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Motorcycle Theft Is Down in the U.S.

yamaha R6

Some Good News

Only a truly evil person would steal someone’s motorcycle, but it does happen. Thankfully, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, motorcycle theft is actually at an all-time low. The bureau reported that in 2019 a total of 40,380 motorcycles were stolen. This is down considerably from 46,467 in 2016. That’s some progress.

Additionally, it’s important to note that about half of the bikes that were reported stolen in 2019 were returned to their owners. That means law enforcement is doing a decent job of catching the criminals or at least finding the bikes and getting them back to their owners.

Hondas were the most likely to be stolen. There were 8,122 bikes Honda motorcycles stolen in 2019. The second most-stolen motorcycle brand was Yamaha and then Harley-Davidson. I found this surprising. I figured premium brands like Ducati and BMW would have higher theft rates, but they didn’t even crack the top five.

This is generally all good news. Not only are motorcycle thefts down overall, but your high-dollar Panigale is statistically not likely to be stolen, and if it ever were to be stolen, you have a decent chance of getting it back. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that none of my readers ever experience motorcycle theft, and hope that this trend of fewer motorcycle thefts continues.

  1. Motorcycle theft is mostly for parts. Most Ducati and BMW owners skew older and go to the dealer for their parts and service. That seriously limits the demand for stolen parts. in the 1990s-2000s, the most stolen bikes were often current year Japanese sportbikes as these were often bought by young, inexperienced buyers. When they (inevitably?) crashed them, their limited finances led them to buy parts from places other than the dealer. Just the fairings could make theft profitable for the thieves.

    The dearth of young, new riders buying sportbikes means less crashes and less demand for cheap replacement parts.
    The good news is that young riders are crashing less. the bad news is a lot of that is just because there are less of them overall.

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