You and your motorcycle

Golden rules of safe riding

These golden rules have been put together by expert motorcyclists with many years of safe riding behind them. If you follow them, they will help keep you safer on the road.

Look where you want to go

A motorcycle will tend to go where you are looking, so it's important to look ahead to where you want to ride. This technique can help you ride more safely.

For example, if you're riding around a corner, don't look towards the edge of the road or at lamp posts, but look up the road where you want to go. As long as the tyres don't lose grip, that's where you'll go.

Move away from danger

The further away you are from a potential danger, the safer you are. You will have more time to react to avoid a crash. For example:

  • If a vehicle ahead is waiting to turn across your path, move across your lane away from it.
  • If a pedestrian or animal is hovering at the side of the road, move to the side of your lane away from it.
  • If the potential hazard is vehicles travelling ahead of you, slow down to increase your following distance.

Always be thinking What if . . ?

  • What if that vehicle doesn't stop at the Give Way sign?
  • What if that child ahead runs out in front of me?
  • What if that dark patch on the road on the corner is oil?
  • What if that vehicle that looks as though it is moving left to park is actually slowing to do a U-turn?

If in doubt, always give these hazards more space and slow down so you can stop more quickly if necessary. See Hazards and emergencies for more information.

Cornering - slow in, faster out

Professional motorcyclists know that going into a corner fast does not increase their overall speed. In fact, it's more likely to decrease it.

Fast entry speed complicates cornering and can even cause riders to crash. On the road, where any corner may hold a patch of recently dropped oil or unexpected dangers, it is important to be travelling at a slow enough speed.

Don't accelerate out of a corner until you can see that the exit is clear.

Learn, practise, learn, practise

A motorcycle is very unforgiving if ridden poorly or carelessly. The better you can ride, the more enjoyable a motorcycle is.

Learn all you can about riding and practise the skills until they become automatic. Continuing to practise will make you a better motorcyclist.


Riding a motorcycle requires a higher level of skill and continual involvement compared to driving a car. Ride sober!

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Last updated: 25 June 2010