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Its not nice to think about and even worse if it happens to you but unfortunately motorcycle theft happens just a little too often.

Some scary statistics for you provided by the NCIS (that’s the National Crime Intelligence Service, not the American drama series)….

1. At the end of 2012 more motorcycles had been stolen than had been purchased new!

2. £3,000,000 worth of motorcycles are stolen every month

3. On average it takes 20 seconds to steal a motorbike

4. You have a 16% chance of getting your motorcycle back, regardless of condition.

So what can be done about this? Well, a lot of motorcycle thefts are made by “opportunists” and sometimes it’s not even premeditated – scum just do it because they can! So leaving a motorcycle unlocked on the street is clearly asking for trouble. Even if it’s locked, if you leave your bike on a public rode overnight on a regular basis it’s a good idea to get it covered. Uncovered a bike presents itself as a potential target to thieves and the longer it’s there, the greater the risk that someone will notice it’s there.

This is something i can relate to with my first scooter “back in the day”. I pulled up outside my parent’s house, went inside for no more than 10 minutes to answer natures call and came out to the sound of my scooter being ridden away! The cheapest and easiest way of avoiding the opportunist is to not make it easy for them in the first place! Here’s a few tips:

1. If possible park your bike away from the street

2. Put it under a cover – these start from just £25

3. Park close to a window or in a back garden/shed. It might be awkward to get your bike into your back garden or even your front garden but that’s nowhere near as awkward as having it stolen!

These steps can reduce the chance that an opportunist will take it, however a thief that premeditates/plans to steal will not be put off by simple placement and a cover.

A simple chain or lock is not always enough, a good THICK gauge chain and heavy duty lock are essential for preventing a premeditated theft. A good example of why to invest in a good chain/lock is something else i have experienced myself. A customer had lost his keys and asked for the collection of his scooter from a busy city centre motorcycle park. They had an 8mm thick chain around the wheel which a standard set of bolt croppers went through like a hot knife through butter! Not a single member of the public in a busy city centre street questioned what was happening. We were in uniform with a sign written van mind you but relying on other people to report these things isn’t the best idea.

Another thing I’ve experienced myself was having my CBR600 stolen from outside my front door. It had a LARGE chain around each wheel and an alarm. How did they get it? The locks I used on the chains were the weak point. You could see the croppers they used had barely scratched the chains, but ate through the locks with ease. My neighbours had been woken up by the alarm but not even bothered to check! This was premeditated as I later found it several back gardens away! The next important point to consider is what you lock your motorcycle to and where. Ideally you ought to use a ground anchor or something similar that’s securely fitted into the ground. Pretty much anything that can’t be picked up with the bike, eg. a lampost, gate etc. If possible secure the chain around the back wheel because most front wheels are secured by, on average, just 4 bolts and a spindle.

There are various products available to help secure your motorcycle,

1. Disk lock

10mm Disk Lock

10mm Disc Lock £13.99

Easy to use, cheap and small enough to go under most motorcycle seats the disc lock is good as a short term security measure together with the steering lock as it fits around the disk, preventing the motorcycle from being simply pushed away.

2. Snake lock

48" Snake Lock

48″ Snake Lock

An entry level lock and also the cheapest, the snake lock features a woven reinforced steel cable with external steel sliders and a reinforced lock head. Due to its design and size this type of lock is nearly impossible to break through with bolt croppers, long enough to fit through the wheel then around another object the outer sleeve prevents the metal scratching the wheel rims.

3. Heavy duty chain

1.65m Heavy duty chain

1.65m Heavy duty chain £29.99

Next up from the snake lock is a hefty, heavy duty chain with integral lock. Made with 10mm hardened steel for extra security, an integral shielded lock and a fabric sleeve to protect paintwork on wheels.

4.HEAVY duty chain

1.8m heavy duty chain

1.8M HEAVY duty chain
£54.99

Next up from the heavy duty chain is a HEAVY duty chain, made with 12mm Cr-Mo steel (Chrome-Molybedenum). Stronger, thicker and longer than its counterpart and with a reinforced closed U-shackle lock, this chain is also Thatcham catagory 3 approved device, giving you a discount with most insurance companies.

5. Concrete-in ground anchor

Concrete-in ground anchor

Concrete-in ground anchor
£39.99

An essential part of any security measures is a form of ground anchor. Made from hardened steel and designed to be sunk into concrete.

6. Datatool “Demon” alarm system

Datatool Demon alarm

Datatool “Demon” Alarm £120 FITTED

Offering Great value for money and from industry leading alarm manufacturers Datatool, the Demon alarm system features a high powered siren with metal nose cone for alarm protection, waterproof design, ultra low current draw to help keep your battery from discharging and Failsafe movement sensor with an extra trigger which is usually wired into the ignition.

A just £120 FITTED (for a limited time) it would be rude not too!

7. Datatool S4-C1 Alarm/Immobilser

Datatool alarm/immobiliser

Datatool “S4-C1” alarm/immobilser
£350 Fitted

  • Unique Shape – Very small, neat control unit designed to fit in the most awkward spaces.
  • Small Remote Controls – Designed for bikers, with integral universal ignition key conversion included.
  • Ultra low Power Draw – With ultra low current draw in ‘winter mode’.
  • Metal Nose Cone – Protects high power siren in the event of an attack.
  • Unique PIN Override – Customer selectable PIN, allows you disarm if remote control is lost or broken.
  • Engineer programmable features – movement and nudge sensitivity, siren sound and auto-arming choices.

Usual Thatcham Category MC1 features include: 2 remote controls, movement sensor, battery backed siren, optional siren output (£10), optional pager output (£60), indicator flashing on arming/disarming/sounding, LED, magnetic reed switch, installation certificate, owner’s guide, spare fuse, 3 year warranty.

Hope you enjoyed my guide. Keep safe. Jimmy.