According to National Insurance Crime Bureau statistics, motor vehicle thefts are on the rise, and among the vehicles being targeted are motorcycles. It's one thing to have your property stolen, but if it is something you love and have become attached to, that is a different story altogether. And only 25% to 30% of motorcycles are recovered after theft. Read below to learn how to prevent motorcycle theft.
Thieves steal motorcycles to resell the whole bike or to strip it down and sell the parts. The fact that motorcycles are small and relatively easy to move makes them particularly vulnerable to theft. Smart thieves will find a way to steal your bike if they really want it, but there are things you can do to protect your investment and make your motorcycle less appealing to a thief. You can make it bothersome for them to try to steal it.
There are several relatively simple and inexpensive ways to help prevent motorcycle theft. One of these methods alone might not be enough to deter a determined thief, but using more than one – or better yet, several – of these methods just might make the difference in whether a thief stops at your house or keeps going.
The best bet is to keep your motorcycle in a locked garage. For some people, this might not be an option. If you have to keep your bike parked outside, start by keeping it in a well-lit area and out of direct view from the street. It should be covered with a plain cover that is free of logos or brand names. If the thief can't tell by the cover what type of motorcycle is underneath, they may be more inclined to pass it over. In addition, you should keep the cover locked to the bike with a cable lock. However, this won't prevent a thief from picking up the whole bike and taking it, cover and all. That's why it is important to use this in conjunction with other security measures.
Even if you have your bike in a locked garage when not in use, it is a good idea to also have it locked to something immovable. One method would be to cement a steel eye to the floor to put a chain or cable through. When using a chain or cable lock, be sure to loop it through the frame or another stable part of the bike. When you're out riding and leave your bike parked outside, always use your steering lock – this is your first step of defense. In addition, you should use two or more locks of different types. If possible, park your bike where you can see it and check on it periodically.
When choosing locks, it's not a good idea to spare expense. Choose good locks. Types of locks include serpentine link locks, u-locks and chains. Record key numbers and then file them off the locks if they are stamped on them. Locks attached to your bike should not touch the ground. If a lock is lying on the ground, it is easier for a thief to use a hard item to pound the lock until it breaks. Even if you keep your motorcycle in a locked garage, it's always a good idea to look around to make sure you're not providing a thief with the tools to dismantle your locks. There are usually a lot of tools in a garage and with time and determination, a thief will be able to remove the locks from your bike.
There are several new mechanical devices that can help ensure you'll find your bike where you left it. Many dealers are now selling motorcycles with alarms as a standard feature, as well as similar anti-theft devices. An alarm alone is not an effective deterrent, but in combination with other methods, a wailing alarm is liable to make a thief think twice. Even if your motorcycle isn't equipped with an alarm, you can get stickers that say that there is an alarm installed and put them on your bike. You can also purchase anti-prying devices, pick-resistant mechanisms or you can install one or more kill switches to make the motorcycle impossible to start.
The best way to protect your motorcycle from theft is to use common sense. Don't leave the keys in the ignition or anywhere within close proximity to the bike. Make sure that you choose the safest places possible to park or store your bike. And don't lock your bike down to something that can easily be moved or broken and assume it's still going to be there when you come back.
In addition to being confident that you are doing what you can to prevent motorcycle theft, it's important that you have the right insurance. You need a motorcycle insurance policy that offers the coverages that are important to your specific bike and lifestyle.
Important things to look for when choosing a specialized motorcycle insurance policy:
The Foremost Insurance Group of Companies provides all of these important coverages and more in our specialized Motorcycle insurance program. Learn more about coverage options on our motorcycle insurance page, or get a quote
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