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Motorbike theft and how to avoid it

Read our top tips to help keep your motorbike safe from thieves

Graphic of a green motorbike with a hand in the background. The hand/arm is black and white striped to try and signify a thief

How to protect yourself and your motorbike.

Motorbike and moped theft is a growing issue according to the police; for example, the number of stolen scooters in London has increased by 50% in the last two years alone.

Statistics show that the vast majority of moped thefts are of parked and unattended bikes. A thief will only need a few minutes with an unattended bike if it's not properly secured. If it isn't secured thoroughly the owner could be invalidating the terms of their insurance.

In April 2017, the Metropolitan Police dealt with over 1,500 stolen mopeds. Bikes were then often used in connection with 2000 further crimes, such as phone snatches, drive-by thefts and acid attacks. In the last year in London there were roughly 14,000 crimes involving a scooter. Criminals are mounting the pavement and sometimes riding up behind victims.

So, although police are working hard to reduce the level of motorbike and moped crime, there are certain measures you can take to reduce the chances of your bike being stolen too. Preventative security is key - the more effort a thief has to put in to taking a bike, the more likely they are to abandon an attempt.

LV= and the Metropolitan Police have compiled some top tips to help owners look after their motorbikes and mopeds:

graphic of a black key

1. Always use the steering lock and remove the ignition keys, even if you are close by or away for a few minutes. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump on so don't make it easy for them.

Graphic of a white CCTV camera attached to a brick wall

2. Park under CCTV where possible, or if that isn't an option park in a well-lit busy area.

Graphic of a orange lock threaded through the back wheel of a green motorbike

3. A common method used by thieves to steal a bike is to break a steering lock and simply wheel the bike away. Using a chain lock through the back wheel will help prevent this (the front wheel can be removed easily so won't help). Also using a Thatcham approved alarmed padlock would be very useful.

Graphic of a green motorcycle secured to some railings

4. Where possible, secure your bike to an immovable object, such as a ground anchor, railings or lamp post, which will also stop thieves from just picking the whole bike up.

Graphic of a orange lock threaded through the back wheel and frame of a green motorbike

5. If these options aren't available, always try to thread the chain through your bike frame and back wheel. This helps protect parts being stolen and stops thieves from simply using a hammer/ angle grinder to break the lock if it’s left trailing the ground.

Graphic of a motorbike wheel that has an orange disk lock on it

6. Using a disc lock also helps to secure the front brake disc to physically stop it from being wheeled away.

Graphic of a bike cover over a motorbike

7. Thieves often 'shop' for particular bike models, so using a bike cover instantly makes it less attractive to them, as they can't see if it's the model they are interested in.

Graphic of a smartphone that is showing a map and a location point on it

8. Installing a tracking device is also a good way to locate your scooter if it's stolen.

We recommend using more than one item of security to reduce the risk of theft. For more help and information about preventing motorbike crime, visit https://www.met.police.uk/crime-prevention/theft-of-a-vehicle/theft-motorcycles-scooters/

To insure your motorbike, moped or scooter, call us on 0800 316 1225

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