Bill Taylor from BikeTrac, one of the leading motorcycle-specific tracking specialists, shares his insight into motorcycle theft and security. With over a decade of experience attending the scene of thefts and recoveries, Bill tells us why layering-up is an important consideration for every rider.
If you live and ride a motorcycle or scooter in the UK, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘layering up’. It’s a simple concept: by combining layers of technical clothing, each designed to fulfill a specific purpose, you’ll be protected from whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at you. But for once, we’re not talking about a base layer, a GORE-TEX jacket or a neck warmer; we’re talking about security.
In the wonderful world of motorcycling, many bike security options are available for riders. And while every rider has their own requirements for where, how or what they ride, one thing is common to all: bike theft. Most importantly, when it comes to protecting your bike and reducing your chances of being a victim, there is no such thing as too much protection, which is why you should never rely on just one piece of security.
Locks and chains are the obvious ‘go to’ of which there is no substitute; they’re a visual deterrent and, for the opportunist thief, a reason to keep walking. But the organised gangs aren’t so easily perturbed, and so ‘tooled-up’ in the modern age with lithium-battery powered angle grinders, your chain and lock could just be a minor inconvenience.
You’ve parked your bike in the town centere and walked off to the coffee shop but think back to the covered bike you parked next to. What was it? You’re not sure and neither is the bike thief. But that same thief quickly scanned the parking bay to see the shiny red Ducati. Without thinking that became the thief’s target, not the bike covered up. A worthy consideration in your ‘layering up’ armoury.
But what if that same thief was brave enough to remove the cover before putting that angle grinder to good use on that lock and chain? The steering lock was on, but a sharp and forceful twist or kick of the bars soon broke that, so now they’re rolling it down the road or loading it into their stolen van, and it’s now looking even more likely that this bike has become another statistic.
If only a tracking device was fitted. The text message has been delivered to the owner, followed by a phone call, and now the owner can see the bike’s location on a smartphone.
The police have been informed, and they and the tracking company are following its live location. The bike comes to a stop, the thief leaves it in an alleyway for several hours (a very common scenario to see if it had a tracking device fitted). It did; the police arrived, and the bike is back in safe hands.
In all of those scenarios, the owner had been prudent and bought security, but by layering up, the odds of not becoming a bike theft victim were far greater. Do your research and buy what you can afford, but please always try to layer up.