Protecting Your ATV From Theft

7 Tips To Protect Your ATV From Theft

We ATV owners are a passionate bunch, and despite a quizzical look from my girlfriend,  I treat my ATV like part of the family.  Maybe I have my priorities all wrong, but having it stolen would seriously piss me off.

With an established marketplace for lifted off-road vehicles, theft is a real concern for ATV owners, and the unfortunately reality is there are bastards out there that take great pride in the ability to not only steal, but profit off the theft of your ATV.

So If you ever have to leave your dream ATV by itself, consider the 7 following tips or steps you can take to prevent it from being missing when you get back home or to camp:

Thieves Are A Skittish, Lazy Bunch

The big secret in protecting your quad or ATV from theft is to be more determined and diligent than a thief is willing to be in taking it. Most potential thieves are looking for a quick score, and their general laziness can be counteracted.

  1. Pad-Lock The Locking Shaft: This won’t work on all ATVs, but it can if it has drilled brake rotors. Slip your locking shaft into one of the rotor holes and then padlock it. It’s impossible for the machine to get rolled away, which is the simplest and most common way ATVs are stolen.
  2. Remove Two Valve Stems: If you pull the valve stems from two of the tires, they’re going to go flat. That also makes it almost impossible for a thief just roll it away. Odds are pretty good that they’re not going to have spare valve stems with them, nor would they have the tools necessary to install them. You might note that you are giving yourself two flat tires, and re-inflating them can be a pain in the neck, but there are tools and equipment for that, and they’re more fun to use than going home without your ATV and explaining that to your family.
  3. Chain The Machine: Depending on where your ATV is parked, you might be able to chain it to a camper or tree. Just make sure you use a robust chain. The lock should be something that either can’t be drilled out, or at least one that would take hours to finally bust open. Also make sure you can fit the cable or chain through the actual vehicle frame. Just putting it through one of the wheels won’t cut it.
  4. Remove A Fuse: Most machines on the modern market use an electric starter. Just pull the fuse to the starter, the fuel pump, or the key switch. That can slow down most thieves enough to make them throw in the towel and go away. Just remember to also get any spare fuses that might be present. Also, if you’re technically competent enough, you might throw even more confusion their way by actually unplugging your fuel pump.
  5. Add An Audible Alarm: Much like car alarms that whoop and holler loudly in the middle of the night, you can add an alarm system to your ATV that will hopefully convince a thief to drop what he’s doing and run.
  6. GPS Tracking: This won’t prevent a theft in many cases, but GPS technology can help you recover your stolen vehicle.
  7. ATV Insurance: Even by being super-proactive, ATV theft can still happen no matter how much the odds are minimized.  With that in mind, it’s probably worth protecting yourself financially with ATV insurance that pays you cash in the event of theft, so that you can either replace the ATV or at least be financially compensated for its market value.


Well there you have it.  Hopefully you take this to heart  to prevent any would-be prowler from stealing your off road baby.

Thanks for reading and happy trails…Fred

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About the Author

Fred Willlett

Fred is an off road junky from Memphis who, from the best of his recollection, was born on back of an ATV riding the trail north of Hotsprings, Arkansas. In addition for writing for a couple other ATV blogs including this one, Fred spends whatever money & time visiting Offroad hotspots throughout North America.

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