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5 Ways to Prevent Motorcycle Theft in Ireland

We’ve seen an alarming number of bikes getting stolen in Ireland in the last few months. Maybe it’s just that they are being shared like crazy on Facebook but the statistics do show that theft is back at a high.

motorcycle theft

How are motorcycles being stolen in Ireland?

Now that nearly every bike has a factory installed immobiliser you would expect theft to drop off - but no - it's still very active and on the increase in some areas.

A lot of people think that “sure they’ll need a van to lift my new bike - you’ll never start that on the side of the road!” - but that is no longer the case.

The 3 commons method of theft are:

  1. Van based theft. Your bike get's loaded into a van. Disc locks and alarms make little difference here. But chain/anchors will deter them and trackers can do a lot to recover and help a prosecution.
  2. Engine start theft. We're seeing less and less of these and they tend to be only bikes with no immobiliser. With earlier pre-immobiliser bikes you still need to be careful for this though.
  3. Ride away...with no engine start! What we’re seeing an alarming increase in is whereby the thief is breaking a steering lock, holding onto the back of another bike/scooter and taking a tow away from the scene - without needing to get the engine started. This ensures the thief is away fast and doesn't need the knowledge to start the engine.

Luckily, in Ireland, we're not seeing any of the motorcycle 'jacking' that appears to be happening a lot in the UK - hopefully it stays that way.

Why are they being stolen?

Joyriding, parts and tools for criminal activity are the common reasons.

However, some are stolen to ransom/sell back to the owners. Unfortunately due to many having 3rd party only or not wanting to suffer massively inflated premiums are forced to retrieve their bike this way.

So, what can I do to prevent this?

Here's 5 things you can do to prevent motorcycle theft:

1. Out of sight - out of mind

Forget big locks, noisey alarms, viscious dogs and tracking devices - just keep your bike out of sight.

Your average motorcycle thief, bless them, are not the smartest bunch and simply keeping your bike hidden will protect you from a huge amount of theft.

“But but I’ve nowhere to hide my bike” - no problem, simply stick a motorcycle cover on it.

Covering up your bike will rule out most opportunist robbers out there.

 

motorcycle cover

 

2. Make it noisy

I’m starting to believe that the only point in doing this is if you are within earshot yourself as very few people will jump to the rescue of your bike when an alarm is going off.

However, alarms do help, and there’s 3 main styles:

  • Disc lock alarms, these are mounted to your brake caliper, independant from your bike battery and wiring so are very mechanically safe. Budget €40-120, spend more, get better ones. On most of these you can adjust the sensitivity of the motion sensor

 

  • Cheap bike installed alarms - let’s make this short, NEVER get one of these. They are connected to your bikes battery, many are loosely installed and they have a loooong history of costing you more in the end.

 

  • High end/integrated fitted alarms. These wil run in the region of €300-500 an are only available as a installation (no self install available). The installation is typically much deeper into the wiring loom, quality is typically good and these are far less likely to leave you stranded like their cheaper cousins above. The ones we sell are Meta M357T and they cost €390, installed and certified.

motorcycle alarm

3. Anchor your bike down

There’s no logic in using a chain and padlock and not securing it to something solid. When there’s no gate/tree/pole around you have the option of installing a ground anchor wherever you park.

Typically ground anchors have expanding bolts that you tighten and then you prevent them from being loosened by rounding the allen head. Alternatively some can be sat into wet concrete and allow the concrete to dry around them.

Top tip - be mindful of where you place it as it’ll be there forever. Make sure it’s not going to trip you up every time you use the side passage to your house!

 

motorcycle anchor

4. Disc Locks

If your local thief has a van this makes no difference but for all the other a disc lock is a good deterrent. They’re convenient, light, can be carried easily and, as we talked about earlier, you can get ones with alarms in them.

One snag is remembering to remove them. Many people drive off and damage a disc/caliper. My tip is to place the disc lock close to the caliper so if you do forget it won’t get a full rotation of the wheel before smashing your caliper.

 

motorcycle disc lock

5. Motorcycle Trackers

Due to the marvels of modern technology we can now install a tracking device on our pride and joy. We have had a number of customers who had bikes stolen in the last 6 months who got them back due to their trackers. The extra satisfying thing about this is that it greatly increases the chances of the Gardai getting a conviction.

The main motorcycle trackers we sell are available here. There’s a few different technologies being used; some require Bluetooth on nearby phones t pick them up. These are cheap but, to date, I wouldn’t rely on these (yet).

Currently the best quality ones are all GPS based - they cost more, most have an annual subscription - but they’re super reliable. The main ones we fit in Megabikes Dublin are Bike-Trac - in our opinion, this is the best unit available currently.

You can even configure the trackers now so that if you’re bike is doing unusual things (eg moving when not it shouldn’t be)

See more about these here.

 

motorcycle tracker ireland

 

But at the end of the day - there's only so much you can do.

Make an effort to stay secure, pay your insurance and don't let it take away from your enjoyment of your bike.

 

To help prevent theft, for the month of August 2017 we're doing 10% off all security products.

Just use the code 'megasecurity' at checkout

 

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