How to Keep Your Motorcycle Safe at Home
How to keep your motorcycle safe at home is a problem not to be
underestimated. More motorcycles go missing at their own home than while traveling. Here are some surprising
25% of stolen motorcycles will be found again, with the majority of them
having suffered major damage.
About half of motorcycle riders do not regularly lock their
82% of stolen motorcycles are removed from the owner's home.
60% of stolen motorcycles are used for spare parts and therefore are
Motorcycles theft rate is 50% higher than cars.
A locked motorcycle can be successfully removed in less than a
95% of motorcycle theft victims never thought it could have happened to
100% of motorcycle theft victims could have prevented the theft simply by
following the advice on this page.
Not all thieves aim to steal from travelers; actually most of them totally
ignore travelers. Even though
the tips on the Safety
page are mostly related to traveling bikes, they can also be
applied to people who use their bikes for commuting and mainly in their hometown.
On top of that I have some advice specifically tailored to home
bikers. As usual, the best thing to do is to think out of the box. Think at how many ways your bike could be stolen
and try to hinder these methods.
A thief who wants to remove your bike will either plan on
driving it away from its location or to hoist it and sort out the locks at his own
Thieves gangs usually act with a van or a pick-up truck and
in more than one person, so what can you do to prevent them from lifting your bike onto a vehicle?
Remember that they will not necessarily want to eventually
ride your bike: they might just be after the parts, so in this case a GPS
locator will only bring you to the rubbish bin containing the expensive GPS tracker.
The very best thing is always to prevent them from taking it, so whenever
you can, nail it to the ground!
When parking your bike, put it next to a wall and not in the middle of a
garage. This makes it much more difficult to use large tools.
Even in your home garage use a floor anchor, so that they will not be
able to lift it away onto a van.
- Install an alarm in your home garage, or a dummy alarm bell or box outside of
it; believe it or not this is enough to turn away some of them.
Put a "beware of the dog" sign; most thieves will not even go near
properties with dogs.
Get yourself a fake barking dog alarm. People are much more scared of
dogs than you might think.
Block your garage door with a car if you can. It makes things a lot more
difficult and they might just give up.
Know your neighbors and be friendly with them. One day, one of the, might
call the police if they see someone hanging around your bike. If they don't know you, then they also
don't know that nobody else is supposed to hang around your bike.
Never leave your helmet attached to the bike: you are giving a potential
thief the helmet to ride it away.
Use a small padlock attached to the chain in a concealed place. If they
have managed to break the main lock and turn on the engine, they will have used up all of their time
and patience and when they will be thrown off the bike, they won't have time to investigate what it was
and chances are your bike will be there waiting for you. It's nothing and it might just save your
investment when everything else has failed.
If you buy spare parts from a local motorcycle dealer, don't have them
delivered to your home; this will make a specialized person (the delivery boy) aware of what's
Build a non standard cut off switch. Virtually nobody will know how to
override it. You could even do something as simple as removing the main fuse; they will go mad trying
to think what sort of technological alarm you are using.
Some keys have numbers engraved on them. These numbers can be used to cut
copies of the key. Make a note of them and file them off.
Improvised thieves have decreased in recent years, leaving the market to
the professionals who only steal to order. They search for the bike they want and then they follow it
to see where it's parked, either during the day or night. After knowing the location, they can study
how to tackle that particular bike and come back with the proper tools or van if necessary. Therefore
before arriving at home or at work, check your rear mirrors and see if anyone is following you. If
someone appears to be following you, then don't go home or to your workplace yet... get rid of them
first. There is no reason to be paranoid, but this is a good habit, as police evidence suggests that
bikes are being followed, at least in the UK.
Even if less common, bike hijackers do exist. A great thing to
have in these situations is a wireless cut off system that works either automatically when you
separate from the bike, or by remote control. To my knowledge nothing of this sort exists, but you can
have it build by a cool electrician. Picture this: you are being forced off your bike and the thief
skids away only to find himself 10 meters ahead sitting on a dead motorcycle. Chances are he won't even
realize it was you who triggered it.
More and more thieves are stealing vehicles by braking into homes and
getting the keys, so never leave your keys in an easy to find place, like hanging them on the wall next
to the entrance door.