Motorcycles can be an attractive target for opportunist thieves if they are not stored properly. The risk is increased when they are left overnight. In order to protect your bike from thieves you must take steps to reduce the appeal. As well as helping you to keep your motorcycle safe, the following tips may also help you to lower your motorcycle insurance premiums. Although the cost of extra security features may outweigh the insurance savings which have been made, it can help to cut out the hassle and inconvenience associated with a stolen or vandalised motorbike.
Keep your Bike in a Garage
The most secure place for you to keep your bike overnight is in a locked garage on your own property. If you do not have access to a garage on your own land then you should consider renting one near to your property. Keeping your motorcycle in a garage will help to keep it away from the eyes of opportunist thieves. Anyone who is monitoring the garage may know that the motorbike is being kept in there, but it will stop the bike from being a target to passing vandals and people who decide to commit a crime on the spur of the moment. Make sure that your garage has a secure lock system, as you may be asked about the lock type when you are checking insurance prices.
If you do have a garage, insurance providers will expect you to use it in the way that you state. For example, if you state that your bike is kept overnight in a locked garage, but the bike was stolen whilst the garage was unlocked; your claim may be deemed invalid. If you are relying in your insurance policy to cover you if your motorbike is stolen then you must make sure that you read, understand and comply with all of the terms and conditions which are set out in the policy.
Motorcycle Storage Units
Dedicated bike storage units are normally smaller than garages, meaning that they can be a more feasible solution if space is limited. However, they can be costly to install or build. Some specialist units claim that they can be considered as a garage for insurance purposes, however it is best to check with your insurance provider first, rather than taking this at face value. To make your storage unit even more secure, you may be able to fit it out with special motorcycle ground anchors. These anchors will help to make your bike immovable unless the thief has heavy duty cutting tools with them.
On a Driveway
If you cannot store the motorcycle in a locked garage or storage unit, keeping it off of the public road is the next best option. Opportunist thieves are less likely to stray onto private property to steal a motorbike, because their actions would be considered to be more eye-catching. Storing the bike off of a public road will also mean that it is less likely to be accidentally hit by another road user.
Parking on a Road
Some motorcycle insurance providers will not insure vehicles which are parked overnight on the road, however there should still be plenty of options available to you. Build up your other security features to make the bike as secure as possible. You may want to consider fitting the bike with a motorcycle cover. Not only will this type of cover prevent would-be thieves from getting a proper look at the hardwear, it will also help to protect your bike from the weather.
Chain the bike if possible, but take care that it is not causing damage or an obstruction. If you chain it somewhere that motorbikes are not permitted you may find that your bike is removed by the authorities. Obstructing the pavement is one of the major reasons why motorcycles are removed and impounded. It is worth noting that blatant thieves have been known to load bikes onto the backs of removal vehicles in broad daylight so that they can work on breaking through the security features in a more secure location.
A good disc lock is one of the best types of locks that are available for motorcycles. You should also ensure that your bike has a Thatcham-approved alarm system and an immobiliser. Both of these security devices will make it harder for thieves to take your bike without attracting attention. Most insurers ask for Thatcham-approved alarms, because they are the highest standard. An alarm should sound if the bike is disturbed, which can help to reduce the chances of a thief loading it onto the back of a lorry to take away.
Be sensible with what you leave attached to your bike. Leaving your Sat Nav attached to your handle bars can help to make your bike a prime target.