Secure Your Motorcycle and Prevent It From Being Stolen
Have you ever seen a grown man cry? If not, go look for one who just had his motorcycle stolen. It’s something that is just downright painful to witness. You would think that he had just lost the love of his life, and you would be right. Now, we all know that every theft or incident of vandalism can’t be stopped, but an awful lot of them can. All it takes is a little thinking and planning ahead of time, and learning from other’s mistakes.
This Motorcycle Theft Prevention Guide will help keep you from ending up like the guy described above.
Let’s start with the obvious.
Lock It Up
It does not take a genius to know that the first best line of defense in protecting your motorcycle is to lock it up securely. But what does that entail? There are a lot of ways to lock it up, but some methods are better than others. A lot better. One of the best pieces of advice for locking up your motorcycle is to use multiple systems. You can start with a good fork lock, but don’t stop there. Add to that a quality disc lock, one that you can hopefully put on your back wheel. It’s much harder (and that means more time consuming) for a thief to remove a disc lock from a rear wheel than from a front one.
Finally, consider a good u-lock and a heavy steel chain. Feed the chain through the bike’s frame and wrap it around a solid, immovable object like a lamp post or a bunch of other motorcycles. The heavier and more immovable, the better. There are thieves working in groups whose MO is to find a bike that is not locked to another object, lift it up, put it into the back of a truck or van, and drive away.
That’s going to be a lot tougher for them if they have to carry off four other motorcycles or a thirty-foot-tall street light along with your bike.
Park It Safe
The first choice here is to park your bike indoors in a garage, shed or enclosed porch. Out of sight is out of mind, especially for motorcycle thieves. They can’t steal it if they don’t know it’s there. If you have to park outside, choose a well-lit location with a lot of traffic. That may seem counter intuitive. You might think that your bike is safer in a secluded location where few can see it. But keep in mind that thieves like seclusion, too, so that they can take their time cutting through locks or chains, or dismantling the parts they’re the most interested in. Well-lit and busy means that thieves are more likely to get caught doing those bad things that they do.
Do Some Dismantling of Your Own
Most thieves would like to just hop on a bike and go. The more difficult you make it for them to do that, the less likely it is that they will steal your bike. Try loosening a spark plug or removing a fuse. You might even consider removing your clutch lever. Fixing your motorcycle so that it won’t turn over or drop into gear is highly discouraging to the average thief. This kind of “trick” works best if you are parking your bike for a short time in a place where you don’t regularly leave it.
A Few Other Possibilities
You might also want to add a stolen vehicle recovery device like LoJack, or a very loud alarm. Both are effective deterrents, especially when used in combination with a good lock-and-chain system.
Remember, there are three types of motorcycle thieves: the amateur, the semi-pro, and the real professional. The amateur is looking for something he can steal quickly and easily, probably for a joy ride. The semi-pro is a professional wannabe who just doesn’t have what it takes to make a good living at it. Or stay out of jail. The real professional is the one who actually knows his stuff, and if he chooses your bike to steal, he’s probably going to get away with it. Follow the tips I’ve provided and you will likely avoid all three thieves. The first two may try to steal your bike, but won’t have the equipment or brains to pull it off. The real professional will take one look at your anti-theft system, realize that he’s dealing with an owner who knows what he’s doing, leave your bike alone, and take off in pursuit of easier pickings. Like the bike owned by the guy sitting on the curb... crying.