If you have not seen it, experienced it, or heard about it, you are probably living under a rock. The signs are everywhere from broken windows on businesses, to news reports and articles, to vehicle and catalytic converter thefts right from dealerships. Talk to anyone and they are likely to tell you when asked that, things are getting worse. So, what can you do? Here are ten things you can do to reduce the probability of someone stealing your motorcycle.
1. Lock your motorcycle
While there may be other locks you can use the most common are steering locks, disc brake locks, ignition locks, and fork locks. Steering locks prevent the easy maneuvering of your bike. Disc brake locks prevent the wheel from turning. Ignition locks work when you turn off the bike and you lock the ignition. Fork locks secure the forks to the wheel.
When using locks, it is important to keep them off the ground so the thief cannot get good leverage to break the lock. Lock your motorcycle to something heavy, but immovable is better, and buy high quality locks to improve your chances significantly.
While it may not be convenient, using multiple lock types is better than only using one.
2. Park in a well-lit area
Well lit areas usually have foot traffic which can mean witnesses to the crime. It also means the thief can see any deterrent you may have. If they can see they will be on camera too, they will look for an easier target. When parking it is smart to park near other motorcycles. This will give the impression you are with a group. Also think about parking in view of security cameras. If you can see them so can the thief. So, a smart thief will choose a different target.
3. Install an alarm
Alarms are one of the most effective methods of prevention. They draw attention to the Motorcycle allowing anyone near by to observe what is happening. When choosing an alarm, it is smart to choose one that does not sound like a car alarm. People have become so used to car alarm sounds they ignore them. Another thing to remember is to set the sensitivity to a level that does not cause false alarms.
4. Install a GPS locator
Today, most Americans always carry a personal GPS locator: their smartphone. If you own a motorcycle, it is smart to install a GPS locator there too. This will help authorities track down your bike much quicker and have it back to you in days not weeks or months. You will have a much better shot at authorities returning your bike in one piece too.
5. Install a hidden kill switch
A kill switch or spring-loaded switch is a switch that needs to be depressed to start the bike. An alternative method is to remove the main fuse when parking bikes.
6. Make your garage secure
If you have a garage, make sure you lock the windows and doors. Parking your bike inside the garage first before your other vehicles adds another barrier to deter a thief. If you are living in a high crime area it is worth putting bars on the windows of your garage. Motion detection lights will spook a thief as well. Consider putting motion detecting lights both inside and outside of your garage.
7. Consider removing a spark plug
Removing a spark plug is inconvenient if you do it every night, but it is a tactic to prevent thieves from stealing your motorcycle. If you do remove a spark plug, make sure to cover the spark plug hole with a clean rag to prevent debris from getting into the engine. This tactic is best if you are planning to store your motorcycle or have extensive maintenance to do.
8. Do not keep important documents on the motorcycle
Keep the title in a safe place like a fireproof box or a safety deposit box to prevent theft of ownership by title transfer. Keep registration and insurance paperwork on you to prevent thieves from knowing where to find your motorcycle.
9. Do not advertise you have a bike worth stealing
Everyone loves their bikes, talking about them and showing them off. However, leaving them visible for extended periods in your driveway is advertising to thieves your bike has value. Thieves have shopping lists of motorcycles for their clients and leaving your motorcycle unsupervised is a sign to thieves.
10. Have motorcycle insurance
Motorcycle insurance is the last resort. You have done everything you can to prevent your motorcycle from theft. What if it is stolen? Motorcycle insurance is your solution. There are many types of motorcycle insurance available, but it is smart to buy a policy that covers theft. You can read more about types of motorcycle insurance in our blog article Know Your Options, Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Types.
Did we miss anything? Do you have a suggestion to improve any of these tips? Leave your comments below.