More motorcycles are stolen than are bought: what can you do to protect your bike?
Motorcycles may be an increasing mode of transport, but recent statistics show that they are far more likely to be stolen than a car, due in part to simple carelessness. A remarkable seven out of 10 owners leave their bikes unlocked in city bike parks.
More worryingly, perhaps, is that bike thieves are altering their approach. When we think of motorbike theft, we might think of people lifting bikes into the backs of vans. In reality, this is rare. Thieves are instead becoming increasingly confrontational. Recently, thieves even stormed a motorcycle store in Croydon and attempted to simply wheel bikes out, threatening staff with hammers.
But bikers, experts and even thieves themselves are in agreement that it is often a case of taking the simplest steps to ensure your bike isn’t the next to go.
Do the basics
Thieves are looking for a quick steal. One thief admitted that “most people will give it a few seconds, maybe a couple minutes, and if they can’t get it they are gone”. Placing obstacles in their way can hinder their attempts. Secure devices such as a heavy-duty padlock and chain, a disc lock, alarms and additional locks can be used to lock your bike to an immovable object like a lamppost or metal barrier. If possible, lock your bike to another bike so that if thieves get through your chains, they’ll have to go through more to get what they want.
Ensuring your chain goes through the frame, not just the wheel, is also important. They should be tightly wrapped around to make it difficult to cut. Even a protective cover can deter criminals not wanting to hang around those few extra seconds to see what is hidden underneath.
Right place, right time
Where you store your bike depends on circumstance. Garages are naturally the safest option but not everybody has access to one. If your bike is stored on the street, ensure you use your safety devices. If a criminal activates an alarm, it can make them flee. Again, covering your bike could help here. Installing a CCTV camera can have a significant impact on the chances of a theft occurring, with one biker reporting that his fake CCTV camera successfully neutralised an attempted theft.
If you commute to work and store your bike somewhere, it’s important you choose somewhere that is well-lit and open to the public. A common misconception might be in storing it somewhere you think no thief would look, but this allows the thief to work with a minimal chance of being seen.
Keep it tracked
Use a tracking device wherever possible. 60% of all stolen bikes are never seen again. You could also make your bike more distinguishable by applying characteristics to it that cannot be removed. Consider adding features that are less noticeable so that identification is easier if found.
If your motorcycle is stolen, you should report it to the police as soon as possible. You should also inform your insurance company.
If you require more information or are looking for an insurance policy to protect you in the event of a theft, talk to us at Watkin Davies Insurance Consultants. We work with specialist insurers and can cater to your specific needs. Contact us now on 02920 621 056