Riding a Motorcycle Safely

Did you know that from the age of 16 you can opt to ride a moped and from the age of 17 you can ride a motorcycle?

Many teenagers like to gain their independence early and like our apprentice, they decide to apply for a provisional driving license with motorcycle entitlement which gives them the option to ride a light motorcycle up to 11 kW (and a power-to-weight ratio not more than 0.1 kW per kg) and 125 cc bike.  To become road-legal you have to pass the CBT which is a practical and theory test as well as have a bike that has a MOT and insurance.

5 tips to riding safelyOnce the test has been passed you’re free to ride wherever you like and in the excitement sometimes road safety can be compromised.  Our apprentice came off his bike last week, luckily he was OK and escaped with a small injury to his knee however it could have been a lot worse and he still had to take a week off work to recover, was shaken by the incident and has been left with a bike that he can’t ride.  He was riding on a rainy day and despite being careful, lost control.  It’s because of this that we wanted to draw attention to riding safely.

According to an in-depth study, RoSPA have put together the top 5 most common failures when riding which are:

  1. Failure to negotiate left hand bends on country A roads
  2. Failure to negotiate right hand bends on country A roads
  3. Collision at junctions
  4. Collision while overtaking
  5. Loss of control

You can download a copy of RoSPA’s ride safe document here which gives details on how these occurrences happen.

We’ve had a read through and want to highlight a few things.  Firstly, most people complete their training in towns and cities so when it comes to riding on a country road they’ve had little experience in doing so.  Some country roads have smooth, even bends where as others are sharp and tight.  If you don’t know the roads you should ride with caution and slow down and lose more speed than usual so you have time to maneuver if your judgement was incorrect.  You should always keep in mind that if a collision was to occur then you and the bike will usually be worse off than the car.  When it comes to over-taking remember not to do so on bends, lay-bys, hills, dips, junctions, pedestrian crossings or where there are double white lines or other signs prohibiting overtaking but if you can avoid overtaking at all then that’s what we’d recommend.  When riders lose control the two most common reasons are shunting (driving too closely to the vehicle in front or the vehicle behind is driving too close to you) and road surface conditions so remember to allow yourself time and space to see what’s ahead of you and also make sure your tyres are in good condition and have the correct pressure so that if the surface isn’t as expected you have the best chance of maintaining control.

The Road Wise website also contains a lot of useful information about the law and your motorcycle.

We hope that this has highlighted some of the common problems and recommend that you read the RoSPA Ride Safe document to help keep you safe on the roads.