Motorcycle Theft Prevention

You just love that motorcycle of yours, don't you? Who could blame you?

Unfortunately, others think your bike is great, too, and may take it from you while you're not looking.

We've compiled a list of tips and ideas to decrease the chances that your bike will be stolen. Some of these are commonsense, but you'd be surprised at how effective simple measures can be at deterring crime.

Be aware that your motorcycle is never truly safe anywhere. Practice vigilance whether your bike is parked inside your garage, at work, at a public place, or even at a motorcycle rally. In fact, the latter is a prime spot for motorcycle thieves.

Try following these tips:

  • Always lock your ignition and remove the key.
  • When looking for an object to wrap your bike lock around, think heavy and difficult to dismantle.
  • Lock your bike around other bikes if you can.
  • Try not to park your bike between cars, as doing so provides some visual protection for a thief.
  • If staying at a hotel with parking lot security cameras, park your bike in view of the camera. If that's not possible, try to park it as close as you can to either the front entrance of the hotel or to your room.
  • When storing your bike in your garage, try to station your car in front of your bike. Obviously, be sure to close the garage door. You might also want to install a burglar alarm inside your garage.
  • If you store your bike outside, consider installing a motion-sensitive bright light nearby.
  • Use a plain, dull motorcycle cover―one that doesn't draw attention to your bike or loudly proclaim the name of the manufacturer. Or, use the cover from a company that thieves generally don't target, such as a BMW cover over a Harley.
  • Consider doing something "crafty" with your bike after parking it. Maybe loosen a spark plug cap, or pull the main fuse. Doing so may fool a thief into thinking there's something wrong with your motorcycle after trying to start it, and they'll quickly move on.
  • Put a unique marking on your bike, which discourages thieves, as well as aids in theft recovery.

You might want to add security devices to your motorcycle too. It's best to take a layered approach to security, meaning using more than one device. Remember, thieves are generally in a hurry. The harder and longer they'll have to work at stealing your motorcycle, the more likely they are to move on to an easier target.

Besides simple chains and padlocks, consider the following:

  • Disc locks
  • Steering column locks
  • Alarms
  • Hidden kill switch
  • Immobilizers
  • Tracking systems

A little caution and some well-spent money can help protect your prized possession for years to come.

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