Home Office figures predict a total of 30,000 motorbikes will be reported stolen this year – with only around 12,000 recovered. In short, protecting your motorcycle or scooter against theft is increasingly important. To help you, automotive finance experts Moneybarn has detailed some steps to help put off potential thieves.
Cover the basics
According to Reolink.com, most bike thefts occur when the ignition is shut off, but not locked. It might seem obvious, but make sure you always lock your ignition and remove the key. One of the simplest methods of preventing theft is to not broadcast the value you’ve left sitting on the street – by using a cover. Not only is a cover a time-consuming obstacle for thieves, they often ‘shop’ for particular models – so hide your prized possession to ensure it won’t become someone else’s.
Location, location, location
Of course, the best place to keep your motorbike is in your garage or shed. And, if possible, install a ground anchor to provide a secure post to chain your bike to. If you’re forced to park your bike on the street – try and avoid parking it in the same spot every day, so thieves can’t predict where your bike will be at certain times. Plus, you should look for well-lit and visible spots, ideally within sight of a security camera.
Make it traceable
To help the police track your bike and parts more easily, you can have your motorbike marked with its vehicle identification number (VIN) by etching it onto glass surfaces, such as the headlights. Another alternative is to mark bike parts with your postcode or bike’s registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen. Although these markings are invisible to the naked eye, they appear when you shine an ultra violet light on them. Obviously, make sure you keep a record of which parts you’ve marked.
Think about your locks
Think logically about the locks you use to secure your bike – you shouldn’t be satisfied securing a £10,000 bike with a £50 lock. A single lock, even if it’s a good one, presents only a single deterrent to a would-be thief – if you can, double up by using a chain lock through the back wheel and fixing it to an immovable object in addition to using a disc lock to secure the front brake disc. Another option is to use a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls – immobilising the throttle and front brake, or the clutch.
Sound the alarm
Making sure your motorbike has a quality alarm system fitted will not only put thieves off, but should help to reduce your insurance premiums. Different alarm systems offer different features – a simple shock sensor will go off if someone hits or tries to move the bike, whereas a remote kill switch will allow you to disengage the bike by cutting the connection between the battery and the starter. But the best (and most expensive) option is to fit a Thatcham-rated 1 or 2 alarm system, with tracking, immobilisation, anti-grab and movement sensors.
Know your options if things go wrong
If the worst happens and your bike has been nabbed, the first thing you should do is contact the police and report it. You must also alert your insurance company as soon as possible – but be aware, not all policies will cover the whole value of your vehicle if stolen – check your policy so you’re prepared. And, if you have a brand-new motorbike, consider GAP insurance to ensure full financial protection.
Thanks to financing experts Moneybarn for the feature – for more information on financing a new bike with Moneybarn, click HERE.