Safety Riding Tips

Are you one of the many riders who, at the end of each year, put their machines away for the winter and bring them out again in the spring? At BikeSafe we understand that most riders use their machines for recreational purposes only, especially in the warmer dry weather. It is for that reason that the following advice has been written. It is important that you consider the following areas:


Even though the machine may have been retired in good working order and may still retain a current MOT, a thorough check of the bike is essential. Pay particular attention to the following:

Brakes and fluid

Tyre condition and pressures (checked when cold)
Fork seals
Chain and sprockets

A road-worthiness check by a reputable dealership
If you do under the mileage for a yearly service consider a service at this time of year anyway.

Without fail the following checks are essential affecting your tyres and brakes.

It should be borne in mind that brake fluid has a life and it is recommended that the fluid is changed on a frequent basis. If you are not mechanically minded this job is best done at a dealership. Tyre condition is of prime importance. If a machine is not in regular use the tyres deteriorate at an alarming rate. Tread depth is one thing but cracks in the tyre walls will render a tyre useless. If you have any doubts in this area please seek advice from a main dealer or tyre supplier. As mentioned above a full service at the commencement of the riding season should iron out any problems before they are likely to manifest themselves.


Ensure that you thoroughly check your safety equipment before putting it into use for this riding season. Pay particular attention to helmet webbing and scratched visors. Damaged helmets or helmets with worn webbing or straps must be replaced. Your helmet is without doubt your most important piece of equipment. It is essential to look after it. Scratched visors effect your vision when riding especially at night or in wet weather. They can usually be replaced for a few pounds and this is money well spent.

If you have protective motorcycle clothing - wear it even if your intended journey is only short.

Incidents can and very often do happen close to a journeys start or end.

Loading and Accessories

Use common sense when loading your machine or fitting additional accessories. Use only accessories recommended by your machines manufacturer. When loads are carried you should travel at a much lower speed than normal.

Tyres pressures should be adjusted, as recommend by manufactures, for passenger or load carrying.


Like any other activity to be proficient you need to respect that preparation is essential. The human brain performs tasks most efficiently when they are practiced. Human expectations most often fall short of actual ability.

*The rider needs to regularly practice machine and road management skills
*He/she should initially consider riding an appropriate route on their own, avoiding group riding is strongly recommended until correctly prepared and organised - phone BikeSafe, IAM or RoSPA for advice
*Don’t take on too long a journey too soon – avoid demanding routes or speeds until experience has been regained
*Re-familiarise yourself with the controls and handling of the bike
*Consider attending a BikeSafe workshop/ assessment or similar

Attitudes And Behaviour

Remember, risk taking is amplified by poor preparation. Historically, lots of fatal and seriously injury collisions take place early in the biking calendar. This may suggest that riders skills are still rusty following a long winter break. It would be wise to remember that it may take a few weeks back in the saddle to resume a competent skill level and even longer to recover the skill attained at the end of last years riding season.

It needs to be accepted that riding, whilst giving an extremely high level of pleasure, is still a vulnerable activity and comes with great responsibility. Think of your quality of life and how easily it could be destroyed, not to mention the people around you that need you to come home safe.

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