The nature of opportunist crime is continuously changing. For example, the commonplace use of expensive smartphones has given rise to a huge increase in snatching crimes wherein the criminals use motor-scooters and the criminal riding pillion grabs the phone from the hands of the unfortunate victim who was simply using their phone while on the street. Criminals are also commonly using vans to steel, not just one bicycle but sometimes a whole bicycle rack full of bikes, all of which are securely attached to the rack. But the criminals detach the rack from the wall or ground and steel the whole lot.
Many motorcyclists have reported similar thefts in which their valuable motorbikes have simply and quickly been lifted into the backs of vans by several strong criminals. The motorbikes were secured with chains and locks, but they were not attached to something immovable. So the criminals were able to take the bikes, along with their security chains, off to their secure hide-out where they could take their time in removing the security chains and possibly breaking the bikes up to sell on the black market as parts.
Using a secure, heavy-duty ground anchor can deter and even prevent such crimes. A heavy duty ground anchor should provide a secure point to which you can secure your valuable motorcycle using an appropriately robust high-security chain and lock. The ground anchor must be robust enough not be easily removed or detached. These come in two basic forms. Bolt down ground anchors and concrete-in ground anchors.
Bolt Down Ground Anchors
A bolt down ground anchor point is secured to a robust concrete or stone base. Most high-quality bolt-down ground anchors use 2 or 4 fixing points. They are manufactured from hardened steel and need to be attached to a base that is at least 8 inches thick. Typically they use security approved expansion bolts which have countersunk heads that avoid protrusion which could potentially be attacked with cutting devices. Subsequent removal of the bolt is often protected by hammering a ball bearing into the hexagonal socket that’s used to tighten the bolt. Other techniques are used by various bolt-down ground anchor manufacturers such as standard hexagonal head bolts which are secured using a hammered-on armoured ring.
Concrete-In Ground Anchors
If installed correctly a concrete-in ground anchor can provide a higher level of security than a bolt-down ground anchor. The key requirement of the concrete-in system is that you need to excavate a hole into which you will pour your tough concrete mix. The size of the excavation and the block of concrete is an important security factor. Some types of embedded ground anchors require drainage, so you will need to provide a small gravel bed beneath the block of concrete in which you set the ground anchor.
Additional Security Recommendations
Having a super-secure ground anchor to which you can secure your motorcycle or other valuables, is only part of the challenge. You need to carefully consider all other aspects of your motorbike security and make certain you are not cutting corners and leaving weak-points which will be exploited by opportunist thieves.
Your motorcycle security chain must be of particularly high quality. It should be made of super toughened steel which cannot be easily cut with bolt croppers and the link dimensions should be right for your ground anchor. Many people recommend that you use two independent security chains and disc locks to effectively deter motorcycle thieves. This may seem like overkill, but the additional expense and time spent securing your bike is well worth it. Protector chains, which are designed to be uncroppable, are highly recommended.
Use only high-quality disc locks and padlocks. These lock through your motorbike brake disc which will physically stop your bike from being wheeled away. But they will not stop your bike from being lifted into a van or from the front wheel being detached, along with the lock. Attach the disc lock to a high-security chain and run the chain through the motorcycle frame and rear wheel before securing it to your immovable ground anchor. Use only insurance approved high-security padlocks which have shrouded shackles, protecting them from most common forms of attack such as cutting, cropping and freezing.
Install an alarm and an immobiliser on your motorbike. A loud, unpleasant alarm is often enough for a thief to stop what they are doing and leave the scene quickly. And an immobiliser will deter would-be criminals who were aiming to ride your motorbike away.
Store your motorcycle in a well protected, secure area. This might be a secure cage, garage or locked shed. Protection should be provided with a good lock and ideally, a proximity triggered light and CCTV camera system. Make certain that your CCTV camera is protected and that would be thieves know that they are being filmed. This is enough to put off most thieves.
Another recommendation from police forces and insurance companies is that you should mark your motorcycle using an invisible security marker and you should apply this to all of the key components of your bike. You should then attach security stickers to tell potential thieves that the bike has security labelling because, again, this can discourage thieves who would otherwise steal the bike to break it down and sell it for parts.
The important point is that you should never be complacent as this is exactly when you are most likely to think that your motorcycle security is adequate when in fact it is inadequate and risky. Take full advantage of the help and advice that’s available from your local police force, your insurance company and local motorcycling clubs. All of these people have valuable experience which they are willing to share in order to prevent motorcycle theft and help you to keep your valuable motorcycle safe and secure. Many people ask ‘how much should I spend on securing my motorcycle?’ This is a very good and reasonable question. If you have spent many thousands on a great motorcycle should you be scrimping on security? The answer is simply, no. You should buy the best available security chains, locks, ground anchors and other security devices which will comply with the requirements of your insurance company and most importantly keep your motorbike much safer than cheap alternatives.
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