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Are Motorcycle Trackers Worth It? Learn the 12 Anti-Theft Methods

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While there are different ways to keep your bike safe (and I’ll cover those too), a motorcycle tracker, known for its simplicity and compatibility with any motorcycle model, could be your saving grace if your bike is stolen. The best motorcycle trackers have recovery rates of over 90%, significantly increasing your chances of getting your bike back before it’s stripped down or lost for good. And in the unfortunate event of the former, insurance-covered repair costs are typically lower than the total loss of an unrecovered bike, potentially minimizing future premium impacts. Moreover, location data from trackers can aid emergency responders in locating you faster following a crash.

As for how trackers work, they employ a process called trilateration, where they pick up GPS or cellular signals from three or more satellites in the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) network and its distance. From there, they can determine the latitude, longitude, elevation, and time. All this collected data then gets sent off to software for aggregation and analysis, facilitating the real-time or historical tracking of your bike’s location, direction, and even speed.

Wired GPS trackers are connected to your motorcycle’s wiring, with their own backup battery ensuring continuous operation. While they draw minimal power, if the motorcycle is knocked or moved, the device activates and consumes more power, potentially becoming problematic if it occurs frequently. Conceal the wiring within the loom instead of connecting directly to the battery for a less conspicuous power source. In contrast, self-fit trackers rely solely on their battery, offering flexible installation options but necessitating periodic charging to maintain functionality.

Top 5 Best Motorcycle Trackers Available Today

Tracker ModelCategoryTracking Updates IntervalCheck & Shop Now
MoniMoto 7Best RealtimeEvery 300 SecondsRevZilla | Amazon
Optimus 3.0Best PortableEvery 10, 30, 60, or 120 SecondsAmazon
TrackiBest CompactEvery 60 SecondsAmazon
SpytecBest Long-DistanceEvery 5 SecondsAmazon
Americaloc GL300WBest DetailedEvery 10, 20, 30, or 60 SecondsAmazon
Testing the Monimoto tracker app on my smartphone to locate my Suzuki GSX600 motorcycle. In my left hand, I hold the exact model M7 tracker device, which I have successfully installed on the bike
Using the Monimoto tracker app on my smartphone to locate my Suzuki GSX600 motorcycle, displaying both time and speed information. Meanwhile, I hold the exact model M7 tracker device in my left hand, which I have successfully installed on the bike.

In the midst of all this, the harsh truth is that a tracker won’t prevent your bike from being stolen. Yes, thieves can sometimes outsmart trackers! But in the worst-case scenario, it can mean you’ll get it back very quickly. And given that thieves are increasingly interested in the value of bikes, whether for resale overseas or stripping for parts, I always advise taking preventive measures to protect your motorcycle.

11 Most Effective Methods to Prevent Motorcycle Theft

Motorcycle Lock ModelCategoryWhy I Like ItCheck & Shop Now
Kryptonite New York FahgettabouditBest OverallSleek, sturdy, with hook-and-loop fastenersRevZilla | Amazon
Oxford HDBest Heavy Duty Chain and PadlockNon-scratch sleeve, portable, and durableRevZilla | Amazon
Kryptonite KryptoFlexBest Cables & Cable LockCut-resistant, 30' cable can lock multiple motorcyclesRevZilla | Amazon
Xena XX-6Best Disc LockA hardened steel locking pin paired with a 120dB alarmRevZilla | Amazon
Stockton 323Best U-LockI can use it as disc lock or add to chain/cable securityRevZilla | CycleGear
Kryptonite KeeperBest Chain LockDrill-resistant, scratch-resistant, and lightweightRevZilla | Amazon
Oxford BossBest with Alarm System100db alarm, water, vibration, frost, and heat proofRevZilla | Amazon
Best BullyBest Lever LockIncludes additional sizes for handlebar gripRevZilla | Amazon
Stockton 255Best Budget-FriendlyLightweight, compact, and easy-to-carry designRevZilla | CycleGear

Most motorcycles over 125cc, including the 20+ I’ve owned in since the early 1970s, come with an electronic immobilizer and a steering lock. But let’s be real, they’re not foolproof. Thieves can easily push them away or load them into a van and figure out ways to bypass the immobilizer or disassemble the bike for parts without concern for starting it. And so, even with my Kawasaki Z900 ABS, Suzuki GSX-S750, and Honda CRF250L Rally equipped with built-in anti-theft locks, I’ve taken extra precautions for peace of mind, whether I’m chilling at home or exploring the best motorcycle cities.

