Motorcycle thefts: Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki most stolen brands

Nothing says "love" quite like theft. And motorcycle thieves just love their Hondas, Yamahas and Suzukis.

They particularly love stealing them in California -- especially Los Angeles. The state and county led the nation in bike thefts for 2012.

The three Japanese marques were the most-stolen brands in the top locations last year, according to a new study from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, which reported that overall thefts of two-wheelers dropped slightly from 2011.

Honda led the league, representing 20% of all motorcycles stolen, with Yamaha (16%), Suzuki (15%), Kawasaki (11%) and Harley Davidson (8%) trailing in the brand name comparisons.

But by model, the most stolen bike of all was a 2007 Suzuki.

It might seem odd that Harley Davidson, which is responsible for more than 50% of the motorcycles sold in America every year, should be represented by such a small percentage of motorcycles stolen.

An NICB spokesman offered an unscientific, unofficial explanation: Harleys are expensive, and owners of high-end motorcycles generally keep them parked in locked garages, where they are harder to steal, said Frank G. Scafidi, the bureau's director of public affairs.

That might explain why other high-end brands like BMW and Ducati don't appear on the most-stolen list.

Sadly, the NICB reports that the recovery rate for stolen motorcycles was only 39% -- well below the average 54% recovery rate for motor vehicles overall.

Because misery loves company, this makes me feel a little better. My beloved Honda CR250R was stolen this spring off a trailer in the little town of Mojave. The police didn't quite laugh at me when I asked to file a stolen vehicle report, but one officer did say, "Nah. You'll never see that bike again."

Was your bike stolen? Did you get it back?


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