Theft of two-wheeled powered machines in the UK, which includes motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, has been rising in the last few years. It’s actually a problem that many other European countries are also facing with countries like Spain and Italy posting far worse theft statistics than the UK.
In the UK, roughly only 40% of stolen motorcycles are recovered, the rest forever disappearing, sometimes to other European countries.
Popular models like the Yamaha YSF 600 R Thunder Cat, the Kawasaki ZX-6R and Honda CBF 125 seem to attract the highest number of thieves.
So what to do if your motorcycle is stolen? If your motorcycle is stolen, it’s important to act quickly. Give yourself 2 minutes to freak out and then compose yourself and take these steps.
1. Check the Surrounding Area
Sometimes thieves still a bike only to dump it nearby, waiting to see if it has a tracker. If no one comes for it, they can confidently take it away for sale or stripping.
They could have also encountered a problem, maybe a neighbour who spotted them, and may have left the bike a short distance from where it was parked.
Take a short walk of the surrounding area, checking the streets and alleys for any sign of your motorcycle. Watch out for covered motorcycles. They will sometimes cover it as they wait to see if there is any tracking.
2. Call the Police
Calling the police immediately you notice the bike is stolen doesn’t help much. The thieves are most likely far off by then and even the police don’t usually respond immediately.
Only call after you have searched the surrounding area. Call the non-emergency number (101) and talk to a local police officer.
They will ask for your bike’s description and registration details. You’ll also be asked to go down to the station to make a report.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Your first call should be to the police then the insurance company.
Insurers will not consider your claim until you have reported the crime to the police. They will then carry out their own investigation before paying out your claim.
4. Monitor Online Classifieds and Second Hand Stores
Most stolen motorcycles are quickly sold either in whole or stripped down parts. They appear in online second hand stores and classified like eBay and Gumtree.
Over the next few days, monitor these sites. Your motorcycle may just pop up. You can even set up alerts for your bike model and description. You’ll be notified if a bike similar to yours goes up.
5. Seek Help from Online Forums and Communities
Post an alert to online motorcycle forums. Motorcycle communities tend to be tight-knit and often willing to help.
You can also post to your social media accounts asking your friends and followers to keep an eye out. If you know some Facebook groups for motorcycle owners in your area, they can also help.
How to Secure Your Motorcycle Outside
Thieves have been getting more creative and brazen when stealing motorcycles. They won’t hesitate to cut through a steel chain even if it involves making a bit of a racket.
The best way to secure a motorcycle outside is to use multiple approaches. Don’t just rely on one method.
This will deter potential thieves. They don’t have 10 minutes to disable all the security measures you have put in place. If it looks like the bike will take more than 3 minutes to disable, they will probably just move on.
Here are some good ways to secure your motorcycle outside.
- Lock the steering. Thieves can easily get past this one but it means they have to spend more time than they would like on the bike.
- Use a heavy duty security chain. Don’t use a cheap one that can be easily cut using bolt cutters. Also please do not use cable locks. They are easy to carry around but can be defeated in 2 minutes by a thief with wire strippers.
- Use a disc lock on both wheels. Look for a high quality one that is very difficult to cut.
- Cover your bike. An exposed bike is going to attract more attention especially if it is a popular model. The cover also adds a few more seconds of work and a whole lot of risk for the thieves.
- Use an alarm system. Most thieves are either not smart enough to disable an alarm system or are in too much of a hurry to bother. As soon as the alarm sounds, they are out of there.
Don’t forget to install a tracker on your bike. It will help you recover your bike in case the worst happens.