Why Your Brain Should Be The First Line Of Defence Against Motorcycle Thieves
Motorcycle security relies heavily on the quality and quantity of the anti-theft devices you choose to protect your motorcycle.
However, it should also be a state of mind. Sure, the best method of theft prevention is to buy the best products you can afford, but of equal importance is the need for security awareness.
With almost 45,000 motorcycle thefts a year, the days of park-and-go are long gone. We have to carefully choose how and where to park our motorcycle to maximize the chance of it still being there on our return.
So let’s take a long, hard look at the best ways to prevent motorcycle theft. Remember, there is one important point to stress in any conversation on this subject; motorcycle security is a state of mind.
Be aware of your surroundings. Remain vigilant of vans or strange vehicles that circle your neighborhood and cruise slowly past your bike. Individuals that loiter and seem to be taking a lot of notice of your ride should also get your spider-senses tingling.
Thieves hate an audience, so when you park, find somewhere with plenty of foot traffic. Close to a cafe or restaurant with outdoor seating is ideal. Leaving your motorcycle on a paved area is also good, as a thief would need to physically move your vehicle to load it onto a pick-up or into a truck.
If you’re in an urban environment, all banks, large shops, and pedestrianized areas have CCTV, so look overhead for any security cameras and park your bike within its coverage range. If you often find yourself downtown, check out motorcycle-friendly parking lots with steel posts or hoops sunk into the concrete. You may be able to attach your motorcycle to these using a lock and chain.
Don’t Make Stealing YOUR Bike Easy
Don’t park your bike in a quiet back alleyway or in a secluded part of a parking lot as this allows a thief to work away on your security devices unnoticed. It will also help to have several secure parking spots worked out if you are a regular commuter.
If a thief is targeting your bike, he’ll be looking at your security devices and checking out his exit strategy. Park in a few different places, and it means more work for him.
One last thing, when it comes to being security conscious, knowledge is power, so put the internet to work. Ten minutes of surfing on sites like the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) gave me plenty of food for thought.
For example, which city and state have the most motorcycle thefts: San Diego, California. The most stolen make of motorcycle: Honda. The worst time of year for theft: July/August. The worst time of the week for theft: Monday and Tuesday nights. Finally, on a positive note, the state with the highest recovery rate: Alaska at 63 percent.
Dig deep, and you’ll discover that combination locks can be overcome by knowing the correct way to hold them as you twist the tumblers. It’s also possible to bite through 10-mm steel cable with a pair of small wire cutters. So remember, as I said before, knowledge is power.
How to Keep Your Motorcycle Safe from Thieves with Motorcycle Anti-Theft Devices
Lock and Chain
A good lock and chain combination is one of the best ways to keep your bike safe. They are flexible and can attach to street furniture. There are some golden rules to follow if you are to get the best out of them, though.
First, buy the best lock and chain combo you can afford. It’s a simple fact, more dollars buys you not only stronger steel, but also a smarter lock. Many top-shelf options are available. Each one with its own unique selling points, so shop around and do your homework.
How are They Overcome?
Locks can be picked, frozen or smashed, and chain links can be cut through or attacked with a cordless grinder. If you secure your lock and chain to the front wheel only, then the wheel can be removed or lifted on to something as simple as a skateboard, and moved.
How To Prevent Your Lock And Chain From Being Removed
Buy the best quality you can afford; top-end locks are freeze-resistant and, in some cases, almost pick proof. The chain should be hardened steel with heavy-duty links.
Thread the chain through the back wheel, especially the swingarm. Most importantly, keep it off the floor, as taut as possible, and attached to a solid post or fence.
Securing your motorcycle to something solid is essential, but whether at home or work, sometimes there isn’t anything suitable, and that’s where the ground anchor comes into its own.
There are many different types, and your location and floor type will dictate which one you choose. The robust quality of the steel used in its construction and the method of fixing the anchor to the floor is critical. As always, research is essential.
How are Ground Anchors Overcome?
