Over the past few years, motorcycles have grown in popularity for several reasons, including increased gas prices. But that has also attracted the attention of car and motorcycle thieves.
Many motorcycles now cost $20,000 or more, so thieves sometimes resell stolen motorcycles or strip them into their parts for sale on the black market. Another advantage thieves have for stealing motorcycles is that motorcycle parts (e.g. frames) could be more easily changed and reused than regular car parts, so motorcycles have a lower recovery rate than stolen cars (25-30 % vs. 60-65%). Also, in foreign countries, higher-end motorcycles are desired luxury items, so that increases the demand for them on the international black market.
Our personal injury attorneys know that besides motorcycle theft, motorcycle fraud is also a major problem in the United States today. One of the most common scams is to reconstruct a motorcycle from various motorcycles, then selling the motorcycle as a new product, but in reality, it could contain numerous design defects. Other than ripping the consumer off, the motorcyclist could get in a serious car accident. This is called “cloning motorcycles” for tricking unsuspecting consumers.
Also, as in car fraud, VIN’s can be easily obtained for motorcycles also, and therefore cloned cycles will seem entirely legitimate.
Stricter state legislation should be made to decrease motorcycle fraud (essentially, motorcycles pieced together from junkyard wrecks that commonly come from bikes with property damage) and therefore decrease the frequency of car accidents or motorcycle accidents. Below, we provide some tips from the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) that hopefully will help prevent motorcycle fraud:
- Lock your motorcycle at all times and locations, even in your personal garage. Also, if necessary, purchase additional motorcycle security systems. Security systems that exist for cars are being developed for motorcycles also.
- Stay away from motorcycles stated as “assembled vehicle.” It is best to ask the motorcycle insurance company to inspect the motorcycle before you buy it.
- Verify that a used motorcycle is registered as a specific brand name.
- Try to trace the motorcycle’s history.
- Beware of “all custom” motorcycles. They could be the assembled-from-many-motorcycles type as mentioned above.
- Obtain an expert appraisal on the motorcycle before finalizing the purchase.
The personal injury attorneys at our firm value your safety above all else, and sincerely wish that these tips may help prevent future motorcycle accidents or car accidents, because cloned motorcycles are just recipes for disaster.
If you were injured and believe that you deserve compensation, then call our bilingual law offices right away at 1-858-551-2090 or click here for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney and find out how we can help you. We look forward to providing good advice for your case. There is no fee if no recovery.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines