Overland Park Johnson County authorities say there’s been a rash of recent thefts of sports motorcycles.
The bikes are aerodynamic machines known for their hunched-over seating position. Stunt riders like them because they’re light and easy to perform tricks. They can reach speeds up to 165 mph, and cost from $8,000 to more than $12,000.
In the last five months, Overland Park police say thieves took 29 sports motorcycles, compared with 19 thefts in all of 2009. In Lenexa, police report a dozen sports bikes stolen since April 15. And a section of Kansas City has reported seven of the bikes stolen in the last three weeks.
Nationwide, only about 30 percent of the sleek machines known as “crotch rockets” are ever recovered.
Bikes could end up anywhere in the world, shipped whole or in parts. In London, stolen sports bike engines sometimes power small custom-built cars.