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How to reduce motorcycle theft

motorcycle theft stolen motorcycles

More riders must be taking measures to secure their bikes as motorcycle theft is on a downward trend, according to the latest edition figures form the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.

Short-term motorcycle theft – usually joy rides – was up 249 in the March quarter to 1123, but down considerably over the previous 12 months by 346 to 3707. Profit-motivated theft was down over the quarter by 75 to 1166 and down for the year by 152 to 4609.

Western Australia and Queensland continue to be hot spots for thieves with both recording the largest increase in short-term theft. In Queensland, thefts almost doubled in the quarter to 212. The states are also the ones with the biggest increase in motorcycle sales.

At the same time, profit-motivated motorcycle thefts were down the most in WA where the police have been running a program to make riders more aware of securing their bike and scooter.

Theft council boss Ray Carroll says many bikes are now being stolen from people’s houses, sheds and driveways rather from public carparks. He says thieves are breaking into houses and stealing the keys to cars and bikes.

He says there are many things you can do to improve the security of your motorcycle, most of which are common sense, but require “owner vigilance”.


  • Use the steering lock if your bike has one and/or get some sort of brake lock. Bikes can still be picked up, so consider chaining it to an immovable object.
  • Pull out a spark plug or fuse, or have an immobiliser fitted.
  • Don’t park your bike in railway or shopping centre carparks as these are notorious for theft.
  • Park in a locked carpark. If you have to park in the open, leave it where you can see your bike or in view of a security camera.
  • If parking in a garage, block the bike with a car and ensure the garage is locked.

  • When riding home, make sure you are not being followed.

  • Stay alert for suspicious vans or trucks driving around late at night. These are used to transport stolen motorcycles.

  • Put a cover over your bike. It might slow down thieves and prevent theft of accessories.

States                                              ACT    NSW    NT    QLD      SA    TAS     VIC     WA    Australia
Short-term theft
Number of thefts                            10        161     28       212      70       11     148    483     1123
Change from previous quarter     5             1      14        90       22        2       16       99     249
Rate per 1000 registrations*     0.77     0.77  3.91     1.10     1.25   0.53  0.77    3.83    1.37
Number of thefts in past year      33       634    111      635     238       61   496  1499    3707
Change from previous year           -1        -80       8       -82      -54       16    -79    -74    -346

States                                              ACT    NSW    NT    QLD      SA    TAS     VIC     WA    Australia
Long-term theft
Number of thefts                             12       224     22       217     62        11      341    277     1166
Change from previous quarter     -11       -32      13         -4      -5         2          7    -45        -75
Rate per 1000 registrations*      0.92     1.07  3.08     1.13    1.11   0.53     1.77   2.20     1.43
Number of thefts in past year        57      898      67      895   278      47    1235   1132    4609
Change from previous year             12       92      -13     -135  -100      10       17       -35      -152
(* Many off-road bikes are not registered)

  1. Put a cover over your bike. It might slow down thieves and prevent theft of accessories.

    great idea. see if you can get a cover that doesnt have any advertising on it, they are few & far between but are a good idea.

    also if you put on a disc lock, a bright coloured cord from it to the brake lever is a good reminder to you that it is there. i have seen a few riders who have forgot it was on and moved about 6 inches before they fell off the bike.costly & embarasing but easily avoided

  2. I’de be interested to know where most of the bikes are going,
    i would have thought the write off register that operates now
    would have killed off a lot of “rebirthing” Harleys would no
    longer be the target they were, theres a lot of them and
    second hand prices are cheap. plus most owners wouldnt
    put a second hand part on anyway. plus you can buy
    an aftermarket engine for around 5 grand why bother?
    the whole bike culture has changed i meet a lot who would’nt
    know how to change the oil let alone build a bike from hot parts
    and at labour up around 100 dollars an hour you would’nt pay someone else to do it
    which leaves sending them overseas or insurance fraud.
    On holding on to your bike, if someone wants to steal it they will
    but if you can make stealing yours that bit harder than someone elses
    you stand a better chance of holding onto it.
    Locks and chains can only do so much, if they are after it for parts they
    do not care if they damage it. some even used to carry an oxy and cut
    forks off if they had to.
    Do not leave it parked out the front of the house to impress the neighbours
    Always be aware, if your on your way home and someone seems to be following
    make a bit of a detour to make sure their not.
    If your that worried about taking your bike to work, buy a cheap commuter
    for a couple of grand something no self respecting thief would look at like
    an old k model beemer.
    there are a heap more really cheap surveillance systems around than
    there used to be

  3. OR!… Insure it, If it gets pinched and you’ve done all you can to prevent it being stolen, can go out and simply BUY ANOTHER ONE! …I sleep well at night knowing my Harley will scream its guts out if anyone tries to move it more than 1 foot 🙂

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