How to steal a GSX-R

Dailies -



Five seconds is all it takes for this cop to hot-wire a CBR. A GSX-R isn’t much harder. Snap the steering lock, plug in a “pigtail,” and off you go. This video, which appears to be from 2007 (judging by the bikes), was uploaded two weeks ago and shows just how easy it is to steal a bike. It’s just as unnerving now as when it was shot.YouTube Preview Image

On January first a California law went into effect that makes it illegal to posses ”pigtails,” which are used to bypass a bikes ignition circuit. Get caught with one and it’s up to 180 days in jail and a one thousand dollar fine. Assuming you’re not a bike thief or someone who likes to walk around with specialized electronics for stealing motorcycles, this is good news. Im hoping that if police take advantage of this, I may one day be able to leave my bike parked in inglewood on the street overnight.

  • Myles

    Thieves? Chop off their hands.

  • Brook

    LOL at the Inglehood comment.

    • Sean Smith

      Hey man, it’s not THAT bad of a neighborhood. At least not bad enough to keep out Garage Company and me.

  • adrian

    Battery cut off key in my future….

    • R.Sallee

      You can’t stop ‘em, just get comprehensive insurance.

  • FiveG

    I am buying a bike-wheel lock today!

  • tomwito

    I feel nauseous, 5 seconds!?!?!

  • Gene

    Heh, I still remember the Performance Bikes interview of guys that would leave bait bikes and wait in a van for people to try to steal them. Since they were large ironworkers and dockyard folk, they were able to effectively discourage the guy from stealing bikes.

    We need them on this side of the pond.

    • rohorn

      That WAS a cool article. The blurred shots of the “intervention” were satisfying.

  • frankieapples

    Front wheel locks and battery cut off keys might not be enough…

  • Glenngineer

    Metallica rulez. (ruled, a tragedy these days)

    • Sean Smith

      Indeed. It’s best to pretend that all the members died in a bus crash back in ’88, and the record company hired three guys to play James, Kirk and Lars.

      • BeastIncarnate

        They sure didn’t do a good job of it, then. FIRE BAD! NAPSTER BAAAAAAD!

  • Andy Keech

    Well, i suppose going old school with a hard-to-kick bike is more secure then. and much much less valuable.

  • Gregory

    A nylon motorcycle cover is good security. It’s cheap, you won’t forget it (like a disc lock) and it deters the casual thief.

    Mind you… I’ve had my motorcycle cover itself stolen. I suspect our neighbourhood homeless guy. I’m guessing a motorcycle cover is perfect to cover his shopping cart and for him to sleep under.

  • Plotts

    Man, I wish someone cared about this in Chicago. Not sure of the crime rates Vs California, but you can’t park a bike on the street overnight without a good chance it will be gone in the morning (newer sport bike that is). I learned the hard way and I live 2 blocks from the Police station!

  • david folch

    nice “how to” video.
    Now I can start a new career…
    PS: of course it’s going to Mexico… (fact or… ?)

    • Archer

      Yes fact.

      I have numerous friends whose cars and bikes were stolen in San Diego, ALL the vehicles equipped with LoJack signals ended up in TJ.

      One of them had a Jeep stolen from our workplace, the cops traced the LoJack signal to a freakin’ LIVING ROOM in TJ, the thieves simply drove it INTO THE HOUSE through sliding doors.

      I have pager alarms on my bikes. The proximity sensor deters casual touchers, but a serious pro would have the bike off the ground and in a van in seconds.

      Comprehensive, full insurance helps a little. Mandatory prison sentences for repeat offenders would help a lot more.

      • david folch

        I wish the proximity of the mexican border don’t make a racist comment. Maybe It won’t be as connoted if it was Seattle and the bikes were going to Canada…

        • Archer

          WHAT racist comment? It is a provable fact that the vast majority of bikes stolen in LA and San Diego County are taken into Mexico.

          Racism- which is nonexistent in my comments- has nothing to do with stating facts. I lived in LA and San Diego for 15 years, worked in my company’s former Mexico facility an average of two days a week for 4 years. If you saw some of what I saw, you would STFU.

          With that said, I am gobsmacked that we don’t inspect vehicles going INTO Mexico as thoroughly as those coming out.

          • david folch

            Sorry Archer I wasn’t clear, and I didn’t want you to think that I was mentioning your comment.
            It’s just the fact that the video says “of course it’s going to mexico” that annoy me. Of course you have only two borders here, and of course the bad are mexicans. It’s just as easy as saying “it’s a fact, because they are there”.
            This country won’t recover for the Alamo or what ?
            (joke inside)

    • FiveG

      This is part of balancing our trade deficit with Mexico — illegal immigrants coming in, sportsbikes going out.

  • Pavel

    5 seconds – that is just ridiculous!
    Now I understand why my CBR600 was stolen so quickly (owned for less than 2 month).

  • ontheroad

    “video removed by user”

    • Sasha Pave

      Okay who stole the video?

      • david folch

        it took them more than 5sec to steal the video ? bummer…

    • Wes Siler

      Sean’s working on it.

      • Sean Smith

        Sorry guys, I think it’s gone for good. The National Insurance Crime Bureau’s youtube account seems to have been the only place this video was posted. 10 News in San Diego ran a similar story back on 2009, and they’ve got a video up. It’s not quite a frightening as the original, but it’s worth a look.

  • Kevlar

    Knowing the high cost associated with broken steering locks on theft-recovery motorcycles, I wonder why manufacturers don’t make them somehow replaceable? (Hard to access security bolts, etc.) Seems like the locks stop only the most casual of would-be thieves, and the rest don’t care about breaking them anyway. If it could be repaired without replacing the frame, that might save insurance companies/owners money when their stolen bikes are recovered.

  • Mark D

    I found a better way to keep your bike from getting stolen; ride a completely undesirable bike!

  • T Diver

    They will get stolen on the street. These dousch bags drive around in a minivan, pull upto a bike and throw it in the back. Probably less than 5 seconds. Park it in your garage. If you don’t have a garage, park it in your living room. If you don’t have a living room, there is an entirely different problem. if your bike gets stolen, check Craigslist. I read an article a few months back where a guy recovered his bike by spotting it there shortly after it was stolen. (Bike thieves are not known for their Mensa-like tendencies I guess.)
    And if you are a bike thief, I hope you crash and die. Happy Monday!

  • mugget

    Dammit – banning ninja rocks and now pigtails, how is a guy supposed to have fun these days?

  • Mr.Performance

    This is a little longer than 5 seconds.

    • frankieapples

      yeah, but the actual theft takes 20 seconds, the time spent “casing” is irrelevant.

  • Wereweazle

    Any time I leave my bike for an extended period of time I lock the steering column all the way to the left. That lock, and the built-in immobilizer with corresponding chip in my key, give me decent peace of mind. They’d have to literally carry my bike away.

    • Sean Smith

      Ouch, you must’ve missed the video. Two dudes each take a bar, twist, and snap the lock in about a second.

      • Wereweazle

        I did. They ripped it down before I got here. :(

        *sigh* at least I have an immobilizer that’s just as likely to leave me stranded…

  • M

    Anybody got a chance to d/l the video?