Motorcycle rider safety starts with the bike and the gear. These are your first lines of protection in a crash.

There are legal requirements that your bike and gear must have, as well as important things to consider when making your choice.

Ride Forever provides comprehensive information to help you work out what bike or gear might be right for you:

Ride Forever – your bike and gear(external link)

Choosing the right motorcycle

Important things to consider when choosing a motorcycle are:

  • the size of engine – remember when you’re on a learner or restricted licence, you can only ride a learner approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS) motorcycle
  • where you want to ride your motorcycle
  • your riding ability and experience
  • safety features for example, anti-lock braking systems
  • how much you intend to pay – remember to allow for the cost of protective clothing
  • the size of the motorcycle for your weight and height
  • your ability to operate and control the motorcycle.

Choosing your motorcycle

What all motorcycles legally must have before you can ride or park on the road:

Legal requirements for motorcycles

Choosing the right motorcycle gear

All motorcycle riders and passengers must wear an approved safety helmet. This is the minimum legal requirement, but best practice is to wear full safety gear including motorcycle gloves, boots, jackets and pants. The motorcycle road code has information about helmet safety standards and protective clothing:

Wearing the right gear

If you come off your bike, your clothes are the first line of protection against skin grazing. The Motorcycle Clothing Assessment Programme (MotoCAP) provides free and fair information about protective gear.

MotoCAP(external link)

Anti-lock braking system

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) works to prevent a motorcycle’s wheels from locking when braking and helps you to keep steering safely. Without ABS, braking causes the wheels to lock up and skid.

Novice riders are 33% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash if they ride a motorcycle that has ABS brakes.  

It’s compulsory to have ABS on motorcycles over 125cc. Motorcycles up to and including 125cc must have ABS or a simpler system known as a combined braking system (CBS).