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How to Prevent Theft of a Parked Motorcycle

If you have spent years using and maintaining your motorcycle, then you will want to protect it. However, you can’t always keep your eye on it. When you park the bike and leave it alone, there is a chance that someone might try to steal or vandalize it. That could be a big cost to you, and you might have to file a claim on your motorcycle insurance to cover the costs. What can you do to prevent these theft risks?

Why Bikes Get Stolen
All motor vehicles represent monetary value. Someone might try to steal a motorcycle or vandalize it for its parts and accessories. Both full bikes and their unique parts could equal cash. Plus, motorcycles don't provide the security of lockable doors. Someone might be able to make off with a bike or its parts quickly and with minimal risk of detection.

Protecting a Parked Bike
More than 41,000 motorcycle thefts occurred in the United States in 2018. However, the authorities only recovered about 44% of the stolen bikes (roughly 18,000). So, even if you have insurance and report the theft, then there is still a lower chance that you will get the bike back. Therefore, a responsible biker should still do all they can to safeguard a bike when they park and walk away.

  • Never leave the bike's key in the ignition when leaving the bike.
  • If the bike has an alarm system, then always arm it, even in your driveway.
    Keep your saddle bags and storage boxes locked. Empty them when you plan to be away from the bike for a long period.
  • Many bikers use chains to secure motorcycles to racks like they would the average bike. Some carry the added protection of a handlebar lock to secure control surfaces.
  • When parking in public, park in well-lighted areas, close to other vehicles. This might seem like it leaves your bike exposed. However, these are often areas that have the most foot traffic. Thieves are less likely to strike in areas where they are likely to get caught.
  • At home, park the bike close to the house, preferably in a garage or under a carport. Cover it with a tarp. Do not leave the bike exposed to a place where passersby could easily see it. Install a motion-detector camera or light to look over the parking area.

    Don’t forget, you can better track your bike if you have the correct paperwork in order. Keep the title, VIN, financial and insurance information together in one place. The identifying information on each document should match the others and the bike. That way, if theft ever does occur, you won’t face hurdles arising from improper documentation.