Nobody likes to think about their motorbike being taken from them – yet statistics show that bike theft is still on the rise in certain parts of the country.
The UK Home Office figures from last year predicted a total of 30,000 bikes would be reported stolen, and over 18,000 would never be recovered. With these worrying figures in mind, we wanted to compile some top tips to help keep your motorbike safe…
Don’t make it obvious there’s a bike on the property – burglars can’t bank on their being a classic motorcycle behind every door. If you don’t have a garage, consider buying a locked shed, or at least use a cover. Most thieves know what their looking for, so being unaware of what’s underneath will make it difficult for them to assess stealing it, or to even know if it’s a bike they’re after.
If you have a garage facing the road, keep it closed and try not to draw attention by giving it lots of revs to warm it up.
Lock It Down
It’s not undefeatable, but a steering lock can still be an effective first line of defence against thieves. Keeping your ignition and steering locks separate can also help discourage them further.
Use an anchor lock in corners rather than placing it for convenience, if it’s easy to get at for you, it will be easy for thieves. If you don’t have a place to fit a ground anchor, simply find something solid to secure your bike to – like a lamp post or cycle rail. Chaining your motorcycle to something solid will make it very difficult to be moved without the use of specialist tools.
Be sure to attach a lock up away from the ground, making it harder for someone to get enough leverage to break it – attach it through the bike’s frame, forks or wheel.
Remember, even if your motorcycle is kept inside a garage, it still should be securely locked.
Location, Location, Location
Opportunists will always look for bikes they can take without being seen or drawing attention to themselves.
When leaving your motorcycle outside – always choose a conspicuous area that’s well-lit. If possible, look for areas that are always fairly busy and bustling. The more potential witnesses there are, the less chance that they’ll attempt to make off with your ride.
Keep a look out for a location with plenty of surveillance – CCTV cameras will definitely discourage any suspicious activity.
Discourage With Deterrents
There are a number of technologies currently on the market, designed to provide some extra security measures for making your motorcycle less vulnerable.
Deterrents such as the DNA+ or Smartwater tagging system, utilise traceable solutions that are wiped or sprayed onto your motorcycle. The clear liquid solution becomes invisible once dried, unless it’s examined under ultraviolet light. It contains a code that’s made unique to your bike and then stored in a secure database. Allowing your motorcycle to be easily traced and recovered, by providing positive proof of ownership.
With a variety of alternative tagging devices and theft deterrent technology options out there, there’s plenty to help you should the unthinkable happen.
Be Careful And Creative
It’s always worth thinking outside the box to foil thieves – you could try installing a kill-switch or spring-loaded switch that must be held down when starting the engine. Also, when parking up somewhere you could simply remove the main fuse from your bike as a further way to stop attempted thefts.
If your key numbers are stamped on, record them and file them off – this will help to stop criminals from making a key cut to fit.
You could try customising your motorcycle, along with taking picture records of your unique parts and marks. This will not only help the authorities easily recognise and hopefully locate your bike if it’s stolen – it will also put off professional thieves who prefer to target bikes that haven’t been altered or personalised.
When trying to sell your motorcycle using a website or online trader service, it’s always worth remembering to be careful when giving out private information about where you live or work. Make sure you don’t post any pictures detailing the surroundings and landscape around your home or wherever you keep your bike.