Australian Motorcycle Theft: Statistics & Preventative Action

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What're the Numbers?

From September 2018 to September 2019 there were 9,516 motorcycle thefts in Australia; making up over 16% of all motor vehicle thefts for the same period despite only accumulating less than 4.5% of total vehicle registrations. Unfortunately, those statistics are only set to rise with an increase in registered motorcycles.

Currently, the national recovery rate according to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) is 52%, essentially meaning if your beloved ride is stolen the chance of you ever seeing it again is a flip of a coin, which isn’t very comforting information in the event of your bike being taken, however unfortunately true.

What is being stolen? Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki & KTM were the top 5 makes stolen across Australia, totalling 63.8% of national motorcycle thefts.

Theft in New South Wales

With 2,201 thefts on record, New South Wales had the highest amount of motorcycle thefts for any state, an increase of 17.1% on the previous year. New South Wales alone accumulated 23.13% of all motorcycle thefts in Australia.

Of the 2,201 motorcycles stolen 80% were registered and with a recovery rate of 48% less than half were returned to their rightful owners.

Wollongong had the highest thefts in NSW at 37 for the year of which only 41% were uplifted from a residence.

Theft in Western Australia

Despite being the 4th largest state by population (5 million behind NSW) Western Australia had the second-largest amount of motorcycle thefts at 2,181 only 20 less than NSW. Western Australia made up 22.92% of national motorcycle thefts while only representing 14.19% of nationally registered motorcycles.

At just 64%, significantly fewer motorcycles stolen were registered when compared to New South Wales 80% or the national average of 74%, however, the recovery rate was slightly better at 52%.

Western Australia’s hot spot was Broome with 61 motorcycles stolen, however, most were returned to their owners with an impressive 82% recovery rate.

Theft in Victoria

Heading back east Victoria rounds out the top three highest thefts by state at 2,030. Victoria was the only state across Australia to record a decrease (of 3.5%) in motorcycle thefts when compared to the 12-month period prior.

Despite Victoria’s decrease in total thefts, they recorded the worst recovery rate at only 37%, if you’re unfortunate enough to have your ride taken your efforts are better spent sourcing a replacement and researching how you can prevent another theft.

Unsurprisingly Victoria’s top city for motorcycle theft is Melbourne at 105 for the period.

Theft by State

State
Total Thefts
Not Recovered
Registered
Recovery Rate
Total Theft Increase*
Registered Motorcycles
Registered Motorcycles %
WA
2,181
1,047
64%
52%
6.70%
123,487
14.19%
NT
99
50
37%
49%
12.50%
6,096
0.70%
SA
792
401
92%
49%
45.90%
55,223
6.35%
QLD
1,931
930
67%
52%
20.00%
207,587
23.86%
NSW
2,201
1,142
80%
48%
17.10%
248,430
28.55%
VIC
2,030
1,282
78%
37%
-3.50%
195,780
22.50%
TAS
164
61
99%
63%
15.50%
20,430
2.35%
ACT
118
54
81%
54%
6.30%
13,072
1.50%
Total Australia
9,516
4,967
74%
52%
11.70%
870,105
100%

*compared to the previous 12 month period

Thefts by Motorcycle Make

Make
Thefts
% of Total Thefts
Honda
2,009
21.11%
Yamaha
1,643
17.27%
Kawasaki
920
9.67%
Suzuki
858
9.02%
KTM
641
6.74%
SYM
326
3.43%
Kymco
230
2.42%
Harley Davidson
228
2.40%
Piaggo
210
2.21%
Triumph
179
1.88%
Hyosung
172
1.81%
Husqvarna
154
1.62%
LongJia
147
1.54%
Ducati
103
1.08%
Aprilia
97
1.02%
TGB
92
0.97%
BMW
87
0.91%
Bolwell
71
0.75%
Vespa
70
0.74%
Adly
61
0.64%
Other
1,218
12.80%

Theft by Geographical Location

What Can You Do?

There’s a lot you can do to prevent your motorcycle from being stolen in the first place, and obviously, we’d all prefer your beloved ride didn’t become another statistic in a WhitesMoto blog. As seen above three in four stolen motorcycles are registered and two in three are taken from a residential address.

