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Why Some Security is Always Better than None

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Startling statistics from the Motorcycle Action Group highlight the high level of motorcycle theft throughout the UK. In this post we look at how using even a basic level of security is far better than no security at all - for motorbikes and other valuables.

According to the Motorcycle Action Group the average number of motorbike thefts in the UK is 22 in 1000 or 1 in 46. Motorbikes are by far the most commonly stolen vehicle. Regional motorbike theft metrics vary enormously with London at the top where, for every 1000 registered motorbikes, 82 are stolen each year. Derbyshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and West Mercia are the safest regions where an average of 3 or fewer motorbikes are stolen, per 1000.

Its worth noting that these theft metrics relate to all forms of powered two-wheeled vehicles, including scooters. But even when the high number of thefts in London are excluded from the statistics the average is still high at 17 in 1000 or 1 in 59. Statistics from a well known, reputable motorcycle insurance company, covering the period from 2018 to 2019, show an average of 9.2 thefts per 1000 or 1 in 108. The bottom line is that wherever you live and ride your motorbike in the UK there is a very significant risk of theft.

Insurance Company Statistics

Motorcycle insurance company statistics show that almost 50% of the motorbikes reported as stolen over 2018 and 2019 didn’t use any form of additional security.

Statistics for motorcycle theft show a direct correlation between the use of various levels of physical security and motorcycle theft. Not using any form of additional physical security is obviously very risky but many riders are unaware that even using a very basic motorcycle disc lock reduces the likelihood of theft by a factor of 3. Beefing up this security by using a high security chain and lock massively reduces the risk of theft to below 1 in every 1000 registered motorbikes. The average risk of car theft in the UK is 1.1 in every 1000 so if you invest in high quality motorbike security and always lock your motorcycle to an immovable anchor, your bike is less likely to be stolen than a car.

While trackers don’t stop motorbikes being stolen they do help recover stolen bikes. A tactic used by some motorcycle thieves is to take the stolen motorbike to another location and wait to see if the motorbike is tracked. And some criminals will even lock up the stolen motorbike while they wait.

Security labelling, using systems like Datatag, has also been beneficial in making motorbikes less attractive to thieves and targeting criminal motorbike dismantlers. But security tagging doesn’t physically prevent a motorbike from being stolen.

Why Do Motorcyclists Ignore the Need for Security?

A noteworthy insight provided by these insurance company statistics is the high proportion of stolen motorbikes owned by riders who didn’t use of any additional form of physical security. Its worth considering the various reasons why.

One key reason is that many motorcyclists don’t have faith in the ability of today’s physical security products to withstand modern-day attacks. Some believe there is no point in using a disc lock or a D-lock as they think these locks can be quickly overcome by a criminal armed with a battery powered angle grinder. But this mistaken belief isn’t backed up by theft statistics that demonstrate how even the most basic form of additional physical security can often be enough to deter theft. Importantly, most thieves are on the lookout for easy targets and good quality motorcycle locks and chains aren’t easy to overcome, even with a portable angle grinder.

Another reason motorcyclists sometimes ignore the benefits of additional physical security is the need to carry locks and chains when out and about. But there are some excellent Sold Secure accredited, highly adaptable noose chains which work well with robust, Sold Secure approved D-locks and they don’t require too much storage space. There are also some highly effective disc locks, such as the Roundlock RL21 dumbbell type lock, which is Sold Secure Motorcycle Gold approved and very compact.

rl21 dumbbell disc lock
Sold Secure Motorcycle Gold - RL21 Dumbbell Disc Lock

 

The additional cost of locks and chains is another reason some riders fail of pay attention to their bike security needs. But as noted, even a basic low-cost disc lock can often be enough to prompt a motorbike thief to move on to an easier target. Insurance company statistics clearly show how the more you invest in motorbike security the greater your risk of theft is reduced. A good rule of thumb is to allocate around 10% of your motorcycle’s value to security. So if you are lucky enough to be riding a £10,000 motorcycle, spending around £1000 on security would be a sensible budget.