Fit them poorly or on an uneven surface, and a thief can get the edge of a crowbar under the anchor. With sufficient leverage, it can be uprooted right out of the ground. Fix an anchor to a wall, and although it may appear solid (like a block construction dividing wall in your garage), the anchor bolts will not offer much resistance to determined thieves with a hammer and chisel.
How To Prevent A Thief Overcoming Your Ground Anchor
Fixing a ground anchor into a concrete floor is your best bet. Make sure you have the correct drill bits so that the hole for the fixing plugs is not too big. If you are installing one in your garage, park your bike as close to a wall and mount the anchor underneath the bike to make it as hard to get at as possible.
Choose the right disc lock, and it can provide a great versatile and highly portable answer to your motorcycle security needs. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, though, as they are only a second line of defense.
As with all motorcycle security devices, the most effective ones may be more expensive and moreover, two are better than one. The best way to utilize two-disc locks is to put one on either side of your caliper.
How are Disc Locks Overcome?
According to at least one video on YouTube, it’s possible to open a cheap disc lock with a circular key using nothing more than the end of a ballpoint pen. If you know where to strike, you can split poor-quality lock bodies with a single blow from a hammer and chisel.
Poorly fitting locks that do not fit snugly over the disc can be levered open. Finally, don’t ride off with your disc lock still attached, a reminder cable is a must.
How To Prevent Thieves From Overcoming Your Disc Lock
Check out the construction material of the disc lock you’re considering, it should be stainless steel or some form of high grade hardened steel and also have a suitably large diameter locking pin.
Ensure that the lock is a good fit for your disc and if you can afford it, buy two and place them on either side of your brake caliper. If possible, fit the lock to your rear disc as front wheels can be easily removed, or if possible, fasten the lock to your sprocket. The best type of disc lock also features an alarm, triggered by the movement of your motorcycle.
There’s an old saying, out of sight is out of mind, which is why putting your bike under a cover is advisable. Use a motorcycle cover alarm and you double your chances of keeping your bike where it should be.
How To Overcome Cover Alarms
The beauty of these versatile alarms is that they are easily hidden meaning thieves won’t realize they are there until the cat is well and truly out the bag. An experienced thief can, however, muffle or smash them.
How To Prevent Thieves From Overcoming Your Cover Alarm
To muffle or destroy the device, first, a thief would need to find its location. The beauty of a cover alarm is that it is battery operated, so if not concealed in the pocket of a cover, stash it somewhere not readily visible.
Both North Dakota and Alaska have an impressive 60 percent plus recovery rate for stolen motorcycles. This high percentage comes down to one of three things; good cops, dumb thieves, or effective tracking devices.
Although a tracker will not prevent the initial theft, it can at least alert you to your bike from being moved. It can then plot its route and hopefully locate your motorcycle before it’s stripped down into parts.
How To Overcome A Tracking Device
Tracking devices use GPS satellite navigation, and some areas have inadequate coverage, which renders them ineffective. Tech-savvy thieves may also carry a certain kitchen consumable to disrupt GPS signals or, worse still, a GPS jammer.
How To Prevent Thieves Overcoming Your Tracking Device
Make sure your tracker offers 3G or 4G coverage as well as GPS. This secondary system allows you to track your stolen vehicle using cellular towers for location instead of satellite. If possible, choose a tracker that requires no hardwiring into your loom. A stand-alone unit is easier to place in an inaccessible part of your bike.
Don’t worry too much; to overcome your tracker with electronic trickery (jammers are illegal), a thief would need to have more gadgets than a Mission Impossible operative.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I prevent my motorcycle from being stolen?
Use a minimum of two different security systems like a lock and chain and a disc lock. If one of the devices has an alarm even better.
Why should I cover my bike when not in use?
Shroud your bike with a decent cover and a thief can’t immediately tell if it’s a Ducati Panigale or a Honda CBR 125. Fit your cover with an alarm and anyone taking a sneaky peak will be given a noisy hello.
What makes motorcycles so easy to steal?
We make it too easy by not taking motorcycle security seriously enough. If a thief is faced with multiple devices he may just keep walking until he finds an easier mark. Don’t be complacent, lock it, or lose it.