The number of motorcycle thefts has been trending upward since 2014, with over 44,000 bikes reported stolen in 2017. Industry data also states that fewer than 40 percent of those stolen bikes are recovered. That means bike owners are always encouraged to take steps now to minimize the odds of their motorcycle being stolen. Here are four things motorcycle owners can do to protect their motorcycles.
Always Lock Your Bike
While keeping your bike locked when it’s parked may seem elementary, many riders don’t bother. That means a thief can easily push your bike onto a trailer or into a truck and leave. If the steering is locked, it’s far more difficult to move the bike. In addition, if you purchased the bike used, hiring a locksmith to rekey the bike’s locks may make sense. There is no way to know how many copies of the key may be in the hands of the prior owner or other people.
Use Multiple Locks
Locking a bike’s steering should be automatic, but there are additional types of locks to make stealing a bike difficult. Quality locks and chains or cables secured to posts or other solid objects make it far more difficult to steal a bike. Many locks even include alarms to alert the owner or passersby if the bike is tampered with. Disc locks make it virtually impossible to move a bike, as the wheel won’t turn. Using a combination of lock types is strongly recommended if the bike is stored outside, especially in high-theft areas.
Choose Protected Parking Areas Whenever Possible
While many riders don’t enjoy the luxury of having a garage, there are still some options that provide more protection for bikes than others. Parking in well-lit areas may help, especially if the area sees a considerable amount of traffic. Thieves don’t want people to see them stealing a motorcycle, so they’ll opt for the easiest target. Bikes parked in dark, secluded areas are at a higher risk of theft. However, never become complacent just because your bike is parked in a lighted area. If a thief wants your bike, they may take the risk.
Use a Bike Cover
Thieves often target specific types or models of bikes. That means if they can’t quickly identify the type of bike quickly, they may move on to an easier target. Invest in a quality bike cover to keep your bike under wraps. The cover will also protect the bike from the elements, so using a cover is always a good idea. While a cover won’t prevent theft, it may discourage a thief and save you the heartache and expense of having a bike stolen.
Are Those Steps Adequate?
Remember that bike thieves are not easily discouraged. A bike with the steering locked can be carried away by determined thieves. Yes, it takes more that one person to steal a heavy bike that way, but it can happen. In addition, even the best locks can be beaten with modern tools. That means it pays to use all of the tools at your disposal to protect your bike. If you’re concerned the theft deterrents mentioned here won’t be sufficient, think about taking additional steps to disable the bike. Consider removing an essential part, like a clutch handle or shift lever, to make it all but impossible to ride the bike away. Every step taken to reduce the likelihood of theft is helpful, so take the time now to evaluate your situation and take the necessary steps to minimize the odds of your bike being stolen.