It is a sad fact that more motorcycles and scooters are stolen than cars and even less are recovered.
A few simple precautions can help reduce the risk of having your motorcycle or scooter stolen.
It takes a matter of seconds for a thief to wheel your bike away, throw it into the back of a van, and be away.
No rider wants to be standing by the side of the road or staring into an empty garage realising that someone has taken their pride and joy.
So what can you do?
Security Alarms And Immobilisers
Make it as hard as possible for the thief to get away with your bike. No security device is effective on its own; a combination is recommended. It is important to consider what devices are best for your circumstances.
Some insurance companies will offer discounts from premiums if you invest in certain measures, so it is always worth asking before you purchase.
When you do purchase make sure that all devices are either Thatcham or Sold Secure approved, as these meet the highest standards.
You can get more information about alarms, immobilisers and other security devices by calling:
- Vehicle Security National Helpline on 0870 550 2006
- Sold Secure Helpline on 01327 264687
Combination alarms and immobilisers are a good deterrent. Would-be thieves are often put off by the alarm and unable to ride the bike because the engine will not start. These security systems can attract lower insurance premiums so check with your agent to see which ones they recommend.
Look for the devices that offer a low current drain as well as a comprehensive warranty support. Some even offer roadside assistance cover, so the choices are wide and offer a range of benefits.
Whatever you decide to purchase; security chains, disc locks or U bolts, make sure you always take them with you. It may be bulky and not seem worth the effort, but it’s not worth the effort of buying one if you are not going to use it every time you go out.
Try to avoid using the disc lock alone as they can be quickly removed by thieves and have been known to cause problems for riders who forget to take them off before riding away.
Always secure your bike to something fixed to avoid the most common method of theft, which is picking up the bike, chains and all, and transporting it in another vehicle.
Thieves are very often after the bike parts to sell on. Mark as many of the parts as possible, as you will make the motorcycle less attractive to thieves, and will have a far better chance of recovery. Many new motorcycles now come with this type of security system fitted as standard.
Ultra Violet pens
A cheap and easy way of marking bike parts is with an ultra violet marker pen. You can use your postcode or the vehicle’s registration number.
Marking your property is the first step to avoiding theft. Thieves hate marked items because this is hard evidence if they are caught with them and they cannot sell them on.
Security At Home
Many bikes are removed from the owner’s garage. Consider a ground anchor as this provides good and simple security. You may want to buy a silent alarm which alerts you if someone attempts to enter your garage.
Don’t leave the garage keys in an obvious place as thieves will break into your home to retrieve them if they are easily accessible. And always remember to lock the garage.
Keep all of your keys in a safe and hidden place, well away from doors, windows and catflaps. This way your keys cannot be seen from outside and thieves cannot “fish” for keys through openings.
Off Road Motorcycles
Trials, Moto Cross and Enduro bikes are more difficult to trace when stolen, so they attract more interest from thieves.
These bikes are not normally registered with the DVLA but you can register them, and it is free to do so. This means that both the engine and frame numbers will then show up on both the Police and DVLA systems. The motorcycle will be issued with a “Q” plate but you do not have to fit it providing that it remains off-road as intended.
Give the DVLA a call and make your bike just a little bit more secure.
Quick security tips
- Get a security device, use it and make sure you keep your keys with you.
- Always put the steering lock on.
- Try to use a designated motorcycle parking place with a stand and security loop.
- If you have a garage, fit strong locks and invest in a ground anchor.
- Mark the main areas of the motorcycle with either the registration number or your postcode, and keep a record of what you have marked.
- Purchase a good immobilizer, preferably one that is approved by your insurance company and is either Thatcham or Sold Secure approved.
- Cover your motorcycle if at all possible.
- Do not leave items such as helmets or other possessions with your bike.
- Keep your keys safe and hidden at home.
Most of these security measures are very easy to undertake and won’t cost you a lot of time or money; you may even save on your insurance; and you could be saving yourself the expense and hassle of replacing your stolen bike.
Don’t give thieves an easy ride!
THATCHAM (The Motor Insurance Repair Centre)
Provides information on immobilisers and other security devices
Colthrop Lane, Thatcham,
Berkshire RG19 4NP
Tel: 0870 550 2006
Provides information on a range of recognised security products, visit regularly to find the latest products.
Association Of British Insurers (ABI)
Providing information on insurance group ratings and vehicle security
Machine inspections and history checks.
Machine inspections and history checks.
Phone: 0870 533 3660
Vehicle Security Installation Board
Lists fully accredited installation companies.
Bates Business Centre, Church Road
Harold Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 0JF
Phone: 01708 340 911
Check the status of your second hand motorcycle
Dolphin house. PO Box 61, New Street, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 2TB
Phone: 01722 422 422
British Motorcyclist’s Federation
14-16 Briton St, Leicester, LE5 0AA
Motorcycle Action Group
Central Office, PO Box 750, Rugby. CV21 3ZR