You’d think with all these security features, motorcycle theft would be on the decline, but sadly, it’s not. According to the 2023 Vehicle Type Theft Report by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), motorcycle theft is on the rise. Last year alone, over 54,732 motorcycles were stolen, up from 51,291 in 2022, with July being the sketchiest month, recording 6,394 thefts.

Given these stats, here are the tricks I’ve learned over my nearly 50 years of riding to keep my bike safe from thieves:

1. Track and Retrieve

Monimoto alerts you of motorcycle movement with a call and push notification from the app (not via SMS!)
The Monimoto active tracker alerts you in real-time of motorcycle movement with a call and push notification from the app (not through SMS!).

Get a GPS tracker for your bike, just like you would for preventing theft. Putting a permanent, hidden GPS device on your motorcycle could mean that the police find it in minutes instead of days or weeks. And guess what? These anti-theft GPS trackers are getting cheaper by the day. Plus, some insurance companies might even cut you a deal on your premium for having one installed, making them even more budget-friendly.

Back in 2018, I couldn’t praise the original Monimoto enough—it was top-tier among self-fit trackers. Fast forward to 2022, and the launch of Monimoto 7 brings even more to the table, featuring 2G communication coupled with LTE-M for improved performance.

With this latest version, you get real-time calls to your phone when your bike moves, smooth bike transfer, and updates on its location through the smartphone app. The device covers a wide range of countries, including 39 in Europe, 7 in Asia, New Zealand, Australia, and the USA. Each country has its own satellite constellation, each with its own acronym or nickname:

  • EU: Galileo (30 satellites, providing global coverage)
  • Russia: GLONASS (24 satellites, offering global coverage)
  • Japan: QZSS (4 satellites, providing regional coverage)
  • China: BeiDou (35 satellites, offering global coverage)
  • India: NavIC (8 satellites, offering regional coverage)

Furthermore, it’s WiFi-compatible for location data, with an IP65 rating for water resistance. It’s powered by two easily replaceable Lithium AA cells for reliability, and the fob feature helps prevent false alarms, running on a single CR2450 cell.

But real-time tracking, like what Monimoto offers, is different from historical tracking, which I’ll touch on below.

Passive vs. Active vs. Hybrid Motorcycle GPS Tracking: Understanding the Distinctions and Selecting the Best Option for Your Needs

There are primarily three types of motorcycle trackers: active, passive and hybrid. Active trackers provide real-time global positioning but require a subscription fee, while passive trackers store GPS data for later viewing and are typically less expensive. Hybrid trackers combine passive and active tracking capabilities, offering features such as transmitting data at low frequencies or within specified boundaries.

Feature/Benefit Active GPS Passive GPS Hybrid GPS
Real-time tracker location Yes No Sometimes
Software-based location display Yes No Yes
Historical location recording Yes Yes Yes
Trigger-based alerts Yes No Yes
Power source/battery needs Yes No Sometimes
Transmission frequency adjustment Sometimes No Yes

2. Keep the Bike Low-Key

Keep your bike out of sight to reduce the risk of theft. Resist the urge to display it prominently on your driveway or leave it unattended outside.

3. Practice Discretion

If you’ve got a pricey or recently released model, it might catch the eye of bike thieves. Keep your ownership on the down-low and avoid showing it off unnecessarily. Treat your neighbors like potential suspects and keep mum about your motorcycle. If someone asks, just say you’ve got an older, less flashy model.

