The MASTER Security Scheme - everything you need to know

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Published on 23 September 2016 by Robert Drane


Filed under Category: Tips and advice

MASTER is the first and only national motorcycle security scheme which adds tags to motorcycles to help trace them back to their owners if they are stolen. It is run by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) and is delivered by security technology company Datatag.

MASTER (the Motorcycle and Scooter Tagged Equipment Register) was launched by the MCIA in 2012. It is supported by the police and a range of manufacturers, with many brand new bikes now sold pre-tagged.

Research has shown that motorcycles are four times more likely to be stolen than cars, with nearly half of insurance payouts being due to theft. Motorcycles protected by the MASTER scheme are four times less likely to be stolen than those that aren't. In fact, there was a 58% reduction in reports of attempted thefts for those insuring new bikes between April and June 2016*.

For more security advice, click here to learn 7 tips to stop your bike getting stolen.


How MASTER security works

The scheme is delivered by Datatag, who specialise in developing advanced security technologies to counter thieves. They have created a variety of different techniques and devices to apply to your motorcycle, all of which are small and difficult for thieves to remove.

A small tag is added to the motorcycle where a transponder (as small as a grain of rice) is included. This has a unique number that cannot be changed or deleted, allowing authorities to identify the bike against a national database.

A Datatag MASTER motorcycle transponder chip

This is not all that MASTER technology can do, though.

Visible, tamper-proof warning labels create a visible deterrent to thieves while also including the unique identity numbers.

A visible tag on motorcycle for the Datatag MASTER security scheme

There can also be ultra-violet codes added to panels which are invisible in normal light conditions. A thief can only destroy these by cutting them out, reducing the value of the bike.

Demonstrating the invisible ultra-violet MASTER scheme Datatag

Another piece of technology that is used by MASTER is the “Datadot”. Datadots are tiny, identifiable dots which are placed in a variety of places all over the bike. Thieves would have to find each and every one of them all (which is unlikely) to remove the security the Datadots provide.

Watch the interview below to find out more:


Protecting older motorcycles

According to the video above, some thieves are now targeting older bikes. While the thefts of new bikes appear to be reducing, there was a 79% increase of the number of attempted thefts reported among riders looking to insure used bikes between April and June 2016*.

However, your older motorcycle can still be protected by the same technology with a DIY Datatag (or similar) security system.

Even if your bike is on the MASTER register, you shouldn’t be just relying on MASTER alone to keep your bike safe. A healthy dose of common sense and security locks goes a long way – read our 7 tips to help keep your bike safe from crime to learn more.

For more information about MASTER, visit

Security padlock on fence

*according to research from MCIA’s Two Wheel Data Centre.