7 Proven Steps to Recover a Stolen Motorcycle in the UK

7 Proven Steps to Recover a Stolen Motorcycle in the UK

 Each year, tens of thousands of motorcycles are stolen in the UK, and unfortunately, anyone can fall victim to motorcycle theft. If your beloved motorbike is ever stolen, the crucial first step is to report the theft to the police and provide them with all the necessary details about your bike.

Afterwards, it's essential to search the immediate vicinity in case the thieves abandon your motorcycle in a nearby alley. Following these initial steps, you should contact your insurance company and take several other crucial measures. 

What To Do When Your Motorcycle Gets Stolen

  1. Report The Motorcycle Theft To The Police
  2. Investigate The Scene Of The Incident
  3. Inform Your Insurance Company
  4. Gather Evidence
  5. Spread The Information On Motorbike Platforms
  6. Check Out Online Listings
  7. Leverage Social Media Platforms

In this article, we will guide you through each step in detail to increase your chances of recovering your stolen motorcycle.

Step 1: Report The Motorcycle Theft To The Police

Police on motorcycle

[image source: rrhittaker.top]

The faster you inform the police, the higher the probability your motorcycle will be recovered. Statistics show that most recovered stolen bikes were reported within the first few days of theft.

Dial 101 to report your stolen bike. Be sure to ask to be put through to your local police station. 

Depending on the resources available to them or the level of priority they give to motorcycle theft incidents in your locale, they either opt to visit the incident scene to gather evidence, or more likely, they will just take your details and give you a crime reference number.

You must still give them all the necessary details to compile a report. Giving them the data they need is in your best interest. 

The police report will be entered into their database, and if a local gang has stolen similar motorcycles, the police can connect the dots and trace your machine to that source. 

There is also the fact that you will need the report and crime reference number for insurance reasons. There is hardly any insurance company that will process your claim without a written police report.

The police will typically require the following information:

  • Motorcycle license plate
  • Make, model, and year of the motorcycle
  • The colour of the motorcycle
  • The exact location where the theft occurred
  • The time of the theft (to the best of your knowledge)

The fastest way to get back your motorcycle is to track it using a satellite navigation system. If you have a GPS tracker installed on your motorbike, share the data with the police so they can try to recover it.

Step 2: Investigate The Scene Of The Incident

Theft stealing a motorcycle

[image source: freepik]

Motorbike thieves can abandon a stolen bike for a variety of reasons. The most common is that the perpetrators are amateurs or kids that ditched the bike because they couldn't find a way to break through the security lock after rolling the motorcycle from its original parking spot. 

They could also abandon the bike because they were startled by passing neighbours or police officers. Even the more experienced motorcycle thieves can decide first to leave the motorcycle somewhere nearby, just in case a tracker is installed. They will watch the machine for a while to see if anyone traces it to that location before moving it away. 

So, once you discover that your machine has been stolen, check out the area within a few-mile radius of the location of the theft. 

Thieves leave stolen bikes at out-of-way locations like alleyways and side streets, so check those places first. You can enlist the help of friends and neighbours to help you in your search.

If you find your motorbike during your search, it’s highly recommended that you call the police to help retrieve it since getting it yourself can expose you to physical danger.

The police may also want to gather crucial evidence like fingerprints that can help them investigate who carried out the theft. 

Step 3: Inform Your Insurance Company

Woman driving motorcycle in highway

[image source: businessinsider]

If you cannot find your motorcycle during your search, the next logical step is to contact your insurance company.

Do this immediately because insurance settlements can take a while, and the sooner you start the process, the faster you can get things sorted out.

Reviewing your policy to know your entitlements and the documentation required for a valid claim is good practice before calling your insurance company.

Insurers always require the following information:

  • Registration documents
  • The title
  • The written police report
  • The crime reference number
  • Pictures of the motorbike from multiple angles 

Insurance companies deal with many fraudulent claims each year, which is one of the primary reasons why the process often takes some time. They will investigate properly to ensure you are not lying to get the insurance money.