4. Park in Plain Sight

Reserved Parking for Motorcycles Only
Reserved parking for motorcycles only.

When parking your bike outside, whether it’s overnight or during the day, aim for spots that are well-lit and open. Look for places with lots of people around, maybe even some video surveillance, and consider parking near other bikes for added security. Steer clear of those dimly lit alleys where sneaky thieves lurk.

Oh, and if you’re craving a coffee pitstop on your ride, make sure you can still see your bike from the café. Keep it in your line of sight to keep it safe!

5. Stay Alert

Be on the lookout for suspicious activity near your home. Thieves often scout potential targets before stealing, so report any unusual behavior to local authorities.

6. Fortify Your Fortress

Strengthen garage security by reinforcing access points with additional locks and metal bars on windows. Make breaking in more difficult for potential thieves.

Tools & Supplies

The motorcycle tools and supplies I recommend provide a perfect balance of affordability and unwavering quality, ensuring the utmost value for your investment. These are items I've become well-acquainted with during my more than 50 years of motorcycling experience, where I've led and consulted for reputable companies in over 25 countries, in addition to being an avid rider.

7. Use a Motorcycle Cover

Parking outdoors with the full waterproof Dowco Guardian Weatherall Plus Motorcycle Cover keeps the Honda NC750X DCT away from prying eyes. Going a size or two above the recommended size for your particular bike wouldn't hurt, as long as the excess fabric does not billow on windy days.
Shielding your Honda NC750X DCT from prying eyes, the full waterproof Dowco Guardian Weatherall Plus Motorcycle Cover is ideal for outdoor parking. Consider opting for a size slightly larger than recommended for your bike to ensure a snug fit without excess fabric billowing on windy days.

Thieves often have their eyes set on specific bike models, so throwing a cover over yours can help it blend in. It adds an extra hurdle for would-be thieves and makes your bike less of a target. Plus, anyone snooping around a covered bike looks a lot more suspicious, which could deter theft attempts.

8. Remove the Spark Plug

To step up security when storing your bike for a while, consider removing the spark plug. It’ll make starting the bike a hassle for thieves. Just remember to plug up the hole afterward to keep the engine clean.

9. Lock the Forks

By securing the fork of your wheels, you essentially make it impossible for anyone to roll your bike away, especially if you turn your wheel inward before applying the fork lock. Even if thieves manage to start the bike, they won’t be able to drive it away without removing the fork lock, adding another crucial layer of protection.

10. Use a Disc Brake Lock

The Kryptonite Evolution Compact Disc Lock in vibrant orange securely fastens through the rear disc rotor, effectively preventing the motorcycle from being wheeled away while it's in place
The Kryptonite Evolution Compact Disc Lock in vibrant orange securely fastens through the front disc rotor, effectively preventing the motorcycle from being wheeled away while it’s in place.

Another handy tool in your arsenal against motorcycle theft is the disc brake lock, a reliable complement or alternative to the fork lock. Take, for example, the Oxford Monster Disc Lock, equipped with an 11mm hardened alloy steel shackle and a dual-locking mechanism featuring two hardened steel bolts.

Unlike the fork lock, which immobilizes the front wheel, this device prevents your bike from moving altogether. While carrying these locks might be a tad cumbersome and occupy precious saddlebag space, their effectiveness in warding off thieves makes them invaluable additions to your security measures.

"Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock: 5-foot-long chain and sturdy disc lock weighing over 15 pounds. Offers top-tier security, durability, and versatile locking positions.
The Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Disc Lock, featuring a robust 5-foot-long chain and a sturdy disc lock weighing over 15 pounds, rests on my garage floor.

11. Ground Anchors for Maximum Security

Secure your bike with a heavy-duty chain and ground anchor, either firmly fixed with bolts or cemented into the ground to thwart theft. Ensure the chain passes through the frame and keep it elevated to prevent leverage.

When parking outside, fasten your bike to immovable objects like lampposts or bike rails. Keep the chain or lock off the ground to prevent tools from breaking them.