Some motorcyclists and cyclists who have unfortunately become victims of bike theft describe how they failed to lock up their valuable bikes because they were only popping into a shop or shopping centre for a few minutes. Sadly, they mistakenly believed that since they were only leaving their motorbikes or bicycles unattended for a short period of time the risk was low. Regardless of how long a desirable motorbike, scooter or bicycle is left unattended it should always be locked up. The aim should always be to make would-be thieves move on to seek out alternative, easier targets and never to leave valuable motorbikes unsecured, even for only a few minutes.

Lock, Chain, Cover - Police Security Advice

Police forces throughout the UK, along with insurance companies, provide valuable security advice for motorbike, scooter and moped riders. They highlight the benefits in layering security and promote the ‘lock, chain, cover’ approach.

squire defiant disc lock
Sold Secure Powered Cycle Diamond Rated - Squire Defiant Disc Lock

 

Take a look at the Motorcycle Disc Locks in our store and you`ll find some excellent examples including the Squire Defiant Disc Lock, that`s achieved the highest possible Sold Secure Powered Cycle Diamond rating, along with the popular Squire Eiger Mini which is Sold Secure Motorcycle Diamond rated. As noted, even a basic disc lock can be enough to significantly boost bike security. D-locks are also highly effective but even if a motorbike can’t be wheeled away it could still be lifted into the back of a van.

noose chain
Pragmasis Sleeved Noose Chain

 

Security chains can prevent motorbikes from being lifted onto a truck by attaching the locked motorcycle to an immovable anchor, such as a lamp post. High security noose chains are ideal as they make maximum use of the chain length by wrapping the noose around an anchor point and then attaching the other end to a lock, such as a D-lock, that’s securing the motorcycle wheel.

dib d lock
Sold Secure Motorcycle Gold - Dib D-Lock

 

Thieves are often on the lookout for specific motorbike and scooter makes and models. Covering a bike, or storing it somewhere it can’t be seen, immediately makes it less attractive.

Other important recommendations include always removing the ignition keys and never relying solely on motorbike steering locks. Steering locks are useful and should always be used, if available, but the mechanisms shouldn’t be relied upon.

Although security marking motorcycles doesn’t provide a physical theft prevention barrier it makes it very difficult for criminals to sell the parts. So it makes sense to security label all of the key motorcycle components as this makes a bike far less appealing to criminals who break up motorbikes to sell.

Another police recommendation is to consider the use of an alarm system with tracking and immobilisation capabilities. A good quality system will not only deter would-be thieves, it can also reduce insurance premiums.

The Need for Physical Security Applies to All Valuables

Portable, movable items such as caravans, trailers, boats, ATVs and ride-on mowers are all attractive to criminals. But many people fail to adequately secure these valuables and criminals are taking advantage of their oversight.

A police report from Shropshire details how an unsecured trailer was stolen from outside a business premises by a thief who simply hitched the unsecure trailer to the back of their car and made their getaway.

Police in North Devon are appealing for information after burglaries from farm outbuildings in the area. In one recent incident a valuable Suzuki 500 quad bike along with power tools were stolen and similar incidents have occurred in other areas of the county.

And boat owners in Exmouth are being urged by the police to lock up their vessels after a 6.7 metre craft was stolen from a mooring on the River Exe, just outside Exmouth Marina.

Incidents like these appear in local press reports every week throughout the UK. In many cases theft could have been prevented if adequate attention had been paid to physical security. Click here to look at the range of high quality motorcycle and leisure equipment security products in our store.

Even Basic Security is Better than None

Motorbike and bicycle theft statistics clearly show how even the most basic use of sensible physical security significantly deters thieves. Recent police theft reports highlight the need to pay attention to what is often overlooked such as securely locking up trailers when they aren’t in use, securing farm outbuildings and the valuables inside and the need to lock up boats, even when they are on moorings.

The same principle applies to our homes and workplaces. Police forces continue to highlight how burglars predominantly gain access via poorly secured windows and doors, highlighting the need to make certain they are always securely locked. And layering-up security precautions, such as installing motion-triggered security lighting, can be enough to prompt a would-be intruder to move on to an easier target.

If you have any questions about padlocks, chains and physical security, or if you have any special requirements, remember we are here to help. Give us a call on 01273 475500 and we’ll provide you with free, expert advice.

This message was added on Thursday 18th January 2024

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