Best Tools To Steal A Motorcycle

Know the mind of your enemy to protect your machine

A motorcycle thief's toolkit.Jeff Allen

Want to be a real scumbag? Go steal a motorcycle. You'll instantly rank with the thousands of other miserable twits in this country who went after someone else's pride and joy for a quick buck.

But really, don't. More than 45,000 people came out for a ride only to find their bike gone last year. Same for the year before that, and the year before that. It's the stuff of nightmares for a rider who has put their hard-earned money and time into a motorcycle. Safety measures such as chain locks, disc-brake alarms, locked covers, steering locks, or tracking devices are good, but aren't 100 percent foolproof because these depraved goons are coming for your precious metal with some serious tools. But if you know what's in their kit, you'll be better prepared to protect your ride.

Heavy-duty bolt cutters are definitely on that list. They’re quiet and can be effective on cable locks and thick chain. If the thief is even less discreet, you can bet there’ll be a battery-powered angle grinder in the mix too. What you lose in subtlety, you gain in speed and cutting power—in a Motorcyclist test, the toughest chain available lasted scarcely more than three minutes against a grinder. Canned air, or more specifically, the difluoroethane inside those cans, can be effective too, freezing locks and allowing a thief to bust through them with a hammer. For the clever and mechanically adept, a screwdriver, wire cutters, and a little wire are enough to make off with your machine. For other theft rings, a van is more their style because thieves can get the bike out of sight quick.

Knowledge is power. Look at your machine with a thief’s perspective and put a few protective measures in place, then you can rest assured your bike will stay right where you left it.