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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Nintey minutes south of Freedom.
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Idiot’s Guide to Securing Your Motorcycle
Motorcycles are an attractive target for thieves. They are comparatively small compared to their four-wheeled counterparts and have a high value to weight ratio. A machine can often be disassembled to the frame by the experienced in a matter of hours. So how do you mitigate this risk of theft?
• There are several different types of locking mechanisms. Most are inexpensive and can be stored in the pillion compartment or tank bag. There are disk locks, wheel locks, and U-locks. Some riders implore the use of chains. Chains can vary in girth and resistance to chain cutters. There are motorcycle anti-theft specific chains that can be purchased and typically retail for over $100. If you are going to use a chain, the front or rear wheel should be wrapped around the frame and then attached to a fixed object like a lamp post or grounded anchor. This will prohibit a thief from moving the machine.
• Lock your forks. It’s free. Check your motorcycle owners’ manual for details on how to lock your forks. Flip your engine run switch from “run” to “stop” when parking your ride. If the front end can’t be turned, it will be a very difficult machine to steer.
• There are several manufacturers of motorcycle alarms. They can range in price from $50 to $400, varying in features. Most of these alarm systems can be installed in less than an hour and come with a remote to activate/deactivate the system. Some of these features include ignition kill switches, motion detectors, tilt sensors, and auxiliary batteries. If a thief tries to pound a screwdriver through the ignition, the alarm will sound. Thieves embrace conspicuity and do not want others to be alerted.
• Where do you store your machine? They can’t steal what they can’t see. Store your machine inside! If you don’t have the use of a garage, an outdoor shed will be acceptable. If that’s not a possibility, consider using a conventional motorcycle cover. Provided that it doesn’t violate any state or municipal fire safety codes, store your machine inside! Your GSX-R will complement your nightstand nicely.
• Install a vehicle recovery system (e.g. LoJack). You may qualify for a discount on your insurance policy if you have one installed on your ride. Although not really a “preventative” measure to reduce the likelihood of theft, a vehicle recovery system increases the odds that you will recover your machine and can expedite the vehicle recovery turnover process. These systems are more expensive than an alarm and chain/lock combination.
• Insure your motorcycle from theft! If you’re financing your machine, you probably already have full insurance (this should include a provision for theft of the machine). If you have the title to your machine, and depending on state law, you may have the option NOT to purchase an insurance policy. However, this is the ONLY sure way that you’ll recover the value (or a portion) of the machine in the instance that it is not recovered by the police.
• If a thief wants your machine, they’ll take it. If you have your machine chained, locked, alarmed, LoJack-ed and stored in your secured garage, chances are that the thief will look for an easier target. And if it’s insured against theft, you’ll recoup some or all of the value of the machine.
Remember, rubber side down, shiny side up!
Last edited by mikem317; 07-09-2006 at 06:14 PM.