Help El Gringo find his ride

A reader request:

I know you have posted about peoples’ lost pets, wallets and even umbrellas. I’m hoping you might be able to post about my stolen motorcycle. My beloved ride is a 2-tone black and silver 2000 Honda Shadow ACE 750. My Poor-Man’s-Harley was taken from in front of my house near 14th and Newton some time last night…the same night I brought it home from a thorough tune-up at Modern Classics. I was hoping you might post this email along with the picture to see if someone spots it being ridden, hidden or ditched. Worst of all? My job has recently moved me out to Virgina so I need it now more than ever! ( 2 trains + a bus into Arlington is going to SUCK)

Here’s a FAQ for PoPville:

– I’m pretty sure that it is a “near one of a kind” bike in this area – 2-tone black and silver Honda crusier-style bikes are NOT common around here. That’s why I’m thinking PoPville might actually be able to help me. This isn’t a silver Honda Accord we’re talking about.

– It was parked legally. Just in case I’m an idiot, I checked DCDMV and DPW to see if it has been ticketed or towed. No luck there.

– I have already filed a police report at the 3D substation, called my insurance company, and asked some of my old-school neighbors to keep an eye out. Police have given me a report number. Insurance won’t even start the claim process until 3 weeks have elapsed. Old school neighbors have promised to look around.

– I have lived in CH since 2004, and been parking the bike on the street in this neighborhood since I first bought it. No one has ever tried to steal it before.

– I did not leave the keys in it.

– I am a year-round rider and it is my primary means of transport so it doesn’t sit on the street for long periods. It was my plan to aggressively maintain and ride the bike until it’s last breath in another 10-15 years, so simple replacement with insurance money is sub-optimal.

– I would *greatly* appreciate any help in recovering the bike. (Money, food, beer, and public adulation are all on the table)

El Gringo

Anyone have a tip?

24 Comment

  • Just a thought…I know someone who had his motorcycle stolen from his house a few days after he brought it back froma repair shop. Turns out, when it was at the shop someone copied his key and passed it off to a third party after the bike was finished at the shop. A few days later the third party shows up with the copied key and makes off with the bike..

    • Frightful thought. Good thing the guys at Modern Classics are sound.

    • I’m glad somebody else got here first. The year after I got my license, my parents got me a new car stereo for Christmast. On January 5th, it was stolen along with four other stereos purchased for Christmas and installed at Circuit City. Somehow the police (Not DC, another jurisdiction) failed to see the connection even though only one car was actually broken into and the rest were opened with keys.

  • Sometimes it takes more than a day for DCDMV and DPW to update their records as to whether a vehicle has been towed… so I would continue checking their websites and offices. (Has happened to me before.) Hope this works out for you!

    • that was my thought.

      other than that… keep checking craigslist (guess you gotta look for a replacement anyway) and if your bike shows up, make an offer with a fake email and call the po.

      god what a terrible week.

    • Lord: Thank you so much for posting!

      PoPville: Thanks for the suggestions!

      An update:
      – Been checking DCDMV daily
      – Just setup a Craigslist alert on my Droid to check Honda listings from Baltimore to Norfolk
      – Still really hoping it gets ditched somewhere; there was only about 40 miles worth of gas left in it, and the gas tank has a key lock.

  • It would not be unheard of for an employee of the shop where you had it tuned up, (who would know your address) might be responsible.

  • For scooters, there is a listserv:
    Could there be anything like that for motorcycles?

    You could also set up a simple website with the details, or even just on craigslist. If it was stolen and being resold, the purchaser might look up whether its been an accident or anything and stumble upon it? No idea if that will work.

    By the way – what is the plate? A guy in my building had his car stolen out of the garage, and it was found 3 days later, with the plates still on it so it was easy to identify.

  • I take offense that it’s a poor man’s harley! Honda’s are great bikes (my SO rides a Honda 1300cc) and some people just aren’t interested in the whole Harley subculture.

    Good luck finding your bike 🙂

    • haha I totally get where you’re coming from. I adopted that phrase for non-motorcycle people a few years back. Over the years, I too have come to prefer non-Harleys

  • What JM said, check Craigslist. You can use an RSS feed reader to get updates on multiple searches to make it easier to search CL in DC, Baltimore, Richmond, etc.

  • Also, check craigslist. Seriously. If you see someone trying to sell your bike, contact MPD and they will do a buy and get it back for you. You might be surprised at how often stolen stuff is resold quickly right on craigslist and right here in town.

  • I had my aging BMW bike stolen from my back yard in CH a few years ago. Luckily the thief gave up drilling into my ignition a few minutes before it would have cracked and just ditched it in an alley. I’d suggest hoping on a bicycle and cruising the alleys to see if they have it ditched somewhere close by. My neighbors were convinced it was the misguided CH kids who stole it. Mine was located in the alley way off of Harvard between Sherman and Georgia. I’ll let my CH friends know to keep an eye out. Good luck.

  • Motorcycle thieves should be treated like horse thieves of the West a century and a half ago. I have a bike in the same area of the same weight which is upsetting. I really want to say it was towed by the City and they haven’t updated their registry… but I just would assume they would ticket the bike- it is too difficult to find a tower that can handle bikes.

    I will keep an eye on craigslist and the area for you. LoP- you can give him my email. Otherwise I will check this post occasionally.

    Also, don’t compare Honda to the Hardlys- there is a reason the Asian bikes almost buried all the American and British varieties. Those engines won’t quit.

    • Totally. Japanese cruisers are light years ahead of Hardlys. Most Japanese cruisers use liquid cooling, amongst other technologies. Hardlys are technologically obsolete, break down a lot, and cost more.

  • Do you have the tag number? I’m all over the city everyday, so I can keep an eye out.

    • I’m reluctant to post the tag number here. I can promise you that if you see a two-tone black and silver Honda (with that old school 2-tone front fender), it’s probably mine.

      I’ve only ever seen similar (Honda) bikes in 2-tone as red/black. There is a V-Star over in Ad-Mo on Columbia Rd that is 2-tone pearl/black, but that’s the closest I’ve ever seen.

  • DPW/DDOT doesn’t tow motorcycles as a rule unless they are impounded or theft recovery bikes.

  • That truly sucks. I hope you get your bike back. What do people normally do to secure a motorcycle? I see scooters chained to all kinds of things but rarely are bikes chained. I have seen bikes with a chain run through the front and back wheels.
    And would the bike have to have been driven off? Could someone load it on a flat bed or in the back of a van?

  • As a fellow rider I feel your pain. Should you get it back or should you purchase a replacement, you should seriously look into additional security measures to deter the casual thieves. As annoying as they are to deal with as a rider, a disc lock will keep the casual joyrider from bothering with your bike and move on to an easier target. And keeping it covered would likely help as well and if where you park it has a good place to attach one, a chain might not be a bad idea.

    And seeing has how the bike was a cruiser, it is more likely it was taken by joyriders than any serious thieves. Cruisers are notoriously hard to resell because they are often customized and thus easily distinguishable.

    Best of luck to you in locating your bike.

  • Some fuckers tried to steal my scooter a few nights ago. Didn’t succeed at it; just punched the ignition and broke the front plate, trying to hotwire it. People are the worst.

  • What a beautiful bike…. I really hope it comes back to you. Good luck on the search. I also live at 14th and Newton and will keep a close eye.

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