Home Office theft figures predict a total of 30,000 motorbikes will be reported stolen this year with only around 12,000 recovered.
To protect your pride and joy, you need to take precautions to prevent against theft. To help you, Moneybarn has detailed some steps you can follow to help avoid your bike being stolen.
According to Reolink.com, most bike thefts occur when the ignition is shut off, but not locked, so make sure you always lock your ignition and remove the key.
One of the simplest methods of preventing theft is to not broadcast the value you’ve left sitting on the street, by using a motorbike cover. Not only is a cover a time-consuming obstacle for thieves, they often ‘shop’ for particular models – so hide your prized possession to ensure it won’t become someone else’s.
When at home, the best place to keep your motorbike is in your garage or shed. If possible, install a ground anchor on your property to provide a secure post to chain your bike to.
If you park your bike on the street, try not to park it in the same spot every day so thieves can’t predict where your bike will be at certain times.
You should look for well-lit and visible spots, within sight of a security camera.
To help the police track your bike and parts more easily, you can have your motorbike marked with its vehicle identification number (VIN) by etching it onto glass surfaces, such as the headlights.
Another alternative is to mark bike parts with your postcode or bike’s registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen.
These markings are invisible to the naked eye, but appear when you shine an ultra violet light on them. However, be sure to keep a record of which parts you mark.
Think logically about the quantity and quality of locks you use to secure your bike – you wouldn’t want to secure a £10,000 bike with a £50 lock. A single lock, even if it’s a good one, presents only a single deterrent to a would-be thief.
For heightened security, use a chain lock through the back wheel (the front wheel can easily be removed). It might be a good idea to check if there are specific parking areas for motorbikes within your area but if not, secure your bike to an immovable object such as railings or a lamp post to stop thieves from removing the whole bike.
For extra safety, you could also use a disc lock. This will help to secure the front brake disc by blocking the vehicle from being moved in either a forward or reverse direction.
Use a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls – this clamping device is attached to the handlebar and immobilises either the throttle and front brake, or the clutch.
Making sure your motorbike has a quality alarm system will not only put off thieves but could also reduce your insurance premiums.
Different alarm systems offer different features. A simple shock sensor will go off if someone hits or tries to move the bike. Don’t worry – the sensor can be adjusted so that it doesn’t go off due to minor incidences like a gust of wind.
A remote kill switch will allow you to disengage the bike by cutting the connection between the battery and the starter. With the kill switch engaged the bike will not start.
For the ultimate security, consider fitting a Thatcham-rated 1 or 2 alarm system, with tracking, immobilisation, anti-grab and movement sensors.
If the worst happens and you realise your bike has been stolen, the first thing you should do is contact the police and report it – this will give you the best chance of getting your bike back.
You must alert your insurance company as soon as possible to inform them of the theft to be able to claim. Be aware, not all policies will cover the whole value of your vehicle if stolen –check your policy so you’re prepared. If you have a brand-new motorbike, consider GAP insurance to ensure full financial protection.