How to not get your motorcycle stolen
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Motorcycles are one of those great inventions that seem to make life worth living, okay that's a bold statement, maybe slightly exaggerated. Motorcycles truly are a gift from above, ranking up there with Penicillin, sliced bread, and high fructose corn syrup. No, but really though, if you own a motorcycle I am sure you love it. Not only is it another device to get you from point A to point B, but it will put a smile on your face the whole way there, and that's why motorcycle owners love their machine so much. If you love something, it's only human to want to protect it.
That being said. Having your motorcycle stolen in one of the worst things you will ever have to deal with. It's like having an arm or leg torn off, well not that bad, but you get the idea. In the U.S. motorcycle theft is such a problem that there is a friggin crap load of products to deter, prevent, and even postpone a motorcycle theft. With so much to look at who really knows what is going to be effective and worth while. Let's take a look at the situation at hand.
Unlike cars motorcycle theft is much more of a professional job than you would think. Most car thefts occur for auxiliary reasons, in most cases to be used in other crimes. While motorcycle theft can be random it almost never is, and it is perpetrated by a professional thief who targets specific motorcycles for specific reasons. So what this means, is that we are up against an intelligent and determined thief. This is not what you wanted to hear, I know. I found this out the hard way. We think of motorcycle security in the same way that we think of car security, and that's the biggest mistake that you can make. A motorcycle can simply be stolen by two large men if willing, and with a third it becomes quite easy. I have seen surveillance videos of some one driving a van, they simply drove up next to a motorcycle parked on the side of a busy street, two guys pop out drag the front tire into the back of the van, then move to the back of the bike and quite easily lift the rear and slide it in. It took less than seven seconds. If that were a car, well that kind of hit and run operation wouldn't work. We need to remember that being much smaller makes it much easier to take.
Here is what not to do-
Don't leave your bike where it is close to a road, or a right along a driveway where a truck or van can simply stop for a second and hoist the bike in, it will happen.
Don't think that the steering lock mechanism is there for any other reason than to make you feel better about leaving your bike outside of the store while you run in. The lock can be broken quite easily by hand if you know what you're doing.
Don't park your bike in the middle of an open parking lot. Thinking that the exposure in the wide open will deter some one from nabbing it is quite wrong. Remember most thieves work in teams, all they do it park two pick up on both sides of the motorcycle and shield it to hide what they are doing.
Investing in an expensive chain and lock will do close to nothing. You may foil your neighborhood crackhead from taking it, but a pro will get that lock off of there in less than ten seconds. A plasma cutter makes quick work of even the thickest toughest chain.
If you have to park it some place public a lot, like at your girlfriends house or work, try not to park it in the same place all the time, unless it's a real secure spot (we'll get to what's secure) Professional thieves take notes, and make records as to when and where a bike is so they can be ready and make it a fast operation.
Don't think that since it's parked next to another bike that it has some sort of "security in numbers" I have seen a bike taken from a mall parking lot, it was one of about twelve bikes parked in the spot at the time. Some one simply decided that they wanted to steal that particular bike. The other bikes didn't even say anything, imagine that.
Now some things that will help-
- Again going back to location, what they can't see they can't steal. No I am not recommending that you go to some army surplus and buy a camo net and drape the damn bike every time you leave it some place. Or, maybe you can, that may or may not work. What you can do is park it behind a tree or a concrete pillar. A place where they can't directly load it into a truck or van, a place where they would really have to work to move the bike. Other than wanting to flaunt your bike, parking on the sidewalk in front of the grocery store or some other public front is a good idea because it's not an ideal spot for some one to steal a bike.
Try to park where there is a lot of foot traffic. Again use people as a buffer. If you have to park it on the street, park it on the corner next to a cross walk. This is good because it's obvious when some one pulls over at the corner, they are usually in every ones way. It would be difficult to stop traffic and load a stolen bike into a truck.
If you park the bike in an open carport wedge it between a car and the wall. This way the bike is less visible and harder to get to.
- Use an early warning alarm. An alarm with a method of alerting you when it's been triggered is going to increase your chances of foiling some ones attempt. Even better is an alarm with a proximity sensor. It will alert you when something has come close to your bike. If it's 2:00 and your alarm goes off then chances are it's not the neighbors kids accidentally setting off your alarm playing basketball; some one is about to jack your bike.
The best way to secure your motorcycle-
A garage, yup locked away and out of sight. This is by far the most effective way to keep some one from taking your bike. Now I am not saying that there is now way some one will steal your bike if you put it in your garage every day and night, but the chances go down dramatically. Seeing as there is no foolproof way to ensure that your bike will be where you left it every time, the only real sensible thing to do is make sure that theft is covered in your insurance policy. That will be your only true peace of mind.
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