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Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Safety

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users and are disproportionately involved in crashes and casualties. It is important those new to, or returning to motorcycling, are aware of the risks and experienced riders don’t become complacent.

Riding defensively makes you less vulnerable    

Make sure you:

  • anticipate the actions of others
  • are alert and observant
  • can slow down and stop if the unexpected happens
  • position yourself in the safest and best place to maximise your visibility of potential hazards
  • take a 'lifesaver' glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres, so you know where others are and what they’re doing
  • try to make eye contact with other drivers, but don’t presume that they have seen you
  • Stay well within the speed limit at all times and maintain a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front

Be aware of hazards

  • Listen to weather forecasts before riding, especially in winter. The best way to be safe is to avoid riding altogether in bad conditions. If the weather is hot, take regular breaks and make sure that you stay properly hydrated.
  • Be extra vigilant at junctions. A common cause of collisions is drivers failing to spot motorcycles at junctions and pulling out. As you approach a junction, consider shifting your road position slightly, which can help drivers see you approach.
  • Bends are the most common location of motorcyclist crashes when no other road user is involved. Take bends slowly, and adjust your road position depending on whether it is a left or right-hand bend.

Consider further skills training to improve your performance and safety on the road    

  • Whatever your age and experience, extra training can improve your safety. An advanced training course can help improve your skills, whether you have just passed your test, are returning to riding after a break, are considering buying a more powerful bike, or want to become a safer, smoother, more skilful rider.
  • The City of London Police and the City of London Corporation Road Danger Reduction Team provide a limited number of free BikeSafe-London training spaces. The training invites motorcycle, moped and scooter riders to participate in rider skills days delivered by police motorcyclists where riders can learn more about professional riding techniques, collision causation factors and security. The training takes place during the week and at weekends, in a friendly and informal manner. To book a place on a BikeSafe-London session, email

Look after your bike

  • Make sure your motorbike is fit for the road and won’t let you down. Keep your bike clean and carry out simple, regular maintenance checks – spotting a problem with a tyre or brake pad could save your life.

Wear the right gear       

Fall off your bike and tarmac will shred through your jeans in seconds. Wearing the right gear is just as important to your safety as servicing your motorcycle and knowing how to ride it.

  • Wear bright or florescent gear during the day and reflective gear at night
  • Bikers must wear a protective jacket, gloves, boots and trousers
  • Use the SHARP rating system to check how much protection your helmet offers in a crash