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Motorcycle safety: how to protect both the rider and the motorbike

Suzuki V-Strom 250 - Motorcycle safety

Motorcycle safety is incredibly important, on many different levels.  It is essential for a rider to be well-protected.  Suitable safety riding clothing and a motorcycle helmet will help to minimise injuries in the event of an accident.  It is also important you protect your precious motorcycle from opportunistic thieves.  For this you will need to think about motorbike security.  Here, we will go through the many ways you can keep both yourself and your beloved motorbike safe. 

You have to have a motorcycle helmet

In the UK, the law states you must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, scooter or moped on the road. The helmet must comply with one of the following:

  1. British Standard BS 6658:1985.  It must show a BSI Kitemark.
  2. UNECE Regulation 22.05.
  3. A European Economic Area standard, which has the equivalent level of safety and protection as BS 6658:1985.  It must also show a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark.

SHARP have put together a handy guide showing the approved helmets and the level of protection each helmet offers.  Also, if you would like to wear a visor or goggles, you will need to make sure that these also meet the British standard (showing a BSI Kitemark), or meet the European standard offering the equivalent in safety and protection showing a mark equivalent to the BSI Kitemark (UNECE Regulation 22.05). Your head is the most vulnerable part of your body and head injuries can be life-threatening or even fatal. Which is why a motorcycle helmet is a must-have accessory.  There are different types of motorcycle helmet, including the full face, an open face and a flip front helmet. As long as it meets the necessary standards, it doesn’t matter which type of helmet you choose to wear.  Although having said that, we do recommend the full-face helmet, which protects your head and face in the even of a crash, while also keeping dust and wind out of your face. 

Suzuki Katana safety on the road

Other Motorcycle safety riding clothing and accessories

As far as the law goes, the only requirement to ride a motorbike on the road is an industry standard helmet.  However, it is highly advised that you also wear protective safety riding clothing and accessories. This will protect your body from accidents, as well as the weather and other natural elements. 

Riding jackets and riding trousers are designed to be more robust and provide better protection in an accident, protecting the fragile parts of your body, like your chest and back.  The safety armour inside any riding jacket should have a CE safety rating. You should also wear special riding boots to give your ankles good protection, they should have non-slip soles and preferably armour over the shin and ankle. Another good accessory are riding gloves, ones that are long enough to cover all the skin on your hands, wrists and arms.  If possible, try to wear reflective clothing, or clothing with reflective strips, to help to increase how visible you are to other road users at night.  

Zero motorcycle on the road

Motorbike Security

Unfortunately, there are opportunistic thieves out there that could try to steal your motorbike. Imagine how annoyed and upset you would feel if your motorbike was taken from your home during the night, or from a parking space in town.  Sadly, this is the story of so many motorcyclists, especially those who do not take their motorbike security seriously. Just like you protect yourself in the event of an accident, you also need to protect your bike from being taken or tampered with.  The National Crime Intelligence Service (NCIS) completed a study and discovered that it takes an average of 20 seconds for a thief to take a motorcycle worth £10,000 and that actually more motorbikes are stolen than there are motorcycles being made. 

Honda Motorcycle Parked

Home Security

According to the above study, 80% of motorcycles were taken from the owners home.  Which is why you really to think about the security of your bike when you are at home. 

If possible you should always store your motorcycle in a lockable garage or shed.  The door should have multiple locks, including a top lock,  as locks at the top are notoriously more difficult to open. You should make sure the door uses hinges that have properly welded pins, without this the hinges can be knocked out easily, it won’t matter how many locks you have on the other side of the door. It is a good idea to block any windows to stop people from looking in and seeing your bike.  

Even though you are locking your motorcycle away, you should add extra security.  Use a ground anchor and a heavy duty chain, locked shut a strong padlock.   And don’t lock your bike in a room full of tools.  A thief can use these to break the chains and padlock.  Finally, add CCTV and motion censored lighting to your property.  That way, if anyone does approach your property you will be notified by the light and if your motorbike is taken, you will hopefully catch the thief on the CCTV footage. 

Suzuki GSX S750 bike

On the road security

When you are out and about it is more difficult to secure and hide away your motorcycle.  However, there still are some things you can do to help protect your motorcycle and put off that opportunistic thief:

  1. Install an alarm and locks for your brakes and discs.
  2. Engage your steering lock and do not leave any keys for the bike, with the motorcycle when you leave it. 
  3. Take a screwdriver with you wherever you go and when you leave your bike somewhere, quickly remove the clutch lever. 
  4. Secure your motorcycle to a solid, immovable object, with a chain. 
  5. Try to park in a safe area that has CCTV and is well-lit. 
  6. Carry a cover with you and cover your motorcycle when you leave it.  Yes thieves will still be able to tell it is a motorbike.  But they won’t know the model or make and so, they might be put off trying to take it. 

Motorcycle safety all-round

At the Chelsea Motorcycle Group we love motorcycles just as much as we love the motorbike community. Which is why we want you to be safe on the road and keep your ride safe too. Take a look at our online shop to see how we can help you to stay safe and protect your bike!

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