How To Prevent Motorcycle Theft

Every motorcycle owner, especially those who do a lot of travel with theirs, would really want to know how to prevent motorcycle theft. Let us face it, stuff is expensive to get and no one gets rich by losing what they once had.

Photo credit: Chris Martin,

You may be thinking, ‘my motorbike has never been stolen before.’ But who knows what could happen tomorrow? The motorbike is small and can easily be stolen, especially if it is outside with little or no security.

Video: How To Prevent Motorcycle Theft

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It could easily be lifted off the ground and pushed into a van or a bigger vehicle. This can be done to any size of motorcycle.

The motorcycle is a real attraction for thieves and that is quite unfortunate for us cyclists. The more attractive your bike is, the more the chances of it catching the eyes of a motorcycle thief. This is particularly scarier if you use your motorcycle to get your daily bread.

So, it is vital to protect your office, your source of income.

The price of the parts of motorcycles is very costly; anyone who sells motorcycle parts would definitely make a good profit. Majorly, motorcycle thefts are carried out because of the motorcycle parts. They will be dismantled and sold to anyone who is interested in buying.

And not to scare you but if someone makes up their mind to steal your bike, there is a high chance that the person will succeed. This article, however, is written to point out things you can do to lower the chances of your motorcycle being stolen.

Any alarm you set can be disarmed, any chain you attach can be cut, and even garages can be broken into. Stories have been heard of people who secured their motorbike in safe yards and garages, yet they were stolen.

Motorcycle theft has occurred in many places: races, charity ride shows, and gathering places such as pubs, churches, stadiums, etc.

It would seem as though motorcycle thieves are more in urban areas. But there has been news of motorbikes being stolen even from locked farm sheds.

So, bear it in mind that every measure you take is to make motorcycle theft less likely, not to totally eliminate the chances.

So, what are the measures you can take to make your motorbike less likely to be stolen?

How To Prevent Motorcycle Theft

One main way to prevent your motorbike from being stolen is to make sure that the thief does not know about your bike. One cannot steal what one does not see. Except the person is a sorcerer as well as a thief, he cannot steal what they do not see.

If you do not have some garage to park your bike in, then it is necessary to cover it up properly. You may have heard that what does not kill you makes you stronger. In this case, what they don’t see, they cannot make away with.

Below are options we have compiled which you can use to secure your motorcycle.

How Can You Prevent Motorcycle Theft?

To prevent motorcycle theft, do the following:

1. Secure the steering locks.

2. Use disc locks.

3. Use high-quality locks and chains.

4. Install a motorcycle alarm.

5. Customize your motorcycle to make it unique.

6. Install hidden kill switches.

7. When outside, park the bike where people can see it.

8. When you are at home, park your bike in the garage or conceal it.

9. Lock motorcycle forks.

10. Keep the key away from the bike when not in use.

11. Install a GPS tracker on the motorcycle.

12. Use multiple methods in securing your motorbike.

Secure The Steering Lock

This may be the weakest way to protect your motorbike, but it works. At least it would discourage someone who is impatient. All thieves are impatient, anyway because time is the enemy of thieves.

How can you secure your steering lock?

To secure your steering lock, do the following:

1. Rest your steering and turn it to the left, then slot in your key in the ignition.

2. Push the key in gently and then turn the steering.

3. This will make the key go deeper.

4. Turn the steering or handle in the clockwise direction.

5. Pull the key out of the ignition.

The lock helps to make the motorbike hard to handle. It is better if the ignition and the lock of the steering are different.

This means that the thief would have to open two locks – the ignition and the steering lock. And this may take a while. Assuming you stepped into a store to pick a few things before the thief will open the locks, you will be back to your motorcycle.

The ground should not be used as a rest for locks.

No matter the type of lock that you use or want to use, just make sure that it is not resting on the floor. If kept on the floor, the thief has enough space to break the lock. But if the lock is above the ground, it would take extra effort to get it broken.

Attach The Lock On A Frame Instead.

Disc locks may not be ideal for some riders, but it is still necessary. You can’t joy-ride if you have no motorbike now, can you? If you use only the steering lock, a well-prepared person can simply lift the bike and dump it in a van or truck and drive off happily.

Hence, the best thing to do is to get a chain, a key, and an anchor. The anchor should be something heavy and solid. When the steering lock breaks, the chain is still there to hold the bike. This would also make the motorbike difficult to lift and dump in a van.

Get And Use Locks And Chains That Rate Highly

When it comes to security, it is not good to buy the cheapest accessory or equipment available. You have to buy the best. Get locks and chains that rate highly. A quality lock can be picked by smart thieves; how much more chains and locks that are inferior.


