NU Online News Service, April 13, 3:06 p.m. EST
Motorcycle thefts, continuing a downward trend, fell by 13 percent last year and the bikes most targeted were made by Honda, the National Insurance Crime Bureau reported
A total of 56,093 motorcycles were reported stolen to law enforcement in 2009, down from 64,492 reported in 2008.
NICB said that after Honda motorcycles, which were the target of 13,688 reported thefts, the other top five makes stolen were: Yamaha, 11,148; Suzuki, 9,154; Kawasaki, 5,911 and Harley-Davidson, 3,529. Combined they accounted for 43,430 thefts, or 77.4 percent of the total.
The top five states with the most motorcycle theft activity were: California, 6,273; Texas, 5,526; Florida, 5,009; North Carolina, 3,045; and Georgia, 2,067. These five states accounted for 21,920 thefts, or 39 percent of the total, NICB said.
According to the Bureau, thefts of passenger vehicles and light trucks are down as well. NICB said one possible factor contributing to the decline is that there are fewer targets to steal in the first place.
NICB cited a statistic from the Motorcycle Industry Council, that motorcycle sales between 2008 and 2009 were down 40.8 percent. Likewise, the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association reported a 47.4 percent decrease in motorcycle production in 2009 from 2008 figures.
The months seeing the most thefts were: of July (6,319); August (6,079); and June (5,672) while the fewest thefts were recorded during December (2,927); February (3,100); and January (3,570).
NICB said consumers can visit www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/brochures to review its library of theft and fraud awareness information.The complete motorcycle theft report is also available at www.nicb.org.