The Three Golden Rules of Dirt Bike Theft Prevention
• Secure Your Dirt Bike
• Protect Your Dirt Bike
• Insure Your Dirt Bike
Failing to abide by any one of these rules is likely to lead to a
whole world of misery that you would rather do without.
★ SECURE IT or LOSE IT! ★
Dirt Bike Theft Prevention
Hints, Tips & Strategies
There are a range of things you can do to reduce the risk of having your Dirt Bike stolen and increase the likelihood of recovery in case of theft. Dirt Bike theft prevention measures range from the simple and relatively inexpensive, right through to sophisticated alarm and tracking systems worth over a thousand dollars.
If you are wondering why you should bother ... consider the rather sad reality that
in Australia only 3 out of 10 stolen motorcycles are recovered.
Most stolen motorcycles will end up being stripped down and sold on the spare parts black market.
By buying cheap spare parts from unofficial and unauthorised sources, you may be supporting the very people who would steal your ride out from under you.
|Most thieves are opportunistic and will look for an easy mark. Though it may be near impossible to prevent well prepared, organised and determined criminals from making off with your wheels, the first tip is:
• Don't make it easy for thieves to steal your dirt bike.
Any preventative action that you take, that makes theft more difficult, will act as a deterrent and reduce the risk of theft.
According to Australian police sources, the majority of stolen motorcycles are put on the back of vehicles (rendering many security devices ineffective). So ...
• Use a high tensile chain and matching security lock fitted through the rear wheel or preferably the bike frame, that can be attached to railings, a lamp post or similar solid structure. Wheels can be removed quickly by tooled up pros ... keep that in mind.
• Install an effective alarm to go with your ignition lock. Don't let your dirt bike go quietly. Some insurers will offer insurance policy discounts and incentives for bikes with electronic security, so make use of these to subsidise the cost of a security alarm system for your dirt bike.
There are also GPS modules that can be fitted to your bike that may allow tracking when stolen. Manufacturers of these GPS devices claim fast location and very high recovery rates (see the left hand side bar for some links).
• Cover your dirt bike. Don't advertise what you've got. Few motorcycle thieves will risk a blind theft.
• Don't' leave your gear (helmet, goggles, jacket) on or near your bike - and - NEVER leave the keys in the ignition, not even for a minute!
• On regular journeys, vary your parking strategy (don't get into a habit). When possible, leave your bike in full view so that any one messing with it risks being seen.
• Even when your bike is garaged, always use chain locks with strong anchor points. Make sure the garage is secure. If the thief gets inside, they will have seclusion and plenty of time to mess with your ride.
• Make your dirt bike (and parts) difficult or near impossible to sell. Mark everything that could be sold as a second hand spare part with a clearly visible identifying mark (preferably the bike's frame number), in both visible and secret locations.
• Note and report suspicious behaviour to Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000). Thieves will often cruise a neighbourhood several times, usually in the small hours of the morning, to check out potential targets.
Be vigilant ... the bike you save, could be your own.
Stolen Dirt Bike? . . . What Do You Do?
• STAY COOL
You're going to be more than a little angry and distraught when you discover that your dirt bike is gone ... so step one will be to calm down and get your thoughts together.
How fast you can coherently and comprehensively forward any and all relevant information to the Police and secondly to your insurer may make a difference (you are insured, right? If not see below).
• Get Organised
Have your Rego papers, any proof of ownership (e.g. purchase invoice) and hopefully a good photo of your bike on hand so that you can provide maximum identification information.
• Call the POLICE immediately !!
Telephone: 131 444
Do NOT call Crime Stoppers.
Do NOT call 000. This is NOT an emergency (unless of course you are contemplating either murder or suicide ;-)
• Contact your insurer.
• Under NO circumstances should you (or any one else) go near or in any way mess with the place from which your dirt bike was stolen. By doing so, you may contaminate important evidence. Let the Police be the first to examine the scene of the crime.
• You may want to also register your stolen dirt bike with Stolen Dirt Bike Register . It is a long shot, but every little bit helps.
Do You Have Rocks In Your Head ?
(or ... Don't Go Without Insurance for Your Dirt Bike)
One of the luxuries of making it to 50 and beyond, is that you get a chance to look back on your illustrious past (or otherwise) and tell others a thing or two about what you've learned.
Whether any one will actually listen to you is of course a totally separate issue ;-)
The message here is a simple one ... always factor in the cost of insurance into the cost of buying and maintaining your Dirt Bike (or any motorcycle and/or motor vehicle for that matter).
Burgled twice and had car stolen once, it was having my Dirt Bike (a humble 250cc Honda) ripped off, that hurt the most.
Though admittedly, having the mag wheels stolen from my car, and coming out one morning to discover my panel van teetering precariously on a bunch of hastily arranged bricks ... does come a very close second. Lock nuts - don't park your car without them!
Getting back on theme ... My dirt bike was knocked off by a pair of enterprising young teenagers, kids really, roughly 13 and 14 years old.
These two youngsters (who had connections that they would have been better off without), rode my Dirt Bike around for a few weeks (which is ultimately why they got busted), then stripped it and sold the parts.
By the time my lil' red Honda was recovered, half of it was missing and what was left was, well ... thoroughly trashed. And ... my dirt bike wasn't insured ... BIG mistake!
Fortunately (kind-of) one of the dads was prepared to pay for the dirt bike in an effort to deter me from laying formal charges against the two boys and subsequently taking the matter to court.
There was also more than a little pressure from the socially minded local police as well, to (and I quote) "not make a big thing out of it" (nudge, nudge, wink, wink ... say no more). It seems that the families involved were "respected" in the community.
Now, since I had planned to sell that machine, I had a good idea of what its market value was at the time it was stolen. But you know ... the dad involved actually had the balls to complain that he thought I wanted too much "compensation" for that dirt bike!
Added to that he had the nerve to insinuate that it was my own fault because the bike should have been secured better (that the bike was actually garaged seemed to have escaped his notice).
Of course this was all just mind games. It was just a dad trying desperately to get out of paying for his son's expensive mistake.
It did however result in quite a few letters and phone calls to "negotiate" a price for this theft in an effort to keep the matter out of court. A process that ultimately took the better part of a year to conclude.
By the time I finally got paid (almost 18 months after the bike was stolen), I was way past ever being "mister nice guy" again.
Essentially, I got screwed over twice. Once by the kids and then again by their parents. Because I was strapped for cash at the time (and didn't want to pay for a lawyer), I accepted less than I could have realistically expected had I sold the Honda as originally intended.
Had my bike been properly insured (like my car was when it got nick'd) ... it would have been a whole lot less aggravation. The insurance company would have handled ALL the details (and insurance companies don't take little pricks for prisoners).
To be perfectly honest though, I was actually extremely lucky that the police did eventually find the culprits (and what was left of the bike).
The odds of recovery for stolen motorcycles are rather low. So even with all the legal hoops, negotiation and aggravation, in hindsight, I was fortunate to actually get any settlement at all.
So ... insure your Dirt Bike ... or you too may discover the hard way (whether it's from theft or an accident) that in truth, motor vehicle insurance is NOT "optional".