One other viable option is the use of alarms. They are usually loud and tough. They scream when anybody tries to shift the position of your motorbike.

One thing that a thief hates is attention and that is exactly what the alarm does. They attract attention and they tell whenever someone touches the motorbike.

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Custom-make Your Motorbike

While most people do this for fun, to stand out, and to feel a certain kinship with their machine, it can also be a motorbike safety technique. When you customize, you make the bike look unique and comfortable for use.

The customization really discourages professional criminals because the bike would stand out. And it would be very easy for one to identify such a motorbike in a crowd of motorcycles.

A friend could be like, ‘Hey, what’s up? I just saw you ride past my house a few minutes ago.’ And you know you have been in your condo since you returned last night. That would be an alarm to start looking for your motorbike early enough.

How Do You Customize Your Motorcycle?

The three major ways of customizing your motorcycle are:

  • Painting the motorcycle with colors unusual for its make.
  • Covering the motorcycle with rugs or other clothing material.
  • Branding every part of the motorcycle.

There are many ways to do the customization. You can repaint the bicycle in colors that are unusual for its make. You can also cover the body with a sleek material or rug that would differentiate it from others.

When you brand every part of your motorcycle – the lamps, the wheels, the exhaust pipes, the seats, the fuel tanks, every part – it would discourage someone from stealing it. The person would find it difficult to sell such parts and it would be easy to track.

Also, when you are done with the customization, it is important to have photos of the various ways you have differentiated your motorbike from the rest.  This will help if your motorbike eventually gets lifted. The police can know exactly what they are looking for.

Uploading pictures of your motorbike on your social media handles would do you lots of good. 

It would attract attention to the motorbike. And it is that attention that would help you to find it if it goes missing.

We are in an era where wonders happen online. Many people have found spouses, jobs, friendships, long-lost relatives, and stolen items online.

We do not need to spell out that you have to know the model and make of your motorbike. Your plate number and registration number would come in handy, too.

Hidden Kill Switch Should Be Installed

Most motorcycles have kill switches in addition to the switch of the ignition. One of the things that a kill switch does is to prevent your bike from coming on. As long as the kill switch is active or open, the motorcycle will not start.

A hidden kill switch will help secure your motorbike a bit. Remember, the kill switch should not be obvious. Keep it in a place where the evil guy does not know about.

Some have a kill switch that must be depressed as the ignition is being turned before the motorbike can start. This has saved many people from losing their motorbikes.

Park Your Bike In An Area Where People Can See It

This is a double-edged sword. It could attract the very bad people we are trying to avoid. But just as time is the enemy of a thief, being caught and/or seen, is also an enemy.

If you park your motorbike in a place where it can be seen by everyone, it will be hard for someone to simply come, lift it, and throw it inside a van without attracting attention.

If it is possible, park in a spot where you can be overlooking your motorbike.

You can also keep them right at the nose of a security camera. So, anyone who comes to tamper with the bike gets captured by the security camera.

Conceal Your Motorbike

This sounds a bit contradictory to the previous point. We know. But leaving your bike in the open applies when you are not at home.

However, when you are at home, it is best you conceal your bike. Keep it away from prying eyes.

You can place a cover over it so that passers-by would not know what is covered. You can keep it in a garage that is under lock and key.  If the garage has a window, add protective bars on them so no one can get in easily from there.

You can also park the motorbike between two cars so that it would be out of view at some angles.

Lock Your Motorcycle Forks

This is not expensive to get. This prevents the criminal from rolling the motorbike. Even if they get the motorbike to start somehow, it will not move until the fork lock is turned off.

Your Motorcycle Key Should Be Far Away

The only time your keys should be near your motorbike is when you are riding it or just alighted from it. The rest of the time, the key should be in your pocket or elsewhere. Even if you would spend just ten seconds away from your bike, go with your key.

This also applies when you park in your garage. Take the key with you.

Install A GPS Tracking Device

This GPS tracking device would help you on rainy days. You need to place the tracker where the enemy wouldn’t notice. The Police can find the motorbike quickly when it goes missing.

Do Not Use Only One Method In Securing Your Bike.

It is always advisable to use more than one protection on your motorbike. This is to discourage the thief from carting away with your fine motorcycle.

Unless you are being targeted or monitored; we are not sure any thief would be prepared for all the hurdles you have placed in their path.

Video: How To Prevent Motorcycle Theft.

This video teaches some tips on how to prevent the theft of your motorcycle.

It Is Better To Be Safe Than Sorry

Always remember to lock up your bike. It does not matter how short a time you would spend away from it.

Rather than wait on the police for days, to track your motorbike and give you tangible info about it, it is better to spend an extra ten minutes trying to lock and unlock it.

