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Motorcycle Theft

Motorcycle Theft Statistics
Motorcycle Theft Statistics and Prevention
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The purpose of this page to become a directory of links to information, data and statistics regarding motorcycle theft. We're especially interested in listing information regarding motorcycle theft statistics for the U.S.A.

Unfortunately, data on motorcycle theft is difficult to find. If you know of links to resources about motorcycle theft in the U.S., the U.K., Canada or other countries, please send them to

More: 2012 Motorcycle Theft in the U.S.  |  Yearly Motorcycle Theft Statistics and Reports (Below)

Motorcycle Locks, Alarms and Reviews: On the wBW Motorcycle Alarms, Locks and Immobilisers Page

Preventing Motorcycle Theft:  2008 U.S. motorcycle theft statistics (below)  | U.S. motorcycle thefts decline since 2006 (below)  |  AMA "Nine Ways to Keep Your Bike From Being a Motorcycle Theft Statistic" article with some basic tips on preventing motorcycle theft  |  Here's a report on motorcycle security with tips and photos on correct lock placement  |  The U.K. Bike Theft Index lists the most popular motorbikes for thieves  |  The Insurance Journal (U.S.A.) cites a study commissioned by LoJack that claims that "motorcycle theft rates (have climbed) more than 55 percent" but 49% of motorcycle owners are concerned about bike theft and 84% believe the chances are "slim to none" of getting a stolen bike back  |  Basic tips on preventing motorcycle theft from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (U.S.) and Sentry Insurance (.pdf)  |  Motorcycle theft prevention tips from NSW (.pdf)

"Lock-to-Lock" Security Scheme: Interesting "scheme" in the UK, where motorcyclists can put an "L2L" sticker on their motorcycle, which authorizes other L2L members to then attach their security chain to that bike. This helps prevent thieves from lifting single bikes into vans and stealing them. "By allowing its members to create a daisy chain of locked bikes, L2L effectively renders this impossible", according to L2L. Registered members also get discounts on insurance and anti-theft devices. More info on the Lock-to-Lock website

Motorcycle Theft Statistics: U.S. Motorcycle Accident and Theft Rates - See below  |  Motorcycle theft statistics are difficult to find, because not all countries, states or localities report them and there are very few shared databases to store this information. Recent reports (2009) from the UK of the most stolen motorcycles since 2005 list BMW and Honda as the two most stolen brands. Harley-Davidsons are the least likely to be recovered, but in general, sportbikes are the most likely to be found and returned to their owners.

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GPS Tracking Devices:  BikeBone has many different types of motorcycle locks, alarms, GPS tracking devices and more

Stolen Motorcycles:  Lost Ride is claimed to be the "largest online registry of stolen motorcycles in the world"; list your bike's VIN if it was stolen or search for a VIN prior to purchasing a bike to see if it is listed

UK Motorcycle Theft Statistics:  A June 2009 report from Carole Nash, a UK insurance company, indicates that the highest levels of motorcycle theft are in London and Liverpool, especially North West London, where motorcycles are stolen about five times more than average. Besides London, motorcycles in Liverpool are stolen about two times higher than the UK average.

Motorcycle theft is least likely in Hereford, Galashiels, Perth and Isle of Man. The report also indicated that the most stolen two-wheeled vehicle in the UK is the Honda SCV100 Lead scooter. More details in this Carole Nash report (.pdf file).

U.S. Motorcycle Theft and Accident Rates

2009 Report:  Motorcycle Thefts Decline in 2009

April 20, 2010 - The latest information from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that motorcycle theft has declined, possibly due to a variety of factors. 56,093 motorcycle thefts were reported in the U.S. in 2009, a 13% drop from the 64,492 thefts in 2008.

The top five motorcycle brands stolen in 2009 were:  Honda (13,688); Yamaha (11,148); Suzuki (9,154); Kawasaki (5,911); Harley-Davidson (3,529). These 5 brands totaled 43,430 thefts, which is 77.4% of the total number of motorcycles stolen in 2009.

