Your home is your castle, and thinking about motorcycle theft right at your doorstep is probably the last thing you want to do. You aren’t alone: according to vehicle insurance data, over 43% of motorcycle owners do not protect their bikes in any way. The motorcycle theft statistics, however, aren’t reassuring – bike theft is a widespread problem across the UK.
So how can you protect your motorcycle from thieves at home, and can a motorcycle tracker help? There are several different options to keep your bike safe, and according to experts, the best solution is a combination of three or more security measures. This means that just a steering lock, which can be broken within seconds, is probably not going to be enough. A combination of a steering lock, a disc lock, and a chain, on the other hand, might make a big difference.
A motorcycle tracker will not prevent your motorcycle from being stolen, but it will provide the police with a powerful tool to recover it. Most stolen motorcycles are immediately stripped down for parts which are then quickly sold. Because of this, a stolen bike can, quite literally, disappear without a trace within 24 hours or less. Finding your motorcycle before it’s chopped up is crucial, and a high-quality motorcycle tracker will enable you do just that.
To help you choose the most effective tools of protecting your motorcycle at home, we’ve compiled a list of useful tips and advice gathered from multiple police and insurance experts as well as fellow motorcycle owners. Whether you choose locks and chains, a motorcycle tracker, or a combination of all three, we hope your bike stays safe and secure and you never have to worry about it being stolen.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
The best way to protect your motorcycle at home is to park it in a garage or a shed with solid locks and no windows. Motorcycle thieves usually scout bikes and plan the theft in advance. If your motorcycle cannot be spotted, it cannot be stolen. It may sound too simple to be effective, yet it is. Thieves always look for the easiest targets.
However, if you do not have a garage or a shed, parking your bike securely becomes more difficult. If possible, see if you can rent a self-storage unit nearby. Another option is to rent a garage – see if perhaps any of your neighbors would be willing to rent out some of their space. If you can’t afford to rent a whole garage, see if you can share the space with several other riders. Pooling resources to keep your bikes safe can be a great way to make sure your motorcycle is tucked away and isn’t costing you a fortune. Scour online bike forums and social media to see if you can find other riders looking to rent a garage together.
Finally, if renting, sharing, or buying a space for your motorcycle is simply not an option, at least make sure your bike is well covered. Every time you park your bike at home, throw a large, dark cover over it and secure it so it doesn’t get blown off or torn by the wind. It’s not ideal, but it will still act as a thief deterrent because if the motorcycle is covered, it’s harder to discern its make and model. It also means that the owner is vigilant and cares about the bike’s security.
The Big Brother
Another effective way to keep thieves at bay is installing a CCTV camera pointed at the area where you normally park your motorcycle. Thieves rely on anonymity, and a CCTV cam (even if it’s a dummy one!) will make your motorcycle significantly less attractive to thieves.
Similarly, make sure that the parking space is well lit. If you’re leaving the bike in your yard, install bright, motion-activated porch lights. If you increase the thieves’ risk to be seen and identified as much as possible, they will not take it and will more likely leave your bike alone.
I you live in a city, chances are, you’re so accustomed to hearing alarms going off all the time that you simply tune them out. It’s the same for everyone – we’re so used to car alarms, sirens, and other noise that we don’t even notice it any longer. Nobody pays attention anymore.
This is why your motorcycle alarm needs to be obnoxiously loud. Xena Security makes disc locks with alarms so loud you simply cannot ignore them: 120 decibels are sure to attract attention even on the busiest street in London. The louder the scream, the harder it will be for thieves to escape with your motorcycle.
Locks and Bolts
Locking your bike up may seem like obvious advice, but you’d be surprised how many motorcycle owners skip this step. Again, the more security measures you take, the less attractive your motorcycle will be to thieves. Even if you’re tired or in a hurry, it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to lock your bike up properly – it may save you a lot of headache and worry later.
First off, make sure you always lock the steering. It’s a quick and simple step, and while it’s true that a steering lock can be easily broken, it will add to the total amount of time it takes to steal your bike. Sometimes, even an extra thirty seconds can make a difference between a thief attempting to steal your bike or choosing to look for easier pickings instead.
Disc locks are among the most popular motorcycle protection tools, and they are easy to use. If you’re using a disc lock, choose one that has an integrated alarm system for extra security. Always put the disc lock on the rear wheel, because front wheel is fairly easy to remove. Don’t forget to attach a disc lock reminder so you don’t ride off with the lock still on!
