15 tips for motorcycle theft prevention

Motorcycle thefts are on the rise – each year, roughly 45,000 motorcycles are reported as stolen in the U.S. and thefts have risen by 26% overall since 2019. As bike owners hit the road, they should take safety precautions to protect their motorcycle and prevent thefts from occurring. By properly parking, locking, and securing their motorcycle, they can help avoid becoming the next victim.

Follow these theft-prevention tips to help keep your motorcycle safe while leaving it unattended.

5 tips for locking your motorcycle

  1. Lock your ignition and remove the key. Thefts can occur when the ignition is shut off but not locked.
  2. Use a large external lock on your motorcycle’s forks or disc brakes. Locks with brightly colored tags or cords are a useful reminder to unlock your bike before riding.
  3. Lock and chain your motorcycle with a high tensile-strength chain and a matching security lock to secure objects that cannot be easily dismantled, such as a light pole. Avoid using weaker objects such as a wooden post or a thin railing.
  4. Loop the chain tightly through the rear wheel or frame of your motorcycle and never let it rest on the ground.
  5. Lock motorcycles together when not in use if you travel with other riders.

10 additional security measures

  1. Add an audible alarm to your motorcycle to alert you when attempted thefts occur.
  2. Install a stolen vehicle tracking system to aid in the recovery of your motorcycle if it is stolen.
  3. When spending the night at a hotel, motel or inn, park your motorcycle in the view of an outdoor security camera or close to your room.
  4. Check your motorcycle periodically while attending an event or large gathering and be aware of suspicious individuals.
  5. Never leave your helmet or riding gear with your motorcycle.
  6. When at home, park your motorcycle in your garage behind a car or other vehicles and keep the garage door closed. If you do not have a garage, park your motorcycle in a shed or a well-lit area near your home.
  7. Cover your motorcycle when it is left unattended. Use a cover with grommets that can be locked in place.
  8. Uniquely mark and then photograph your motorcycle. This will be useful to law enforcement if theft occurs.
  9. Never store your title (proof of ownership document) in your motorcycle’s storage compartment, tank or saddle bags. The safest place to keep your title is at home.
  10. Keep your motorcycle registration and insurance identification card on you when you ride. These items can be stored in a compartment under the seat, in your helmet, jacket or a side bag.

Talk to your independent agent today and check out The Hanover’s motorcycle insurance options to keep you covered while you are on the road.


Town of Webster, Massachusetts

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

National Insurance Crime Bureau

San Diego Country District Attorney