We all know how important safety and security is when looking after our cars and motorcycles.
Based on estimates from the Crime Survey for England and Wales from the Office for National Statistics, there is a 3.3% chance of your motorcycle being stolen, which increases to a huge 12.9% in London.
Classic cars are also targeted by thieves due to their often-outdated security features – recent statistics have shown as many as 27 rare, classic cars are reported as stolen in the UK each month.
So, safety and protection are two very important things for motorcycle and classic car owners to consider.
To help us all be more mindful of looking after our vehicles, we’ve put together a test to see if you can spot some of the most common security risks people fall foul to when leaving their classic car or motorcycle unattended.
When looking at the image above, the average person takes 49 seconds to find all ten hazards on both the car and the motorcycle – can you beat that time?
You can find the security hazards circled here and a list of them below – but no cheating!
Absence of Lock
Investing in a disc lock and grip lock is one of the best ways to secure your motorcycle. You can also use a D lock on the front wheel to ensure your bike does not get wheeled away.
Thieves often steal a bike by breaking the steering lock and wheeling it away. A chain lock through the back wheel is the best way to prevent this (as the front wheel can be removed). Just make sure it is sturdy and doesn’t break easily!
Bike cover has fallen off
Thieves have been known to “shop” for certain models of bikes and using a bike cover can automatically make a motorcycle less attractive. It can also add another time-consuming barrier to the theft. Ensure your cover is properly secured, especially in windy weather.
Keys left in
This may sound like an obvious one, but you would be surprised at how often this happens! Always take your keys with you, even if you’re leaving your motorcycle for just a few minutes.
Fuel cap left unlocked / open
Leaving your fuel cap unlocked can make your bike vulnerable to gasoline theft or fuel system vandalism.
Valuables left in car
Thieves are opportunistic – many will damage your car and take any valuables left if they can see them, even if they can’t steal the car.
Soft top left down
If you own a convertible, when you leave your car, always make sure the top is up. An easy-to-access car out on the street is an open invitation to thieves. Plus, if you’re parked under a tree or lamp post, birds don’t care how nice your car is…!
Very old, classic car locks (steering lock)
Many classic car owners, especially with their first car, don’t consider getting their locks changed and instead use classic productions like steering locks. However, steering locks can be easily manipulated by thieves – they’ve been dealing with them for decades!
If you are looking to keep the original parts of your car or just keep the vintage feel of those old keys, there are still ways that you can upgrade your locks. Consider having an automotive locksmith take a look at your lock and see if there is a way to re-pin (or re-wafer) the cylinder so that it is more secure against theft.
Broken lock / door handle
With older cars, locks and handles can sometimes break from years of wear and tear. If this happens, get them repaired as soon as possible – thieves can spot them a mile off.
Improper parking can open your car to unwanted attention. Where you keep your classic car is very important – the greater the security, the better you’ll be protected.
Hugo Jacobs, Director at Lumley Jacobs, who established DNA+ Forensic Coding theft deterrent exclusively for Carole Nash, commented on the importance of security:
“The majority of thieves are opportunists. If they see something that’s easy to grab, they will – this means you have to be extra vigilant if you own something that can attract attention, like a motorcycle or a classic car.
“Always invest in good quality security products, use more than one security measure, and take precautions that will help you recover your motorcycle if something happens.”
Tried and tested ways to prevent motorcycle theft
The experts at Inside Bikes have created a list of top security tips that every biker should follow:
- Invest in a Front brake disc lock and a front brake lever lock. They are brilliant at stopping motorcycle theft and offer a lot of protection combined with a very compact design – perfect for travel. Some are also fitted with an alarm, which will deter thieve even more.
- Add a security chain to your rear wheel. Make sure to lock it to your rear wheel and a fixed object, such as a lamp post or metal railing.
- Always use a bike cover, but make sure it has front eyelets to allow a chain to be passed through the front wheel.
- For extra security, get a Datatool alarm. It ‘activates’ if the bike is stood near and intensifies if moved/meddled with.
- Always put your steering lock on. This is a feature on every bike. You tun the bars all the way to the left or right and turn the bike key all the way to the left and the lock engages – just like a car steering lock.
For more information about security, motorcycles, and more, check out Inside Bikes.