Scooters, dirt bikes and sportsbikes are the most stolen motorcycles in Australia, according to the latest figures form the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.
The most stolen brands are the four Japanese manufacturers as they are also the biggest sellers.
Although Harley-Davidson is the next biggest-selling brand in Australia, the high incidence of dirt bike theft pushes KTM into fifth place and Harley back to eighth behind SYM and Longja scooter brands.
Scooters made up the highest proportion of thefts (19%) in 2014, despite experiencing a 19.7% decline in sales in 2014.
They are followed by thefts of off-road dirt bikes (17%) and on-road sports bikes (13%). However, dirt bike thefts may be even higher as most are not reported.
Meanwhile, the safest bikes seem to also be the heaviest and most difficult to steal with trikes rarely taken, touring bikes representing just 1% of all bikes stolen and cruisers 2%.
Thanks to a new classification system for motorcycles, the NMVTRC can now review motorcycles by make, model, year and body type.
However, due to the poor nature of motorcycle theft reporting, the classification of motorcycles is unknown in about 30% of thefts.
More than 8000 motorcycles are stolen each year in Australia, making up more than a quarter of all vehicles stolen not recovered despite accounting for just 4% of registrations.
Other motorcycle theft statistics:
Newer model motorcycles are more often the target of theft with one in four stolen less than four years old.
Motorcycles with an engine capacity of 50cc or less (such as scooters and mini bikes) are the top theft targets, closely followed by motorcycles with an engine capacity of between 200 and 250cc.
Two in three motorcycles are stolen from the home.
One in six motorcycle theft victims have previously been a victim of theft.
Over half of motorcycles stolen are not recovered.
Top motorcycle theft targets, 2014
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR BIKE
Get comprehensive motorcycle insurance from a respected provider.
Use the steering lock if your bike has one and/or get some sort of brake lock. Bikes can still be picked up, so consider chaining it to an immovable object.
Pull out a spark plug or fuse, or have an immobiliser fitted.
Don’t park your bike in railway or shopping centre carparks as these are notorious for theft.
Park in a locked carpark. If you have to park in the open, leave it where you can see your bike or in view of a security camera.
If parking in a garage, block the bike with a car and ensure the garage is locked.
When riding home, make sure you are not being followed.
Stay alert for suspicious vans or trucks driving around late at night. These are used to transport stolen motorcycles.
Put a cover over your bike to slow down thieves and prevent theft of accessories. Make sure it does not have an exotic brand logo on it or it may attract thieves.
Buy a GPS tracking system that can track you bike.
At hotels and public carparks, try to park near the guard or a CCTV camera.
If parking outside your house, consider a motion -sensor light.
When riding in a group, park your bikes together.
Mark your bike in a unique way that will aid in recognition if it is found.