Cops and Robbers taking my bike!
Updated: Oct 16, 2019
In the last year or so we have seen a significant spike in stolen and confiscated motorcycles and scooters. Heres a few tips to help keep yours safely in your posession. PARKING YOUR BIKE Anytime you are parking without receiving a parking ticket LOCK your steering. Hot spots for stolen bikes are convenience stores. You jump off your bike to get a bottle of water and by the time you get to the fridge the bike is gone. Two guys are sitting on a scooter watching. You don't lock your steering its easy. One jumps on it and his mate pushes it down the road and then all the time in the world to get it started or loaded into a van. Guards if any at these stores are elderly and quite often asleep.
At secure parking lots and some venues where you are given a ticket the guard is taking responsibility for your bike for a small fee. They will need to move bikes around so you leave your steering unlocked. NOTE they are not looking after your belongings though so take them with you and look after the ticket as without it you will find it very difficult to get the bike out particularly if you dont have the registration (blue) card with you.
NEVER leave the bike anywhere except in front of a business you are patronising. In all other cases find secure paid parking. Businesses will ring the police to have the bike impounded or a patrol will see it abandoned. In either case it is then the lengthy process of proving ownership and paying a hefty fine to get it back. Otherwise a thief has seen it abandoned in which case it's most probable you will never see it again. ROADSIDE STOPS You may at some point have made an error or are simply pulled over for a document check. At some of these stops a truck will be present to load and impound the bikes of those who are impolite or refuse to pay. If you have made an error, pay the fine. You may be able to negotiate the fine down but pay it. It will most definately be less than you would pay in your own country and a lot less than the fee to get the bike back if impounded.
Regarding documents there are three you should carry. Valid riders licence, bike registraton (blue card) and third party bodily insurance card. I also keep a laminated copy of my passport with the current visa or TRC on the back. If you carry copies which is my recommendation as lost originals are a pain at best to replace have a photo on your phone with the copy, the original and your head. That has never not been enough to satisfy the police in my experience but I am also polite and accommodating. Good manners are accepted anywhere in the world! If you don't have any of these documents drop by the shop. We can generally find a solution!
REMEMBER thieves are lazy otherwise they wouldn't need to be thieves. Sure they can break steering locks, punch screw drivers into ignition locks, carry around massive cable cutters or pick your bike up and throw it in a van. Mostly though that is not the case. Its simple opportunism. Be smart and don't make your bike the easy target.