The top five states with the most motorcycle theft in 2009 were: California (6,273); Texas (5,526); Florida (5,009); North Carolina (3,045); and Georgia (2,067). These five states accounted for 21,920 thefts or 39% of the total.

The time of year was a factor also, with the most thefts reported in July (6,319); August (6,079); and June (5,672). The fewest number of thefts were reported in December (2,927); February (3,100); and January (3,570).


2008 Motorcycle Theft Report

A new report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that motorcycle thefts are trending down following similar good news about their four-wheel cousins.

In 2008, a total of 60,763 motorcycles were reported stolen in the U.S. That number is down 2.3 percent from the 62,206 reported in 2007 and down 4.8 percent from the 63,828 reported in 2006.

The report clearly shows that motorcycle theft is more seasonal than other vehicle theft activity. July and August logged the most thefts while December, January and February had the fewest.

There are 684 different makes of motorcycles identified in the report, but just five makes account for 150,183 (80.4%) of the total thefts. The top five makes were Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson.

The five states with the most motorcycle theft activity are California, Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Indiana. These states reported 72,619 thefts, or 38.9% of the total.

While overall thefts are down, recoveries are down as well, mirroring a trend that began in 2006 when the national recovery rate for stolen vehicles fell below 60 percent (59.0) for the first time in more than 10 years.

The top five states for recoveries of stolen motorcycles are California, Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Maryland.

With motorcycles costing $20,000 and more, baby boomers and younger easy riders should take the time to learn how to protect their bikes. For more information, see the NICB motorcycle theft prevention tips guide (.pdf)

2006: Motorcycle Thefts Decline Nearly 5 Percent in Past Two Years

A new 2006 report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) shows that motorcycle thefts are trending down following similar good news about their four-wheel cousins. In 2008, a total of 60,763 motorcycles were reported stolen in the U.S. That number is down 2.3 percent from the 62,206 reported in 2007 and down 4.8 percent from the 63,828 reported in 2006.

The report clearly shows that motorcycle theft is more seasonal than other vehicle theft activity. July and August logged the most thefts while December, January and February had the fewest.

There are 684 different makes of motorcycles identified in the report, but just five makes account for 150,183 80.4 percent of the total thefts. The top five makes are: Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson.

The five states with the most motorcycle theft activity are: California, Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Indiana. These states reported 72,619 thefts, or 38.9 percent of the total.

While overall thefts are down, recoveries are down as well, mirroring a trend that began in 2006 when the national recovery rate for stolen vehicles fell below 60 percent (59.0) for the first time in more than 10 years.

The top five states for recoveries of stolen motorcycles are: California, Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Maryland.

With bikes costing $20,000 and more, owners should take the time to learn how to protect their bikes. NICB has motorcycle theft prevention tips (.pdf). The complete theft report is also available at www.nicb.org.

July 2006 Motorcycle Theft Report

Courtesy of Progressive Insurance
Progressive Insurance reports the following statistics, based on claims:

Most Likely to be Stolen: 1. Suzuki GSX-R; 2. Yamaha YZF-R; 3. Suzuki Hayabusa; 4. Honda CBR; 5. Kawasaki ZX-R.

Least Likely to be Stolen: 1. Suzuki Savage; 2. BMW R1200C; 3. Yamaha Virago; 4. Honda Nighthawk; 5. Triumph Bonneville.

Most Likely to be in a Crash: 1. Suzuki GSX-R; 2. Suzuki TLR; 3. Kawasaki ZX-R; 4. Honda CBR; 5. Yamaha YZF-R.

Least Likely to be in a Crash: 1. Yamaha Virago; 2. Honda Rebel; 3. Honda Nighthawk; 4. Suzuki Savage; 5. Harley-Davidson Tour Glide.

Background
Progressive reviewed claims data on more than two million motorcycles insured over the past three years to determine the likelihood of a motorcyclist getting into an accident or having a bike stolen. The analysis focused on the 89 U.S. metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 and higher.

