Every year, thousands of motorcycle owners fall victim to theft. For die-hard riders, having your bike stolen can be devastating, and replacing it could cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the rate of motorcycle theft appears to be heading downward.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, motorcycle thefts dropped slightly in 2012, with a total of 46,061 reported thefts during the year. There were 606 fewer thefts reported in 2012 than 2011, a drop of just 1 percent. While thousands of motorcycle owners had their bikes stolen, some were targeted more frequently than others. Here are the top 5 most stolen motorcycles:
Honda (9,082 thefts in 2012)
Harley Davidson (3,755)
States with the most thefts were typically in areas with great riding weather. California led the nation as the state with the highest number of stolen motorcycles in 2012, with 6,082 reported thefts. Florida came in second with 4,110 followed by Texas with 3,400, North Carolina with 2,574 and Indiana with just over 2,200 reported thefts. Not only do many of these states have great weather for motorcycle riding, they also have a higher number of registered bikes.
When motorcycles are stolen
Because motorcycles cannot be ridden in all weather, most thefts occur during the warmer seasons when more bikes are on the road. According to Esurance, the months with the highest number of motorcycle thefts are June, July and August. Conversely, the months with the lowest risk of theft are December, February and January. This means that bike owners should be extra cautious during the summer, and reduce the chances for theft.
When it comes to getting a stolen motorcycle returned to its original owner, the success rate is not nearly as high as it is for vehicles. In 2012, the rate of return for stolen vehicles reached 53.9 percent, while only 39 percent of bikes were recovered after being stolen. If you're a motorcycle owner, you should take precautions to deter thieves from attempting to steal your ride and be sure that you lock your bike every time you step away. Even with a motorcycle insurance policy, you might not get your beloved bike back after it is stolen.
How to prevent theft
There are a number of things you can do to improve your bike's security, but locking up is the No. 1 preventative measure to take. If possible, you should also always park your motorcycle in a well-lit area. Adding an audible alarm that will make noise if someone attempts to steal it could further deter thieves.
Depending on where you keep your bike overnight, you should consider installing a motion-activated bright spotlight that will help scare off any attempted criminals. If you store your bike indoors, such as in your garage, try to place it as far away from the door as possible. Parking your car in front of your bike will also make it difficult for a thief to get it out. When parking on the street, consider using a cover that doesn't draw any attention and will fully hide your ride.