The Expert: Datatag

Motorcycle Security Advice from Datatag

Dave Luscombe has been involved in the motorcycle industry all his working life. Much of his work has revolved around the reduction of bike theft in the UK, something he’s sure can be achieved with the right products but above all, a better understanding of prevention from bike owners.

Datatag logo

Marking bikes with the Datatag system has proved highly effective at deterring thieves as the police can quickly and easily trace the parts to the original bike. Luscombe explains how a recent industry-wide push for more marking has seen a massive reduction in thefts.

How Datatag works

Datatag takes a simplistic yet effective approach to motorcycle security which focus on the art of identification. Datatag uses technologies to permanently mark your motorcycle that makes it easily identifiable to the police, however tricky for thieves to defeat.

The Datatag systems include thousands upon thousands of unique identification marks or tags that are permanently hidden on a bike, all a police officer needs to do is find one or two of these markings to successful reunite it with its owner. However the thief would struggle to remove all of these without damaging the bike therefor it’s not worth the risk.

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The impact of DataTag

“UK bike thefts were reported at 26,000 in 2011 and declined to 21,000 by 2014. Then there was a sharp rise by around 1,500 to 2,000 year on year and we expect it to exceed 30,000 this year. So something needed to be done. We [Datatag] launched the Master security scheme in collaboration with the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) at the Ace Café in 2012. It’s since been supported by all the major manufacturers with most using the Datatag identification system on the majority of their models, particularly on their higher end, large capacity bikes.

Suzuki has taken a more holistic approach by tagging all of its bikes. We are really pleased at Suzuki’s commitment to security, as it’s the smaller commuter machines and scooters that are often the most vulnerable, especially in major cities.”

Check out Datatag’s Master Scheme featured on the BBC…

Master-protected bikes are six times less likely to be stolen

“While motorcycle theft is unquestionably on the rise, bikes sold since the introduction of Master, and are thus Datatag-equipped, buck this trend. In fact the figures show that Master-protected bikes are six times less likely to be stolen, with a theft rate for tagged bikes of just 0.18 per cent opposed to non-marked bikes at 1.17 per cent.

To put that into numbers, new registration data shows 66,423 new motorcycles and scooters were registered in the UK from the beginning of this year to the end of July 2017. 42,254 were marked with the Master system, of which only 78 have been reported stolen. Of the 24,169 motorcycles and scooters which were not protected by Master, 285 have been stolen. The figures really speak for themselves.”

Technology supports the fight against crime

Technology is a massive help in the fight against crime but Luscombe reiterates that people need to be proactive, use their common sense and not ignore the obvious.

“We’ve run campaigns in the past such as ‘Lock it or Lose it’ just to try to encourage the simple use of a lock and chain. You’d be amazed how many people just park up and think the steering lock will stop their bike from being stolen. Then there’s the big bike event. Perhaps people are excited and caught up in the moment and forget the obvious.

“We were working in cooperation with the police at Brands Hatch recently. While we were checking the bikes’ VIN and engine numbers matched, and that the Datatag numbers corresponded to the correct machine, we found no fewer than 10 sets of keys left in either the helmet or rear seat compartment locks. These bikes would have been very easy pickings.”

It’s time to find out about the best motorcycle security devices on the UK market… 

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