SecurityIn the past five years some 115,000 motorcycles worth about £70 million have been stolen and not recovered. Yet of the 900,000 motorcycles in the UK, less than half are fitted with security devices. A third of motorcycle insurance claims are for stolen machines and as a result insurance premiums have almost doubled in recent years.
Motorcycles are an easy target for the opportunist thief and can be wheeled away or bundled into a van in seconds. All machines are at risk.
Professional thieves target the machines they want. They either steal them for resale or "cannibalise" them to rebuild damaged motorcycles. Many are stolen for the overseas market.
Although motorcycles may seem harder to secure than cars, basic security is a must
To make life as difficult as possible for both casual and professional thieves, make sure you do the following:
- During the day, park in a busy, public place
- At night, park in a well-lit area
- Try to vary the parking place
Always engage the steering lock
Wherever possible, attach the motorcycle to an immovable object or another motorcycle, using high tension steel cable and a high quality padlock, or a U-lock through the rear wheel or bike frame
Don’t leave your crash helmet, or other possessions, attached to the motorcycle or in pannier bags.
Besides the obvious safeguards, you should consider all possible extras’ to make your machine more secure. Some shops and dealers offer discounts on security devices when you buy a motorcycle or other equipment. But make sure you fit the right equipment - the wrong device might not fit or could fail to work. The Motorcycle Retailers’ Association should be able to advise on where to find the best offers from reputable dealers.
Put the following items on your security checklist:
Fit a motorcycle alarm, available from DlY or bike shops, and make it conspicuous. An alarm warning sticker will help put off the opportunist thief.
Security marking as many parts of the motorcycle and accessories as possible with the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), registration number or your postcode, will:
Provide proof of ownership and evidence for police use.
There are various methods of security marking, all inexpensive and easily available, either through DIY or carried out professionally by dealers:
Indelible ink or ultraviolet pens can be used to mark a motorcycle’s non-metal parts and accessories and are available from most stationers.
Ultraviolet marks are invisible to the naked eye but show up under an ultraviolet lamp. However, remember to renew such marks every few weeks before they begin to fade.
Engraving or etching
Metal stamps or a glass etching kit can also be used and should be accompanied by a security sticker warning "All parts marked".