What Motorcycle Theft Statistics Mean For You

Hell For Leather, HFL, News -



Having your bike stolen sucks big time. But according to latest statistics you’re more likely to lose your motorcycle if it’s a Honda on a Monday or a Tuesday in California than anywhere else in the U.S.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau — a non-profit organization that’s been around for 100 years and monitors national insurance fraud and crime — in its latest analytical report estimates there were a total of 46,667 motorcycle thefts in the U.S. in 2011.

That is down 6% from the previous year even though new motorcycle sales increased by 3% – 439,678 to 440,899 – during the same period.

In general, motorcycle theft according to all of the NICB’s data is a seasonal crime with July and August in 2011 peaking at 5,544 and 5,397 respectively as the two highest months that year to get your bike stolen.

If you’re motorcycle is going to be stolen then it is most likely to be taken on a Monday or Tuesday, while surprisingly at the weekend there are less reported thefts.

In 2011, California had 50% more reported thefts than the second ranking state of Texas with 5,927 bikes taken compared to 3,950. Florida was third with 3,927, North Carolina 2,466 and Indiana at 2,114. A total of 10 states accounted for 25,983 or more than 56% of all motorcycle thefts in 2011.

If you own a Honda motorcycle you’d better stay alert as around 24% (11,014) of all bikes taken in the U.S. in 2011 were Hondas. Next up was Yamaha at 8,800, Suzuki 7,281, Kawasaki 5,009 and Harley Davidson at 3,120.

And if you lose you bike you are only 33% like to ever see it again. Out of the 46,667 motorcycles taken in 2011 only 15,017 were ever recovered.

Although California had the high proportion of motorcycle thefts it also had the highest rate of recovery at 2,085 and an average recovery time of 22 days. Florida was second with 1,334 bikes found and 24 days to recover and Texas third at 965 and 32 days to recover.

This all makes for grim reading but as we have explained recently there are a ton of ways to keep your motorcycle safe. Just pay extra attention if you’re Honda owner, living in California on a Monday night in August

  • Sergei Petrov

    If you’re motorcycle you don’t need English

    • Dan

      In Soviet Russia, statistic report you!

    • Martin

      Serious. Also you don’t need use comma correctly or at all.

      • Sergei Petrov

        grammatik macht frei

  • akaaccount

    I was starting to get a little annoyed always seeing you guys riding expensive bikes along the coast in the sunshine amid palm trees in So Cal – and presumably getting paid to do it. Maybe where I live sucks but at least I don’t have to chain my bike to anything make sure I can get home from work.

  • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

    No one (‘cept me) wants my Honda. :)

  • Mark Vizcarra

    According to this chart I need to sell my bike during the summertime were most bikes get stolen. Especially in July and August

  • John Stady

    Is it weird, or is it me, that BMW is not listed at all?

    • Tim Watson

      No you’re correct. It could be that proportionally there are far more Japanese bikes on the road than BMW bikes.

      • John Stady

        Good point. “Old man’ bikes are a good theft deterrent; especially ones that score 8/10 or above on RideApart.

      • Pete Rowley

        OTOH it’s more likely when thieves turned up the bike was in the shop for repairs.

  • Darragh McD

    I wonder if their data set is skewed based on the day that the crime is reported: go away for the weekend, bike is stolen, return home and report the theft on a Monday/Tuesday?

    • Davidabl2

      Bingo.A fine example of parsing, analyzing stats.

  • Paolo Peña

    I guess everyone wants to ride during the summer months…

  • Piglet2010

    Wonder which Honda motorcycles are stolen most? Probably not the Dullsville (aka NT700V) that I ride.

    • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

      I’m going to guess favors of CBR. Lots of them, and easily swappable parts through the generations needed to fix the track day & squid crashes.

  • BillW

    The info on number of thefts by state, and number of thefts by brand, tells you nothing about how likely your motorcycle is to be stolen, unless you also know how many bikes there are in the state, and how many of each brand. In other words, it’s likely California has the most motorcycles stolen because California has the most motorcycles, and it’s likely Hondas are most stolen because there are more Hondas around. What really matters are the theft RATES.

  • Mykola

    1.) Thefts by day of the week are 15% each on Monday/Tuesday, 14% for every other day of the week, not a useful difference.

    2.)The “Top Make By Theft State” table shows a spread of various Japanese makes/model years centered around 2007. That seems to be a more salient statistic.

    3.)Ideally this data would’ve been compiled with specific model information. Big difference between a CBR600RR, CRF250L, CRF250X, and VT750RS. And let’s go ahead and weight it against publicly available sales numbers while I’m wishing aloud here….


    Partial statistics hurt everybody.

  • alex
  • Errol Smith

    Very interesting statistics on motorcycle theft. I wonder why California is so much higher than the other states?