Motorcycle Security Tips

Man stealing motorcycle

Bikers should always be careful about where they choose to park their motorcycles whether at home or out in public. Anything you leave on your motorcycle is exposed to being stolen (including the bike itself), so it is important to think about your surroundings when leaving your motorcycle unattended.

There are several reasons people steal motorcycles, but most commonly they are stolen for joy riding, or broken down for parts. When you leave your motorcycle unsecured it is an easy target for thieves to steal. It can be lifted into a van or even wheeled away! The best thing to do is make your motorcycle less attractive to snatch.

Common Ways to Steal a Motorcycle

There are some common ways that thieves use to steal motorcycles. We thought we would outline a few of the top attacks here so that you are aware of the tactics and the lengths people will go to just to steal a motorcycle.

  • Bolt croppers. Long handles and strong jaws on 42-inch bolt croppers allow a thief to use a lot of strength and can easily break chains…especially those that are less than 15mm in diameter.
  • Freeze spray. This can be sued to spray on metals, which makes the metal brittle and easy to shatter with a hammer. Freeze spray can be most effective when used on motorcycle D-Locks and chains.
  • Power tools. One thing that is becoming more common is the use of small battery-powered tools (like a mini angle grinder) to break disc locks and chains on motorcycles. These are easy to use and can break through locks and chains pretty quickly.
  • Picking locks. If you are using a cheap lock or a lock that is not properly designed to secure a motorcycle, you run the risk of having your lock picked. This may take a thief more time or skill to perform, but it can be done, which is why it is so important to spend the money on a quality lock.
  • Skateboards. You probably wouldn’t think of a skateboard as a tool to be used to steal motorcycles, but it is actually quite common! If placed under the front wheel of a motorcycle, it allows a thief to push the motorcycle somewhere more discreet where they could spend more time removing locks or trying to hot wire the motorcycle to get it running.
  • Vans. If you do not chain your motorcycle down, it can be lifted into a van by a couple of thieves looking for a quick steal. This will allow those who have stolen the motorcycle some time to figure out any locks or security devices on the motorcycle. By having the motorcycle in a van, this will also stifle the sound of any alarms that may have been triggered when stealing the motorcycle.
  • Ignition bypass kits/Immobilizers. You can buy these easily online and allow someone to hot wire and start a motorcycle quickly.
  • Stealing your keys. This is more common that you think! It is easy for a thief to break into your house, steal the keys to your motorcycle, and then drive it away. If you think about it, this is a lot easier than having to tamper with alarms, chains, and locks on a motorcycle in order to steal it safely without anyone noticing the theft in process.

How to Prevent Motorcycle Theft

It is never easy to leave your bike unattended, but we put together some tips that we hope will help give you some peace of mind when you do. Also, we hope these tips will help deter motorcycle theft and make those who would consider stealing your bike think twice!

  1. Have a security system. You want to have some sort of security system in place for your motorcycle. This maybe be a little expensive, but it will be well worth it and will give you peace of mind in the event someone does steal your bike. A tracking device is one option to look at so you will know where your bike is at all times.
  2. Have a lock in place. You want to have the proper lock for your motorcycle (not a bicycle lock) in order to deter theft. While a lock is not 100% effective, it can make it much more difficult for someone to steal your motorcycle. The more time it takes for someone to tamper with a lock, the harder it is for someone to successfully get away with stealing your bike. Also, we recommend locking your motorcycle to something heavy so that someone can’t just come by and lift your motorcycle into a truck and drive away with it.
  3. Keep your lock off the ground. A thief is more likely get leverage to break a lock if it is resting on the ground. Keep the lock away from the ground.
  4. Use multiple locks. If someone is actually trying to steal your motorcycle, they won’t have time to try to remove multiple locks.
  5. Quality for locks is key. This is not something you want to skimp on…pay the money and get a quality.
  6. Use your garage. It is common for bike theft to happen at the owner’s home! Riders can get used to keeping their motorcycle parked outside and even overnight, which is the perfect way for theft to occur. Be sure to put your motorcycle in the garage as soon as you come home. Also, you want to make sure that your garage is secured properly.
  7. Install a ground anchor. If you have a garage where you can park and store your motorcycle, we highly recommend installing a ground anchor so you can lock your bike to it.
  8. Park in a well-lit area. Common sense may tell you that parking your motorcycle in a well-lit area will reduce your chances of motorcycle theft. Avoid leaving your bike parked in a dark or secluded area. We highly recommend using both a lock and parking in a safe and easily visibly spot to reduce the odds of your bike being stolen. We also recommend parking in different spots if you have a daily routine like riding your motorcycle to work. If someone is planning to steal your motorcycle, they likely are watching your routine so they can determine the best time to sneak in and snatch your bike.
  9. Use secure parking garages. Most cities have a secure motorcycle parking area for riders. If you are out and about, look for these parking garages to use for parking your motorcycle.
  10. Remove the spark plug or HT cap. This can be a simple way to keep your motorcycle from being stolen by thieves. It is free and it is also quick and easy.
  11. Engage your steering lock. By locking your steering, it makes it very hard to steer or maneuver you motorcycle, which can deter someone from stealing it.
  12. Cover your bike. Simply by covering your bike you will reduce the amount of attention it receives. A cover for your motorcycle will not only keep your bike clean during the colder seasons, but it will also make it harder for thieves to see what kind of motorcycle you have. There are some bikes that are in high demand, so by keeping your bike covered it decreases the attention it could draw from bike thieves.
  13. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. Trust your gut and be aware of what is happening around you. If something doesn’t feel right, it is best to move on and find a new location to safely park your motorcycle.

Insurance Coverage for your Motorcycle

The hope is that you never have to deal with your motorcycle being stolen! But, in case this does happen to you, it is important that you have the proper insurance coverage to give you peace of mind. It is highly recommended that you review your insurance policy once a year to ensure you have adequate coverage in case you are in an accident or sustain damage to your motorcycle. Below are all the Motorcycle insurance coverages we recommend:

PROTECTS YOU IF A CLAIM IS FILED AGAINST YOU (including your passengers):

Liability Coverage

Bodily Injury Limits:

  • $300,000 each person
  • $500,000 each accident

Property Damage Limits:

  • $35,000 each accident

PROTECTS YOU IF THE VEHICLE CAUSING THE ACCIDENT HAS NO OR NOT ENOUGH INSURANCE:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage (UM) / Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM)

Bodily Injury Limits:

  • $300,000 each person
  • $500,000 each accident

PROVIDES ADDITIONAL PROTECTION FOR CATASTROPHIC ACCIDENTS:

Umbrella Coverage with UM/UIM Coverage

  • $1,000,000 each accident

PAYS FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE TO YOUR MOTORCYCLE REGARDLESS OF FAULT OR CAUSE OF DAMAGE:

Collision & Comprehensive

Property Damage Limits:

  • Equal to bike value

Custom Parts:

  • Equal to parts value

SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENT FOR YOUR MEDICAL BILLS:

Medical Payments

  • $25,000 each person

If you have questions about what coverage you should get, shoot us an email with your questions at [email protected]. If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident make sure to at least get a free consultation from us, so we can give you some insight into your legal rights and options available. Call MaxPower Law attorneys today for your free consultation 425-970-9300.

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