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Motorcycle manufacturers care about customer satisfaction. That means a high-performance machine must include weight considerations, fuel economy benefits, aesthetics, and ergonomics.

That means motorcycle security often comes last. Although alarm systems and steering locks are available, those features are the best options a manufacturer offers. That’s why bike theft is significantly higher than it is for automobiles.

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Stealing a motorcycle is also physically easier to accomplish. Moving two wheels takes less effort than four, and you don’t need to pick a lock or break a window.

Thieves can steal a motorcycle in seconds when a steering lock is the only security mechanism.

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Though you have a decent possibility of recovering motorcycles after taking legal actions properly, the driver himself should take enough safeguards to prevent it in the first place.

Legal Consequences Are Not Always the Same

Motorcycle theft delivers different consequences to bike thieves than those that steal cars. The Bristol Motorcycle Gang Case provides an excellent example of this issue.

Those defendants typically walk free even when law enforcement officials catch people stealing bikes. The consequences involve rehabilitation programs, community service, and suspended prison sentences.

From 2015 to 2018, less than 3% of all reported theft incidents resulted in a conviction.

When people have no consequences to deter their activities, they won’t stop their actions. Until the courts get serious about managing motorcycle theft, it is up to each owner to protect themselves from this criminal activity.

How to Make Motorcycles Harder to Steal

Texas, California, and New York residents are the most likely to experience motorcycle theft. Although everyone should take steps to protect themselves, residents in those three states will want to implement extra precautions.

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The first and best option to prevent motorcycle theft is to conceal your bike. If a thief doesn’t know it exists, it isn’t something they can take. A simple cover can be enough for riders without storage to deter theft.

Once no one can see the bike, lock the ignition. Remove the key, and make sure you take it. Even when parking in safe places, you don’t want to make it easy for thieves to steal your ride.

The next step is to lock your forks. When the motorcycle only rides in circles, it’s much harder to ride off with it. You can lock bikes with other riders or to something that doesn’t move. Locks should be off the ground to prevent thieves from prying or cutting them loose.

It helps to use multiple security methods to protect your motorcycle. Install a kill switch and an alarm, lock the forks, and chain the bike to a tree. After that, cover it and place another alarm on the cover.

Apps like H-D Connect keep your motorcycle connected to your smartphone. It sends tamper alerts if something happens, allowing you to share the bike’s location with local police so that they can get it back.

In 2019, nearly 7,000 motorcycles were stolen in California. Thieves took another 7,200 in Florida and Texas. Although more cars are stolen, the ease of taking a bike makes it an inviting target. That’s why taking time to protect it is an investment worth making.

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Author

Mike Navarette has more than a decade of experience in the auto insurance industry, but that's not his true passion. He loves getting on a motorcycle to explore roads he's never traveled. You'll find Mike in the garage working on something when he isn't helping clients or leaning into curves. It's sometimes a side hustle, more often a favor, but it keeps his hands busy doing something productive. Since the first time his father strapped on his helmet and took him for a ride, Mike has loved bikes. That passion, along with a desire to help others through a deep understanding of insurance policies, led to the creation of Motorcycle Ride Coverage.

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