By: KGD Law
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Motorcycle Theft and Safeguarding Your Bike
According to a Statista report, Florida ranks #2 in the nation for motorcycle theft with 4,085 thefts reported in the year 2019. This is somewhat because of motorcycle theft rings, but it is also because motorcycles are relatively easy to steal. That is why every motorcycle owner should take precautions to safeguard his or her bike.
Why Are So Many Motorcycles Stolen?
If you are a motorcycle rider, then you probably already understand why motorcycles are so easy to steal. There are no doors to lock, and many riders don’t invest in theft prevention devices. The bikes are parked out in the open, and if a thief has the opportunity, it is easily discoverable. Moreover, many thefts happen at apartment buildings or places where bikes are not stored securely.
Hondas are reportedly the most-stolen brand of motorcycle, but that doesn’t mean thieves are out patrolling for Hondas. Instead, these bikes are very popular. Having more of a certain brand of bike on the road means it will be stolen more often.
So many motorcycles are stolen because it is easy to cut locks. The thief may be able to simply wheel the bike away. Lastly, they are easy to hide because they are small.
How Do You Safeguard Your Bike?
There are many ways to safeguard your bike, and they are mostly anti-theft devices and behavioral changes that limit the opportunity for would-be thieves. Here is a list of multiple things a rider can do.
One of the first things a rider can do to protect their bike is to pay attention to where he or she parks the bike. Parking far out in a parking lot where the motorcycle is easily hidden by cars gives prowlers ample time, opportunity, and an out-of-sight location to commit crime. Parking on any open street where there aren’t a lot of people can also be risky but better than among vehicles that can hide the thief’s activity.
Instead of parking in a place where nobody will notice a motorcycle thief, try to park among motorcycles. Other motorcyclists will notice someone trying to break a lock or engage in other actions that clearly result in theft. Not only that, but someone who is already riding a motorcycle is unlikely to have the want to ride/steal a different one.
Fork Lock and Disc Brake Lock
Most riders will tell you that a fork lock is only a mild deterrent to motorcycle theft. Thieves can easily break the locks. Moreover, they don’t need to break the lock. Even an unorganized thief can simply lift the front of the bike and wheel it into a larger vehicle. Still, fork locks are one anti-theft device available for motorcycles.
A better option to make your motorcycle immobile is a disc brake lock. This is because it stops your motorcycle from rolling, which makes moving it much more difficult. A well-built disc lock is not easy to break, and it will successfully deter many thieves.
Many motorcycles are stolen directly from the owner’s home, which makes security cameras an excellent option. Not only are visible security cameras a deterrent, but should the thief make off with your motorcycle, you will have evidence to provide to the police. Security cameras are helpful, but they should be used together with other anti-theft devices.
Chain It Up
Parking your bike outside for an extended period of time is sometimes a necessity for various reasons. In these cases, chaining your motorcycle to something that cannot be moved is advised. Just like chaining up a bicycle, the chain must be able to hold up to bolt cutters, so make sure it is quality.
Alarm systems work well for motorcycles from a standpoint of functioning, but they aren’t always effective. Especially in areas where alarms have become commonplace, they may be ineffective. People who hear alarms go off all day every day aren’t even likely to turn their heads when yours starts.
A discrete GPS tracking unit is a popular way to protect motorcycles in addition to locks because if the bike is successfully taken, you can track it down. The GPS unit connects to your phone and displays a map with the location of the motorcycle. This is very effective because you aren’t likely to visually find the bike. It could be in a shipping container somewhere. The only way to find it is to have a GPS tracking device.
If you have an original equipment kill switch, make sure that is how you shut off your bike, so it cannot be started again without disabling the kill switch. Aftermarket kill switches sometimes offer more protection because they can be hidden in places that are unknown to the thief. This isn’t the best protection for your bike. Again, this can be used with other methods to safeguard your motorcycle.
Lastly, if your home does not have enclosed storage for your bike, try to get it. This is difficult in apartment buildings or rentals, but it is easily achieved if you are a homeowner. Even if you don’t own your home, talk to your landlord and see if you can come up with a solution.
Keeping your bike stored does not ensure it is safe, as thieves will break into buildings. However, it keeps your motorcycle out of sight. Would-be thieves may never know that you have a motorcycle stored. This can be combined with locks, security cameras, and GPS systems to provide double coverage.
Finding the Perfect Motorcycle Theft Safeguards
There are many things to consider when finding the perfect mix of motorcycle theft safeguards. You must consider the cost of each measure contrasted with the value of your bike. Another thing to consider is the convenience of each method. In most cases, you will find multiple measures that can be taken to keep your bike safe, but it probably won’t include all the methods listed above. More than likely, you find a couple methods that work for you, and it will be enough to lessen the risk of your motorcycle being stolen.
Insurance Coverage for Stolen Bikes
One other thing that you can do to lessen the loss of a stolen motorcycle is to purchase insurance coverage. Some insurance policies do not cover theft, or you may need to add comprehensive coverage in order to have monetary protection for your loss. Check with your insurance to make sure you have coverage. If you don’t, consider whether the cost of insurance is worth the risk avoidance.
If you have suffered a loss related to a stolen motorcycle, you may be able to collect damages through a lawsuit. Make sure you talk to an attorney who is experienced in motorcycle-related losses, and you will be efficiently guided through the process of a lawsuit. The biggest disappointment in lawsuits can be the time that it takes to reach a judgement, which is why an experienced lawyer who can speed up the process is essential to a positive experience.
At the Law Offices of Kirshner, Groff, and Diaz, you’ll find lawyers with motorcycle-related case experience. Contact them today for a no-obligation consultation.