Bryan works as a courier rider. He covers about 150 miles each day, travelling throughout London to make deliveries. He is very security-conscious and his motorcycle is equipped with a GPS tracker and an alarm system. He also occasionally locks up his bike using a chain lock whenever he has enough time during deliveries.
One fateful Saturday morning, Bryan decided to grab a quick coffee during a lull in demand for his services. He parked his motorcycle in the busy car park in front of the cafe and left it unlocked. There were lots of people coming and going, and he felt his bike would be safe.
He was very wrong.
The minute Bryan sat down to enjoy his drink, he received an alert from his GPS tracker that his motorcycle was being moved. He immediately ran out to check on his motorcycle. However, when he reached the place he had parked, the bike was already stolen. He was stunned and distraught.
Bryan was able to trace and recover his motorcycle. However, the sheer number of customers that were disappointed due to his unavailability during the time it took him to recover his stolen bike almost cost him his job.
As a daily commuter or courier rider in London, the possibility of you experiencing something similar is quite high. The trend of motorcycle theft in the UK keeps going steadily upwards, and bike thieves are becoming ever more resourceful and numerous.
Statistics show that over 10,000 motorcycles are stolen in the city each year and that it takes roughly 20 seconds for a thief to move in and steal a motorcycle. Most stolen motorcycles are never recovered.
Interestingly, bike thieves tend to target mid-range motorcycle models and avoid custom motorcycles and premium scooters. Certain motorcycle brands are popular targets, especially Hondas, Yamahas, Lexmotos, and Suzukis. These four brands make up close to 90% of the motorbike thefts in London.
Here are the 10 motorcycle brands that were most reported stolen in 2022:
- Royal Enfield
The Japanese motorcycle manufacturer has been churning out bikes since 1947, and they are now the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. They produce several types of motorcycles, including off-road, touring, street, adventure, and supersport models.
The most stolen Honda models in London are the CBF 125, PCX 125, and SHi 125. It’s no coincidence that these three models are among the top-selling Honda bikes in the UK. Stolen motorcycles and scooters are often broken apart and sold as parts. And it’s a lot easier to sell the parts of popular bike models without attracting unwanted attention.
Yamaha is another hugely popular Japanese motorcycle brand in the UK. The company sells street and off-road motorcycles to all segments of the market.
The most stolen Yamaha motorcycle models are the NMAX 125 and MT-07. The Yamaha NMAX 125, in particular, was the best-selling motorcycle in London last year (2021). Its success on the market only made it more attractive to motorcycle thieves.
Lexmoto positions itself as a value-for-money brand that sells 50cc and 125cc motorcycles and scooters to novice riders. It’s bikes are cheap because it primarily sells Chinese-made bikes that are imported into the UK.
Lexmoto-branded bikes have become hugely popular in London, with the company selling more than 9000 units in 2021. Unfortunately, the brand is also popular with thieves. There is a significant gap compared to the two preceding brands, but Lexmoto LXR 125 and ECHO 50 models are among the most stolen motorcycles in the city.
Suzuki has been manufacturing motorcycles for close to 70 years, and the “S” trademark is instantly recognized as a brand of quality motorcycles anywhere in the world. The company sells street, sports, and adventure motorcycle models in the UK.
The beginner V-Strom 650 is by far the most stolen Suzuki model.
We finally have an iconic British motorcycle brand on this list. Triumph’s range of products includes adventure, sports, roadster, and modern classic models.
The most stolen models are the Trident 660 and the Speed Twin.
Kawasaki primarily manufactures high-performance, recreational motorcycles. The company sells adventure tourer, cruiser, sports, and off-road models in the UK.
Kawasaki’s focus on performance bikes means they are not as common on London roads as other bikes on this list. Yet, the brand seems to be quite popular with bike thieves. The most stolen Kawasaki model is the Ninja 400.
7. Royal Enfield
This Indian motorcycle manufacturer has been churning out its products every single year for over a century. It sells retro-styled motorcycles, and offers just six models in the UK.
Royal Enfield motorcycles are popular because they are sophisticated and yet relatively affordable. The most stolen models are the Meteor 350 and Interceptor 650.
This Italian manufacturer is better known in the UK for its scooters than for its range of motorcycles. The company’s products are particularly popular with delivery riders. The electric Piaggio MP3 has also been hugely successful.
