helmet cam

Thousands of motorcyclists have had their first rides of 2016 now that the snow is gone (we hope!), but the warmer weather brings out the motorcycle thieves, too. Stolen bikes are a growing problem in New York State, according to the New York Insurance Association (NYIA).

Motorcycle-Symbol-Sign-K-7192New York was No. 5 in the nation in its rate of motorcycle theft from 2014 to 2015, according to a report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

The NYIA said thefts jumped 23 percent, from 1,544 to 1,902, but nationally the rate was up just 6 percent. The states with the most registered motorcycles were atop the list: California had 7,221 thefts, Florida 4,758 and Texas 3,403.

The report does not provide an explanation or theory for why the rate jumped so much.

The rest of the top 10: South Carolina 2,160; New York 1,902; North Carolina 1,866; Nevada 1,408; Georgia 1,393; Indiana 1,333; Virginia 1,253.

August is the biggest month for thefts, and the fewest bikes are swept in February (go figure!), a pattern that has remained the same for years.

Hondas are ranked first with thieves, with 8,674 stolen models, with Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki at 7,214, 6,605 and 4,920, respectively.

The recovery rate is about 30 percent, compared with roughly 60 percent for cars, according to the report. So here are some tips from NICB to help you thwart the thieves:

  • Always lock the ignition, remove keys, and park in well-lit areas.
  • Consider anti-theft devices like an alarm or a recovery system.
  • Properly document the motorcycle (including taking photographs) and make identifying marks on the vehicle.
  • Store the motorcycle title in a safe place — not in the motorcycle’s storage compartment.

For more tips, go here.

Thanks for reading.


ZiffLaw Attorney, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Malpractice Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY  14901
Phone: (607)733-8866
Fax: (607)732-6062