DES PLAINES, Ill. – Motorcycle thieves still prefer Hondas over other brands, but the most-stolen bike of 2013 in the United States was a 2007 Suzuki, according to the latest figures from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
A total of 45,367 motorcycles were reported stolen last year in the United States. Researchers said Hondas were the most stolen bikes (8,557) in 2013. Taotao Group had the highest percentage increase (84.9 percent) in 2013 vs. 2012 reported thefts. The 2007 Suzukis had the highest count (1,012) of thefts in 2013.
From 2012 to 2013, motorcycle thefts nationwide decreased 1.5 percent even though motorcycle sales increased slightly. According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, there was a 1.5 percent increase in motorcycle sales between 2012 (452,386) and 2013 (459,298), a difference of 6,912 units.
California led the nation in motorcycle thefts with 6,637, followed by Florida (3,775), Texas (3,407), North Carolina (2,490) and Indiana (2,199). California also led in recoveries, with 2,399.
Montana had the largest increase (37 percent) in motorcycle thefts from 2012 to 2013, while Nebraska had the largest drop (29.2 percent). Analysis by city found New York, N.Y., to have the highest count of thefts (1,001) in 2013, a 10.9 percent increase from 2012. Las Vegas, Nev., was second with 899 thefts, followed by San Diego, Calif. (700), Indianapolis, Ind. (576), Los Angeles, Calif. (545), Houston, Texas (520), Miami, Fla. ( 452), San Antonio, Texas (416), San Francisco, Calif. (386), Seattle, Wash. (320), Orlando, Fla. (312), Columbia, S.C. (312), Chicago, Ill. (310), Phoenix, Ariz. (302) and Philadelphia, Pa. (296).
There were 2,060 U.S. counties identified in 2013 with a reported motorcycle theft. The top 25 counties accounted for 28.9 percent of motorcycle thefts in 2013, with Los Angeles, Calif., ranking first. The highest county rate of motorcycle theft in 2013 was Fairfax, Va.
Among states in the top 10 for 2103 motorcycle thefts, five saw an increase in motorcycle theft and five saw a decrease. California had the largest increase (555) in motorcycle thefts and Florida had the largest decrease (375).
A total of 552 motorcycle makes were identified within the 45,367 thefts. The top 15 makes accounted for 35,626 of the total incidents, or about 78.5 percent. Honda accounted for the most thefts in 2013 with 8,557. Yamaha (7,038), Suzuki (6,378), Harley-Davidson (3,907), TaoTao (1,829), Astronautical Bishan (481), KTM (466), Kymco (415) and Ducati (349) rounding out the top 10.
Of the top 15 makes, seven had a decline in the reported number of thefts in 2013 compared to 2012. Kymco listed the highest decrease (a drop of 16.9 percent). The remaining eight of the top 15 makes had increases in the number of thefts. Taotao logged the highest increase in thefts (84.9 percent).
Honda was the manufacturer with the most recoveries (3,186), and Triumph had the highest rate of recovery (57.4 percent).
Riding season is also stealing season. July is the highest month for motorcycle thefts, followed by August and September.