Join LBLogin
london's home of biking

MotorCycle Industry Pulls Together To Fight Bike Theft

By: | Published 25 July 2012, 12:39 | Views: 7,821 | tags: mcia, motorcycle industry, anti-theft, bike thefts, thieves, stealing, motorcycles, bikes, datatag, security, ultra violet, uv, standard, new, factory, manufactures, 2013, master, security scheme
Recognising the effect that motorcycle crime is having on the motorcycle community, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI), has launched an official security marking scheme called The MASTER* Security Scheme to be utilised by its motorcycle members.
Figures from the MCI show an estimated 43% of all insurance total loss payouts are due to theft and added to this the figures from the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group suggest that 40% of victims of motorcycle theft leave the motorcycle community.

The MASTER Security Scheme, a motorcycle and scooter security marking and secure registration programme, has been developed in conjunction with the police authorities and Datatag, the country’s foremost supplier of security marking technology, who will supply not only the component marking elements of the scheme but also the registration infrastructure and call centre operation. The scheme has the backing of the major manufacturers and the Metropolitan Police in the battle to reduce crime and keep Britain's bikers riding.

Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCI said

'Theft is and has been a great concern for the industry and we need to do all we can to help combat it.  Security marking of bikes has been proven to be effective in both reducing theft and aiding recovery, and we are confident that by launching this scheme we not only promote standardisation across the industry but also start a long term reduction in motorcycle crime as the parc of motorcycles marked by the MASTER Security Scheme grows over the coming years.' He went on to say 'As modern machines become more valuable their appeal to criminals increases - we all therefore, need to do more to ensure we don't fall victim as an industry or individual’.

Kevin Howells, Datatag Managing Director said

'It is a great honour to have been chosen as the industry's preferred supplier and clearly shows that our package of unique layered security and secure call centre and database is recognised as the most effective in the industry. We look forward to seeing crime reduced as a result of this innovative all-industry initiative which will keep more bikers on the roads.'

Some 26,000 machines were stolen in the UK in 2009, and due to the methods employed by professional criminals only a small percentage are ever recovered. London, hit hardest by motorcycle crime, sees more than 35 machines taken each day from its streets, with often more stolen than are sold new on a daily basis.

D. C. Ian Elliott, from the Metropolitan Police Stolen Vehicle Division said 'We've long known that security marking is one of the most effective theft deterrents. This move by the motorcycle industry to put in place a standard national security scheme will help reduce crime enormously, particularly here in the capital, as thieves will simply avoid these marked machines.'

The scheme will only be available to participating manufacturer members of the MCI so that they can offer new motorcycles and scooters , marked, tagged, registered and recorded by the MASTER Security Scheme providing peace of mind for customers.

Early adopting members of the scheme are Honda, Triumph, Suzuki, Kawasaki, BMW and Yamaha all of whom will introduce the MASTER Security Scheme progressively to their ranges over the coming months.

Adrian Roderick, General Manager of BMW Motorrad said

'BMW are pleased to offer this added benefit to our customers. The MASTER Security Scheme will not only help reduce theft but send a clear message to all bikers that they should consider whether they have provided enough protection for their machines.'

The MASTER Security Scheme is launched on Tuesday 24th July at New Scotland Yard with the Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Craig Mackey and Lord Henley, the Crime Prevention Minister, and will be available on new machines from participating manufacturers imminently. 

*MASTER - Motorcycle and Scooter Tagged Equipment Register


Supporting Information: Theft

  • Nearly 26,000 powered two wheelers were stolen in 2009.
  • Motorcycles are nearly 4 times more likely to be stolen than cars. 
  • Recovery rates for Supersport bikes in 2008 were only just over 18% (against the average of over 41% for all bikes, or nearly 80% for cars) reflecting the trend towards breaking these types of machines for parts and rebuilds rather than selling them whole.

Supporting Information: MASTER Security Scheme

  • The MASTER Security Scheme system has Home Office and ACPO accreditation under the Secured by Design scheme and complies with several other quality accreditations including ISO and LPS (Loss Protection Standards) for their secure database.
  • MCI manufacturer members are able to choose to participate in this scheme. The MASTER scheme is not mandatory but the extent of the scheme, even at the outset, is believed to exceed any other equivalent programme.
  • MCI will be the primary contract holder, MCI members will deal directly with Datatag for the supply of the MASTER Security Scheme components.
  • There are no annual fees when fitting the MASTER Security Scheme.
  • When a MASTER Security Scheme marked motorcycle is ultimately sold on the Scheme registration can be transferred to the new owner. (A small admin fee applies to transfer requests).
  • Information is stored on Datatag's secure database - accessible 24/7 and which is both Home Office and ACPO Police Secure accredited.

