Lock down your ride.
Motorcycle theft amounts to a serious problem for all cyclists, especially those living in cities. In the last year alone, the Metropolitan Police reported that 9,500 bikes with a combined value estimated at £28 million were stolen in London alone. However, motorcyclists have never had so many tools available to them to deter bike theft and keep their pride and joy safe, both at home and when out and about. We consider some of the best tools in your arsenal below.
It’s easiest to prevent motorcycle theft at home, where you have some control over the environment. For example, it’s worth installing a ground anchor, such as the Mammoth Security Bolt-In Ground Anchor.
This ground anchor includes ball bearings to hammer into the bolt heads once secured, preventing the easy removal of the bolts. It’s always worth installing a ground anchor into concrete wherever possible, so if your shed or garage has a wooden floor, remove a small portion of it to gain access to the concrete foundation below.
Once anchored properly, a motorcycle should be nearly impossible to remove, and the only potential vulnerability remains the bike chain. Where possible, you should opt for a chain lock which can double as a disc lock – i.e. a lock which can be fitted around the brake disk of your motorcycle. Not only does this prevent the motorcycle from being wheeled off if the chain is broken but not the lock, it also makes it far more difficult for a would-be thief to use larger machinery (such as a sledgehammer or hydraulic ram) to break the lock. One such chain lock is the Oxford Nemesis Chain , which has a 16mm shackle – too thick for bolt cutters to sever.
Where possible, you can also store your motorcycle behind a larger vehicle too, creating a further obstacle to be surmounted by more determined thieves.
ID your bike
So how can you protect your bike when parking away from home? As above, a quality chain lock is always advisable, but of equal importance is ensuring that your motorcycle is fitted with an ID system, like the ubiquitous Datatag Motorcycle Identification System
This multi-layered electronic ID system includes transponders and chemical etching to generate a ‘fingerprint’ for your motorcycle, making it easy for the Police to identify the owner. In fact, the Crown Prosecution Service has never lost a court case in which Datatag has been used as evidence. The warning decals provided with a Datatag ID system can make your motorcycle a far less tempting target than apparently unregistered machines.
If the worst happens, track your bike down
There’s also the tricky issue of recovery. Estimates for the recovery rate for stolen motorcycles vary between about 15 and 40 percent – hardly favourable odds. However, some of the top-of-the-range GPS trackers are worth serious consideration as recovery devices. Take the Oxford GPS Tracker EL120, which magnetically attaches to your motorbike without the need for wiring.
It can be easily concealed, and the Geofence mode pings an alert to your registered phone, tablet or computer in the event that the motorcycle moves beyond a 5m radius around where the tracker was activated. Alarm mode can then be used to immediately report the bike as stolen.
Whilst no motorcycle is truly theft-proof, it’s worth bearing in mind that many cyclists fail to implement any meaningful preventative measures against theft. So, in a game of odds, it’s often a case of making your motorcycle the least attractive target for theft on the block.