In L.A., thieves have a
particular affinity for Suzukis, such as this 2007 Suzuki GSR400. Source: Wikimedia Commons 5 Cities to Visit if You Want to Get Your Motorcycle Stolen
Miami, Florida No. 5 on
the NICB’s list of the most dangerous places to leave a motorcycle unattended, Miami reported 535 motorcycle thefts in 2012. Put another way, for every 774 inhabitants of the Magic City – one bike went “poof!” Source: Wikimedia Commons
Indianapolis, Indiana Arriving in fourth
place in this race, the Circle City “boasted” 584 bike thefts in 2012. On the one hand, that’s certainly more than Miami. On the other hand, it works out to only one theft per 1,445 inhabitants. From that perspective, Indy looks twice as safe as Miami. Source: Wikimedia Commons
San Diego, California Thieves from
the City in Motion moved a lot of hot metal in 2012 – 633 stolen bikes in all. But given its greater population, that worked out to an even safer proportion of residents to bike thieves: 2,113. Source: Wikimedia Commons
Las Vegas, Nevada The runner-up
in this contest, No. 2 “stealin’ city” Las Vegas experienced 757 motorcycle thefts in 2012. But while many people visit Las Vegas, not so many live there. Per person, that’s one theft per 788 inhabitants. Sin City indeed. Source: Wikimedia Commons
New York, New York The
city so nice they named it twice only needed one chance to win this contest. With 8.3 million inhabitants playing, it could hardly lose. But perversely, with so many residents, and only 903 reported bike thefts, NYC turns out to be both No. 1 in thefts, and close to No. 1 in the certainty your bike will never be stolen: Just one theft reported, per 9,232 residents. Source: Wikimedia Commons
And so you see, in
motorcycling as elsewhere in life, there’s lies, dam*ed lies, and statistics. New York City, it turns out, is both “No. 1” in the absolute number of motorcycle thefts reported in 2012 -- and simultaneously one of the safest places in the country to leave your bike out in the open, unlocked, and unattended. Similarly, the fact that NICB places Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki ahead of Harley-Davidson in likelihood-to-be-stolen ... may speak less to the Japanese brands’ popularity, and to Harley’s “unpopularity,” than you might think.
Maybe ... The reason so
few Harleys are stolen is because there’s no demand for the chop-shops’ output. Maybe Harley owners are such fine, upstanding citizens, that they’d never think of buying possibly stolen motorcycle parts?
One thing’s for sure. With
Harley-Davidson bikes accounting for more than half the motorcycles sold in America every year, this company’s bikes are much more popular – among law-abiding citizens, at least – than NICB’s crime statistics suggest.
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