If there’s one thing that gets up bikers’ noses when it comes to insurance, it’s security. But there’s a good reason for insurers being so demanding: motorbikes are notoriously easy to nick. Specialist insurance broker Bikesure recently set out to find out what aspects of security really bugged bikers, in an attempt to try to solve some of the issues.
Locks and chains
Bikers said: loads of bikers use them, but they can be a big pain – especially on a sports bike. Typical comment: “If the bike’s got nowhere to store them, you have to have them in a backpack when you’re riding and that puts a major damper on the enjoyment factor.”
Bikesure advises: big, secure locks and chains are a highly visual deterrent, which is good. However, avoid carrying them in a backpack. As well as being a pain to carry, they’ll affect the ride balance. Worse, if you come off they can cause a nasty injury. If they’re a problem, consider using them when the bike’s at home and disc locks when you’re out and about.
Disc locks and chains:
Bikers said: although they’re handy and effective, there’s a real risk of forgetting to unlock them and trying to drive off with them still in place. Meanwhile one customer complained: “They spoil the look of the bike.”
Bikesure advises: check out the disc locks with a handle bar cable – it’s a useful reminder the bike’s still locked up! As for the look of the bike – if the lock works, at least you’ll have a bike to look at!
Alarms & immobilisers:
Bikers said: unpredictability is the biggest issue. “The bloody things keep arming themselves when you fill up at petrol stations!”
Bikesure advises: Get the system checked by a professional, there may be a simple fix!
Steve Cook has been motor biking since he was 16 – he’s now in his fifties and currently rides a Honda VFR 800 with the Road Runners Club, which is based in Aldborough, North Norfolk. He’s tried most security systems. “The bottom line is, a really determined thief will probably be able to steal a bike, however well protected it is,” he says. “Luckily my bike’s not a prime target!”
Although lots of his mates use chains Steve now prefers to rely on an integral ignition system with microchips. “Microchips are a good deterrent – the bike has them all over the place, so it would be almost impossible to get rid of them all. Nothing’s 100%, but my system gives me no problems and it’s easy to live with, and that’s a big factor.”
“Most bikes are nicked from the owner’s driveway”
Rob Balls of Bikesure adds: “It’s absolutely vital that the bike is secure at all times, especially at home. Most bikes that get stolen aren’t taken from work or in town or outside a mate’s house – they’re nicked from the owner’s driveway, because that’s where thieves clock them, night after night.
“Lots of bikers quite resent spending money on a security system, but it’s a relatively small investment compared to the cost of the bike.
“On the other hand, make sure the system you buy is going to work. Sounds obvious? We’ve heard of people investing in CCTV systems, which cost several thousands. Some scallywag pops on a £1.99 balaclava and they can have the bike away before anyone can react. CCTV is probably the most ineffective way to protect your bike.”
Bikesure is 100% British owned and based. It has a huge range of specialist policies for the motorcycle enthusiast, including cheap bike insurance schemes for performance and custom bikes, scooters, trikes, quads and bug riders. For details freephone the Bikesure quote line on 0800 089 2000 or email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit www.bikesure.co.uk