US Motorcycle Thefts Down 6% in 2011

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Americans reported 46,667 motorcycle thefts in 2011, a 6% decrease from 49,791 stolen motorcycles in 2010, reports the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Despite the drop in reported thefts, the non-profit organization representing nearly 1100 property and casualty insurance companies says the theft rate still averages out to one motorcycle stolen every 11 minutes in the U.S. The numbers were published in the NICB’s 2011 ForeCAST Report which examined theft reports as well as recoveries.

California led all states in reported motorcycle thefts with 5927 bikes stolen in 2011, unsurprising considering the size of the motorcycle market in the Golden State. Other states with a large number of motorcyclists such as Texas (3950) and Florida (3927) also had more high numbers of reported thefts. At 21, North Dakota had the lowest number of reported motorcycle thefts of any State, including D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Honda is the most popular brand among bike thieves. The 11,014 Honda motorcycles reported stolen represent 24% of all thefts. Yamaha was second at 8880 stolen motorcycles followed by Suzuki (7281), Kawasaki (5009), and Harley-Davidson (3120). These five brands represent 75.7% of stolen motorcycles. KTM is next on the list but its 410 motorcycles stolen are significantly lower than the numbers from the top five.

Keep in mind, these figures are also skewed by the popularity of the respective brands, so the Big Four Japanese brands and Harley-Davidson are no surprise at the top of this list.

Motorcycle recovery rates were higher in 2011 than they were in 2010. The study reports 15,017 of the stolen motorcycles were recovered in 2011, representing a recovery rate of 32.2%. That’s an improvement on the 30.1% recovery rate reported from the NICB’s 2010 report.

Some of the information released in the study were unsurprising. For example, motorcycle theft rates are higher in the summer months than they are in the winter, when many riders have their bikes in storage.

Thefts were also more likely to occur at the beginning of the week, with 6962 motorcycles stolen on Mondays and 6907 on Tuesdays, with the number of thefts dropping through the week to 6422 motorcycles stolen on Sundays.

[Source: NICB]

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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