~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Bike Theft Prevention

Since I've been shopping for another bike (no cure for bike fever, you know) I've also had to revisit the unhappy world of motorcycle insurance. I've also been mindful of Dylan and MotorMilt's recent experience with having their Ducatis stolen. Which reminds me, I'm not so certain that the Muslims are wrong in lopping off the hands of thieves to punish a thief and discourage future thievery. OK, maybe a whole hand is too severe, maybe just a finger for the first offence. Even the dumbest criminal would probably give up and find a new career long about the time finger no. 5 disappeared.

I've decided to be more proactive about protecting my bike(s) so I've been investigating new alarms, locks, and whatnot. Way back in '74 I had a bike alarm called a "Cycle Guard" that fit under the license plate and actually had paging function built into it in the days before such things were common. It cost me a very dear $109 back then but when I'd leave my bike parked at motel or outside a restaurant it offered good peace of mind. These days I'm think about it's modern equivalent, the Scorpio cycle alarm.

One of the interesting items I've run across in my web wanderings is call DataDots. It's a security marking system that invisibly marks items (bikes, parts, etc) with a modern version of the old "microdot" image so they can be read with an inexpensive scanner. The company I work for uses something similar to mark all portable assets (laptops, etc) to help resolve theft problems.

Since stolen motorcycles are often stripped and sold for parts, being able to mark most significant components of a bike could be a real asset in recovery or at least resolution of what became of a missing bike. Perhaps the biggest advantage is the small "Protected by DataDot" label affixed to a bike that lets potential thieves know that every blessed thing on the bike is invisibly marked and traceable. Visit the website and take a peek. Might just be the kind of thing to keep your bike your bike.

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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence



An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison