PEOPLE have been marking their territory for millions of years. Fortunately, things have moved on a bit since the days of dried dung piles, and the latest marking techniques are much more advanced.
Security systems such as Datatag, Alphadot and Smartwater have cut thefts and reduced the cost of insurance. And now there’s a new name entering the fray – that of Mighty Dot.
It uses a spray to apply between 2000 and 5000 1mm diameter dots to any part of a bike. Each contains a unique code that glows under ultraviolet light. All a bike’s major components can be sprayed, and the dots can be read using a pocket-sized microscope, revealing the bike’s identity.
" Competitively-priced " kits should be available from September, but the makers are also in talks with several manufacturers about spraying bikes on the production line. Mighty Dot’s Phil Kibler said: " Applying security marking at high speed has been the Holy Grail of our industry. We now have a system that can apply 5000 dots in five minutes. The sheer number being applied makes it impossible to clean them off a bike to disguise its true identity. "
With theft in the UK running at an estimated 26,000 bikes a year worth around £80 million, riders and the manufacturers are under pressure to make their bikes less attractive to criminals.
" Thieves steer away from marked bikes, " said Ken German, a stolen vehicle expert with the Metropolitan Police. " Security marking on production lines would have a massive effect on theft. Only 14 per cent of stolen bikes are presently recovered and identified. All too often bikes we can’t identify have to be handed back to thieves. "
Mighty Dot is set to be sprayed on 150,000 cars in Australia this year, and the makers are now seeking approval by security experts at Thatcham