Over the last few years, the motorcycle industry has benefited from strong increases in sales across all sectors. In January 2016 alone, sales of new motorbikes increased by 14.2%, however, accompanying the rise of motorbike sales, is an associated rise in motorbike theft.
A recent National Crime Intelligence Service survey, which called upon the latest police figures on motorbike crime, revealed that more motorbikes are stolen in the UK than are bought new, and it takes a thief on average, just 20 seconds to steal a motorbike worth almost £10,000.
With a motorbike being worth anything from £1,000 to £20,000, it’s easy to see how each month criminal gangs are able to steal almost £3,000,000 worth of motorbikes. Once stolen, the fate of the stolen bike can be loosely guaranteed to fall into one of the three categories below:
- Stolen to order – Bikes will appear with new details and will be exported to the continent
• Broken down and sold as parts
• Stolen for joyriding
Considering the above figures, it’s no surprise that the stereotypical bike thief is not some burly man with bolt cutters and a white van. The incredibly low recovery rates, which currently sit at just 40%, certainly support the fact that most bike thefts are carried out by highly organised gangs.
An unusual approach
Dr Ken German, who works for the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group has drawn attention to a new trend of motorcycle theft, involving scooters. He explains:
Thieves ride around on scooters in a group and target a parked bike. They will then break the steering lock using either brute force or a battery powered cutting device, and then one will then steer the bike while the other ride alongside on scooters pushing it. Thieves will go to extraordinary lengths to keep the stolen bike moving – they run red lights, carve up buses, ride the wrong way down one-way streets – they really don’t care’
Preventing Motorcycle Theft
All the things that make your motorbike so special, its minimal weight, stunning looks and high performance make your bike easy to steal, and desirable to buy on the black market. Below, MSG Bike Gear share some tips and tricks to help prevent the theft of your beloved.
Camouflage & Concealment
Prevention is certainly better than cure, and in our book the first step towards prevention is concealment. Opportunistic thieves are less likely to target your bike if they don’t know it’s there, or they don’t know what bike it is, or what measures you have used to secure it.
Regardless of whether your vehicle is stored inside or out, a motorcycle cover is essential in achieving the above discretion. An added bonus is that motorbike covers protect your bike from the elements. Starting from just £20, they are essential items.
Lock & Load… (OK, just lock)
There are a number of different aftermarket locks, ground anchors and chains available, which can effectively protect your bike. Police guidelines suggest that you should consider spending between 10-15% on bike security, whilst this can be seen as a little extreme in some cases, it does serve to draw attention to the attention you need to place on motorbike security.
Your motorbike can easily be stolen by four people simply lifting it off the ground and handling it into the back of a van. At home or at your place of work, we recommend purchasing a ground anchor for you to secure your bike to. Ground anchors are inexpensive, and are available from as little as around £15.
If you are out and about on your bike, on a touring holiday for example, a ground anchor is not a feasible option. In these cases, use a security chain to secure your bike against a solid object. If you are riding with friends, ask to lock your bikes together, essentially each bike will act as a ground anchor for one another.
Other security options include disc locks, coil locks, loop locks and wall anchors.
Alarms & Immobilisers
If your bike doesn’t have these fitted, it should do. Through purchasing a Thatcham approved, professionally fitted alarm, you won’t just deter thieves, you will also lower your insurance premiums.
Remove Key Parts
A simple yet effective way of keeping hold of your bike, is to remove the spark plug or HT cap. Whilst this is advantageous, don’t rely on this as your only means of security.
Mark your Motorbike
Whilst not directly preventing your motorcycle from theft, marking parts of your motorbike with a vehicle registration number will help your bike to be recovered. It will also help prevent your bike being split into parts and sold. Methods vary from a simple UV pen to more advanced systems which can include Smartwater, Datatag and Alphadot.
MSG Bike Gear sells everything you need to ride your motorcycle and to keep it safe. We sell locks, chains, ground anchors and other accessories for security. We also sell boots, gloves, clothing, helmets, heated grips and much much more. All helmets are ECE 22.01 safety standards. (http://www.msgbikegear.co.uk)