12. Sound the Alarm

The Xena XX6 disc lock, equipped with a 20dB alarm and Bluetooth control, easily fastens through the rear disc rotor. Its loud alarm serves as a deterrent, likely to scare away any potential thief.
The Xena XX6 Disc Lock easily fastens through the rear disc rotor. Its loud alarm serves as a deterrent, likely to scare away any potential thief.

Consider adding an alarm system to your bike, like the Xena XX6 Disc Lock with its 120dB alarm—much louder than my Oxford Boss at 100dB. Its adjustable design fits any of my bikes, and its high-grade alloy construction ensures durability, deterring theft and potentially reducing insurance premiums.

If your bike lacks a kill switch, installing one could enhance security. Ensure you’re using it to shut off the bike instead of relying solely on the key. For added security, consider a hidden kill switch.

A kill switch adds an extra layer of protection by requiring an additional step to start the motorcycle. With a kill switch, the engine won’t start until the key sends a signal to disable it—a feature lacking when only using the key to shut off the engine.

AGVSPORT Knee and Body Armor

I've diligently categorized my motorcycle gear recommendations into all available categories, with the aim of providing you with a comprehensive analysis that showcases the absolute best options for all your needs. These items are the culmination of in-depth research, extensive testing, and personal use throughout my vast experience of 50+ years in the world of motorcycling. Besides being a passionate rider, I've held leadership positions and offered consultancy services to reputable companies in over 25 countries. To See Top Picks and the Best Prices & Places to Buy: Click Here!

FAQs — I Have the Answers!

Q: Are Motorcycle Trackers Worth It?

Yes, motorcycle trackers are worth it because they significantly increase the likelihood of recovering your bike, with an impressive success rate of over 90% by promptly broadcasting its location once you report it missing. Moreover, they proactively enhance security by instantly alerting you to any unauthorized tampering with your motorcycle.

Q: What’s the Cost of a Motorcycle GPS Tracker?

The price of a motorcycle GPS tracker typically varies between $100 and $500 or more, depending primarily on factors such as active or passive tracking capabilities, battery life, and whether it utilizes satellite or cellular technology.

Q: Are There Subscription Fees for Motorcycle Trackers?

Yes, active motorcycle tracking devices require subscription plans for their tracking services, with pricing options varying. These plans typically offer monthly, yearly, or long-term durations tailored to the your needs.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Cellular and Satellite Motorcycle Tracking?

The difference between cellular and satellite tracking is that cellular tracking operates within the coverage of a specific provider’s network, functioning only within the range of its respective cellular towers. On the other hand, satellite tracking utilizes signals from satellites for transmission.

Q: How Do I Keep My Motorcycle From Being Stolen?

To keep your motorcycle from being stolen, use a steering-wheel-to-brake-pedal lock or secure the front wheel to the center stand with a cable or chain.

Q: How Do I Lock My Motorcycle?

To lock your motorcycle, use two disc locks: one for the front wheel and another for the back wheel. A dual-lock approach that effectively immobilizes the motorcycle, making it difficult for thieves to wheel it away.

Information for this article was partially sourced and researched from the following authoritative government agencies, educational institutions, and nonprofit organizations:

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About the Author:

About the Author:

Michael Parrotte started his career in the motorcycle industry by importing AGV Helmets into the North American market. He was then appointed the Vice President of AGV Helmets America. In total, he worked with AGV Helmets for 25 years. He has also served as a consultant for KBC Helmets, Vemar Helmets, Suomy Helmets, Marushin Helmets, KYT Helmets, and Sparx Helmets.

In 1985, he founded AGV Sports Group, Inc. with AGV Helmets in Valenza, Italy. For over 38 years now, the company has quietly delivered some of the best protective gear for motorcyclists in the world.

Click Here for Michael’s LinkedIn Profile

Click Here for the Complete AGV Helmet & AGVSPORT History

Click Here for All AGV Sports Group Social Media Information

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