Motorcycle Insurance

How to deter the bicycle thieves

 

217px-Left_side_of_Flying_Pigeon

The post-Olympic boom in cycling has one unfortunate side effect – there are now more and better bikes available for thieves to target.

Bikes, by their lightweight nature and lack of a key, have always been a relatively easy target for thieves and, with more people buying pricier road bikes, it’s more important than ever to make sure the bike rustlers give your wheels a wide berth.

According to the CheckThatBike website, more than 500,000 bikes are stolen each year – that’s one every 67 seconds, with cyclists expected to their bike stolen, on average, every 23 months.

Specialist insurance broker Bikesure, which has just launched a new comprehensive bicycle insurance policy, looks at the security options on the market.

 

1) Let’s assume it’s obvious by now that you should a) buy a bike lock and b) use it to lock your bike to something solid and secure.

It’s generally accepted that you should spend about 10 per cent of the value of your bike on a lock, and there is a huge array of options on the market.

Generic_u-lock

Most insurers require you to fit a Sold Secure approved lock so, if you’ve just spent £1,000 on that lovely new road bike, your insurance is unlikely to cover you if you’ve fitted the cheapest cable lock you can find.

Heavier U-locks (sometimes probably more accurately called D locks) locks may mean carrying around more metal, but good ones are more likely to make all but the most determined thief move on to an easier target.

The U-lock was invented by Kryptonite in 1972, and they still make some of the best around, including the Evolution Mini 7 Lock and 4 Foot KryptoFlex Cable, which gives thieves two things to worry about removing in one device.

There’s a vast array of Sold Secure U-locks available, among the best of which is the Abus U- 401, costing about £50 and with a gold standard rating.

Generally speaking, a chain lock will always be easier to remove than a U-lock, because equipment that can cut chains exists!

Most good chain locks meet the silver Sold Secure standard, and the Master Lock Street Flexium is a bargain at under £20 from Evans Cycles. But if you want a truly tough chain that will protect a valuable bike in a high crime area, the OnGuard Beast series may be the way to go.

So you’ve got your lock, you’re using it properly and every time you leave your bike – what else can you do?

 

2) People are used to car alarms as standard these days, but did you know you can also alarm your bike?Bicycle-Alarm

With no electrical system on your bike, these alarms run on batteries and can emit a high-pitched noise to scare off thieves who tamper with your bike or the alarm itself.

There are several on the market, with the best selling the Ducharme Bicycle Alarm, which works in all weathers, and features an audible false warning and emits a 125db double siren.

At the top end of the market, the Lock8 smart bike lock and alarm combines a lock, smartphone technology with GPS and a gyro accelerometer to keep your bike safe.

Launched with the help of Kickstarter donations, the Lock8 is armed and disarmed using an e-key on your smartphone and, if the bike is tampered with, the unit emits a 120db alarm and sends a warning notification to your phone and other Lock8 users nearby.

If your bike should still be stolen, the GPS tracking device allows you to locate your bike anywhere in the world. The lock even includes a heat sensor to detect blowtorch or ice spray attacks.

 

3) Clearly, none of these measures are entirely foolproof, so how can you help to recover your bike if it does get stolen? Bikes are one of the top five items registered on the national property register Immobilise. It’s free to register your bike, and the police re-unites thousands of pieces of stolen property with their owners every day. It’s also worth permanently marking your bike with your post code.

Whoever has stolen your bike will want to sell it, so it’s worth trawling eBay and sites like find that bike, which collates bike adverts from other sites and puts them in one place.

And if you’re thinking of buying a secondhand bike, check the frame number with CheckThatBike to see if it appears on any of the various stolen bike databases the site checks.

 

Bikesure’s pedal cycle policy, which is suitable for everything from a custom-built racing bike valued up to £5,000 to a commuter bike, can include the following benefits:

  • Accidental damage and theft for your bike valued up to £5,000
  • Personal accident cover up to £10,000
  • Third party liability
  • Legal expenses cover
  • Breakdown cover for £16 a year

 

Five top bikes you can ride on an A2 licence

 

New legislation means that if you are 19 years of age and want to ride bigger motorcycles you need to spend at least 2 years on an A2 licence before you can take your test to move on to a more powerful bike. If not you have to wait until you are 24 years old before you can apply for your full cat A licence.

 

The A2 licence is a restricted licence which allows its holders to ride medium-sized motorcycles.

