll it away to a safe place to work on it. Sometimes, if a thief has the willpower, he can stalk the motorcycle for a few weeks to get to know the owner. Later, they’ll bring a truck and a few buddies and simply lift the motorcycle up off the ground into the truck and drive away. It takes only minutes.

Motorcycle thieves find it difficult to steal a motorcycle because of the obstacles they face and the time it takes. They usually won’t spend more than several minutes on the motorcycle before bailing. Their primary goal is to find low hanging fruit. They want motorcycles that are easy-to-steal and don’t have any security features.

Take away Attention

You can prevent your motorcycle being stolen by making it invisible to thieves. If a potential crook doesn’t even know it exists or doesn’t really know a whole lot about the it, chances are they’re not going to target your motorcycle.

You can start by storing your bike in inconspicuous locations. Storing a motorcycle in a garage when it’s not being used is the best way to keep it safe, especially if it’s an attached garage. Other inconspicuous places may include storing it in a storage unit, a shed, or a friend/family member’s garage. Sometimes this isn’t always possible and parking lots are the only place a person has to store it.

No matter where you store your motorcycle when you’re not using it, you should always use a motorcycle cover. Though a cover itself won’t stop the act of stealing the motorcycle, it does take attention away from the potential of it becoming a target. Thieves like to know what they’re stealing before committing the act.

It’s very tempting to leave it out on the sidewalk or driveway to show off to your neighbors the incredible machine you have. Though your neighbors might appreciate it, thieves will appreciate it even more because you’ve demonstrated your habit of leaving it unattended. When you’re not using your motorcycle, store it in a secure area or use the proper locks.

Take into account how you park

Motorcycles getting stolen happens everywhere, including when you’re out running errands on your bike. This is the hardest part of owning motorcycles. You still need to park it in a garage to finish your errands.

When parking in a parking lot, try to park in well lit areas if it’s night and/or high traffic areas where a lot of people will be walking. Trying to hide your motorcycle in the back corner probably isn’t going to work. In fact, you’re making it an easier target for thieves to come and take your motorcycle.

It also helps if you’re able to park close to other motorcycles or vehicles. If you’re able, park sideways at the top of the stall in a parking lot where a car is already parked (make sure you know the car owner and ask permission). This will allow you to keep your motorcycle hidden in an area that is densely populated.

Garage Door Controller

It is a good idea to have a garage for your motorcycle to store it in. But that doesn’t mean you’re 100% immune.

If you’re like me, you may occasionally forget to close the garage door when you drive away from your house or when you settle in for the night. A garage isn’t going to do anything for you if the door is wide open. A garage might not be necessary.

It’ll strike a sense of panic in me when I’m out somewhere and wonder if I left the garage door open which gives direct access to my motorcycle. While I trust my neighbors and their homes, there are always strange people passing through our neighborhood.

Garadget Smart garage door controller (link to Amazon.com) is a good choice for such cases. This little device connects to your garage doors opening mechanism. It features a laser that points to the garage door’s interior at a sticker sensor.

This gadget comes with an app that you can download to your smartphone. You can use the app to check if your garage door is closed or open according to the laser sensors. If it’s left open, you can close the garage door through the app. The app will also notify you if you left the garage door open, if it’s been open for too long, or if it opened at a strange time.

This device is great for providing peace of mind, knowing that your motorcycle is safe at home. You have more control over what people can and can’t see inside and keep those thieves from lingering in.

Security Cameras

It would be nice to have a way to monitor your motorcycle 24 hours a day. But we all have lives to live so that’s simply unrealistic. That’s why security cameras are a great substitute that can do that for us.

A security camera isn’t going to stop a thief from stealing your motorcycle, but it can certainly help the situation. The Wyze Cam (link at Amazon.com) is a camera I recommend highly. This is the camera I use both inside and out of my home. You don’t need a monthly subscription.

The Wyze Cam is able to be mounted anywhere. The app can be downloaded and you can stream live from it. The SD card can store up to a certain number recordings. The best thing? It will notify you when it detects noise or movement and you can talk and hear directly through the camera.

This camera can help you keep an eye out for your motorcycle. Even if you live in an apartment, it’s possible to place this camera in the window and point it towards your motorcycle. In the case your motorcycle is stolen, you’ll have some footage of it that can help you track down your bike.

You can also sign up with a name that is “Video Surveillance” Or “You’re On Camera” It may be enough to discourage thieves from choosing this method of theft prevention.

