If you’ve ever had a motorcycle stolen, you know the feeling. For some people, it’s the worst loss in their lives. But some thieves aren’t easy to catch and they’re known for being able to hide a bike in a second.

How do they do it?

The truth is, there are countless possibilities. Stolen motorcycles can be hidden in abandoned buildings, garages, ravines, or impenetrable forests. But that doesn’t mean the police won’t stop searching for your bike! Are you wondering where stolen motorcycles go? The answer is right here.

What Happens to Stolen Motorcycles?

Stolen motorcycles can go anywhere. Some can go to a chop shop where they are taken apart and sold for parts, some just end up stacked in storage space, or even repainted and resold. There are also the few that get reported as junked to insurance companies. And then there are the ones that simply disappear without a trace.

Here are some of the common features that happen to stolen motorcycles:

Removing the License Plates:

Some will remove your license plate and hide it or destroy it so that security cameras can’t read the numbers. You may have already seen in the movies where criminals grind down the number plates with a grinder. They may also use acid, drill bits, or weld to cut off the numbers. There are instances where some thieves steal a bike, remove the plates and throw them away so the police can’t identify them later on. Some may even try to sell it with a fake plate and claim that they bought it.

Switching the VIN

You may think this is impossible but some have modified their motorcycles so that the VIN can be altered. They may also try to get their hands on a VIN of their choice and alter the numbers. Or they may just make it themselves by stealing the original number plate and cutting off the middle bars.

Stunting:  

Some thieves like to do some stunting. This may include burnout or showing their friends that they have a stolen bike by driving it fast. They will also practice high-speed stunts, side-by-side drifts, and backflips. It’s all a way to show their friends their status. It’s also a way of proving their status as bike thieves and also to show off their skills as stunt riders.

Destroying the Motorcycle

Some thieves sell the bike and just want to get rid of it as soon as possible. They may steal a bike, drive it until they’re caught, then abandon the motorcycle before they are arrested. They may also make sure that the motorcycle is useless by bending or breaking parts of it. This way they can get rid of it without selling or trading it.

Shipping Outside of the Country

This can be the real goal for some bike thieves. They may steal a motorcycle and then try to ship it to another country where they can sell it for less. They may also send a bike to their hometown, where they have relatives, so they can get paid for the bike without having to pay duties and taxes. This is also a way of avoiding paying import duty. This step is usually more organized than the others because they need more people.

Locked Storage

Some thieves may just want to hide their motorcycle. They may hide it in a garage, under some weeds and grass, or anywhere that is hidden from plain sight. Some thieves will try to store the motorcycle in an enclosed area like a garage or an attic but this is risky because there are places that you cannot go into.

There are also instances where thieves lock up their motorcycles in storage areas while they steal other bikes to sell. They can then ship these bikes out of the country without the risk of getting caught due to storage laws.

How Are Motorcycles Stolen?

Motorcycle thefts usually happen during busy periods, when there are a lot of people out, and while the police aren’t being especially vigilant. The best time to steal a motorcycle is during the night or in the daylight. Here are possible ways your bike could get stolen:

1. Trucking

Some motorcycle thieves will go to a parking lot and just wait for a good opportunity. They will look for people who are distracted, or who are opening their garage doors to let their bikes out. They have even stolen motorcycles from the back of trucks that have been parked outside warehouses.

This is possible when truck drivers leave their vehicles for a time, so they can load the rest of their cargo. Some thieves may also help load your bike into the back of a delivery truck without you knowing it; this is why you should always check your vehicle before leaving it.

2. Bike Jacking

Some thieves will simply steal the motorcycle from its owner. They will try to put a gun to your head or threaten you somehow so that you will get off your bike. This is why it’s important to be aware of your surroundings when you’re parking your bike for long periods.

Do not socialize with anyone when you leave your bike unattended. You may also ask someone nearby if they could help watch out for you until you come back from getting food or drinks. You could also leave a pair of shoes on the footpegs just in case there is a thief who wants to jack you and take away your chrome accessories too!

3. Gunpoint

Some thieves may just want to steal your motorcycle by threatening you so that you will give it up. They may catch you off guard and take the motorcycle away. It is important to know the right signals to send out when you see something suspicious so that the police can react fast enough.

4. Hot-Wiring

Some thieves may hot-wire your motorcycle. They will just hop on your motorcycle and start it up for a quick escape with your bike. This is where it’s important to lock the steering so that they won’t be able to turn it.

How to Keep Your Motorcycle from Being Stolen

There are ways to keep your motorcycle from being stolen. Here are the best ways to keep your bike:

1. Regular Maintenance

Make sure that you do regular maintenance on your bike. Things like oil changes, spark plug changes, and/or wires check can make all the difference in keeping your motorcycle for a long time since it has a lot of moving parts.

Make sure that you have a good way of storing the spare parts and general maintenance tools so that you won’t have to buy them every time you need to fix anything. And last but not least, remember that there is always someone who will help repair them for cheap!

2. Keep the Lock-Off the Ground

Make sure that the lock on your motorcycle is not on the ground when it’s parked. This is because it makes the bike more accessible for thieves who don’t want to break their tools but just need to pick something out. If this happens, a thief can just do a hot-wire and take your bike away by switching off the ignition.

3. Avoid Parking Your Bike Under Trees or Bushes

Steer clear of anything that could hide your bike easily. If there’s a possibility of hiding your bike, get it insured already. If that’s not possible, park your bike at least 2 meters away from anything that could hide it or lower the chance of a thief seeing it.

4. Use Heavy Lock or Chain

If you can’t avoid parking your bike in areas with a lot of height, make sure to secure it by using heavy tools or chains. They may not be ideal but if you don’t have a better option, it’s worthwhile to go this route instead of being ripped off!

5. Get Multiple Locks

Get multiple tools or devices that could prevent your bike from being stolen. One lock is not enough, so if you have the money to spare and you shop around, it’s very useful to invest a bit more in your bike’s security.

6. Get an Alarm System

You can buy an alarm system that can be installed on your motorcycle. This will scare off thieves who don’t want to get caught stealing the motorcycle that they find and trigger the alarm by mistake. If you’re just asking for trouble by parking it in a busy area with less police presence, having a good alarm system is a must! The best part is that they’re usually inexpensive if you shop around!

7. Lock Your Steering Lock

This is the best thing you can do to keep your bike from being stolen. It’s a bit sad to say it because most riders don’t want to spend money on getting locks for their steering lock, but this is one thing that could save you from getting stolen. If thieves want to steal your motorcycle, they will want to steal your steering lock too because it has a lot of moving parts and it’s not as easy to break as your other tools. This is where having multiple locks comes in handy!

8. Install the Kill Switch

This is a useful tool that can be used to disable your motorcycle and get it back in case of an emergency. It’s also very useful to keep your bike locked in a busy area when you don’t want others to access it. Some motorcycles with kill switches are not allowed to open the throttle at all, so this is yet another thing you can use to prevent your bike from being stolen.

9. Mind the Parking Location

If you want to keep your motorcycle as safe as possible, then you want to make sure that your motorcycle is parked in a well-lit area. Keep in mind that you don’t need to park your bike at night and leave it there, but it’s always safer if you’re able to see where you parked the bike.

References

https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocial/news-and-views/features/bikes/stolen-motorcycles-ringing-cloning-breaking-parts-law-v5

https://familyinstructor.com/how-are-motorcycles-stolen/

https://www.strictlymotorcycles.com/what-happens-to-stolen-motorcycles-how-to-recover-them/

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