A2 licence holders can ride medium motorcycles up to 35 kW, with a power to weight ratio not more than 0.2 kW per kg and not derived from a vehicle more than twice its power. The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) have a list of eligible bikes to take an A2 test on, which will continue to grow as more manufactures release bikes in line with the new legislation. Some bikes on the list require restriction in order to meet the requirements.

To make life easier, Bikesure, the free-thinking motorcycle insurance broker, has put together five of the best bikes you can ride on an A2 licence.

Honda_CBR500RFirst up, the Honda CBR500R. The twin-cylinder CBR500R provides an ideal first big sports bike experience for A2 licence holders. As one of the few fully-faired, sports-style options available new to A2 riders, the CBR500R is spot-on when it comes to power with 47bhp.

The Yamaha XT660X supermoto is on the A2 limit both with its power (47bhp) and weight (quoted at being 186kg with a full tank of fuel). The XT660X doesn’t require restricting and is on the DSA’s list so you can take your test on it too. As an older model there are likely to be some used bikes on the market.

206px-2012_Honda_NC700SAHonda scores again with its NC700S. Easy to ride and super-economical, with some reports stating figures of 80mpg, the Honda NC700S has a strong reputation and is A2 ready, with no need to be restricted. The NC700S offers commuter practicality, alongside a thrilling ride and the distinctive style of a naked.

Kawasaki’s ER-6F requires restriction to be A2-suitable, but is a superb beginner bike. Economical, reliable, quick and easy to ride and maintain, the ER-6F turns-heads with its supersport styling.218px-Gilera_Fuoco_500cc

 

The Gilera Fuoco 500 is a three-wheeler which gives great stability and extra front disc brake for increased stopping power, but other than that handles like a bike. The Fuoco 500 is described as being fun, practical and safe, ideal for a first ride.

How to sell your bike

220px-1969_BSA_A50

Odds are, as a biker, at some point you’ll want to sell your beloved machine. With so many options open to you it can be a challenge knowing the best way to proceed. Bikesure, the free-wheeling insurance specialist, has the know-how you need to make the sale process as painless and as profitable as possible.

The good news is that living as we do in the second decade of the 21st century, we are in a golden age of personal commerce. Services like eBay and Gumtree can be very powerful tools for selling stuff, and with a bit of effort, and a minimum investment of care, you have the tools to make a tidy profit.

Before we get started, however you sell your vehicle it pays to be wary of fraud. The Vehicle Safe Trading Advisory Group has plenty of useful advice for buyers and sellers, which will give you an idea of the techniques used by the scammers. Forewarned is forearmed!

The first option would be to sell your bike to a local dealership or garage. This has the advantage of being the most hassle-free way of just getting rid of it. The downside is, you’re going to be making less money on the sale than if you go DIY.GT_FINAL_LOGO_040210

The next possibility is one of the free ad sites. Here in the UK the site with the most users, and therefore the greatest chance of success, is by far and away Gumtree.

It pays to be careful when selling pricey items like motorcycles. Some guides recommend meeting on neutral territory, to avoid anybody dodgy knowing where you keep the bike and returning later to steal it. Similarly, be wary of anybody looking to test drive the bike. At the very least ensure they are qualified and capable of handling it, that way you’ll hopefully be spared any accidents.

In many ways, selling via eBay strikes a balance between selling to a dealership and selling privately through adverts. Yes, on one hand you’ll be doing most of the work in terms of actually selling it and yes, eBay will be taking roughly 10% of the final sale value in fees. On the other hand it has more potential customers than any other option, plus it has protective measures for both buyer and seller and dispute resolution procedures built into it, including such features as “owning PayPal”, which are designed to make your transaction as painless as possible.

With Gumtree it’s easy to geographically limit your advert to your local area, whereas with eBay it’s more likely to be discovered with national searches, so you should think carefully about how far you’re willing to travel to deliver it, or how far the buyer would be willing to travel to collect. Sort this out before payment is transferred.

Last but by no means least, there are sites like AutoTrader and Motorcycle News. The good thing about this route is you’re far more likely to get knowledgeable people responding to the advert.

autotrader

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the exciting possibilities of the internet while overlooking the audience of magazines like the two previously mentioned. You might also want to check with your local motorcycle club and see if they offer adverts to their members. Both these routes will give your advert a keen, knowledgeable audience.

At the end of the day selling a large item like a motorcycle online is a balancing act between the effort you’re willing to put in and the return you’re looking to get out.

 

 

 

bikesure.co.uk | Specialist Motorcycle Insurance

FAQs | Contact Us | 0800 089 2000


 

© Bikesure Insurance Services, 2015. All rights reserved.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.