Be Alert

Always be alert. Double-check your side mirrors to see if there is anyone trailing you. If you notice someone doing so, make sure you shake them off before you park.

Most times, those who steal motorbikes usually trail the rider right up to where he parks the motorbike. What they do is survey the environment then come back later to wreak havoc.

You see that stuff that happens in Hollywood? It is as real as your right palm. So, you could turn or move further. You could also stop and see if they would pass you by. Do not get into your garage or any other parking lot until you have lost them.

Here are some other posts that will interest you:

How to become a motorcycle mechanic

How to test motorcycle battery

How long to charge motorcycle battery

How often to change motorcycle oil

How long do motorcycle batteries last

How long do motorcycle tires last

How to Prevent Motorcycle Theft – Related Frequently Asked Questions

What Motorcycles Are Stolen The Most?

Below is a list of motorcycles that are stolen the most in the United States of America and the number of times their theft has been reported in 2020.

  1. American Honda motorcycles. There have been eight thousand two hundred and sixty theft reports.
  2. Yamaha Motorcycles have six thousand six hundred and fifty-five theft reports. 
  3. American Suzuki Motorcycle has been stolen four thousand eight hundred and eighty-two times.
  4. Kawasaki Motorcycles have been stolen four thousand eight hundred and sixty-one times. 
  5. Harley-Davidson has been reported missing four thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine times.
  6. Taotao motorcycle has one thousand eight hundred and fifty-one theft reports.
  7. KTM motorcycles have been reported missing seven hundred and eighty times. 
  8. Genuine Cycle for five hundred and fifteen times. 
  9. Ducati Motorcycles have four hundred and fifty-five reported cases. 
  10. Kymco is the least on the list with four hundred and thirteen theft cases. 

What Is The Best Way To Lock A Motorcycle?

The best way to lock your motorcycle is by using multiple types of locks. This makes it harder for anyone who is trying to steal your bike to do so. There are a lot of ways to lock your bike such as using a steering lock. 

Make sure that you use this method of locking a motorbike with another method like the fork locks. When using these locks, you have to make sure they are of the highest quality. This is important because locks can be picked or broken if they are not very secure.

Are Motorcycle Alarms Worth It?

Motorcycle alarms are worth it. They serve to deter any thief from going away with your motorcycle. Exposure and attention are two things that thieves dread the most and do all they can to avoid. This is what the alarm does; it draws attention to the thief.

Most alarms are not conspicuous, so the thief would not know till they touch the motorbike. And when they do, the alarm goes off and they will have no choice other than to leave your motorbike alone.

How Do You Tell If A Motorcycle Is Stolen?

To tell if a motorcycle is stolen, you have to do either of the following:

  1. Let the local department of motor vehicles in your area run a check on the motorbike. They will have to inspect the vehicle identification number(VIN) of the motorcycle. This check is run across the database of VINs. This will show if the person who wants to sell the motorbike is actually the owner of the motorbike.
  2. You can also run the VIN check through your insurance company. They usually have a database where VINs are stored in case of accidents. They can tell you the history of the bike and if the motorbike has ever been reported as stolen.
  3. If the VIN of the motorbike has been tampered with, that is an indication of foul play.
  4. Ask the seller to show you places where the motorbike has been serviced. If there is hesitation on his part, then it is most probably a stolen motorbike.

What Are The Best Motorcycle GPS Trackers?

Here are the best motorcycle GPS trackers in 2020:

  1. 396 Garmin Zumo LMT-S. This is the top GPS tracker you can get. It is water-resistant and compatible with all motorcycles and devices.
  2. 595LM Garmin Zumo. This tracker has the best screen resolution with bright images. It also alerts you when you are approaching a bend. 
  3. Rider 2 TomTom. This was invented in Amsterdam in the year 1991 and is still effective to date. The tracker has an audio component that can be connected to a helmet so it speaks directly to your ears.
  4. 390LM Garmin Zumo. This is resistant to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. One of its attractions is the fact that it can show you how much pressure is in your tire.
  5. V.912S Koolertron. This is a good and affordable tracker. It is water-resistant and stores data with its 4GB memory space.
  6. Navigator VI by BMW. This comes with a map of entire North America already pre-installed. It can be optimized for calls and music playing.

What Are The Best Motorcycle Alarms?

Here are the best motorcycle alarms in 2020:

  1. Yohoolyo Alarm. The alarm is installed at the disc. It is a multipurpose alarm and can be used on bicycles, motorbikes, and cars.
  2. Wsdcam 113dB. The selling point of this alarm is the ease of installation. It is wireless and has a sensor that is triggered by vibrations in the air. You do not even need to touch the alarm before it goes off.
  3. Bluefire alarm kit. The selling point of this alarm is its very loud sound.