Keep your bike safe

Keep your bike safe

Posted by Ben Baker on Dec 22nd 2016

How easy is it to steal a motorcycle, is a sobering reminder that stealing a bike is almost too easy.

Here are some tips to prevent theft and a few ideas on how to get your bike back if it is taken.


Esurance has some limited ideas on how to stop bike theft in this article. The best listed idea is to lock your bike to something secure like a tree, a building or street light. Second best is locking the forks and disc brakes.

Before you decide to invest in a locking system for your bike, make sure you get a decent lock. Bosnian Bill produces about a video a day on various locks and how to defeat them. He's got some YouTube videos on great, good and spectacularly horrible locks for two-wheel rides. Hint: Do not buy anything from MasterLock.

Cruiser agrees. "Go for the good stuff when shopping for security: Alarmed disc locks, U-locks of hardened steel and asymmetrical chains (5/8 inches or greater) all rate highly," the article states.

Ride Apart takes a look at locks as well.

The Cruiser article says alarms are ok, but if you really want to have an effective alarm, "Everyone pays attention to sounds of destruction —such as breaking glass. A large stack of beer bottles with a trip wire makes a sound that everyone will investigate when it gets tipped over."


Getting a stolen bike back is not always easy.

Step 1 is to file a police report as soon as possible. You'll need this report to file an insurance claim. You'll need this report if your bike is later found and you want to get it back.

Call your insurance company. They will have questions. Answer honestly and as best you can. They'll want a copy of the police report. They may pick one up or have you send one.

Post your bike as missing. Create a Craigslist account to get alerts if a bike matching the description of yours gets posted. If you get a tip, check it out without letting the seller know you believe it's your stolen bike Get the police involved. For of friends north of the border, try Kijiji.

Several websites offer free listings for you to post your stolen ride. Here are three:

VIN History

Bike Index

ABC News says one thing you should NOT do is try to get your bike back yourself, if you find it on Craigslist. Call the police and let them help. If you try to get the bike back and it's not actually yours, you could be charged with a crime.

Here is a story of how one owner did get his bike back after seeing it on Craigslist.


Bennetts, a company in Great Britain, has some excellent ideas to keep you on the right side of the transaction. Not all of these work in the US and other countries; the UK has a MOT certificate for motorcycles

Without question DO NOT SEND MONEY to anyone who promises to deliver a bike if you send money. Craigslist is packed with these scams Some of these scammers will also say they are "buying" your motorcycle and send you an outsized check. You're supposed to cash the check, keep the money for the bike and wire the balance to someone else. The check is fake and if you do this, you're out several grand.

Motorcyclist has an article discussing how to avoid such scams.

Mason Shaw discusses the problems he had after buying a stolen bike in his blog. He didn't know it was hot.