10 ways to protect your motorbike from theft
20,000 motorbikes are stolen every year in the UK.
80% of those thefts are from the home.
A motorbike is four times more likely to be stolen than a car.
Frightening statistics. And there are horror stories out there of the lengths bike thieves will go to, to steal your motorcycle.
Thieves use a portable, battery powered angle grinder to cut through a disc lock.
It’s a simple fact: The more you do to protect your bike, the sooner they’ll give up and move on to the next one.
If bike thieves have an enemy, it’s time
And what good security buys you is time.
So, in probably the most important (to us, anyway) page on Biker & Bike, here’s what you can do to protect your motorbike. You’ll notice it’s a bit quicker to read than other articles. That’s because we want to get the message across as quickly as possible. If you want to dig deeper into types of motorbike security, click here.
- Use a case-hardened steel ‘marine anchor’ chain with a close shackle lock, secured to something, preferably a ground anchor. They needn’t be as expensive as the branded heavy chains. If you’d prefer a branded chain, we’d recommend Almax and Pragmasis. Only a case hardened, 16 mm+ solid steel chain will do, as lighter chains are made of a composite material that simply doesn’t withstand bolt cutters – not even many of the Sold Secure ones.
- Keep chains off the ground, so that bolt cutters can’t be leveraged against the ground itself or the hard surface used as a stop when a bolster is used to split a chainlink open.
- Fit chains in this order of preference: Frame, rear wheel and front wheel only as a last resort as it is the easiest to remove.
- Fit disc locks in a place where then are more difficult to attack by kicking or with a hammer. If you can afford it, use a disc lock on each wheel.
- Park in highly visible places, not areas where an attack is hidden from view. Contrary to popular belief, car parks and gated complexes are no more safe than any other area. Gated complexes especially are favoured by thieves because they often allow them to operate out of sight of a main road.
- Datatag your bike. It costs £60-90 but according to the company bike thefts have reduced 90% since the technology was introduced. They also claim a 100% success rate in prosecutions where Datatag evidence has been supplied.
- Display smart water and data tag stickers in highly visible places on the bike, preferably near the ignition.
- Think twice about stickers warning that a tracker is fitted. A professional thief will then target disabling the tracker as a priority.
- Although a tracker won’t help with an attack on a motorcycle, it could improve your chances of getting the bike back. It will almost certainly reduce the cost of your insurance too.
- Vary your parking location. Many bikes are stolen to order. A recent video we came across mentioned three BMW GS bikes stolen in the course of one day from Central London streets within a few minutes walk of each other.
How to get yourself sorted:
Datatag’s stats are impressive but alone are not enough to prevent a bike theft. Get a good quality disc lock for at least one wheel, preferably with an alarm, for street use and a super solid chain with closed shackle, hooked up to a ground anchor for home. Or buy a complete dog of a bike that nobody in their right mind would steal.