In order to keep your motorcycle safe, it is important that you know how to park it correctly. Correct parking can reduce the risk that the bike will be damaged by other road users or towed away by the authorities.
It is always best to park your motorcycle so that it is facing outwards and is angled towards the direction of traffic. Although this means that you will probably have to back into the space in the first place, it is much easier to back into a stationary space than it is to back out into moving traffic. Never move out backwards onto a main road, because this could put you and other road users at risk.
Park at an Angle
If you need to park in a roadside parking area, you should park at an angle. This helps to make your motorcycle appear more visible to car drivers, whilst also maximising the amount of vehicles which can be parked in the parking area. Parking perpendicular to the curb can leave your motorbike vulnerable because car drivers can end up reversing into your vehicle. Car drivers may also be tempted to park very close to you at either side, which can make it quite hard to exit the parking place safely.
Most carparks now have specific zones for motorcycle parking. Try to park in one of these areas if possible to avoid taking up a full-sized parking space. Be mindful of how you park within the motorcycle zone, because other bike users may need to park in the same area too. The best motorcycle park zones are those which have strategically placed bollards around the edge. These bollards are spaced widely enough that bikes can pass through them, but they help to prevent car drivers from accidentally hitting all of the motorbikes.
Once you have parked the bike, make sure that you take any detachable devices like your Sat Nav off of your bike and put them in a secure location. Having flashy devices attached to your handlebars is a surefire way of attracting the attention of opportunist thieves. Even if they do not try to steal your motorbike, they may try to steal these gadgets. Although you may think that your devices are attached securely, the would-be thieves may end up damaging your vehicle with their hamfisted attempts.
If possible, try to park your motorcycle in a location where there are anchor points. Although you are unlikely to find anchor points in smaller locations, they are becoming more common in places where riders are more prone to park for long periods. Anchor points are sturdy points which help to prevent the bike from being manually moved.
These points have been developed in response to the increasing number of thefts that occur when motorcycles are just lifted onto a truck so that they can be stripped down for parts. There are different types of ground anchor points available, so make sure that you understand how to to secure and unsecure your bike before using one.
Try to park in a well-lit area if you can, because this helps to reduce the likelihood that your motorbike will be targeted by criminals. It is also beneficial to park near to CCTV cameras if you can. In many multi storey carparks, the motorcycle parking area is now located close to a manned zoned.
Whenever you are parking your bike in an unfamiliar location, take a moment to check that there are no signs warning you not to park there. Some areas have very subtle signs which warn people that motorbike parking is not permitted. Be aware that if you park in one of these areas then your bike may be taken away by the authorities. You may also be liable to pay a fine unless you can show that there was no realistic way to know that parking was not permitted in the area. It is also worth checking this again if you return and find that your motorcycle is missing. It may have been towed rather than stolen.
If at all possible you should try to park your motorcycle in a locked and secured garage that is at your property. This will help to keep your vehicle safe, as well as helping to reduce your insurance premiums. Alternatively, try to arrange to park the bike in a special motorcycle storage unit as near to your property as you are able to. These storage units can be made even more secure with the addition of a set ground anchors with which to secure your vehicle. If you need to park the bike in a visible location, make sure that the vehicle has an immobilizer, a Thatcham-approved alarm system or similar, a disc lock and a weather cover.