While the Be Safe
campaign is particularly focused on the growing problem of scooter theft in the capital, its message is beneficial to all motorcyclists, irrespective of what they ride or where they live.
With nights becoming longer, at this time of year thieves have greater opportunity to commit crime under the cover of darkness; it’s more important than ever for motorcyclists to do all they can to protect themselves from the threat of crime and together with the Metropolitan Police, we’d like to offer the following advice:Location
- Choose a motorcycle bay with a stand, security loop or ground anchor to secure your bike to. If that’s not available, look for somewhere that’s well-lit, in sight of lots of people and covered by CCTV cameras.
- Always lock your bike with more than just the steering lock.
- Use the biggest chains you can afford and reasonably carry – one through the front wheel and a ground anchor or immovable object, and one through the back wheel and frame where possible.
- Don’t limit yourself to just chains; use a disc lock to prevent the bike being easily wheeled away and consider a brake lever lock as another line of defence against thieves.
- Always try to lock your bike to something solid and if it’s not garaged overnight, invest in a motorcycle cover with loops for a disc lock and chain.
- Remember: he more visible the security on your bike, the less attractive it becomes to thieves.
Alarms and trackers
- Marking your bike acts a deterrent for thieves and makes it easier for the police to identify should it get stolen. The cheapest way to do this is to mark bike parts with the VIN or registration number using a UV pen. Identification systems such as SmartWater and Datatag are an even better way to make your bike easily identifiable and less attractive to thieves.
- Fitting an aftermarket alarm and immobiliser will make your bike a less attractive prospect to thieves by drawing unwanted attention during an attempted theft and making it more difficult to start. Kawasaki recommends using a BikeTrac tracker to enhance the chance of your bike being recovered should it get taken.
Speaking about the impact of the campaign so far, Commander Julian Bennett from the Metropolitan Police said:“It is vitally important that manufacturers like Kawasaki support our campaign. So far we’re pleased that our campaign is reaching bike owners but there’s more to be done to convince people to act on our advice. We want bike owners to do everything they can to protect their bike against theft, which means using more than one item of security. Doing this, bikers not only reduce their own risk of theft but stop thieves from carrying out thefts and violent robberies using stolen bikes. We know that sometimes the cost and hassle of using covers and multiple security products puts owners off but the better your security the harder your bike is to steal. Police are doing everything they can to try and tackle this crime but need your help to stop these thieves.”
Kawasaki also consulted with vehicle crime expert and ex-head of the Metropolitan police stolen vehicle unit, Dr Ken German, who had the following to say about keeping your bike safe:“For theft prevention, throw as much security at your bike as you can to deter thieves and slow them down. It sounds like really simple advice and it is but you can go to plenty of public bike bays and find loads of bikes that don’t have any security on them.“When it comes to recovery, if you can afford a tracking device, get one; trackers are quite cheap and they are proven to be very effective – many tracking companies are posting up to 90% recovery rates, and in many instances those bikes are recovered quickly.“Make sure your bike is marked – it gives the police something to look at even when frame and engine numbers have been rubbed out, which means better chance of prosecution and taking a thief off the streets.“If this campaign can get even just 1 out of 20 people to use more security and think more proactively about their approach to motorcycle security, then the campaign has had an impact and theft has been reduced.”
As a founding member of the Master Security Scheme
, all new Kawasakis come with Datatag
security markings and transponders. Kawasaki also advises the use of a Thatcham-approved motorcycle-specific tracker from BikeTrac
– which has a 90% successful rate of recovery in incidents of theft.Kawasaki Insurance
customers that fit a BikeTrac tracker will also qualify for a discount and having a BikeTrac system installed may also help when it comes to getting cover if a bike isn’t garaged overnight, as a spokesperson from Kawasaki Insurance explained:“In some circumstances we’ll require a bike to be kept in a garage, but on some occasions if the bike has a Bike Trac system fitted and isn’t garaged, our underwriters will be able to quote and may still offer a discount – dependant on the bike, area, and other factors.“We also give discounts for alarms and immobilizers and most of the underwriters we use give discounts for the Kawasaki immobiliser because it’s approved with us. Quite often you’ll also receive even more of a discount if you have a combined alarm and immobiliser fitted.“It’s important to invest in security products because people always think it’s not going to happen to them but if you’ve got a load of bikes parked together, the thieves are always going to go to the ones with the least security. That’s why the Be Safe campaign is spot-on: the more visible the security, the less visible the bike because if you make your bike look like hard work to steal, the less likely it is to get targeted.”
If you see a bike theft taking place, or witness your own bike being stolen, Kawasaki advises calling the police and not risking injury by intervening. Useful websites:Metropolitan Police Be SafeBikeTracKawasaki InsuranceMasterschemeDatatag