How secure is your motorcycle? Motorcycle theft is on the rise and at an alarming rate (excuse the pun) but owners still aren’t doing enough to protect their pride and joy.

Thieves (AKA Scum Bags) are becoming more adept at stealing motorcycles, motorcycles are small enough to put inside a van with ease, they are easier to move than other vehicles and easier to dispose of, yet some riders still don’t seem to recognise the seriousness of this pandemic.
Adventure bikes and sports bikes costing thousands of pounds seem to be on the thieves menu at present, with a high demand from unscrupulous gangs around the world, these types of bikes seem to be disappearing at an astonishing rate. Unfortunately, this also means our insurance premiums are rising but there is more that can be done to try and prevent your pride and joy and your expensive investment from ending up being shipped across the world, only to be sold for less than half the price it’s worth.
When a motorcycle is stolen, it’s most likely to either go through one of several processes, it’s either ragged to death and then disposed off, most likely set on fire and dumped in a wood, or, it’s striped to prices and sold as parts, some of these parts may end up on FleaBay, or finally, it’s bundled into a van, taken to a yard and stored until such time its loaded onto a container, where perhaps a port official is being paid an attractive sum to make sure the export forms are all signed off.
With the latter, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see the bike again, usually the bike is loaded onto a container and leaving UK within 24hrs of it being taken without the owners consent (TWOC) and unfortunately our boys in blue don’t have the time or resources to follow up your crime, even with CCTV evidence, so it would seem from reports we’ve received from victims of this crime!
One simple solution, which, has proven to be very effective is by using a GPS Tracker, which, makes perfect sense if you are going to invest £1,000’s on a motorbike. However, buying a cheap GPS motorcycle tracker won’t do you any favours, by that I mean those silly Chinese ones you can buy off FleaBay for less than a round of beers (assuming you only have 3 friends!) An ideal choice would be to have a Thatcham Approved GPS motorcycle tracker. These are fitted at an approved garage or location convenient for you and after installation you receive a certificate that can be presented to your insurance provider, which, in some cases can reduce your premium by as much as 25%.
The GPS Motorbike Tracker works off your ignition, therefore minimising battery drain. When the bike is running the tracker is being charged and once you turn off the ignition the trackers onboard battery will keep it operational, in some cases, for many weeks in standby mode. You can even set “perimeter fences” for the tracker, allowing you to set an area on the control panel map that alerts you immediately by text if the bike has left that area, so you know if your bike is on the move. It’s then a case of alerting the Police and providing them with the control panel details, which can also be viewed on smartphones via an app, so they can track down the bike, hopefully apprehending the little bastards that stole it and recovering your bike before it’s bundled into a container or stripped apart.
Some say, “what happens if the bike is in a container, surely the tracker won’t work” yes, and no, to this question. To get the bike to the container it’s more likely it’ll be delivered in a van of some description. Or at the very least the tracker will lure the police to the last known location, giving them valuable Intel.
Admittedly, some criminals are becoming savvy to this and have used gadgets such as GPS Blocking Devices, they don’t always work and besides, in order to do this it also means they block the use of their mobile phones. Fortunately, there has been very few cases where GPS Blockers have been used. In almost 9/10 cases where a vehicle has been stolen, that was fitted with a GPS Tracker, it has been successfully recovered and with minimal damage. This also means, insurance claims are far less, usually resulting in replacement of an ignition barrel, brake disc (if they cut the disc to remove a disc lock) or similar.
The GPS Tracker usually requires an annual fee to keep the data being recorded and sent to you, often the cost is relatively small for peace of mind at around £150 per year. Understandably, some may frown at the price but it’s actually less than most riders insurance excess. Furthermore, you can transfer the tracker from bike to bike.
Overall it’s a serious consider and one that may just help making stealing bikes a lot harder for these criminals, especially when they know they will be found!

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Chris (Roadrunner)
Motorcycle tours guide and explorer. RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle Instructor (Gold)

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