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Motorcycle Troubles – Arson, Vandalism and Theft

by Prince Of Petworth July 2, 2013 at 11:00 am 27 Comments

ninja burned

“Dear PoPville,

Two weeks ago around 3am Sunday morning somebody torched my Kawasaki Ninja 500 motorcycle, parked over by the old Italian embassy at 16th and Fuller. It was a 20+ year old beater I’d been repairing, covered with a tarp, so maybe someone was ticked off that they took a risk uncovering it only to find I had the tank, seat, and carb off that week.

Cops came out, CSI took some pics; they were pretty impressed because you don’t see a lot of motorcycle arson in DC, more just theft. The officer admitted there wasn’t really anything to be done about it, but gave me the case number for insurance. I had Comprehensive through Geico with a $500 deductible because most companies don’t want to ensure motorbikes in DC. Go figure.

Even with the deductible I still came out for around what I paid for it, the only problem is I still want to have a motorcycle, but not really inclined to just park it on the street again. In 18 months in DC I’ve had a Honda 250 Nighthawk stolen, the Ninja was knocked over twice while parked on the curb (not sure if vandals or just careless parkers) breaking off a lever here and a mirror there. And just a month before the arson someone stole the $30 cover off my motorcycle (for kicks? for $5 of crack?) so my current one was bike-cabled to the frame.

Anyone have a better idea of how to secure a motorbike in Columbia Heights? Is there any parking garage that rents space out that has a small section for bikes? Any way to find out who’s got spare garage space? Or should I just get the cheapest dual sport (street-legal dirtbike) I can and just chain it to a post or railing on the sidewalk or alley like the Vespas and mopeds do? It’s just frustrating that short of paying sky-high rent to move into a new yuppie fortress with underground parking, having a bike in DC requires a willingness to just shrug off vandalism and theft. Bikeshare still rocks though.”

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