Chain of high quality

A heavy-duty chain can be a great way to protect your motorcycle. A chain can be used to fasten the motorcycle onto something, such as a pillar and power pole. You do need to pick a chain that’s thick, durable, and high quality. You can easily cut cheap chains with the right tools.

I would recommend the Oxford padlock and chain (link to Motosport.com). This particular chain is made of forged, hardened steel that is more resistant to bolt cutters. These would be difficult to cut for thieves.

Connect the chain to your bike by threading it through something that is impossible for a thief to cut or take. It could be as simple as a thief taking the wheel off by simply threading the chain through the rim. Thread the chain through the frame of the motorcycle and loop it around a few other parts if it’s long enough.

Alarm with a Disc Lock

If you’ve never heard of a motorcycle disc lock, you should definitely acquaint yourself with one. A disc lock, which is about the same size as a softball, connects to your motorcycle’s brake rotor. Brake rotors often have large enough holes to allow the lock to pass through. Motosport.com has a disc lock alarm that I recommend.

The alarm on this particular disc lock will sound loudly if it detects movement on the motorcycle. Though an alarm itself can’t stop someone from stealing a motorcycle, it does alert you and those around your motorcycle that it’s being tampered with. It’ll likely scare away anyone who is trying to steal it.

Disk locks will prevent your motorcycle from moving because they stop the tire from turning. If you’re going to use one of these, it’s best to use it on the back tire instead of the front since the back tire is much more difficult to remove.

Front Fork Lock

The front fork lock, which is similar to the disc lock, can also be used to help keep your motorcycle mobile. The front fork lock is a U-shaped device that wraps around one side of the front forks and threads through the tire. It locks on the other side.

It’s also possible to use these on the rear shocks if your motorcycle’s anatomy will allow it. It’ll work great using them on the front forks, but if the thief is seasoned enough they can remove the front tire and get the lock off. Using it on the rear tire will still keep the motorcycle from moving forward or back and would require much more work on the thief’s part to get off.

Strong Hold Anchor

While making your motorcycle immobile is very important in preventing motorcycle theft, there’s still the chance of a couple of people simply picking up the motorcycle and putting in the back of a truck. It would be great to have something to anchor the motorcycle, without it needing to be parked next to any large architectural structure.

Ground anchors are a product that can be used to help in this situation. Ground anchors, such as this one on Motosport.com, bolt to the cement beneath it. It’s literally an anchor for your motorcycle.

It comes with the equipment you need to securely fasten it to the ground it’s on. It can be used anywhere with cement. What could stop the thief, however, from simply removing it from the ground without a key?

Mechanisms such the Kryptonite Anchor, which I mentioned in my link above, are resistant to theft. Meaning once you have that thing nailed to the ground, it’s there for good and there’s no hope for any thief to get it off. In fact, there’s no hope for you to get it off either, so it’s important you place it in a spot that you’re okay with anchoring your motorcycle permanently.

GPS Tracker

Trackmate GPS Tracker (link on Amazon.com) allows you to track the exact location of your bike at all times. A device like this is small and inconspicuous, so any thief would be unaware of it’s presence and won’t take it off.

This specific GPS tracker connects to your battery so it has constant power (but doesn’t drain your battery). It has an app that you can download that will show your motorcycle’s location once it has been connected to it. It will also alert you about things like if your battery is low (and can’t power the GPS) and if your motorcycle has been turned on.

There isn’t a contract associated with this specific GPS tracker (a lot of them do require a contract), but all GPS trackers do require a monthly plan. This one costs about $10 per month for the online activation.

Again, this doesn’t stop a thief from committing the actual theft. But in the case it does get stolen you can pinpoint your motorcycle’s exact location and alert authorities who’ll be more likely to recover it for you.

Take a look at a motorcycle with a steering lock

Since the beginning of time, steering locks have been a feature on automobiles. Motorcycle manufacturers have only recently started to install steering locks on their motorcycles. Newer motorcycles tend to have a higher number of steering locks.

You are looking to replace your motorcycle because you are concerned about its safety. Consider buying a motorcycle with a steering lock. Steering lock works by engaging the ignition from one side. You turn the handlebars on the other side, push the key into ignition, then turn it to. “lock.” This will ensure the handlebars and front tires are securely locked to that direction.

This is done to prevent thieves from taking your motorcycle for a ride. They could only turn it that way if they hot wire it.

