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Don't become another crime statistic

Mon, 13 Jun 2011

On average approximately 50,000 motorcycles are stolen each year. They're taken from outside homes, from large urban environments across the countries major cites and highly organised gangs are at the heart of thefts preying on innocent motorcyclists.

Experts of motorcycle security, Acumen advise on how to protect your bike:

How to reduce the chance of theft

Protection is like layers of an onion – the more the layers; the longer it takes. Look at it like this; leave your keys in your bike and every motorcyclist can steal it. Take the keys out and 10% won’t know what to do. Lock it – another 10 get stumped. Add a disc lock (or equivalent) and another 10% of riders will be stumped. Alarm it; immobilise it, mark it, track it….all these layers mean you are more likely to keep your bike.

Thatcham, the insurance industry’s test-house list a star rating for new bikes and also write the test procedure and perform the testing for the Category 1 and Category 2:1 Alarm Upgrade systems on the market today.

Your bike may have a factory fitted immobiliser but only Honda, Yamaha and Kawasaki have Thatcham approvals. Yes, that’s right; Suzuki, Aprilia, BMW, Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Harley (plus others) systems are NOT insurance approved. A quick trip to will show you how secure your bike is – a star rating 1- 5 (5 being the best) and the approved systems (OE and Aftermarket ) that are available.

Acumen’s Tempest CAT1 and Hurricane CAT21 are both Thatcham approved and will give you an insurance discount in most cases.


This is a new angle on theft protection. There are three types of trackers available at the moment – those that rely on the Police; those that work by GPRS and those that work by text message. All have their upsides and downsides.

AcuTrac feel that GPRS systems (GPRS is how the system ‘talks’ to the networks; nothing to do with it’s positioning) have three fundamental flaws when used for theft tracking;

GPRS is on all the time – so you have to pay for it all the time. Even if your bike is locked up in the garage from September to April, it is still going to cost you your monthly fee. And that is usually around £10 a month, every month. A lot of money for something you don’t use. For something you hope you’re never going to use; that’s a lot of outlay over a 3 year vehicle life. (Say £300 for the unit, £75 to fit, and £10 per month for 36 months is £735. (See AcuTrac comparison below) GPRS is on all the time, so the current drain is high. Anyone with a modern smart-phone will know what we mean when compared with old style Nokias and Motorola’s. 1 day battery life compared with 12 day battery life! Again, anyone with a modern phone will have experienced that GPRS fails in fringe areas before a text message. It’s the nature of the beast. Yet customers seem to think that a GPRS based Tracking device isn’t going to suffer from this problem. It will! A text message is the most reliable way of sending information, providing you don’t want to send tons of it!

The Acutrac guys have developed a text-message tracker which is the most cost-effective tracking there is. No annual fee. You pay for it when you use it. So, fitted price at £325 and after the initial burst of using it – you probably won’t use it again afterwards unless the bike is missing – total cost over 3 years is around £375. Access to your own individual web site so you can track yourself if need be – for that fun-factor, or follow yourself on that special touring holiday. Or keep an eye on someone who’s just passed their test and is out on their own for the first time. And AcuTrac is transferrable from bike to bike – some Trackers are not transferable which means even more expense.

By Acumen

See also: 2010-2011 Honda Shadow VT750 Recall, Ducati Desmosound Exhaust Note Ringtones, 2011 Isle of Man TT Recap.