California, Florida, Texas Lead Nation in Motorcycle Thefts

July 24, 2006

California (9,110 thefts) leads the nation in motorcycle theft rates in 2005, with Florida (6,324) following in second, and Texas (5,755)coming in third, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Other states rounding out the top 10, with theft totals in parentheses, include:

4. North Carolina (3,053)
5. Ohio (2,573)
6. Arizona (2,464)
7. New York (2,195)
8. Indiana (2,186)
9. Georgia (2,159)
10. Pennsylvania (2,021)

The complete list for 2005, as well as 2004, is available at

Nationally, 70,613 motorcycles were stolen in 2005 which is a slight decrease from the 71,108 stolen in 2004. This represents a loss of over $434 million to motorcycle owners and the insurance industry.

It’s not uncommon for a motorcycle’s base price to exceed $20,000 with aftermarket parts due to upgrades such as elaborate paint schemes, chromed parts, specialized frames and high-performance engines and exhaust systems, says the NICB. Recovery rates are only 25-30 percent range nationally.

NICB recommends the following tips to help prevent motorcycle theft:

* Be wary of used cycles titled or registered as an “assembled vehicle.” If possible, have the insurer inspect the cycle prior to purchasing it.

* Verify that a previously-driven cycle titled and registered as a popular brand name is not an assembled clone made from aftermarket components.

* Look closely at used cycles for a title history that reveals numerous manufacturers’ statements of origin for major component parts.

* Watch for cycles alleged to be “all custom.” They could be assembled from stolen or altered aftermarket parts, especially chrome components.

* Be wary of cycles or major component parts that were allegedly acquired at a “swap meet.”

* Obtain an expert appraisal and/or insurance policy pre-inspection before purchasing and insuring a used cycle.

Source: NICB

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