Motorcycle Thefts Declined in 2018

Thefts down six percent from 2017 level

DES PLAINES, Ill., Aug. 28, 2019 — The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) today released its annual report on motorcycle thefts in the United States for 2018.  A total of 41,674 motorcycles were reported stolen in 2018 compared with 44,268 reported stolen in 2017—a decrease of six percent.

Release Resources: Report | Infographic | Motorcycle theft prevention tips

2018 Motorcycle Report Infographic web
2018 Motorcycle Thefts Report Infographic
Motorcycle Fraud & Theft Prevention Tips web
Motorcycle Fraud & Theft Prevention Tips

The top 10 states for motorcycle thefts in 2018 were California (7,035), Florida (4,279), Texas (3,073), New York (1,777), South Carolina (1,743), North Carolina (1,466), Indiana (1,229), Missouri (1,194), Georgia (1,174) and Colorado (1,109). 

The top 10 cities for motorcycle thefts in 2018 were New York (1,310), Los Angeles (628), Miami (595), Las Vegas (540), San Diego (527), San Francisco (520), Houston (460), Philadelphia (404), Austin (329) and San Jose (322).

The top 10 most stolen motorcycles in 2018 by manufacturer were American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (8,260 thefts), Yamaha Motor Corporation (6,655), American Suzuki Motor Corporation (4,882), Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (4,861), Harley-Davidson, Inc. (4,769), Taotao Group Co. Ltd (1,851), KTM Sportmotorcycle AG (780), Genuine Cycle (515), Ducati Motor Holding (455), and Kymco U.S.A., Inc. (413).  

August, July, and September saw the most thefts with 4,749, 4,703 and 4,349, respectively, followed by June with 4,164 and October with 4,062.

Recovered stolen motorcycle data of those motorcycles stolen in 2018 was reviewed through June 13, 2019. The recovery data closely matches the theft data in that the top five motorcycle makes reported stolen were the same as the top five recovered, although not in the same order. The recovered top five makes in that period were American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (3,824), Yamaha Motor Corporation (2,900), Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. (2,313), American Suzuki Motor Corporation (2,118), and Harley-Davidson (1,799).


  • Purchase your motorcycle from reputable manufacturers or dealers. When purchasing from a private party, avoid custom or “assembled vehicle.”
  • Take the motorcycle to a local dealership for inspection before purchasing.
  • When purchasing a motorcycle from a private party, consider investing in a vehicle history report. Also, go to your local law enforcement station to make the transaction.  Many law enforcement agencies have "safe areas" to complete purchases between private parties.
  • When selling your bike, don’t turn over the title until the funds (check or money order) have cleared the bank.
  • Use common sense; park in well-lit areas, lock your ignition, and remove your keys.
  • Remove the key and lock your motorcycle even if stored in a garage. You may want to invest in additional aftermarket lock(s) and even a theft-deterrent system with tracking capabilities (e.g. GPS) for your motorcycle. 
  • Don’t store your title in your motorcycle’s storage compartment.
  • Place unique markings on your motorcycle and take photos of them. If your bike is stolen, you can use these markings to identify your property.

Media Contact

If you have a question, want further information on the NICB, or to discuss insurance fraud or vehicle crime, please contact:

Joe Brenckle
Director, Public Affairs

Nicholas Zeitlinger
Public Affairs Specialist

If you are a reporter and have a request or question, please complete the Media Request Form.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property-casualty insurers, self-insureds, rental car, vehicle finance, and auto auctions. To learn more, visit