How Do I Protect My Motorcycle From Theft

There are a million ways to lower the odds of your motorcycle being stolen

Abus U-lock.
If you use a U-lock like this Abus, keep it away from the ground, which a thief can use to get extra leverage against it.Abus

Just because no one has ever stolen your motorcycle before doesn't mean that it won't happen today. All kinds of motorcycles get stolen from all sorts of places. All kinds of motorcycles are susceptible to being hoisted into the back of a van, from full-sized touring bikes to boring little beaters–anything can get snatched.

We have heard of old beat-up "entry-level" bikes being stolen despite being carefully locked up and covered as well brand-new bikes wearing locks and stashed away in seemingly safe locked private garages or inside gated yards. Motorcycle gathering places, shows, races, rallies, charity rides, etc. are often targeted. Urban areas are probably more dangerous for motorcycles, but we have also heard of bikes being stolen from farm sheds. The fact is, everyone is susceptible to theft, whether you realize it or not.

How To Prevent Motorcycle Theft

The old adage of “out of sight, out of mind,” holds true. The less your bike is seen, the less likely a thief is to cozy up to it. If you don't have a garage, keep it covered. Not knowing what's underneath makes it harder to assess the difficulty of stealing it or to know if it's even a bike they want. By putting an unbranded cover on your bike, you mystify what is actually under your cover.

Lock Your Steering Lock

Although readily defeated, your bike's steering lock can be a first-step defense and will discourage easy maneuvering of the bike. It is even more useful if your ignition and steering locks are separate, so the thief needs to defeat two locks to escape with your scooter.

Keep Your Lock Off The Ground

Whatever lock you use, don't rest it on the ground, where the thief is more likely to be able to get enough leverage to break it. If you attach the lock up and away from the ground, the thief probably won't have that extra leverage to pry the lock open. The lock or chain should be attached through the frame, or less desirably, fork or wheel.

Lock Your Motorcycle To Something Heavy

A disc lock might inconvenience joy-riders, but determined thieves can simply hoist such a bike into a waiting truck. If you add a cable to it and anchor that to something solid, you have a more formidable foe. Even bikes inside garages should be securely locked.

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 And New York Disc Lock, 14mm x 60"

Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain 1415 And New York Disc Lock, 14mm x 60
This lock and chain combo is perfect for anchoring your bike to something immovable.Amazon

Use Multiple Locks On Your Bike

It's best to use two or more locks of different types in addition to your bike's built-in lock(s). Unless a thief has surveilled your bike, he probably won't be prepared to tackle different kinds of locks, and if one of them anchors the bike to something immovable, a gang won't be able to carry it to a truck.

Buy Quality Locks And Chains

Go for the good stuff when shopping for security: Alarmed disc locks, U-locks of hardened steel, and asymmetrical chains—5/8 inch or greater—all rate highly.

Xena XX-6 Alarm Lock

Xena XX-6 Alarm Lock
This alarmed disc lock is tough and loud, letting you know when anyone moves your bike.Amazon

Install A Hidden Kill Switch

If you're really determined to foil the bad guys, wire up a kill switch or spring-loaded switch that must be held down when the start button is depressed. Some riders have foiled attempted thefts by simply removing the main fuse when they parked their bikes.

Park Your Bike In A Well-Lit Location

If you park outside, choose a well-lit, conspicuous area. If you can't lock your bike to something solid and stationary, try another bike (preferably not one belonging to a stranger). Even plastering your bike with "Alarm Installed" stickers could discourage the bastards.

Alarm Your Bike

Alarms may seem like a good way to attract attention to the fact that someone is attempting to purloin your bike, but in most places we have gotten so used to false alarms that people don't investigate or even bother to look. But everyone pays attention to the sounds of destruction—such as breaking glass. A large stack of beer bottles with a trip wire makes a sound that everyone will investigate when it gets tipped over.

Be Vigilant

Professional thieves often find the bikes they want to steal by following them to where they are parked during the day or night. Then they size up the situation and come back with what they need to bag the motorcycle. So, as you approach your destination, especially if it's home, watch your mirrors for several blocks. If someone seems to be following you, try to lose them, pull over and let them pass (leaving an escape route in case they are bike-jackers), make a U-turn, or go around the block. Anyone who continues to follow you is probably trouble. Just don't go home or into your company or school parking lot until you have shaken them off.

Remember To Always Lock Your Bike

Last but not least, remember to always lock your bike up, no matter the time in between your rides. It’s better to take the extra five minutes to take some locks off, then to call the police and wait 15 minutes for them to get there to take your information.

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Theft increases during the riding months, when bikes are more likely to be parked some place vulnerable and in demand.Motorcycle Cruiser