02/23/12 08:49AM Auto Insurance, Blog, Insurance, Motorcycles

Motorcycle Thefts - down but not out.

The good news my fellow bikers is that motorcycle thefts are down 24 percent since their highest level in 2007 � 49,791 were reported stolen in 2010 in the U.S. according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. That amounts to one theft about every 9.4 minutes. Five motorcycles gone every hour. Sadly, recovery rates are real low at only about 30%.

Harleys are not the most commonly stolen bike.


Hondas topped the list of most stolen motorcycles in 2010, with 12,260 units stolen. The top five stolen models were:

Hondas 12,260
Yamaha 9,853
Suzuki 7,869
Kawasaki 5,470
Harley-Davidson 3,301.

Warm-weathers states a magnet for motorcycle thefts.

Where you live affects the likelihood of whether your bike will be a target. Warm-weather states, like here in SoCal, top the list. The state reporting the most motorcycle thefts last year were:

California with 5,662 thefts
Texas at 4,394
Florida at 4,148
North Carolina 2,649
Indiana at 1,925.

Summer months of June, July and August loved by thieves.

The NICB found that the greatest number of motorcycle thefts occurred during the summer months, specifically July (5,714), August (5,380) and June (5,217). The fewest thefts were recorded during February (2,403), December (2,763) and January (2,961) when bikes tend to be on blocks in most parts of the country.

Cost to insurance companies and owners = $370,000,000 = Ouch!

The nearly 50,000 motorcycles stolen in 2010 representing a loss of more than $370 million for the insurance companies and owners. Serious business for thieves for sure.   

So, what can you do to prevent your bike from getting stolen?

Here are a few tips for yas. Courtesy of our good friends at Sentry's Dairyland Cycle. 


 Lock your ignition and remove the key. Most bike thefts occur when the ignition is shut off, but not locked.

 Lock the forks or disk brakes with locks that have large, brightly colored tags. 

 If traveling with other riders, lock motorcycles together when not in use.

 If riding alone, lock your bike to a secure, stationary object that cant be easily dismantled, such as a light pole.

 Add an audible alarm to your motorcycle.

 When traveling and spending the night at a hotel, locate an outdoor security camera and park your bike in the cameras view. If this is not possible, park your bike close to your room.

 Keep an eye on your bike. When parking at a public event, check your motorcycle periodically, especially immediately after leaving your bike, to make sure there are no suspicious individuals lurking about.

If parking in a garage, block your bike with automobiles, close the garage door and make sure it is locked.

 Dont store your title in your bikes storage compartment, tank bag or saddlebag. The safest place for your title is at home.

 Uniquely mark and then photograph your bike. If thieves take your bike, note its unique markings to law enforcement using the photos you have taken.

 Keep your bike registration and insurance identification card on you when you ride.


Trailer Tips

If you use a trailer to transport your motorcycle, follow these safety tips:

 Park the trailer in a well-lit location near security cameras or in an area easily seen by restaurant, hotel or event staff.

 Lock the trailer doors and hitch.

 Secure doors by backing up to a wall, so there is not enough room for doors to be opened.

 Know your trailer identification and license plate registration numbers.

   Lock up them trailers wheels to deter theft.

There you have it folks. Lock up that bike so that you don't become a theft statistic.

Motorcycle Marc

Ride Safe Out There.

                                                       David Mann Masterpiece