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For the first time since 2006, motorcycle thefts are on the rise across America. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), after a steady decline over the last 9 years, motorcycle thefts in the U.S. rose by 6% in 2015 with the state of Florida being second only to California in the number of bikes stolen.

While not exactly a personal injury issue, it is possible to file civil claims against criminals, but that isn’t the purpose of the article. The purpose of the piece is to simply forewarn and hopefully prevent you and your ride from becoming a part of these statistics

So in the interest of public service, I offer you these handy tips for keeping your motorcycle safe from thieves.

How Thieves Operate

Motorcycle thieves come in all shapes, sizes and types. They can range from pimple faced teenagers looking for a joy ride and muscle headed goons needing a new set of sliders for their own ride, to hardcore professionals who make a living by selling your bike or its parts to a select clientele.

Regardless, of the type of thieves we are talking about, they are going to steal your motorcycle using one of two methods.

  1. Snap your locks and ride it away.
  2. Lift it, by some means, into another vehicle and drive off with it.

While there is no foolproof way of protecting your bike against either of these methods, there is a lot you can do to make the thieves’ lives more complicated and your ride a little less attractive to them.

Protecting Your Motorcycle

As stated above, there is no guaranteed way to stop a determined bike thief. The best that you can hope to do is to make stealing your bike more trouble and time-consuming than it is worth for them.

To accomplish this, you should use layers of protection or security.

Yes, you should:

  • Lock your steering (DUH!)
  • Use a Disc Lock with alarm
  • Use a U-Lock
  • Use a chain
  • Install a kill switch

These are all simple things you can use to help slow down a thief, but better yet is to use them with a little forethought and in combinations and develop an anti-theft strategy.

Develop a Strategy

Disc locks are great, but most people use them on the front of their bikes. A thief will simply drop your front rim and take the rest of the bike. Place Disc Locks on the rear of your bike to make their lives a little harder or get really creative and buy two Disc Locks, of different types, one for the rear and one for the front.

Use locks in combinations. U-Lock your front rim to your skid bars and then chain your frame to an immovable object.

With the wide variety of locking mechanisms that are available on the market today, the variety of combinations you can come up with are almost endless.

The point isn’t to stop the thieves. We have already determined that can never be done, but time is a thieves’ enemy. Every minute they spend trying to defeat your security the odds of them getting caught goes up.

If your bike will take too long for them to steal, they will take the usual path of a coward and find an easier target.

I specialize in personal injury law and focus on motorcycle accidents, but that doesn’t mean I only care when you need an attorney. First and foremost in my mind are always my brothers and sisters of the road and how I can best serve you. That is why we post information like this and why I’ll pass along one of my own favorite tips. Carry a small screwdriver or multi-tool with you. When you park your bike, leave it in gear and remove the clutch handle. It makes it very hard to ride away with.