The study found Honolulu riders are most likely to have their bikes stolen, even though it's the 53rd largest metropolitan area. In fact, a motorcyclist in Honolulu is four times more likely to have a bike stolen than is a motorcyclist in Chicago or Detroit, which are the third and seventh largest metro areas in the country, respectively.

Similarly, though Baton Rouge ranks 75th in population, it ranks third when it comes to the likelihood of a rider experiencing a motorcycle crash. And a motorcyclist in Philadelphia, the country's fifth largest metro area, is 36 percent less likely to have an accident as one in the Norfolk-Virginia Beach metro area, which is the 47th largest.

One metropolitan area where the statistics are more in line with what you might expect is New York; it ranks number one both in population and in the likelihood of motorcycle collisions. And, while three metro areas rank among the most likely for both thefts and collisions (New York, Norfolk-Virginia Beach, and San Diego), only one Cincinnati ranks among the least likely for both.

The rankings in the following tables are based on a relative scale, with 100 representing the national average. (So, for example, in the table showing the metro areas in which a motorcycle is most likely to be crashed, New York would rank 71 points above the average.)

U.S. Motorcycle Accident and Theft Rates

Metro Areas In Which A Motorcycle is Most Likely to be Crashed (See Note 1)
(Among metro areas s with population >500,000. July 2006)
Metro Area Likelihood vs.
National Average of 100
Population Rank
1. New York, N.Y.-N.J. 171 1
2. Norfolk-Va. Beach-Portsmouth, Va.-N.C. 157 47
3. Baton Rouge, La. 153 75
4. San Diego, Calif. 142 15
5. San Francisco-Oakland, Calif. 140 9
6. New Orleans, La. 128 41
7. San Antonio, Texas 126 31
8. McAllen-Pharr-Edinburg, Texas 124 76
9. Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. 123 16
10. Orlando, Fla. 123 36

 

Metro Areas In Which A Motorcycle is Least Likely to be Crashed (See Note 1)
(Among metro areas with population >500,000 July 2006)
Metro Area Likelihood vs. National Average of 100 Population Rank
80. Columbus, Ohio 82 37
81. Oxnard-Simi Valley-Ventura, Calif. 82 62
82. Cleveland, Ohio 80 24
83. Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, R.I.-Mass. 79 69
84. Tacoma, Wash. 76 64
85. Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. 74 32
86. Toledo, Ohio-Mich. 72 61
87. Akron, Ohio 70 65
88. Indianapolis, Ind. 70 34
89. Bakersfield, Calif. 68 67

 

Metro Areas In Which A Motorcycle is Most Likely to be Stolen (See Note 2)
(Among metro areas with population >500,000 July 2006)
Metro Area Likelihood vs.
National Average of 100
Population Rank
1. Honolulu, Hawaii 428 53
2. Miami, Fla. 359 22
3. San Diego, Calif. 277 15
4. Las Vegas, Nev. 249 35
5. New York, N.Y.-N.J. 247 1
6. Washington, DC-Md.-Va. 242 8
7. Los Angeles-Long Beach, Calif. 233 2
8. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Fla. 229 29
9. New Orleans, La. 228 41
10. Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Portsmouth, Va.-N.C. 226 47

 

Metro Areas In Which A Motorcycle is Least Likely to be Stolen (See Note 2)
(Among metro areas with population >500,000 July 2006)
Metro Area Likelihood vs.
National Average of 100
Population Rank
80. Nashville-Davidson, Tenn. 45 39
81. Pittsburgh, Pa. 42 23
82. Milwaukee, Wis. 42 33
83. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.-Wis. 41 14
84. Cincinnati, Ohio-Ky.-Ind. 41 32
85. Lansing-East Lansing, Mich. 41 88
86. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. 39 57
87. Syracuse, N.Y. 35 73
88. Harrisburg, Pa. 33 85
89. Grand Rapids, Mich. 29 55
Notes:

1) The rankings in the tables above are based on a relative scale, with 100 representing the national average. (So, for example, in the table showing the metro areas in which a motorcycle is most likely to be crashed, New York, at 171, would rank 71 points, or 71 percent, above the average. In the table showing the metro areas in which a motorcycle is least likely to be crashed, Bakersfield, at 68, would rank 32 points, or 32 percent, below the average.)

