How to deter motorbike thieves
Opportunistic thieves will have been keeping a keen eye out for potential motorcycle acquisitions this summer, with spates of warm weather seeing more people taking their bikes out of storage.
If you're interested in finding out about some of the most effective bike thief deterrents and security devices, read on.
Chain & Immobilisation
Most bikers will already have a chain which they use to keep their bike secure, but they may not be making best use of it.
It always pays to invest in a high tensile chain, which is stronger and serves as a visible deterrent as much as making it harder for anyone trying to cut through it. If you have a chance, check online for reviews and recommendations.
If you have the spare cash, an expensive bike - or both - it's always a good idea to consider an immobiliser system. Even if a thief does manage to find a way past your chain or garage door, an immobiliser prevents them from getting very far on the machine before it stops working.
Another important consideration is how you latch your chain around your bike. Through the wheel and around a nearby lamppost or railing is better than around the tyre alone. Moreover, if you're travelling with another biker, take the opportunity to chain your bikes together when you make a stop.
Visible vs invisible
When you are not using your bike, it's important to think carefully about where you store it or leave it to stand. When in a public place, it's good to get into the habit of leaving it in a busy, public place. Thieves are less likely to attempt a theft if there are lots of witnesses.
Alternatively, if you're leaving it in a car park, it is always good practice to leave your bike in full view of any CCTV cameras, which also act as a good deterrent for opportunistic thieves.
Obviously, it is important to make use of a garage at home if you have one. If you have no choice but to store your bike outside, consider investing in a cover for your machine. In addition to protecting it from adverse weather, a cover will make the bike less attractive to criminals, who are less likely to steal a bike 'blind' because the value, brand and model is harder to discern.
Equipment & parking
As with a car, it's important to take all valuables with you when leaving your bike unattended. Although having something stolen from your motorcycle box is less serious than having your machine taken, anyone breaking in to get to your valuables could end up damaging your bike in the process.
Those who use their bike for commuting or regular trips to the same place should try to vary where they park their bike. This will make it harder for any thieves planning a robbery to exploit your routines.
Whenever you do leave your bike unattended for a long period of time, it is important to check on it intermittently if you can. For example, if you're going for a meal out, try to park your bike within view of the restaurant window.
Alarm and tracking
Preventing a thief from trying to steal your bike is not always possible, which is why it’s a good idea to have a last line of defence.
There are several alarm systems available on the market, of varying sophistication. While a loud alarm will often serve as a good way to scare opportunistic thieves, others may steal the bike anyway, in the hope that it will stop before raising the alarm of the owner or anyone else nearby.
That is why many owners opt to install tracking motorcycle accessories, which enable authorities to trace the location of the machine after it has been taken by thieves.