Supporting Information: Datatag

  • Datatag technologies have been approved by Thatcham under their strict new TQA Scheme.
  • Datatag offer aftermarket security marking kits for all machines with specific scooter and motorcycle kits available to all second hand machine buyers .
  • Many insurers give discounts of between 5%-20% off an annual premium.

Supporting Information: MCI

  • The MCI represents around 90% of the supply side of the motorcycle industry.
  • The Motorcycle industry is worth £7.2 billion a year and employs 62,000 people.
  • The MCI has been representing the motorcycling industry for over 100 years.


click to zoom
screenhunter 01 jul  25 12 38


Leave Your Comment!

» Register now to leave comments! It only takes a few seconds...
Mutley10 | 27 July 2012, 10:24
This works on an industry level - but how does it deter theft? My bike is datatagged (and has Carole Nash DNA), but opportunists still had a go, breaking the steering lock and costing me £500 in replacement locks.

It is massively important that the bike manufacturers focus on actual in-situ theft prevention measures - like standard fitting of motion-sensitive GPS alert devices, which these days are under £100 each. Like steering locks that don't break. Like immobilisers that actually work, and can't be by-passed. Like iPhone apps that alert you to a possible theft, and allow you to push one 'confirm' button to have the police on the scene asap.

Otherwise, the whole thing looks like a bit of a non-event, cynically garnering 'anti-theft' praise from gullible consumers. Organised gangs will simply adjust their strategy back to selling the whole bike overseas. The bikes will still be nicked.

If bikes can't be nicked, the organised criminal divisions drawing revenue from this field will simply wither on the vine.

I have an underlying belief that the manufacturers see a bike stolen as a bike sold - i.e. that a theft victim will simply divert the insurance payoff into a new model. The commercial director of these firms plays this trump card in board meetings, and gags the team in charge of security. It means more revenue.

If my bike does get stolen, there is no chance I'm replacing it with new - and I've told the manufacturer this, but they don't care.

So - here's another way to gee up the horse: if your bike is stolen, use the insurance to buy a half-decent older bike with the specs you fancy, and send a picture to the manufacturer of the stolen bike, with a clear statement why you didn't buy new.

Because having a bike stolen is the biggest pain in the neck.

rixxy | 03 August 2012, 06:21
once all bike have this it means that when you buy a fairing for exhaust or any spare parts they will have some sort of marking, and you will be able to enter the codes from the marking onto the Datatag system to check its history.

It will be your legal responsibility to do so to ensure you are not handling stolen goods, this means that stealing bikes to break them down into parts will no longer be viable.

Mutley10 | 08 August 2012, 15:21
Does this law exist now? The law to register items that you purchase? Please cite.

In a free trade vs anti-motorbike theft fight, I'm putting my money behind free trade.

I can only see these markings being used seriously by the police, looking for them on stolen bikes,

rixxy | 11 August 2012, 16:54
Well apparently if you don't check they are stolen and they turn out to be stolen you can be arrested for handling stolen goods.

B11rger | 16 August 2012, 20:12
Insurance companies need to accept some responsibility for the problem of bikes being stolen for spare parts because they are paid too much money for damage repairable, Cat "D" and Cat"C" machines from salvage companies. By the time the salvage companies add their profit on to each unit, before selling them on, so when some one buying said unit then finds that new replacement parts are so expensive, that they would have been cheaper buying an undamaged machine, they resort to buying "suspect" parts from e-bay and the likes. I would suggest that salvage companies should not be allowed to sell off complete machines as damage repairable but as parts only, and because these salvage companies have to be registered then they have a responsibility to keep their sales above board, in theory ant way.. :-)

oldguy | 23 September 2012, 21:55
My experience having had a Datatag marked machine stolen 5 years ago is that either Datatag is hopeless or the Met Police need a "bit" of training.

I had to explain what Datatag was to the Station Sergeant and, no, it's not a Dartag. He wasn't even sure whether his patch (SE18) had the necessary equipment to scan bikes.

While any better security for motorcycles is an advance, this is a very small step far too late.

christiniawd | 21 November 2012, 17:38
This is a good step in the right direction. There is a good deal of motorcycle theft in the United States as well. Do these companies have plans to expand to the United States?

Mutley10G | 18 December 2012, 14:51
It's still a load of rubbish that doesn't address the issue. It's essentially PR fluff.
Our weekly bike-meet at Borough Market Stolen Vehicle Database - help fight bike crime! Like Out Race Photography? Buy Prints Online Then!