Piaggio’s scooters have retained their place among the best-selling bikes in London over the past three years. The company sells lots of them, and many do get stolen. The Liberty 125 scooter is the most stolen Piaggio model in London.
Sinnis sells small-capacity motorcycles and scooters that are designed with affordability and minimal maintenance in mind. The brand offers both street and off-road models. Its products are designed in Brighton and manufactured in China.
The most stolen Sinnis models are the Terrain 380CC and Hoodlum 125CC.
SYM focuses on selling learner legal scooters that are rated for their exceptional build quality and affordability. The Taiwanese company has been in the motorcycle business for over 60 years and is now one of the top 10 largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world.
The most stolen SYM model by a wide margin is the JET 14.
How Can You Prevent Your Motorcycle From Being Stolen in London?
Stepping outside after working your ass off all day and finding your motorcycle gone can be a really disorienting experience. Such an incident will be an even greater nightmare for a delivery rider that needs to get to the next customer as soon as possible. This is why knowing how to prevent motorcycle theft must be basics 101.
There are all sorts of portable anti-theft systems for daily riders, and we have identified seven of them below.
A steering lock will pin your bars in place to make it difficult for any thief to move your motorcycle away from where it’s parked. However, steering locks can be easily breached with brute force.
A 16mm hardened chain link will secure your bike to any immovable object nearby and offer adequate protection from bolt croppers. The issue is that chain locks are heavy to lug around, and you may not have the time to find a railing or lamppost to tie your bike to.
They are not as secure as hardened chain locks, but they are more portable. It’s generally safer to use a disc lock in conjunction with another security system.
They work similarly to disk locks, but they are lighter and much easier to lug around. The drawback with cable locks is that it is very easy to cut through them.
The device secures your handlebar and brake lever, making it difficult for anyone to manoeuvre your bike. However, the argument for Croclocks is undermined by the ease with which the plastic lock can be forced open.
A tracker will alert you anytime your motorcycle is moved without your permission. And you may be able to trace and recover your bike. The big issue is that a tracker can’t prevent the theft from happening in the first place.
A loud deterrent should ideally put off a thief that is trying to nick your motorcycle without attracting any attention. Unfortunately, people passing by tend to ignore alarms these days. So, be sure to always stay close if you are opting for this type of security.
Each of the motorcycle locks and security systems listed above is proven. However, they may be impractical solutions for daily commuters and courier riders that suffer from time pressure.
Delivery riders like Bryan, in particular, will find it difficult to set up security systems like chain locks, disk locks, and croc locks when under pressure to get parcels to multiple customers within a very short period of time.
Also, other anti-theft systems like steering locks, alarms, and GPS trackers do not offer adequate assurance that the motorcycle won’t get stolen as soon as the rider leaves to make the delivery.
You need an anti-theft system that provides rock-solid security and can be activated and deactivated with minimal effort. The EasyBlock wheel lock is such a security system. It takes just a few seconds to activate and unlock it, and it is permanently fitted to your motorcycle.
The way it works is very simple. You only need to push the knob in with your foot to activate the lock. And when you are ready to leave, you will insert the key and turn the knob. Each activity won’t take more than two seconds, and you won't have to bend over to set it up or spend time looking for some thief-proof location to park your bike.
The EasyBlock wheel lock is also built to be durable. It is equipped with a solid 30mm inox rod which is designed to withstand the most brutal attacks. Once the lock is activated, the mechanism will push through and sit firmly on the swingarm of your rear wheel, making it impossible for anyone to rotate the wheel.
Another thing that sets EasyBlock apart is that each lock is designed and built to fit a specific scooter or motorcycle model. We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all solution, and we offer individual wheel locks for over 60 motorcycle models from nine different manufacturers.
The Bottom Line
There is no evidence that motorcycle thieves in London will change their ways anytime soon. And the motorcycle brands we all love are also the favourite targets of these scoundrels. Luckily, the EasyBlock wheel lock offers a quick and easy way to protect your bike from theft.
You can buy the right lock for your motorcycle model from our website or get it from any of the 35 EasyBlock dealers in London. Installation takes a few minutes, and instructional videos are available on our website.