Bike Thefts Down in the US in 2013, but Not for Harley-Davidson

Someone once said that among all riders, Harley-Davidson owners are a special breed. While such a claim is definitely arguable, the latest bike theft-related figures for 2013 show that H-D owners are indeed special, as their bikes are being stolen even more, despite the overall decline among the rest of the major brands sold in the US.
Custom Electra Glide 1 photo
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has sorted out through the numbers published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau and put things in an easier-to-understand order. Long story short, even though in the US the motorcycle sales are slightly going up and 2013 recorded more bikes sold to final customers than the previous year, the number of thefts went down, with one notable exception: Harley-Davidson.

No less than 45,367 motorcycles have been reported stolen in the US throughout 2013, with possibly more disappearing, but their owners not bothering to report them as missing. This number is slightly lower (around 1.5 %) than the 46,061 bikes reported stolen in 2012, but of all these two- and three-wheelers, 3,907 Harleys are to be found. Well, excuse the pun… The interval between two stolen bikes jumped from around 11 minutes to just under 12, but this statistic is not exactly happy, either. The recovery percentage seems to have dropped form 37 to 35 percent.

The 4 Japanese makers Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki have all recorded lower numbers of their bikes being stolen. Honda, which is the most stolen bike in the US, dropped 5.8%, from 9,082 in 2012 to 8,557 in the next year, while the runner-up Yamaha saw its number of stolen bikes drop 6.4 percent from 7,517 to 7,038. While 4,839 Kawasaki were stolen in 2012, the 4,739 reports in 2013 account for a 2.1 drop. The biggest shrink of stolen bikes figures was recorded by Suzuki: with only 6,378 bikes stolen in 2013 compared to 7,017 in 2012, the drop is a whopping 9.1 percent.

With all the above, Harley-Davidson thefts went up 4 percent in 2013, with thieves stealing 152 more MoCo bikes during the past year. Some claim that Harley bikes are easier targets because their owners usually leave them unlocked while unattended, confident that nobody would mess with them. It appears like such “code of honor” is only valid among fellow riders, and thieves couldn’t care less about it.

Even though it may impact the custom look of their bikes, it would be much wiser for Harley-Davidson owners to add at least disc locks, if not even alarms to their machines and have a good insurance. No matter how tough they think the bikes make them appear, there’s always going to be a quick-handed thief to show them how fast their Electra Glide can disappear.

Read this autoevolution guide for handy tips on How to Prevent Motorcycle Theft, or check out UK’s Datatag similar program.
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