How to keep your bike safe
Motorbikes are harder to keep safe from thieves and vandals than other vehicles as they can be literally wheeled away, or even lifted and bundled into a waiting van.
Despite this, motorbike security is still treated as an afterthought by most people, with many not bothering about it at all.
Aside from the obvious benefit of securing your bike, having good motorcycle security can also help make your insurance cheaper so it’s not something that should be taken lightly.
Whether you’re out and about or sat at home, our guide to motorcycle security will help keep your bike safe in any circumstance.
How to keep your motorbike safe in public
Your bike is perhaps most at risk when it’s parked up in a public place, away from whatever security devices or systems you have at home.
That being said, there are a few simple things you can do to make your motorbike as secure as possible when it’s left out in public.
• If you commute, don’t always park in the same place. Potential thieves will become aware of your bike and it could become a target.
• Thieves don’t want to be caught and parking in busy places can help deter them.
• Don’t leave your helmet or possessions with your bike or in the pannier, this is extra bait.
• Where possible, park in purpose built motorbike spaces with ground anchors or parking stands.
• Don’t just put the chain through the wheel, try and thread it around the frame so that individual parts can’t be taken.
How to keep your bike safe at home
Most people tend to have better security systems in place at home and there’s a good reason for that.
Storing your bike in the same place every day means you don’t just have to protect it from opportunist thieves, who are arguably less likely to succeed as they won’t have specialist tools with them, but also from calculated theft.
If a thief knows where your bike will be and at what time, they can make a well thought out plan that specifically targets you and your motorbike.
• If you have a garage, make full use of it. Always keep your motorbike inside and make sure you shut and lock the garage door when it’s not in use.
• You can try parking your car in front of the garage with the motorbike inside it. The added difficulty of getting inside can be a pretty good deterrent but it also puts your car at more risk, so you have to decide if it’s worth it.
• Don’t leave your keys in the hallway. It’s increasingly common for vehicles to be stolen because the thief has either poked something through the letterbox to grab the keys or even just walked right in and picked them up.
• CCTV – If you can’t afford your own surveillance system then buy a fake camera. It’s hard to tell the difference and works great as a preventative technique.
Although the upfront cost can be off-putting, investing in security devices will not only help prevent your bike from being stolen but can also help lower your motorbike insurance premium.
• Motorbike lock – Getting a chain or lock for your bike is the first step towards motorcycle security and the simplest way to deter a thief.
• Motorbike alarm or immobiliser – Paging alarms are the best option as it won’t matter whether you’re within hearing distance.
• Ground anchor – Positioning your ground anchor at the side of your garage or next to an exterior wall will help prevent robbers from being able to access your motorcycle easily.
• Garage lock – Extra security can never be a bad thing.
• Garage alarm – Motorbike alarms are great but the earlier you stop a thief, the less chance they have of getting away with your bike.
Other things to consider
• Make sure the steering lock is engaged if you’re leaving your motorcycle alone.
• Mark your bike to make it easily identifiable, either with an engraving kit or a marker pen.
• Never leave your keys in the flower pot, under the door mat or in other obvious spots, thieves will check these places first.
• Whether you’re out and about or at home, keep your bike covered. An increasing number of motorbikes are stolen to order, so you don’t want to advertise yours in case it’s exactly what’s being searched for.
• Speak to your local police. They’ll know what kind of motorcycle crimes are common in your area and what techniques local thieves are using.