"Did You Know...?" Fast Facts About Motorcycle Theft
Is your bike one of the most frequently stolen ones? Do you live in one of the highest theft areas of the country? Do you know the most common ways that motorcycles are stolen today? Check out these Fast Facts about motorcycle theft!
- Most bikes are stolen in the summer months, between June and September; July and August are the top two months for motorcycle theft, and January and February see the lowest theft activity.
- According to NICB statistics, the top five most stolen motorcycle brands are:
- Honda (20%)
- Yamaha (16%)
- Suzuki (15%)
- Kawasaki (11%)
- Harley-Davidson (8%)
- Occurrence of theft by manufacturer is highly correlated with each brands popularity – but a notable exception is Harley Davidson. Harley-Davidsons rank only 5th in theft rates, an only 8% share of the total, despite being the most popular brand in the U.S.
- Just as Hondas are the most stolen motorcycles, they are also the most stolen cars; NICB reports that the most common autos stolen are the Honda Accord and Civic.
- According to statistics published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau, 56% of all motorcycle theft occurs in only 10 states. In order, they are:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
- New York
- By city, NYC had the most motorcycle theft, followed by Las Vegas, San Diego, Indianapolis, Miami, and Los Angeles.
- The preferred method of motorcycle thieves nowadays is loading an unsecured bike into a minivan as fast as possible and driving away, even in broad daylight. However, low-tech methods as propping a motorcycle onto a couple of skateboards and simply rolling it away are reported!
- A large amount of motorcycle theft is done by theft rings involving everyone from the thieves themselves, to people who part out or reassemble them, to people who arrange shipping of entire bikes overseas for sale in foreign countries. In the last two years, major organized motorcycle theft rings involving dozens of people and hundreds of thousands of dollars in merchandise have been taken down in New York and Southern California.
- By make and model, the NICB shows the top 5 most-stolen models are:
Note that, of the Japanese brands, the most frequently stolen bikes are all 600cc sport bikes.
- Honda CBR600RR
- Yamaha R6
- Suzuki G-SXR 600
- Harley Davidson FLH Series
- Kawasaki ZX-6R
- The recovery rate for stolen motorcycles is only around 30% (compared to 60% for autos.)
- Most stolen motorcycles are not sold whole; traceable parts such as frames and engines are often sold for scrap, and parts like fairings and wheels are often sold on eBay or Craigslist. These parts may also be used with a clean frame and motor to build and resell a complete bike with a clear title.
- The most effective anti-theft strategy includes several layers of security: parking in a visible well-lit area; using a non-descript cover to keep the bike "out of sight, out of mind"; a disc lock (or two), preferably equipped with an alarm; and a high quality chain looped through the frame or rear wheel and an immovable object like a telephone pole or concrete pillar. Check out our article below on "How to Keep Your Motorcycle from Getting Stolen" for a complete rundown of security products, and tips on how to use them!
What is motorcycle theft like where you live?