Your guide to avoiding motorbike jacking

Last year, it was reported that bike theft in the capital had risen by a colossal 44%. And, if you often attend motorbiking circles, you’ll know that the subject of ‘bike jacking’ is more regularly being raised.

This isn’t the kind of blog post we’ve ever wanted to write, but the fact remains that if you ride a nice bike, you unfortunately run the risk of encountering one of the increasing number of criminals who will attempt to forcibly take it from you.

Consider this your guide to looking out for and avoiding incidents of bike jacking.

Carry valuables separately

Start as you mean to go on; don’t ride with all of your valuables attached to your bike - it’ll just make it easier (and more tempting) for someone to try and take them off you.

Instead, put your house keys and smartphone on your person (i.e. deep within your jeans pockets). That way, if the worst happens, you won’t be left without the stuff you need to get home!

Avoid retaliation

Although it will probably be almost too hard to resist, it’s best not to retaliate physically, because the situation may quickly escalate (you never know what the bike jacker might be carrying, weapon-wise).

And that doesn’t mean simply standing there and watching your pride and joy get stolen, either. Instead, alert onlookers, and if you can find something that is legal, carry with you some form of pepper spray.

Common forms of bike jacking

There are two methods bike jackers commonly use to try and steal motorcycles.

1. The distraction

This is when a disturbance or obstacle is put in your path, forcing you to come to a halt and immediately putting you at a disadvantage.

It might be something entirely innocent, such as what looks like a fallen branch, or discarded pushbike, but this tactic relies on the rider doing the right thing and removing the obstruction - and leaving their bike unattended.

What happens next is obvious - unless you remember to take the keys out and leave the steering lock on.

2. The block

A somewhat more forceful move than the distraction, the block is when another cyclist (or driver of a car) pulls in front of you, forcing you to stop.

Immediately after, they may attempt to hit your kill switch before pushing you off the bike (a common distraction technique).

It’s therefore important to have lever guards in place and, if your budget can stretch, a helmet cam attached. The latter in particular might dissuade some people once they spot you’re potentially recording their actions.

Wrapping up

Don’t get us wrong - you’re unlikely to go out for a ride now and immediately find yourself caught up in a bike jacking; although this for of crime is on the rise, it’s still relatively rare.

Doesn’t hurt to be prepared though, eh?

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