How to prevent motorcycle theft?

As you know, motorcycles are a convenient and practical means of transportation, especially in large cities. They offer advantages such as avoiding traffic, easy parking, and lower fuel costs. However, there is a significant problem: the risk of theft.

To minimize the risk of motorcycle theft, the most effective measure is to park in secure locations and enhance the vehicle’s security with one or preferably multiple anti-theft systems.

Below, we will discuss these and many other tips to prevent motorcycle theft:


Best prevention measures to avoid motorcycle theft

  1. Avoid leaving your motorcycle parked for several days: If you leave your motorcycle parked for an extended period and a thief notices it, it becomes an attractive target for theft. The perfect theft is one where the victim takes time to realize the theft. Keep in mind that within a couple of days, a group of criminals can steal, dismantle, and easily sell the motorcycle’s parts. Therefore, avoid parking in the same place all the time (to avoid the impression of infrequent use) and, if not in use, move it to a different location periodically.
  2. Avoid leaving your motorcycle in a neglected state: If your motorcycle appears dirty, it may give the impression that it has been parked there for many days, making it less likely for the owner to notice its theft.
  3. Park your motorcycle in secure locations. The safest places to park motorcycles are:
  • Well-lit areas.
  • Areas with constant traffic.
  • Areas with surveillance cameras.
  • Parkings in places with a constant flow of users (not at a specific time). For example, any facility with prior appointment requirements, such as a hospital.
  • Near police stations or fire stations.
  1. Use your car to block the motorcycle’s exit: If you have a car, you can use it to block the motorcycle’s path, preventing it from being moved without first moving the car.
  2. Park the motorcycle behind a physical barrier from the road: Nowadays, many thefts occur by simply loading the motorcycle onto a van. Parking next to the road makes this maneuver very easy for thieves. However, if there is a barrier or any other type of urban furniture blocking access to the road, this modus operandi becomes more difficult for the thieves.
  3. Do not leave the helmet in the motorcycle’s trunk: Motorcycle trunk locks are often fragile and easy to open. It is better to carry the helmet with you.
  4. Never leave the documentation in the trunk: In case of theft, you will have to spend time dealing with the corresponding procedures and fees. It is better to carry notarized photocopies of the documents or have the documentation in the official mobile application of the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is entirely legal (in fact, it is recommended).
  5. Always use common sense to avoid distractions and prevent easy theft:
  • Never leave the motorcycle running and unattended, even for a moment.
  • Always lock the steering when parking.
  • Always use all available anti-theft systems, even if you’re just entering or leaving briefly.
  1. Secure the motorcycle to street furniture if it is legal in your municipality: By attaching the motorcycle to urban furniture, it becomes more challenging to steal. Make sure it is legal in your city (as many cities have regulations against it).
  2. Customize your motorcycle: By modifying the color or aesthetics of certain elements of your motorcycle, it becomes less attractive for theft. The main goal for thieves is the resale of parts, which must be factory original to be easily sold in the black market.
  3. Be cautious when going on vacation: If you are going on vacation, it is the perfect opportunity for criminals to steal your motorcycle, as you won’t notice the theft for a while, making it easier for them to go unnoticed. Ideally, leave your motorcycle at home (or in a secure parking lot with surveillance). Also, take precautions to prevent theft at your residence during vacations, as explained in this other article.
  4. Cover the motorcycle with a cover: If your motorcycle is expensive or a highly sought-after model, it becomes more attractive for theft. In the first case, the parts will have a high value, and in the second case, they will be easy to resell. If you fall into either of these categories, you can cover your motorcycle with a cover to prevent others from seeing the exact model.


Best anti-theft systems for your motorcycle

The most useful anti-theft systems currently available are listed below. It is not necessary to acquire all of them, but it is advisable to have several (each anti-theft system provides an extra layer of protection).

  1. Alarm system: There are various types of alarm systems available, such as motion alarms, alarms connected to disc locks, internet-connected alarms capable of sending alerts to your mobile phone and providing geolocation, alarms with kill switches, etc. Depending on the value of your motorcycle, you can choose a lower or higher range alarm system.
  2. Disc lock: This lock is attached to the handlebar, activating the brake until it is disarmed, rendering the motorcycle immobile.
  3. Steering lock: Most motorcycles come with a built-in steering lock. Remember to activate it and lock the handlebars when parking.
  4. Chain lock: Use a sturdy chain to lock the wheel to the fork. Otherwise, it can be easily broken.
  5. Pin lock: It is convenient to use but relatively weak and can be easily broken.
  6. U-lock: U-locks are quite secure and difficult to break.
  7. Disc lock: They are practical because they are easy to carry, install, and remove. They serve as effective anti-theft devices.
  8. Ground anchor system (Wilock): This system involves anchoring the motorcycle wheel to the ground in private garage spaces, completely immobilizing the vehicle.
  9. Kill switch: It prevents the motorcycle from starting when activated.

If you are unsure about which models of anti-theft systems to choose, where to buy them, or their prices, you can consult our recommendations for purchasing motorcycle security systems in this section.


What to do if your motorcycle is stolen?

So far, we have discussed prevention, deterrence, and hindrance tips for motorcycle theft. Now let’s see what steps to take to recover our motorcycle if it is stolen:

  1. Report the theft to the police as soon as possible: Promptly filing a theft report is vital. Although it is not very likely, there is a chance that the criminal gang might be caught, and your motorcycle could be recovered.
  2. Mark the frame number or license plate: If the most valuable parts of your motorcycle are marked with inscriptions indicating your ownership, you have a better chance of recovery.
  3. Install a GPS tracking device: GPS devices have proven to be very effective, and in many cases, they have helped authorities recover stolen motorcycles. Due to the low cost of these devices, it is easy to acquire and install one, which is why thieves are less likely to take the risk. It is now common for them to steal a motorcycle, transport it in a van, and leave it parked in another location for several days. If they see that the owner has not come to retrieve it within a few days, they assume that the motorcycle does not have a GPS tracker, making it an easy and risk-free theft.
  4. Have comprehensive or third-party insurance with theft coverage: Paying a slightly higher annual premium for insurance will ensure coverage in case of theft. With a police report, you can claim compensation equivalent to the value of your motorcycle.

As you can see, there are many ways to increase your security and reduce the risks of motorcycle theft. Choose the methods that best suit you and your situation.

If you found this article interesting, you might also be interested in another one on how to prevent the theft of electric motorcycle batteries.