Author: Billy Johnson

Motorcycle theft: how to prevent it this winter

Stolen bike recovered from van

Winter means shorter days, cold weather, and less riding. For many riders, winter also means garaging their pride and joy until the next riding season rolls around.

Unfortunately, winter doesn’t deter motorcycle thieves. In fact, according to motorcycle security experts BikeTrac, the reduced daylight hours make thieves more brazen in their efforts. And even if your bike is garaged, this doesn’t mean its safe.

Enter your email address below to sign up to the ABR newsletter and receive the 96-page Guide to Motorcycling in Britain absolutely free.
Your Free Guide to Motorcycling in the UK
Enter your email address below to sign up to the ABR newsletter and receive the 96-page Guide to Motorcycling in Britain absolutely free.

So, whether you’re planning on storing your bike this winter or staying in the saddle throughout the cold season, it’s worth securing your motorbike properly.

With this in mind, we’ve partnered with BikeTrac to bring you crucial advice on how to prevent motorcycle theft and keep your bike safe.

Preventing motorcycle theft

Bike thieves are opportunistic. If they see an unprotected bike, they’ll grab it. Generally, well-guarded bikes aren’t worth the trouble when there are easier targets around.

So, if you can store your bike in a garage or somewhere that it’s not visible from the street, then that goes a long way in preventing your bike being a potential target. But it’s no guarantee against theft. It’s worth having extra security measures that go beyond the steering lock.

Disc locks help immobilise the bike and offer a visible deterrent to opportunistic thieves. Even better is a high-quality motorcycle security chain and lock, secured to an immovable anchor.

BikeTrac has a range of hard security options, including their Grab Bag and Chain. This portable set comprises of a bolt cutter resistant chain and disc lock, packed into a convenient carry bag so you can secure your bike when you’re on the move.

When at home, it’s best to secure your bike with a heavy duty chain and a ground anchor. BikeTrac’s ground anchor comes with everything you need to install it, and all you need is a drill.

A little tip for installing a ground anchor: mounting the anchor on a wall means that the chain is suspended in the air, so it’s harder for thieves to hack or cut through. So if it’s possible, it’s best to install an anchor on a solid wall.

What happens if your motorcycle does get stolen?

Stolen Husqvarna found in van

Unfortunately, your motorcycle can still get stolen despite your best efforts. Dedicated thieves aren’t shy about breaking into garages, smashing locks, grinding through chains, and snapping disc locks.

They don’t even need to be able to roll the bike. Organised gangs can lift motorbikes into vans and disappear within minutes. In the UK, once a motorbike is stolen, only 16% are ever recovered. But there is a solution.

Motorcycle trackers

Stolen motorcycle in container

Installing a motorcycle tracker significantly improves your chances of recovering a stolen motorbike. For example, bikes fitted with a BikeTrac tracking unit have an astonishing recovery rate of 94%. Their units feature GPS tracking which allows real-time monitoring of your bike’s movements, locating a bike to an area of within three to five metres.

But what really makes BikeTrac’s technology so effective is Radio Frequency (RF) tracking, which can locate a bike within a metre. Importantly, an RF signal is accurate enough for police to get a search warrant if a stolen bike is hidden within a row of garages or containers, for example.

A bike fitted with BikeTrac can be tracked through shipping containers, underground parking, vans, and lock-ups. BikeTrac has even located a bike hidden in a second-floor flat, and worked with Interpol to track and recover a bike stolen from London which ended up in Lithuania.

Around-the-clock peace of mind

Boxed BikeTrac tracker

However, technology alone isn’t enough to recover a bike. Constant and responsive monitoring is required to make trackers effective, and BikeTrac does everything for you. They provide 24/7 monitoring and will contact you in the event of a theft, and liaise directly with authorities as soon as the bike is taken.

In addition, BikeTrac has partnered with private security firm Securitas. If the police can’t respond fast enough, a nationwide force is on standby to investigate your stolen bike.

Protect your investment

Adding the expense of heavy duty chains, disc locks, and tracking devices on top of the cost of your bike is a substantial chunk of money. And let’s face it, security devices aren’t exactly the sexiest of accessories. Luggage, navigation, clothing, parts… there’s a whole lot of things we’d probably all rather spend our hard-earned cash on.

But what’s the point of buying any of it, when it could all disappear in the blink of an eye? Insurance only goes so far in protecting your investment, especially when there’s sentimental value.

So, to give your bike the best chance of remaining in your possession, install a BikeTrac tracker to your pride and joy. BikeTrac is the only company to offer a 0% finance package: you get the BikeTrac unit installed plus a year’s subscription for just £39 a month and a £52 deposit for 12 months.

Head over to BikeTrac’s website here to check out their security offerings.