Motorcycle theft remains a big problem in the UK, with around 60 machines stolen every day. Any bike owner, or prospective bike owner, should take the issue of machine security seriously.
However, it’s not just a case of locking your bike up securely. After all, bike theft can happen at any time, wherever you may be. Some machines are stolen from home (inside a garage or not); some from the street; some from work; and others when you’re out and about. So, it’s obvious that different types of security are needed for different scenarios, and you will of course need to find whichever best suits your circumstances. Here’s our round-up of some of the best.
The best security for your bike when at home is a garage, but that’s not possible for everyone, and even if you have a garage it doesn’t mean your bike is theft proof.
Always remember the following:
Most bike theft involves machines being lifted, pushed or ridden away, so the best prevention is to immobilise it, wherever your bike’s stored.
The best way to immobilise your machine on your own property, even in a garage, is with a ground anchor. These provide a solid fixing point, which you can then secure your bike to using a good U-lock or hefty chain and padlock.
If for whatever reason you can’t use a ground anchor, try securing your machine to an existing anchor point if possible. This could be part of the door mechanism if inside a garage, or heavy railings if in a yard or alley.
Lock as many access points as possible. If you have a garage, lock the garage doors securely. If you’re parking in a back yard or passageway, is there a gate you can lock?
Out of sight is out of mind, so use a bike cover, particularly if parking on the street.
Away from home security
When out and about, whether on a day trip, at work, or popping to the shops, ground anchors and garages are probably not possible, but there are still plenty of theft prevention measures you can take.
Try to carry a decent U-lock, or chain and padlock that you can use to shackle your bike, ideally to an immovable object or, at least another bike. Many bikes have U-lock holders under the seat, while others are available as bolt-on accessories. However, never carry a chain over your shoulder when riding, as it can cause serious injury in the case of an accident.
If this isn’t possible, a small disc lock can be a deterrent to a casual thief, although it won’t stop determined or professional thieves who will often steal a motorcycle by lifting it off the ground and loading into a van.
Additional security measures
Whether at home or away, there are a variety of added security measures you should consider.
Alarms/immobilisers. Although these don’t guarantee theft prevention, good quality ones fitted professionally certainly act as a deterrent. They can sometimes be an insurance requirement, and can also often lead to insurance premium reductions.
ID tagging. Many motorcycles are stolen either to be sold on under a new identity, or broken up for sale as spares. Security marking as many parts of your bike as possible, via a system such as Datatag, can act as a deterrent.
Tracking devices have proved hugely successful in car crime, and are now catching on with bikes. Devices such as Datatool’s TrakKING, can provide instant notification of theft and provide a high chance of recovery.
And finally, some additional tips
When out and about, always park and secure your bike in a well-lit, well-observed location with plenty of passers-by. Thieves prefer not to be watched while committing crimes.
Look after your keys. There’s not much point taking extensive security measures if your bike and lock keys can be easily pinched, located or duplicated. Look after them, and lock them away out of sight.
Disable your bike. It might not stop it being stolen, but it’ll certainly help your bike being taken easily. Take off a plug cap or remove a fuse. It can only help.
Be cautious and unpredictable. Be prudent about telling people about your bike. Do you really want to put it on social media so everyone knows what you’ve got and where it is? Try to vary the places you park, so your habits aren’t predictable.