In the United States, an average of 40,000 motorcycles are stolen each year. Motorcycle owners can put hundreds or thousands of dollars into customizations and upkeep. They take great pride in their bikes and the maintenance that goes into motorcycle ownership, only to risk losing it all because they fail to take the necessary precautions to prevent theft. Here are some tips to keep your motorcycle secure and cut down on the probability that you'll be a target for thieves.
Always park your motorcycle in a well lit, easy to see location. Never leave the motor running when you leave your bike, even for a quick stop at a convenience store. When parking your motorcycle at home, always secure it in a locked garage. As for any vehicle, never leave your keys in the ignition. Take them with you whenever you park your motorcycle.
If your motorcycle is parked on a busy street or if you will be leaving it for a long while, consider purchasing a U-bolt and heavy, thick chain. When possible, chain your motorcycle to a pole or another sturdy object that can't be moved. Be sure to not just run the chain through a tire, but to be certain that the entire frame of the bike is chained up and immovable.
Many modern motorcycles come with some sort of alarm system that can be triggered when the bike is moved. You may wish to purchase a more elaborate electronic security system that has an immobilization device and creates a loud alarm sound when the bike is threatened. These systems have digital tilt sensors and shock sensors that determine when your motorcycle is in danger of being stolen. Some systems can even send you a text message or page you to alert you that your motorcycle alarm has been activated.
GPS devices can help you locate your motorcycle if it is stolen. A Global Positioning Satellite tracker can be mounted on an inconspicuous area of the motorcycle and will allow you to see its location. Some of these systems may have monthly subscription fee. They use satellite technology to pinpoint the exact coordinates of the missing motorcycle and will lead the police to the doorstep of the thieves. These systems can be pricey, but have recently started to come down in price as GPS units are more widely used and coverage areas have expanded.
The biggest way to prevent motorcycle theft is by using common sense when parking your bike. Make sure you park it in a location that is highly visible and use a chain and lock whenever possible. Set the alarm and take the keys with you. Don't leave any valuables with the motorcycle, because the sight of them may be inviting to criminals. Protect your motorcycle and the money you've invested in it by taking preventative steps to guarantee its security.