Okay, we know this sounds obvious, probably because the conclusion is drawn from one of those reports that is greeted with subconscious nods and rolls of the eyes. The 2014 Motorcycle Theft and Recovery Report was released today, so be prepared for an emotive workout.
Off the top of the facts, good news. Motorcycle and scooter thefts fell about 6 percent in 2014, to 42,856 from 45,367 in 2013, according to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau released October 28th, 2016.
What makes this good news even better, the decline in thefts comes at a time when motorcycle sales increase by 4 percent, according to figures from the Motorcycle Industry Council. Even as more motorcycles are being sold, fewer are being stolen.
Motorcycle thefts occur more frequently in the warmer months, where August and July had the most motorcycle thefts, while February and January had less frequent thefts. To put a number to this, the highest number of motorcycle thefts, numbering 4,965 occurred in August and the fewest in February with a total of 1,978. Good number for a year, bad for the number of motorcycles being stolen.
Motorcycle thefts were highest in the state of California which clocked in at 6,355 in 2014. Florida and Texas came in second and third with 3,981 and 3274 accordingly. A closer look shows the number of stolen motorcycles are largely on par with the most populated states. The interesting reading comes with the changes in stolen motorcycles and scooters. The District of Columbia (DC) had the largest percent increase (54%) in motorcycle thefts from 2013 to 2014, while Wyoming had the largest percent decrease (-43%) in motorcycle thefts from 2013 to 2014.
South Carolina, 2,146
North Carolina, 2,117
New York, 1,544
The top 15 cities in the study accounted for 7,523 motorcycle thefts in 2014, an increase of 263 motorcycle thefts from 7,260 top 15 city motorcycle thefts in 2013. Of the top 15 cities, 7 had an increase in motorcycle theft in 2014 with Albuquerque, NM listing the largest increase (36%) followed by San Francisco, CA in 2nd (34%), and Las Vegas, NV in 3rd (29%). Five (5) cities listed a decrease in motorcycle theft in 2014 with Los Angeles, CA and Indianapolis, IN listing the largest change (-27%).
Las Vegas, 1,163
New York, 1,034
San Diego, 650
San Francisco, 516
San Antonio, 447
Los Angeles, 397
Albuquerque, N.M., 390
The final set of number Clutch and Chrome found interesting were which brand of motorcycles and scooters were being stolen. The Top 10 most stolen motorcycles and scooters in 2014, by manufacturer, were:
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., 8,045
Yamaha Motor Corp., 6,728
American Suzuki Motor Corp., 5,987
Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., 4,497
Harley Davidson, Inc., 4,146
Taotao Group Co. Ltd., 1,730
Astronautical Bashan, 535
Jonway Group Co., Ltd., 503
KTM Sportmotorcycle AG, 489
Genuine Cycle, 449
Some of the above names are clearly scooter manufacturers and this could influence some of the top names who are feeling the burden of stolen scooters as well as motorcycles.
The study was completed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB) based in Des Plaines, Illinois. A not-for-profit organization NCIB is dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, training, legislative advocacy and public awareness.
What motorcycle enthusiasts do with this information can range from keeping a closer eye on their motorcycle while in the areas of higher thefts, to understanding what possible insurance rates will be in a certain area. After all, the more motorcycles stolen in a State, insurance rates are usually higher.