Ways to keep your motorcycle safe and secure

Motorcycle and scooter theft has always been a big issue in the automotive world, especially with how easily bikes are to steal. According to the Met Police, the number of stolen scooters has increased by 50% over the last two years and with a large number of these being used to commit crimes.

From June 2016 to June 2017, the Met Police registered over 16,158 motorcycle related crimes, comparing that to 2015 when only 5,145 were reported and just 866 in 2014! The Met Police have subsequently launched Operation Venice with the aim of reducing these crimes.

Although your motorcycle or scooter will be covered by insurance, it still helps to go the extra mile to protect yourself and your bike. Most insurers will put a discount on your insurance for having these security features in place. Devitt share their top tips in tackling motorcycle theft…

Top tips 

  • Keep your bike keys hidden away, preferably in a drawer a long way from a window or door.
  • Make your garage door as secure as possible. Unlocking multiple devices might prove annoying but it’s far better than losing your bike.
  • Fit a CCTV camera. Modern ones are superb, reasonably-priced and can send alerts to your smartphone, along with live footage. Not only does this act as a deterrent, you may well end up with a great mug shot of someone eyeing up your property — very useful for the police.
  • Fit a ground anchor and secure your bike in your garage to the same level you would on the street.
  • Don’t advertise your bike. Cleaning it in full view of the road or tinkering with it on the driveway might seem like a good idea at the time but you never know who’s watching.

Technology: A blessing, a curse

We’re all for the progress of technology. Especially when it means we can keep an eye on our bikes via the increasing affordability of cameras, trackers and suchlike. Trackers are getting smaller and smaller, have their own power supplies and can be fitted practically anywhere. Ideal, then?

Yes and no. Yes because it means you’ll be alerted via your smartphone as soon as your bike starts moving and the police will have a far easier time of recovering it, so long as the tracker has not been discovered or disabled. No because the trouble is, thieves can just as easily buy these products, attach them to whichever bike they fancy, and then work out the perfect time to steal them at their leisure.

While it may sound like the behaviour of someone suffering from chronic paranoia, if you leave your bike unattended for long periods, it’s worth regularly checking your bike over for planted devices.

Top tips on technology

  • Always park in a well-lit street with CCTV cameras if possible.
  • Lock your bike to a solid object such as a lamppost or railing.
  • Lock from the frame if you can — thieves can quickly remove wheels if they need to.
  • Try to leave the locking part of your security device away from the ground. The more awkward it is to get to, the harder it will be to attack with tools.
  • There are mixed views on decals announcing the presence of a tracker but it could be enough to dissuade a professional thief and make him look elsewhere.

Sale safety

Ex police officer, Mick Jones, explains how being aware of your surroundings and location is extremely important when organise the sale of your motorcycle:  “Some bogus buyers just want to scope out your house before they come back to steal the bike, so be careful what you show them.

“Another scenario is a buyer travelling a long way to make a purchase. He may ask to meet somewhere halfway, which seems reasonable enough, but how do you know the location is safe for an exchange of goods and money? Is it well-lit? Are there cameras? Any other people milling about? Or is it a dark, secluded spot away from prying eyes? Is this guy simply going to take your bike off you and disappear into the night?

“Being switched on and aware of the possibilities means you can take reasonable steps to ensure a smooth sale, rather than become another statistic.”

Top tips on a safe sale

  • Simply refuse any requests for test rides unless you have the cash in your hand. Don’t accept a car or anything else as a deposit. Keep in mind if they are insured, it will likely only be third party.
  • Only accept cash or payment by bank transfer and don’t let the buyer leave until you’re happy the cash isn’t counterfeit or that the bank transfer has gone through.
  • If the buyer is coming to your house, have the bike out ready. Don’t show them the contents of your garage, they might be paying more attention than you realise, and for all the wrong reasons.
  • Be very careful if you’re meeting away from home. Choose somewhere public, well-lit and preferably with CCTV. Petrol stations and services are a good choice, remote rural laybys aren’t. Check on Google Maps before you go.
  • Trust your instincts, they’re usually right.

Find out more about motorcycle security with our dedicated hub…