Motorcycle Thefts Surge By 30 Percent In 2020

Motorcycle Thefts

Thefts Reach Highest Mark in Five Years

DES PLAINES, Ill., August 10, 2021 — With summer fun in full swing and people out enjoying some much-needed outdoor recreation, consumers should know motorcycles have been increasingly targeted for theft according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). In 2020, motorcycles were swiped at a 30 percent higher rate compared to 2019.

“We’ve seen dramatic increases in thefts of all types of motor vehicles throughout 2020, and motorcycle thefts are no exception,” said David Glawe, president and CEO of NICB. “The pandemic has certainly played a significant role with skyrocketing crime during the year. Motorcycles are expensive and more difficult to secure than other vehicles, making them prime targets for thieves. We urge all riders to take steps to protect their property.”

According to NICB’s report, there were nearly 13,000 more thefts in 2020 compared to 2019, and the year recorded the highest theft total in the last five years.

The top 10 manufacturers of motorcycles account for 80 percent of all thefts. Leading the pack was Honda (11,030), followed by Yamaha (8,261), and Kawasaki (6,340). Of all thefts, less than half are recovered. The NICB study indicates there were 22,403 motorcycles recovered, a 42 percent recovery rate.

Of motorcycles nabbed, most occurred in California (9,483), Texas (4,448), and Florida (4,223). As might be expected, the summer months tend to be when thefts occur with most in August (6,214) and July (5,855). February (2,701) had the fewest indicating the weather's influence on this crime.

Motorcycle Thefts State

As hundreds of thousands of bikers gather in Sturgis and countless other motorcycle owners across the country take advantage of the summer months for some much-needed outdoor recreation, NICB is recommending the following advice to reduce the chances of motorcycle theft:

  • Use common sense; park in well-lit areas, lock your ignition and remove your keys.
  • Lock your cycle even when stored in a garage. You may also want to invest in an alarm system.
  • 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 ever stolen, you can use these markings to identify your property.
  • Don’t walk off while leaving it idle as this will make it a prime target for thieves.

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