Returning motorcycle riders

If you haven’t ridden a motorcycle for a while,to make a safe return to the road you should familiarise yourself with your motorcycle, your gear and rebuild your riding skills and confidence.

Safety check of your motorcycle

You should always perform a safety check of your motorcycle before returning to riding.

The Queensland Motorcycle Riders' Guide has information on performing routine self-maintenance and road safety checks on motorcycles.

If you have any concerns about the safe condition, specification or operation of your motorcycle, you should:

  • check the owner’s manual
  • get advice from a qualified motorcycle mechanic.

Make sure you understand the handing and capability of your motorcycle, as they vary greatly with respect to size, weight and performance.

Newer motorcycles are increasingly being fitted with new safety features such as anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution and airbags.

Maintenance checklist

Things you should check on your motorcycle before riding include:

  • the registration is current
  • the number plate is clearly displayed and securely attached
  • all lights—including headlights, tail light, brake light and indicators
  • brakes
  • steering and suspension
  • the horn is working
  • the tyre pressure and tread depth—at least 1.5mm over the whole tyre surface
  • the chain/drive belt guard.

You should also adjust the controls so you can easily and comfortably reach them.

Checking your bike gear

You legally need to wear a helmet at all times when riding a motorcycle.

Protective gear can help prevent or reduce the severity of injuries. When returning to ride remember to check your protective gear to ensure:

  • There are no holes, rips or tears in the material
  • The seams are intact
  • There are no scratches, dents, loose padding or frayed straps on your helmet.

If it’s been a while you should consider updating your gear. Advancements in materials and construction methods mean that new gear may provide better protection. The new Motorcycle Clothing Assessment Program (MotoCAP) assesses and star-rates protective clothing for safety and comfort.

Find out what protective clothing you need before riding your motorcycle again.

Improving your visibility when riding can help you to avoid crashes.

Check yourself

When you return to riding you may feel tired or uncomfortable—either during orafter your ride. Short rides with regular rest breaks—to avoid fatigue—are recommended when starting.

Your riding skills

When starting to ride again, you should reassess your bike skills by only riding low risk routes.

Think about doing a refresher or safety riding course—accredited rider training offer tailored programs that let you practice riding skills and techniques before heading back out on the road.

Motorcycle road rules

Check your knowledge of the Queensland motorcycle road rules.