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Motorcyclists: Keep Your Bike From Vanishing This Summer

Summertime is a peak season for motorcycle riding. Unfortunately, motorcycle thieves get revved up this time of year, too.

Most motorcycle thefts occur during the summer, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In 2013, July was the peak month for reported thefts, with more than 5,300 bikes disappearing nationwide.

Motorcycles tend to be easier to steal than today's cars. Since criminals often disassemble motorcycles to resell the parts, the odds of getting your bike back in good shape are low.

Want to keep enjoying your motorcycle this summer? Here's how to make it harder to steal:

Make your motorcycle less visible

According to claims data from the Progressive insurance company, Harleys, Hondas and Suzukis are the most likely motorcycles to be stolen during the summer. Along with the brand of the motorcycle, expensive paint jobs and flashy modifications can also catch thieves' attention. Make your bike less visible by:

  • Covering it. Put a motorcycle cover over it, the American Motorcyclist Association recommended. Use a plain cover rather than one that bears the motorcycle's brand, so the would-be thief has less information about your bike.

  • Parking it inside. Though it's understandable to want to show off your motorcycle by leaving it in the driveway, you might end up attracting the wrong type of attention. If you have a garage, keep your bike in it, the AMA stated. Consider putting blinds or curtains over any windows to keep out prying eyes. Also, be sure to lock your garage doors securely.

  • Make your bike hard to get

    You can use a variety of clever methods to make your motorcycle more difficult for a stranger to grab.

  • Lock it up. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommended different types of locks, including locking your ignition and using a fork or disc lock. In addition, lock your motorcycle to a companion's bike or a solid structure like a light pole.

  • Be sneaky. Consider pulling out the motorcycle's main fuse and taking it with you when you leave your bike, the AMA suggested. You can also install a secret switch that you have to flip before you can start the bike.

  • Also be sure to carry insurance on your motorcycle and accessories to cover your loss if a thief does strike, the AMA urged. Need motorcycle insurance? Check out CoverHound, your quick, easy way to compare insurance rates.

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