Do Motorcycles Get Stolen? [Inc. 7 Prevention Tips]

A collage of a padlock security lock blocking the motorcycle wheel on street, anti-theft system and a man stealing a motorcycle at night, Do Motorcycles Get Stolen? [Inc. 7 Prevention Tips]Most people that own a motorcycle own one because they love them. It is their pride and joy. Imagining their motorcycle getting stolen is one of the worst situations that could happen to them. This raises a few questions: do motorcycles get stolen? How do you prevent it from happening? Which motorcycles are more likely to get stolen? We've researched this topic extensively to answer these questions and more.

Unfortunately, motorcycles are one of the most popular vehicles among thieves and are stolen every day. To avoid becoming a victim of motorcycle theft, try these preventative measures:

  • Lock your bike to a grounded object
  • Lock the ignition
  • Have an alarm installed
  • Have a hidden kill switch
  • Install a disc brake lock
  • Install a tracking device
  • General safety precautions

Keep reading below as we expound more on each idea in this list and answer frequently asked questions.

Lock Your Bike To A Grounded Object

This is one of the most common ways to keep your bike safe. Simply locking it to an immovable, surrounding object can deter criminals who do not have the proper heavy-duty tools to break your lock. Most criminals want to take your motorcycle as quickly as possible in hopes of not attracting unwanted attention. By locking your bike securely to something immoveable, they would have to spend a lot more time, make a lot more noise, and ultimately take a much bigger chance of getting caught.

What Do I Use To Lock My Bike?

Most people use a heavy-duty chain to lock their bike as well as a U-Lock. You can find chains at almost any store such as Walmart, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, etc. They are not hard to find. Just make sure you buy a thick steel chain. After all, you are only as strong as your weakest link. Finding a solid U-Lock is extremely important as well since this is what most people will focus on trying to break or pick if they want to steal your motorcycle.

If you would like to purchase a U-Lock, check out the Kryptonite Keeper on Amazon.

Where Do I Place The Lock?

Look for anything that is bolted to the ground or too heavy to move. This is where having a chain comes in handy. If you are next to a large tree or something similar, you can use your chain to reach over to the tree and secure your bike. Whatever you do, the important part is that it can not be slipped off or easily broken. Remember to keep the chain as tight as possible.

In terms of your motorcycle, place your U-Lock around either the frame or the rack.

Lock The Ignition

Ignition locks were invented to keep thieves from being able to steal a bike by picking the ignition and starting the vehicle. This lock usually fits inside or over the ignition and makes it way more difficult for someone to pick. While there are plenty of pickable ignition locks, pairing this type of security measure with a U-Bolt method is bound to keep potential bike-thieves preoccupied until they are caught.

Have An Alarm Installed

padlock security lock blocking the motorcycle wheel on street, anti-theft system

What better way to scare away criminals than to have an obnoxiously loud, ear-piercing alarm going off with them on the bike. Luckily, motorcycle alarms do not have to come straight from the factory. There are plenty of aftermarket alarms you can install that are safe and easy to use. Installing them can be a pain since they require technical knowledge of a motorcycle's wiring and system. So if you are interested in installing an alarm, take it to a professional for them to do for you so that you make sure it is done correctly.

Have A Hidden Kill Switch

A kill switch has many uses, but one of the best applications is keeping criminals from riding off with your motorcycle. The way a kill switch works is by not allowing the bike to start until it is engaged. Some people have gotten creative by turning their turn signal into a kill switch, which makes one of the turn signals be engaged before the bike will start. Kill switches are also challenging to install and require a vast amount of knowledge in motorcycle technology. We suggest taking it to a professional so they can install it the right way.

Install A Disc Brake Lock

These locks are beneficial in keeping a bike from being able to move even if it is started. Discs are located on the wheels and look like smaller, silver circles. Most of the time, there are lots of holes in the discs, which is perfect for disc brake locks to fit in. By purchasing and installing a disc brake lock, you can keep your motorcycle from being driven away as the wheel will not be able to turn with the lock in place.

Beware, there are thieves who simply take your bike without needing to start it. They may just pick it up and put it in the back of their pickup. Because of this, you are better off pairing this lock with another form of lock that anchors your motorcycle to the ground.

If you are interested in purchasing a disc brake lock, check out the Tchipie Lock on Amazon.

Install A Tracking Device

If a thief were to be able to get past all these preventative measures, a tracking device could save your bike's life. Believe it or not, there are plenty of GPS devices that are small enough to be hidden on a motorcycle and can pair with your phone. If your bike were to get stolen, your GPS tracker would be able to tell you where it is located.

If this were to happen, we never suggest putting yourself in harm's way by going after it yourself. Be sure to contact authorities with your information so they can be the ones to confront criminals.

General Safety Precautions

If you're not looking to spend very much money on devices and preventative measures, there are also some practical safety precautions you can take to help lower the chances of your bike getting stolen.

For one, if you live in a house with a garage, make it easy to keep your bike safe by parking it in the garage whenever possible. Often garages are used as workshops or other indoor/outdoor hybrid rooms and do not have room for a full-size car. However, motorcycles are much smaller, so it should be much easier to find a corner of your garage to park your bike in so it stays safe.

If you must park it on the street for work or somewhere else for whatever reason, simply make sure you check on it every so often. You never know, you may catch someone checking out or trying to steal your bike and can put a stop to it. Also remember that if you park it outside, be sure to leave it in an open area where plenty of people will be able to see it. Thieves prey on bikes that are in hidden areas where nobody will see them take it.

If you are parking it in a garage, try to follow the opposite rule. Your motorcycle is already is in a dark, secluded area. So try your best to hide it from prowlers by parking next to larger vehicles.

How Common Is Motorcycle Theft?

A man stealing a high power motorcycle at night

Motorcycle theft is one of the most common automotive thefts. This is because normal-sized cars are often a lot safer since they have security alarms, locks, windows, and more. With a motorcycle, everything can be accessed, and it can be easily moved.

There are about 8.4 million motorcycles in the U.S. In 2013, there were 45,000 motorcycle thefts in the U.S. That means you have about a 1 in 187 chance of having your bike stolen. With cars, you have a 1 in 386 chance of having your car stolen. That means you are over twice as likely to have your motorcycle stolen.

What Is The Most Stolen Motorcycle?

The most common motorcycle to be stolen is Honda. This is because Honda makes a lot of street-racing motorcycles, and those are the most sought-after. Other common bikes to be stolen are Yamaha and Suzuki.

How Can I Find My Stolen Motorcycle?

As mentioned in this article, an effortless way is to make sure you have a tracking device installed on your bike. Some other ways you can locate your bike include registering it as stolen with the local authorities, checking security camera footage, or more practical ways such as checking craigslist for a thief's listing and asking people on social media to keep an eye out.


While none of these situations are incredibly likely to happen, preparing for the worst is one of the best things you can do. Utilizing more than one of these preventative measures is the key to keeping your bike as safe as possible, such as using a U-Lock, tracking device, and a disc brake lock. All in all, just make sure to be proactive with these options whenever you take your bike out for a ride, and more than likely, you are going to deter most criminals.


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One comment

  1. Great tips! Motorcycle theft is certainly on the rise. Good thing we have so many options to keep our rides safe. And it’s good to remember that even though no security system is foolproof, the thieves are more likely to go for the easy targets than the bike that is secured. Keep up the great posts.

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