Honda, Yamaha, and Harley-Davidson top the list of most stolen motorcycles

CHICAGO, August 5, 2002 – Last year, nearly 10 motorcycle thefts a day were reported to CCC Information Services Inc., and the 2001 Yamaha YZFR6 proved the favorite target. Twenty-four of the top 25 motorcycles stolen last year were made by Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki and Kawasaki, and the only other model to crack the top 25 was the 1999 Harley-Davidson FLSTF, ranking No. 22.

A leading supplier of technology solutions to the automotive claims and collision repair industries, CCC identified the most-stolen motorcycles of 2001 by analyzing over 14,000 totaled motorcycles submitted to it for valuation by property and casualty insurers throughout North America. In 2001, CCC's Commercial and Recreational Vehicles (CRV) valuation service valued more than 44,000 specialty commercial and recreational vehicles, including heavy duty trucks, tractors, personal watercraft, snowmobiles and motorcycles. CCC bases its report on motorcycles stolen and never recovered or totaled in connection with the theft. It doesn’t include temporary thefts such as “joy-rides.”

“Our company processes nearly a million claims-related transactions each day, which gives us a wealth of theft and collision data to provide a glimpse of the motorcycle market and theft awareness to consumers,” said Mary Jo Prigge, CCC’s president of sales and service. “We are experts in providing specialty vehicle valuations, which often require extensive market searches to provide a fair market value.”

The 2001 report also found that:

Honda was the most stolen motorcycle make, regardless of model or year, comprising 23% of all theft. Following Honda were Yamahas with 20% and Harley-Davidsons with 18% of all theft.
Over 61% of all stolen motorcycles were two years old or less. The oldest motorcycle stolen was a 1954 Harley-Davidson FLH.
Theft accounted for about 22% of all totaled motorcycles.
“Similar to the motivation behind car theft, motorcycles may be stolen for the value of their parts,” said Prigge. “In the case of motorcycles, the value of the part may reflect the degree that it is interchangeable among the same makes. Or, it may also reflect the fact that certain parts may possibly be used in other vehicles, such as with go-carts or small race cars.” Widely available models may most often be stolen for their interchangeable parts, while models that are not as readily available internationally – such as those manufactured by Harley-Davidson – may be stolen for their export value overseas.

“We can’t determine the reasons for theft with absolute certainty, but we do know that our 2001 motorcycle theft report closely follow consumer preference for bikes,” Prigge commented.

Data from R.L. Polk & Co. (www.polk.com), an automotive and truck information provider that tracks motorcycle registration counts, suggests that the most stolen motorcycles are also the most driven motorcycles. CCC’s data showed that over 94 percent of all theft is represented by five motorcycle manufacturers – Honda, Yamaha, Harley-Davidson, Suzuki and Kawasaki. R.L. Polk & Co.’s National Vehicle Population Profile® (NVPP®) data as of July 1, 2001 confirms the consumer popularity with these makes, as the same five manufacturers represent over 90 percent of all motorcycle registrations. Also, BMW motorcycles accounted for less than one percent of theft; similarly, R.L. Polk’s data shows that BMW motorcycles account for less than two percent of registered bikes on the road. “The bikes that are most popular with consumers tend to be very popular with thieves,” Prigge added.

Although the 1999 Harley-Davidson FLSTF cracked the top 25 list of most stolen motorcycles at no. 22, it was older model Harleys that proved to be popular with thieves last year. In fact, 81 percent of stolen motorcycles that were 25 years and older were made by Harley-Davidson.