The next step is chaining your motorcycle to something solid, like a lamp post or a concrete fence. Make sure the chain goes through the frame and not the wheel, as wheels can be removed. Never leave any slack on the chain – it’s easier to cut through if it’s touching the ground. Securing your motorcycle to something immovable with a chain is important because bikes are sometimes lifted off the ground and loaded into vans. Securing your bike with a heavy duty chain will help prevent this type of theft.
If you normally park your bike behind a terrace fence at home, lock it to that fence using a good quality chain. You may consider using two chains, one through the rear wheel and one through the frame, for better security. Make sure the gates are always closed (better yet, locked). Once the bike is locked up, throw a cover on it to make it even less attractive for thieves.
Spare Keys, Documents, and Information
Never, ever leave your spare keys or the bike’s title in the top box or under the seat. Sure, it’s convenient – but it’s also more than convenient for the thieves. Always keep the spare key and your bike documents at home or on your person. If you’re forgetful, make a duplicate key and copies of the paperwork and keep those at work just in case.
If you’re buying a motorcycle or spare parts from a second-hand dealer, make sure you don’t give them your address or full name. It isn’t common, but some of the second-hand bike and parts shops may be involved in the motorcycle theft “business”. Provide as little information as you can when dealing with re-sellers.
According to police experience, if the thieves have attempted to steal your bike but failed, they will be back to finish the job. They’ve already targeted your motorcycle, learned your habits, and know where the bike will be at any given time of day. They may have been interrupted when trying to steal it, or perhaps they didn’t anticipate some unexpected hurdle like that new disc lock you bought recently. However, chances are the thieves will come back and try again: our customer Colin has experienced two motorcycle thefts in the course of three years.
If you suspect an attempted theft, move your motorcycle somewhere safe, hide it from sight, lock it up, and install a motorcycle tracker for good measure. If you can, park it somewhere where there’s constant CCTV surveillance and make sure you’ve got a good alarm. Always report the incident to the police, even if it’s just a suspicion.
If your bike has been stolen and you’ve just got a replacement, be extra vigilant. Just like with attempted theft, once the thieves have stolen one motorcycle from you, they are likely to come back for another. Your replacement motorcycle is at a much higher risk, so be sure to utilize as many security measures as you can and get anti-theft insurance. A motorcycle GPS tracker is a valuable investment, too, as it will deliver real-time coordinates of the location of your stolen bike, whether stationary or on the move.
If you have a stock bike, the police will have a tough time tracing it after it has been stolen. This is because thieves often take the stolen motorcycles apart and sell the parts separately as spares, making it that much harder to track a specific bike down.
You can make the thieves’ life harder by marking your motorcycle. This can be covert UV markings (especially popular among bicycle owners), or something as simple as a few scratches or dabs of dye. Take photos of all the markings and keep them on your phone or desktop. It can help the police track down your stolen motorcycle much more effectively – and faster.
Believe it or not, some motorcycle thieves actually boast about their “adventures” on social media. For many, bike theft simply adds to their street cred, so the thieves often feel tempted to gloat and brag about the motorcycle they’ve stolen online. Keep an eye out for the make and model of your stolen bike online: you never know what may crop up.
In addition, monitor popular motorcycle spare parts sites like EBay as well as bike forums for new listings of parts which match the make and model of your stolen bike. Thieves sell parts harvested from stolen motorcycles online more often than you may think, so keeping a close watch of what happens on bike forums and spare parts sites can actually help you trace your stolen bike.
When a motorcycle is stolen, one of the first things bike thieves look for is extra wires. Usually, the battery is disconnected as soon as possible to disarm and disable any alarms, GPS trackers, or any other electronic devices that may help the owner or the police locate the stolen bike.
This is where Monimoto comes in. Our motorcycle tracker has independent batteries that last up to twelve months, which means you do not need to wire it to the bike. You can conceal the tiny Monimoto tracker anywhere on the motorcycle, and it will remain active even when the thieves take the bike’s electronics apart. We have already helped to successfully recover several stolen motorcycles and continue to keep bikes safe across the UK and Europe. Get your Monimoto motorcycle tracker now and sleep better knowing you’ll always have the exact location of your bike even if it’s been stolen.
Can your motorcycle ever be 100% protected from thieves? Unless you keep it in a bank vault, the answer is, probably no. However, using as many security measures as you can and installing a motorcycle tracker can greatly improve the safety of you bike and increase the chances of recovery in case of theft. We hope you never have to deal with motorcycle theft and that your two-wheeled pride and joy will always be safe and secure. However, if you have questions or concerns, we’re here to help!