You can speed up the process by providing detailed and verifiable information. It may take up to four weeks to resolve the claim so you will need lots of patience. 

The amount of money you will get depends on your policy's terms and your machine's current market value. 

Step 4: Gather Evidence

Theft stealing a motorcycle

[image source: freepik]

You can take steps to convince the police to commit the required resources for recovering your motorbike. Most police stations have to manage their resources, and they may only have the leeway to investigate your case if it is precious or there is an abundance of evidence that drastically increases the solvability of your case.

You can collect that evidence and present it to the police. Talk to your neighbours and ask if anyone saw anything. If CCTV covers the location of the theft, check the security cameras for the relevant footage. 

Ask around for situational witnesses. Did fellow motorcyclists at the park witness anything? Did anyone in a shop or building overlooking the spot witness the theft?

Visit local used motorcycle dealerships and junkyards and ask if anyone has visited recently to sell a motorcycle or parts for cheap. 

You can also post flyers with pictures of your motorcycle, asking anyone with relevant information to contact you. 

Report your findings to the police, and if you are lucky, your information may be enough to help them identify the suspect.

Step 5: Spread The Information On Motorbike Platforms

Motorcycle without rider

There are several local biker forums and national databases where you can post information and pictures of your motorcycle and ask other riders to keep an eye out.

A good example is the National Stolen Motorcycle, and Scooter Database set up by BikersUnited. Fill out the form for reporting bike theft incidents and provide as much detail as possible.

On local forums, share pictures and provide information on any unique accessories and modifications that can help others quickly identify your machine. 

If anyone in the community spots your motorbike, they will contact the police to investigate. And if the machine is proven to belong to you, it will be returned, and the culprit will be arrested or tracked down if it has already been sold to a new owner. 

Step 6: Check Out Online Listings

Rider with helmet in hand moving toward motorcycle

[image source: monimoto]

People who steal motorcycles may try to sell them online. They will often repaint the bike, so you must seek out unique attributes like the model and odometer mileage during your search.

Top UK Platforms for Used Motorcycle Ads:

  • Gumtree
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • eBay
  • Auto Trader
  • Craigslist 

Use relevant keywords to search for your motorcycle on each platform. You can also set up automatic alerts for listings that match the model and year of your motorbike. 

You should also set up alerts for parts for your bike’s model, especially high-value systems like the exhaust and suspension parts the thief may want to dispose of for a quick buck.

If you stumble on any listing selling used parts for your model, you can confirm whether they’re yours by asking for the VIN from the parts. The excuse will be that you want to confirm whether the parts will fit on your machine.

If the VIN matches, arrange a visit to see them physically and make sure you go there with at least a couple of friends. Call the police if you see enough evidence to prove they stole your machine.

Step 7: Leverage Social Media Platforms

Motorcycle portrait

[image source: drobotdean on freepik]

There is a massive community online, and it’s not a bad idea to post pictures of your stolen motorcycle on local social media groups.

 People are usually empathetic towards theft victims, and if you encourage them to share the pictures with as many people as possible, they will do so.

Facebook Groups are a good place to start. An excellent example is the London-focused UK Motorcycle Theft Protest Page on Facebook which has over 20,000 members. 

You should also check motorcycle-related feeds constantly. It is not unheard of for thieves to brag about their heists on social networks.

Suppose you identify or suspect that anyone is bragging about your stolen motorcycle on social media. In that case, we recommend contacting the police to track down the individual rather than confronting a potentially dangerous criminal yourself.

Wrapping Up

Following the steps outlined above can significantly increase your chances of successfully recovering your stolen motorcycle.

It's essential to act quickly, especially in the first three steps, to maximise your likelihood of success.

While it's true that even with your best efforts, there is always a chance that your bike may not be recoverable, it's important not to lose hope.

By taking the necessary precautions, you can deter future theft attempts and protect your motorcycle.