First and foremost the most important thing you can do towards preventing motorcycle theft is making sure the existence of your motorcycle isn’t common knowledge, of course, this isn’t always possible as sooner or later you’re going to have to wheel it out of your garage to go for a ride. However, when not in use try and prevent putting it on display as much as you can, don’t work on it in direct view from the street when possible and leaving it unattended in your driveway or parked roadside is just a recipe for disaster.

Obviously, you don’t want to leave it all to chance by hoping potential thieves haven’t spotted your ride; a quality chain lock, alarmed disc lock & bike cover can all significantly improve the likelihood of your motorcycle not being taken. Used in combination with a ground anchor chain locks aren’t guaranteed to prevent the theft of your motorcycle but will at the least slow down any would-be thief potentially enough for them to not commit to the whole ordeal, obviously when it comes to locks the more the merrier, adding an alarmed disc lock will make it more difficult to move your motorcycle while protruding an ear-piercing scream alerting passers-by and startling the scoundrel enough to make them flee.

Finally, motorcycle covers can go a long way to preventing motorcycle theft, especially while parked in a public space. Concealing your ride will deter opportunistic thieves and would also hide any additional security products you are using, in the event someone is a little more curious than they should be with your ride they will slowly discover any additional anti-theft devices resulting in their once perceived quick uplift of your motorcycle a more time-consuming venture that they are not equipped to fulfil or willing to carry out.

It goes without saying, people steal motorcycles because it’s profitable if money could not be made there would be a substantial drop in motorcycle thefts, and we can all do our part. Be careful when purchasing your motorcycle in the first place. If you’re buying your motorcycle from a private seller, do a proper background check. To make sure your motorcycle isn’t listed as stolen, you can conduct a Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR) check. Not only can you assist in the recovery of a stolen motorcycle, if you do go ahead with purchasing a stolen motorcycle (even unknowingly) you will be liable to return the motorcycle, and unless you or the authorities are able to locate the seller anything you paid will be forfeit.

What Do We Recommend?

There’s certainly no shortage of anti-theft devices available on the market; but of course, you need something that will suit your purpose & budget. See our top picks below!

Oxford Aquatex Motorcycle Covers

Available in 8 different options there’s an Oxford Aquatex Cover perfect for almost every motorcycle on the market. If the thief has to muck about removing or shifting a motorcycle cover the chance of being spotted increases significantly while also remaining completely unaware of the motorcycle underneath and any potential value it may hold. Oxfords Aquatex Motorcycle Covers are weather resistant and can be folded down and packed away ideal for your daily commute.

Oxford Brute Force Mini Ground Anchor

Constructed from 6mm hardened steel the Oxford Brute Force Mini Ground Anchor provides a convenient solution for anchoring your motorcycle. Used in combination with a quality chain or cable lock the Oxford Brute Force Mini will prevent an easy uplift, deterring unprepared opportunistic thieves, and at only $38.95 you don’t have to spend a fortune securing your fortune.

Oxford GP 10 Chain Lock

Oxfords GP 10 Chain Lock is a general-purpose chain lock built tough with 10mm deep square chain links. Wrapped in a presentable non-scratch sleeve which prevents unnecessary damage to your motorcycles paint while its integrated lock head is robust with a user-friendly locking mechanism. The GP 10 is recommended for home use, due to its bulkier design it can be difficult (but not impossible) to transport. For a more commuting friendly chain lock, we recommend Oxford’s GP 8 which is manufactured with the same design but utilising 8mm deep square chain links. Both the GP 10 & GP 8 are available in 1.5 & 2m lengths.

Oxford Screamer Alarm Disc Lock

Boasting a screeching 100dB audible alarm the Oxford Screamer Alarm Disc Lock provides you with additional peace of mind whether your bike is parked at home or publicly as part of your daily commute. The Oxford Screamer includes a convenient carry pouch, making transportation a breeze for use on the go. The 100dB alarm is attack activated and is guaranteed to alert you while convincing any thieves to let your precious motorcycle be.

All theft statistics were found on the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) and registered vehicle statistics were found at https://www.abs.gov.au/Tourism-and-Transport


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