Never Say Goodbye
By Diane P. Ortiz
There is no spot in the world emptier than the space where your motorcycle used to be. Motorcycles and scooters are an easy target for thieves if they are not secured because they can be wheeled away or bundled into a van or truck in seconds.
“Motorcycles are twice as likely to be stolen as cars, so it’s important to keep them safe by taking steps to protect them and by choosing the right security devices,” say law enforcement officials. According to National Insurance Crime Bureau Statistics (released late last year) more than 5 motorcycles are stolen every hour and the typical recovery rate is only 25-30%.
Here are a few simple precautions you to help you protect your bike from being stolen, or if it does happen, help you recover your bike:
- Buy an alarm, immobilizers or secondary lock like a disc lock, U-lock, wheel, chain or cable lock. When using chains, make sure they are short and don’t leave access for a thief to use common tools like cutters, grinders etc. to defeat it. Chains can be used to secure your bike to something solid like a lamppost, etc. An approved anti-theft devices like LoJack may also help reduce your insurance premium.
- Always use the steering lock and take the keys with you.
- When out in public, park your motorcycle where it can be seen and preferably where you can see it.
- Cover your bike. There are half-size covers just for this purpose that drape over part of your motorcycle and are fold up into a small, easy-to-carry package.
- Whenever possible, avoid leaving your helmet, gloves or other possessions on the motorcycle. Lock up your luggage and take the tankbag with you.
- Put security markings on as many parts of your bike as possible. You can use an ultra-violet pen to mark your driver’s license number on the vehicle in various places (under the seat, on the engine or on body panels).
- Make a photocopy of your registration and roll it up inside the handlebar, under some cover or in the headlight shell.
- When not using your motorcycle, enable your security devices and, if possible, park in a secure garage or storage facility. If you live in an apartment complex try to find a spot where you can anchor your bike to a pillar or pipe. In your garage you can add to your security by installing a camera and motion-activated floodlights at the entrance.
Motorcycle thefts are often a crime of opportunity. College, mall and airport’s large parking lots are often deserted in the early morning. Motorcycle rallies and shows are also some of the target places for thieves looking for a quick heist. Thankfully, there are a number of mechanical and electronic security devices available to help make your bike more secure. Be proactive and even if you can’t afford the latest and greatest in motorcycle security, add a few levels of theft prevention. It could make the difference between spending the summer with or without your motorcycle.