Road safety advice for motorcyclists

Where to go for training, both for new and experienced riders.

Riding a motorbike can give you a sense of freedom, being out on the open road can make you feel alive; but did you know you are up to 30 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured while riding a motorcycle than whilst driving a car?

What can you do to reduce the odds?

How about learning to ride safely when starting out or keeping up to date with the skills you already have.

Starting off

All learners must complete Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) before riding on the road. Contact your local approved training body to arrange your course - see Yellow Pages, search on-line or ask your motorcycle dealer.

You will also need to pass a theory test before you can take a practical test for a moped or a motorcycle.

Next you need to take the practical test. There is a choice of three licences to aim for depending on what you intend to ride:

  • A moped licence - restricts you to a moped. A moped is a motorcycle which has a maximum design speed of 50kmh (approx. 31mph) and does not have an engine over 50cc
  • A light motorcycle licence - restricts you to a bike up to 124cc and a power output of 11kW
  • A standard motorcycle licence - restricts you to a bike of up to 25kW and a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0.16kW/kg for 2 years. (Riders over 21 can apply for Direct Access or Accelerated Access to ride larger bikes).


Experienced riders

Even if you have a full motorcycle licence, you should consider extra training and possibly taking a more advanced test. This especially applies if you have not ridden a modern motorcycle for some time.

Ask your motorcycle dealer for information about courses or apply direct to a training organisation. You will find these listed in Yellow Pages.

Biker Down

You’re the first on the scene of an accident involving a biker. Do you know what to do? Would you know who is most at risk? How to protect the area? Or whether you should remove the helmet of a downed rider?

Attend a FREE Biker Down workshop to learn the practical skills of what to do if you are first on scene at a crash involving a motorcyclist.

Interested in attending a workshop? Find out more at

Bike Safe

Bike Safe is a police led motorcycle workshop that is run in Thames Valley area and supported by Oxfordshire County Council’s Road Safety Education Team. The main aim is to reduce the number of bikers being hurt on the roads. Riding should be fun and by improving skills, knowledge and hazard awareness it will hopefully make riding safer and more enjoyable.

The Bike Safe workshop explores the main issues facing today’s bikers. It also explores the principles of advanced riding through the on-road element. The Bike Safe Observer will give assessment and feedback which will highlight areas where the rider needs to develop.

Bike Safe is about starting on the right path to development as it "Bridges the Gap". Riders should continue to train throughout their riding years and not just stop once they have passed their bike test.

Workshop information:

  • The one-day workshop costs £50 per person and can be booked directly via or telephone 08444 151206.
  • The workshop is open to anyone with a full motorcycle licence and has no more than 12 attendees.
  • Workshops are held at Abingdon, Banbury and Taplow near Maidenhead.
  • The team consists of more than 20 trained assessors who are all Roads Policing officers; they have completed both advanced car and bike courses. In addition to riding at work all are passionate motorcyclists.

Course format:

  • 8.30am: Arrival and administration.
  • 9am: Interactive presentation. This will cover topics including hazard awareness, cornering, overtaking, junctions, group riding and filtering.
  • 12pm: Tea and coffee break.
  • 12.30pm: First bike on scene presented by South Central Ambulance bike paramedics. Would you know what to do if you came across a collision? This will offer you the skill you will hopefully never need.
  • 1.30pm: A ride with your assessor. This is designed to take in most of the types of road you are likely to ride on urban, rural, sweeping and twisty. The maximum ratio will be two riders to one assessor. You will stop on regular occasions to debrief your ride and reflect on the classroom input before putting the advice into practice.
  • 3.30pm: Arrival at a common location with the rest of the group where your assessor will provide you with feedback. An instructor will be on hand if any new questions have cropped up as will representatives from advanced training organisations to allow you to take the next step.

You will need to bring:

  • a roadworthy bike in excess of 125cc
  • your licence
  • your insurance certificate
  • your test (MOT) certificate
  • appropriate clothing including an approved helmet and visor, boots with ankle protection, a motorcycle jacket and gloves.

For further information on workshops and meeting the team in Oxfordshire or within the Thames Valley area please visit the Bike Safe website

Bike Safe leaflet (pdf format, 951 Kb)

Driving Standards Agency

The DSA has just published the following three DVDs

The official DSA biker pack. Pack of two discs containing i) The official DSA theory test for motorcyclists DVD and ii) Better biking: the official DSA training aid DVD.

The official DSA motorcycle theory test pack. Pack includes i) The official DSA theory test for motorcyclists DVD-ROM (2012) and ii) The Official DSA guide to hazard perception DVD.

The official DSA theory test for motorcyclists (DVD-ROM). Which supersedes the previous 2010 edition.

New smartphone app for bikers


iBiker is a new App, available for iPhone / Android. It was developed with funding from the Department for Transport, and is designed to help you:

  • plan, plot and save your routes
  • rate other users’ routes
  • watch video run throughs of popular routes in the UK by some of the most experienced riders in the country
  • geo-tag your photos to your routes
  • see EuroRAP’s most risky roads and routes in Britain for bikers
  • sign up to post-test training
  • connect with the biking community by sharing your rides / routes via Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites
  • locate pubs, cafés, hotels, meeting points, petrol stations and much more.

Available now in Android Market and the Apple store.