Motorcycles thefts are up 7.3% across Australia in 2018 with many older bikes heading straight to the junk yard for the scrap metal value, says the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
Thefts increased by 597 to a total of 8746 with a recovery rate of just 47%.
Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hrambanis says the biggest rises in motorcycle theft were in NSW and Queensland.
The council is currently investigating the efficacy of tougher penalties for vehicle theft.
“In most cases vehicle theft is almost always opportunistic, with the vehicle being stolen for short-term use and later recovered (78% in Queensland),” she says.
Unlike most modern cars which have self-alarming engine immobilisers, many motorcycles need owners to lock them with a chain, disc lock or an alarm switch.
She says they can easily be stolen without requiring any keys.
“Motorcycles have their own set of challenges due to their ease of portability, the high demand for parts and poor identification,” she says.
“Two in three motorcycles are also stolen from the home, making home security, protecting keys and considerations of where the bike is stored also important.
“In Queensland, around a quarter of all bikes stolen are off-road bikes, which often makes recovery difficult as they are not subject to a registration system.”
The most brands stolen were also the most popular brands on the market.
They were followed by many dirt bike and scooter brands which are easier to steal than heavy road bikes.
South East Queensland is the worst hotspot for motorcycle theft.
Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Logan and Moreton Bay were all in the top 10 local authority regions for bike theft.