For people that own motorcycles, security has to be at the forefront of your mind. Motorcycles can be a sizable investment that owners rely on for transportation, and it would be a shame for any bike owner to be the victim of a theft. There are always people who see stringent security methods as paranoid, rather than seeing them as necessary precautionary methods. But motorcycles are not impervious to theft, if anything they are extremely at risk of being stolen. If you take a close look at other forms of transportation, it is quite easy to see why. This is why motorcycle security is paramount.
Motorcycles are extremely lightweight in comparison to cars, which makes them easier to access and easier to haul away. In addition to this, the parts and components of a motorcycle are easily accessible and these can be tampered with so that a thief can ride away on your bike. I am sure there are many drivers who are wondering just how they can keep their motorcycles secure, and there are also those wondering if they have been leaving their bikes vulnerable all this time. Hopefully these 10 security tips help show you some methods you can employ to make sure your motorcycle is always being kept secure and reduce the chances of you becoming a victim of motorcycle theft.
1. Never Leave Your Motorcycle Running
This might sound like the kind of advice your mom gave you when you were 12 years old. It seems like basic common sense to turn off your motorcycle and take your keys with you when you walk away. However, there are many bikers, who take this simple security measure for granted. In most cases, people assume that their bikes are in no imminent danger if they simply walk away for a few minutes to grab something. It is important to realize that it is not exactly difficult to steal a motorcycle if the owner makes it easy for the thieves. If you make the mistake of leaving your motorcycle running with your keys in the ignition, you have essentially given thieves an early Christmas present, which they do not even have to unwrap. It is always important to make sure that your motorcycle is off and your keys are on your person whenever you walk away from the motorcycle.
2. Always Park In A Secure Area
Yes, the location where you park your motorcycle makes a big impact on how secure the vehicle is going to be. If you happen to park your motorcycle in a secluded, dimly lit area that has little to no surveillance or traffic, it will be very easy for anyone to steal your bike or tamper with it. Motorcycle owners should strive to park in public areas so that there is always an extra set of eyes looking out for you. This also increases the chance of your motorcycle being within surveillance range. In addition to this burglars and criminals tend to stay clear of public spaces that are well lit and within eyesight of several people because they do not want to risk drawing attention to themselves. One of the main goals in security is to try and make it as hard and challenging as possible for someone to steal your property, and parking in secure areas is one good way to ensure this. A secure area should be well lit and have an unobstructed view.
3. Invest In High Security Locks
Locks are an integral part of security and they play a vital role in keeping your motorcycle safe. However, this does not mean that any lock you use on your bike will keep it secure. It is essential that owners do not skimp on security and one of the best ways to do this is to invest in high-security motorcycle locks that will keep their investments safe. These high-security locks range from chain locks, disk locks, U-locks, etc. Each of these locks can be used on their own or in conjunction with another lock. In my opinion, I believe that combining two or more locks affords you a maximum amount of security. For instance, if motorcycle owners use a high-security chain lock as well as a disk brake lock, it will be exceedingly hard for any thief to steal your motorcycle.
4. Alarm Systems
Many people make the mistake of thinking that alarm systems are exclusively for cars, offices, and homes. However, motorcycles are also high-value investments that need to be kept secure. Motorcycle security alarms afford bike owners another layer of security that they can utilize. These alarms will help deter criminals from attempting to steal your motorcycle, and it will also help notify you in the event that someone still tries to abscond with your vehicle.
5. Hidden Kill Switch
Kill switches come in handy for people who want to add some additional security to their motorcycles. For those of you who don’t know, a kill switch is a mechanism that can be used to shut down or disable a device. In motorcycles, if the kill switch is engaged and open the motorcycle will not start. Most motorcycles will have this switch already, but by hiding your own, you will create an extra layer of security. This is a minor detail but it could be used to thwart a criminal who does not know too much about your motorcycle. Kill switches should not be placed in obvious locations, so it might take a thief a while to find the one for your bike or hopefully they give up when they are unable to start the bike because the kill switch it open.
6. Mechanical Deterrents
Motorcycle owners can also make use of mechanical deterrents to help protect their bikes from theft. I know that the term ‘mechanical deterrents’ might sound a bit vague but this simply refers to some methods bike owners can employ when their vehicle is stationary. For instance, some owners have been known to shut off the gas which will make it harder for anyone trying to unlawfully ride away with your motorcycle. In addition to this, people can also remove their clutch levers, spark plug caps or pull a fuse in order to deter any thieves.
7. GPS Tracking
Now, this is a much more expensive protective measure than most of the things listed above, but it is worth the cost. GPS tracking helps bike owners in two main ways. First, it will help you keep track of your motorcycle at all times, even from a remote location. Secondly, it will give you the ability to track your motorcycle in the event that it does get stolen. Like I said, this is a much more expensive security option than others but it is effective. Bike owners who have really expensive bikes should definitely consider installing GPS trackers on their motorcycles.
8. Cover Up Your Motorcycle
This is another effective method of keeping motorcycles secure that many riders do not take advantage of. If you make it a habit of covering up your bike and then locking it, it will make it nearly impossible for thieves to see what is under the cover. Of course, some thieves can always cut said cover, but in most cases, they will not risk it because they will assume that the motorcycle has other safeguards in place. It might take a bit of time to cover up your bike, but that time is well worth it. Would you rather take the time to cover up your motorcycle or take the time to try and find it once it is stolen? It is important that you do everything you can to prevent it from being stolen and covering up your bike plays a small role in making sure it stays secure.
9. Keep Your Garage Secured
Burglars and criminals do not only target motorcycles that are parked on the side of the road or in apartment parking complexes. There have been instances where brazen motorcycle thieves have taken bikes right out of the owner’s garage at home. People think that because they are keeping their motorcycles tucked away in their garages that they are automatically safe. However, this false sense of security actually makes it easier for thieves to steal bikes because homeowners neglect to lock down their motorcycles or covering them up. In order for your motorcycle to be secure in your garage, you should practice the same security measures that you use on the go to ensure that your bike always has maximum security. If you are unsure about how to keep your garage secure, make sure you consult with a car locksmith who might have some pointers you can benefit from.
10. Take Advantage Of Stationary Objects
One of the best things motorcycle owners can do is to take advantage of stationary objects to aid in keeping their bikes secure. This will help you lock your bike to an immovable object which will in turn make it much harder for anyone to move your bike without moving that object first. Motorcycles can be chained or connected to lamp posts, pillars, sturdy bike racks, etc. However, the only thing that bike owners need to be wary of is that they do not chain it to something they are not allowed to. For instance, it will not be smart to chain your bike to a street sign because at that point you will not be dealing with a burglar, you will instead be dealing with a towing company.
It is my hope that the tips listed above will help motorcycle owners and enthusiasts take much more care and caution when they are keeping their bikes secure. Motorcycles thefts are decreasing year after year, but this does not mean that bike owners should become lax in the security measures that they employ. Also, bike owners should not be fooled into thinking that one of these measures is more secure than the other. The best possible form of security should be a combination of all these tips and tricks listed above, as well as using some common sense to see when you might be putting your motorcycle at risk of being stolen.
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Ralph Goodman is a professional writer and the resident expert on locks and security over at the Lock Blog. The Lock Blog is a great resource to learn about keys, locks and safety. They offer tips, advice and how-to’s for consumers, locksmiths, and security professionals.