Posts Tagged ‘Theft Prevention’

There is no place more empty than the spot where your motorcycle used to be!

Motorcyclists often put a great deal of money and attention into customization of their cycles, from elaborate paint schemes, high-performance motor upgrades, exhaust systems to billet custom wheels.  It’s not uncommon for aftermarket parts to add thousands of dollars to the original cost of the motorcycle and the hard earned efforts also capture the attention of thieves.

According to a new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), motorcycle thefts nationwide have declined at about the same percentage rate as motorcycle sales trends.  A total of 56,093 motorcycles nationwide were reported stolen to law enforcement in 2009, down from 64,492 reported in 2008 or a 13% drop.

The top five manufactures stolen last year and top five states were:

Manufacture Number Stolen Top 5 States (#Stolen)
Honda 13,688 California (6,273)
Yamaha 11,148 Texas (5,526)
Suzuki 9,154 Florida (5,009)
Kawasaki 5,911 North Carolina (3,045)
Harley-Davidson 3,529 Georgia (2,067)
Total 43,430 Total of 5 States (21,920)

The summer months of July (6,319); August (6,079); and June (5,672) saw the most theft activity while the fewest thefts were recorded during the winter months of December (2,927); January (3,570); and February (3,100).

Photo courtesy of NICB.

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Laughlin Police Station

Laughlin Police Station

By the time you finish reading this post another 18 motorcycles will have been stolen.  In the U.S. there are more than 8 motorcycles stolen every minute of every day through-out the year!

Back in 2004 I remember spending several hours with the Laughlin, NV Police getting questioned and filling out paperwork after a FatBoy was “removed” from the security monitored Flamingo (now Aquarius) Parking garage without our buddies permission! 

The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) states that 60,763 motorcycles were reported stolen in the U.S. during 2008.  That number is down 2.3% from 2007 when 62,206 were stolen and down 4.8% from 2006 when 63,828 disappeared.

Some interesting data points from the report:

  1. There are 684 different makes of motorcycles identified in the report.
  2. Motorcycle theft is seasonal compared to other vehicles with July-August accounting for the highest thefts.
  3. Five brands account for 80.4% of total thefts – Honda (15,034); Yamaha (11,797); Suzuki (10,427); Kawasaki (6295); and H-D (3745)
  4. KTM, Baja and Vespa were the only motorcycle brands which experienced increases in thefts during this period.
  5. Five states have the highest theft activity – CA; FL; TX; NC; IN
  6. The industry has a 30.3% recovery rate (18,422 recovered of 60,763 thefts) which is down from previous years.

I’m always amazed when I ride by a house that has a motorcycle parked outside and more often than not lacking any theft protection.  Sure they could have an immobilizer which isn’t visible, but locks/chains do provide visible discouragement to would-be thieves.  Most often the suggestion is to secure a motorcycle to some type of permanent structure or in-ground anchor with a high-quality chain, cable or other device to help prevent theft.

Personally I use a combination of disc and armored cable locks along with the provided motorcycle fork lock.  I don’t have storage capacity to carry a high security 6-sided boron manganese steel chain type device nor do I want the extra riding weight.  I do want to provide enough of a visible deterrent so thieves will go for an easier target once I arrive at my destination.

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