Motorcycle thefts in the U.S. have seen a significant decline since 2006, but at least some of that may be due to the decrease in the numbers of motorcycles produced and purchased. General economic malaise led to sluggish sales. In 2011 there was a slight uptick in sales, possibly relating to high gasoline prices. The steady decline took a break in 2015, when we saw an increase in thefts over the previous year.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau ("NCIB"), there were 236,054 motorcycle thefts from 2007 through 2010 in the U.S. In 2011, 46,667 bikes were stolen. That decreased to 46,061 in 2012, and decreased again in 2013 to 45,367. From 2014 to 2015, motorcycle thefts increased by 6%, with a total of 45,555 motorcycle thefts reported in the U.S. Of those that were stolen in 2015, 39% were recovered.
Your bike is more likely to disappear during summer months than at other times of the year. That seems pretty obvious to me! In Arizona, motorcycles are popular. We have long distances to travel, even just in the Greater Phoenix area. With 300 days of good weather in the central and southern part of the state (encompassing both the Tucson and Phoenix metro areas) biking represents an affordable mode of transportation as well as a popular recreational activity for scenic rides. With bike-friendly weather all year long in the most populous parts of Arizona (Maricopa and Pima Counties), it's amazing that Arizona isn't one of the ten worst states for motorcycle thefts.
The NCIB provides data on motorcycle thefts by state. Here are the 10 worst states for motorcycle thefts in 2015:
- California (7,221)
- Florida (4,758)
- Texas (3,403)
- South Carolina (2,160)
- New York (1,902)
- North Carolina (1,866)
- Nevada (1,408)
- Georgia (1,393)
- Indiana (1,333)
So, where is Arizona? For perspective, in 2005 Arizona was ranked 6th. You'll notice that Arizona didn't make the top 10 in 2015 -- that's a good thing! Arizona actually came in at number 17 with 867 total motorcycle thefts for the year. That is another improvement over the previous year, 2014, when we had 887 motorcycle thefts.
In the county rankings, Maricopa County ranked 8th in the country with 544 thefts. That was a 6% decrease from 2014.
Minibikes, minicycles, mopeds, motorbikes, motorcycles, motorscooters, and multi-wheel vehicles were included in these statistics. Which were the most stolen makes of motorcycles during this period? Hondas topped the list. They were stolen about twice as often than Harley Davidsons.
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