New figures show that bikers living in and around London are at risk of having their motorbike stolen. Statistics from the National Crime Intelligence Service show that more motorbikes are being stolen than bought new, and that it only takes 20 seconds to steal a motorbike worth £10,000. Although joyriding has been cited as a main reason behind the thefts, thieves are also keen to steal motorbikes to sell parts on to the black market.
The chances of you having your motorbike stolen in London’s SW postcodes are up to four times more likely than the national average. Gangs are known to regularly target what they deem to be ‘easy steals’ before driving alongside motorbikes in a van and then lifting the motorbike by the aid of scaffolding poles. To passers-by and the untrained eye this can seem like the bike is being recovered after a breakdown by a reputable company so nothing appears out of the ordinary.
Adopting this devious method enables criminals to steal up to £3 million worth of motorbikes a month in the U.K. with the majority being sold for spare parts – a huge incentive for criminals to make some serious money. While many reputable dealers who specialise in spare parts request documentation when buying motorbikes, experienced criminals are very knowledgeable about where to go without being questioned.
How to protect your motorbike
One of the best ways to protect your bike from being stolen by professional thieves is by installing a GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking system. GPS is a satellite-based navigation system that comprises 24 satellites orbiting the Earth. Originally intended for military purposes, governments have now made the system available for general public use, so you can track GPS devices located all over the world.
A GPS tracking device installed onto your motorbike is ideal because it is no larger than a hand-held device or a mobile phone. Some are even as small as pennies and are so tiny that they don’t compromise design. Bikers can take advantage by concealing these small GPS devices discretely, helping to protect motorbikes worth thousands of pounds.
Having a GPS system installed onto your bike helps the police to locate the whereabouts of your stolen motorbike and speed up the rate of recovery.
Taking out bike insurance or scooter insurance on your vehicle is another way you can keep your motorbike protected. Make sure that you assess the varying levels of cover and enquire about the exact level of cover that you require, so that you avoid paying more than you should. You should also look into spending as much as you can on insurance approved security devices like tagging systems and immobilisers.