As so often in life. There is no absolute protection from motorcycle thieves either. "If professionals are determined to steal a motorcycle, they will usually succeed," says Michael Lenzen of the German Motorcyclists' Association.
It is important to make it as difficult as possible for potential thieves to carry out their plans. André Vallese of the Institute for Two-Wheeler Safety (ifz) also sees it that way. "It can only be a matter of increasing the chance that the thief will abandon his attempt as the time taken to break into a good protection system progresses," says Vallese.
In the garage is the safest place
"In this sense, the motorcycle is of course always safest in the garage," says the ifz expert, who also advises using the steering wheel lock there as well. Lenzen also sees a locked garage as a significant security gain, but recommends further security measures, such as a good brake disc lock. Even better, Vallese says, is a variant with an alarm system: "When people try to break in, these locks emit a siren sound".
Patrick Mey is a motorcycle trainer at the Auto Club Europa. He advises to always chain the motorcycle to a fixed object, such as a railing, if possible. "Classic chain locks have the advantage of being very variable," says Vallese. And also here special forms would offer an integrated alarm system. Thick locks. A lot of weight vs. Digital alarm systems
However, he said, the longer the chain, not only the more it can be used, but also the heavier it is. "That can quickly add up to a few kilograms," says Vallese, who advises good quality. "Otherwise, the lock or the chain itself will capitulate all too quickly to a bolt cutter". Also, a long and sturdy quality lock could not only cause a weight problem but also a space problem, Mey points out.
In addition to these classic solutions, there are digital fuses. "The digital world has long since entered the realm of theft protection for motorcycles," Vallese confirms. "Today, there are numerous GPS-enabled alarms and tracking devices that can help locate stolen motorcycles".
The arms race of manufacturers and thieves
Lenzen also considers the so-called trackers to be a good means of at least making life more difficult for thieves. "While these devices cannot prevent the actual theft, they do provide information about where the vehicle is via GPS tracking".
Even GPS does not always protect against total loss, however, as Mey knows. "The other side does not sleep, and those who go for it can easily find jammers on the Internet that block the GPS signal". He himself has therefore installed a combined accident and theft protection on his bikes.
Take out insurance cover
"The system consists of a module, a sensor, a button and an app for configuration" explains the expert. In addition to detecting an accident and sending an emergency call as a core function, the system can also detect any attempt to move the motorcycle without permission, he said, and then sends a message to the owner's smartphone or tablet. "If there is no mobile network, even the best system can't do anything".
For Mey, good insurance against theft is therefore a must. And at least for new or relatively expensive motorcycles, he advises partial or even full coverage insurance.