Some people will argue that steering locks are a bad idea as thieves could tamper and destroy the ignition. That may be so, but that also means the thief now has a motorcycle with a faulty ignition that they’d have to replace if they plan on riding it.

If ignition tampering is an issue for you, You can purchase ignition cover locks to protect your ignition.

Multiple methods can be used

You can secure your motorcycle in many different ways. However, anti-theft practices should not be limited to one method.

A motorcycle with more security means that a thief will have to overcome more obstacles to succeed. And the more security measurements they can see you’ve taken, the less likely they end up actually choosing your motorcycle to steal in the first place.

Combining locking the wheels with anchoring it to something mobile will ensure your motorcycle is safe. As mentioned, thieves will take advantage of the least expensive option to steal motorcycles. so if your motorcycle has too much security for them to deal with they’ll likely look elsewhere for a motorcycle that’s much easier to steal.

What You Shouldn’t Do

You can keep your motorcycle safe by keeping it locked up.

Don’t give out your address if you know someone who has a motorcycle. If possible, don’t give your address to any bike shops you take your motorcycle to. It’s possible that someone could be there, and they might take an interest in your bike.

If you’re selling your motorcycle, only give your address to people who are serious about actually purchasing your motorcycle. If possible, meet at a public place such as a grocery store parking lot so you don’t have to give out your address at all.

You should never leave your motorcycle unattended for even a second. If you’re out for an errand, realize you forgot something at home and turn around to go back and get it, don’t leave your motorcycle sitting in your driveway with the key in the ignition. These are the opportunities that skilled thieves will seize on. Always have your keys handy.

Don’t leave important documents on your motorcycle. Keep any important paperwork that is associated with your motorcycle in a safe place. You’d be surprised at how many people leave the title in a compartment on their motorcycle which makes it much easier for thieves to sell.

It’s okay to share pictures of your beautiful machine on social media, but don’t post pictures of it in your garage or other places you plan on storing it. Thieves (including someone you might know) will notice this and seek as much information as possible about your motorcycle via social media. Keep the pictures for times when you’re out and about with your bike.

Stolen Motorcycle Statistics

The invincible mindset is what gets people’s motorcycles stolen in the first place. Sometimes people think “I’ve never had a problem keeping it outside these past few years. It won’t happen to me.” Just a few seconds is all it takes for a thief or criminal to steal it.

It is possible that motorcycle thefts are more common than you realize. Motorcycle owners should look at the statistics to see how crucial it is for them to lock their bikes.

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), there were 44,268 stolen motorcycles in the United States in 2017. Around 42% were found among all the stolen motorcycles. That’s less than half of those motorcycles that were recovered (which is pretty sad).

Statistics show that the more people a city has, the more likely it is for a motorcycle to be stolen. Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Miami, FL; New York, NY; Clark, NV are the top five most frequent cities for motorcycle thefts. They account for approximately 12% of all motorcycles that are stolen in the U.S.

Most motorcycle thefts take place during the warm months, with May to October being the most common months. And it’s no wonder. People have their motorcycles out during this time so they’re much easier to target.

Honda motorcycles are the most frequently stolen and account for nearly 20% of all motorcycle thefts. Close behind are Yamaha, Suzuki and Harley.

What to do if your motorcycle is stolen?

While it’s unlikely to happen, there are steps you can take if your bike is stolen. First and foremost, notify the police that your bike has been stolen. Be sure to have updated pictures of your motorcycle so police can get an accurate description of what they’re looking for.

Inform your motorcycle insurance company immediately after reporting the theft to the authorities. It is possible for the thief to have caused an accident/damage and you are held liable for it if you don’t notify your insurance company in time.

It’s actually okay to go out and look for it yourself within reason (like driving around neighborhoods, not snooping around people’s garages). If you do find it, don’t confront anyone. If you do find it, immediately contact the police and inform them of it’s location. Let the police handle the confrontation.

Check out online platforms to find out if anyone is trying to sell your motorcycle stolen. It’s possible they may have done some customizing to it, so don’t just look for your colors. Take a look at your make and model to see if there are any parts that match. You should also be on the lookout for parts that may belong to your motorcycle.

Use social media to post like crazy. Keep your motorcycle updated so your friends can see the pictures. Your chances of recovering your motorcycle will increase if you make as many people aware as possible. You can find more information on what to do if your bike is stolen in my article.

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