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Guide to riding safely

The safety of your bike, helmet and protective clothing is your responsibility and thorough checks are essential. Each year, thousands of motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured in the UK and regular vehicle maintenance checks, suitable clothing and good journey preparation can all help to increase safety on our roads.

Bike maintenance checklist

Pay particular attention to:

  • brakes
  • tyre condition and pressure
  • electrics - lights, indicators and horn
  • fuel, oil and coolant levels
  • steering and suspension
  • chains and sprockets

What to wear

The Highway Code states that all riders and pillion passengers must wear:

  • a protective helmet
    Make sure it is securely fastened and complies with safety regulations. Clean or replace dirty or scratched visors and never use tinted visors or goggles at night. For advice on choosing a motorcycle helmet that offers the best protection possible, please visit the SHARP (Safety Helmet Assessment and Rating Programme) website:
  • suitable clothing
    Wear a good CE-marked jacket, trousers, gloves and strong boots - these will help protect you should you fall off your bike. High visibility and reflective clothing is recommended as it will help you be seen in both daylight and darkness.

Plan your journey

You can make your journey safer by planning it in advance.

  • allow plenty of time to reach your destination
  • add extra time in poor weather
  • take regular breaks - at least every two hours
  • ride responsibly - speed limits apply to motorcyclists too
  • re-familiarise yourself with the controls and handling of your bike if you have not ridden for a while
  • learn to ride safely - attend a Take Control course