2) The rankings in the tables above are based on a relative scale, with 100 representing the national average. (So, for example, in the table showing the metro areas in which a motorcycle is most likely to be stolen, Honolulu, at 428, would rank 328 points, or 328 percent, above the average. In the table showing the metro areas in which a motorcycle is least likely to be stolen, Grand Rapids, at 29, would rank 71 points, or 71 percent, below the average.)

"Riders can't assume that just because they may live in a smaller metropolitan area they have less risk of accident or theft; the data make that very clear," said Rick Stern, motorcycle product manager, Progressive. "No matter where they live, motorcyclists are encouraged to ride safely; to take appropriate measures to protect themselves and their bikes; and to review their insurance policies to make sure they have the coverage that's right for them based on their individual circumstances."

Oh, and in case you're wondering, if you live in Wichita, you're 67 percent more likely to have your bike stolen than if you live in Chicago even though Chicago is the third largest metro area in the country and Wichita is the 87th. Click here for the complete list of the 89 largest metropolitan areas where motorcycles are most likely to be stolen; click here for the list of where motorcycles are most likely to be crashed.


2005 Motorcycle Theft Report

The National Insurance Crime Bureau announced the top ten states for motorcycle thefts in 2005. They are, with theft totals in parentheses, as follows:

1. California (9,110) 2. Florida (6,324) 3. Texas (5,755) 4. North Carolina (3,053) 5. Ohio (2,573) 6. Arizona (2,464) 7. New York (2,195) 8. Indiana (2,186) 9. Georgia (2,159) 10. Pennsylvania (2,021)

Nationally, 70,613 motorcycles were stolen in 2005 which is a slight decrease from the 71,108 stolen in 2004. This represents a loss of over $434 million to motorcycle owners and the insurance industry.

With recovery rates typically in the 25-30% range nationally, motorcycle owners need to take every precaution in protecting their investments.

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From "J.L." (9/08):  "I was browsing thru your website when I came upon the motorcycle theft page, to make a long story short i just got my brand new Suzuki GSXR 600 (08) stolen , I hadn't even received the plates yet, it still had paper plates.

I had it parked outside with the handle bars locked and a disc lock as well ,was only going to be in and out of my apartment so that's the reason it was outside, shortly after I heard something, looked out the window and there was a minivan with three individuals getting ready to take my bike.

I ran outside and by the time I got to them the bike was loaded and they were ready to go, I'm standing right in front of them in the middle of the street as they are coming my way if I didn't jump out the way they pretty much would of ran me over as well, which now it doesn't seem like a bad idea.

Once that happens I'm still watching them as they go, I got a good look at the plates and immediately called 911 giving the operator all the info and details, how many suspects ,which way they were going, what street they turned on... Operator said that a unit would be on its way, about 20 minutes later no one had arrived, I thought that maybe it was cuz they might have been patrolling the area for that vehicle or something but ...

So I called 911 again telling the operator pretty much what the hell, within a min or two a unit arrived but 30 minutes or so had passed since my first call, a stolen vehicle report was done and that was it they said, I've been going to the station almost everyday since, nothing has happened, the paperwork gets misplaced somehow, the detective or officer isn't in, or I get someone that gives me any answer just to get me out of the way.

They couldn't even find the 911 calls I had made, they did now but, they haven't even run the plates yet, so basically nothings been done. I have a better chance finding the bike I think.

Sorry if its turning out to be so long but here is my question I wanted to ask or that I need help with. I had no insurance or the gap insurance is that it for me, am I done or do I have a little life somewhere?  I'm sure I'm not the only person this has happen to. Any information would be helpful other than the get a better lock or next time make sure you have insurance before that happens cuz that's been pretty much what I've been getting.

I love to ride and I worked hard for this bike and it just got taken away just like that, so you can imagine how I feel, honestly I haven't even been able to sleep, i keep replaying over and over that moment, so again any info on what I can do maybe would be very helpful cuz I don't know what to do..."

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