September 2023

Motorcycle Awareness

Motorcycling to many is more than a way of getting from A to B. For passionate riders it's a way of life, representing a rich subculture that’s forever growing. However safety is paramount.

With the winter rain easing and New Zealand roads starting to dry, motorcyclists will be rejoicing as they abandon the heated grips, leave the wet weathers in the garage, and head to the open road. No doubt enjoyable and for some a way of life plus with increased traffic congestion and petrol prices soaring, we could see more and more bike enthusiasts as people ditch four wheels for two.

So let's talk motorcycle safety and while this page has an emphasis on motorcyclists, everyone has a part to play in keeping our whānau as safe as possible on our roads.

Tips for riders

We don't need to tell you, but a well-maintained motorcycle (or vehicle) will be more reliable and safer. Ensure you check your bike and your gear regularly, especially if you haven't taken your bike out in a while. Let's have a look at key essentials before you feel the freedom of the open road.

  • Check your tyre pressure, tread depth and condition
  • Check shock seals for weeping
  • Check all fluids especially your brake fluid (wet winters can introduce greater than normal moisture content)
  • Check lights - see and be seen
  • Check chains for correct adjustment, alignment and make sure they are correctly lubed
  • Check your clothing to ensure it's comfortable, and gloves and boots are in top condition
  • Check your helmet for any signs of damage and all padding and latching equipment is up to the task 
  • You need good brakes! Ensure these are operating as they should
  • Check cables and controls, suspension and steering.

For more information, read this 10 point checklist and for all your motorcycle needs, our MTA members who specialise in this area would be happy to help. 

The tough talk

The stats are a tough read, and no matter how good a rider you are or think you are, you are vulnerable every time you start that engine. 

Did you know that open road riders:

  • Are involved in nearly three quarters of fatal motorcycle crashes
  • Often lose control on bends and curves in motorcycle-only crashes
  • Who hold a full motorcycle licence are involved in 62% of fatal motorcycle crashes
  • Make up 70% of all fatal crashes on the open road due to overtaking and head on crashes
  • Aged between 40 and 59 account for 55% of all fatal crashes
  • Sustain more severe injuries because they ride in higher speed environments
  • Are involved in 61% of motorcycle claims including fatal and serious injury

ACC Data.

So maybe it's time to improve your skills or riding knowledge? Find out more >>

Do you know the rules?

We hear you saying 'of course I do', but motorcyclists sometimes do things a little different to motorists - especially in heavy traffic. So if you're flltering or lane-splitting, two words - be careful. If you’re going to filter or lane split, keep your speed below 15km/h faster than the traffic and take extreme care. Check out information on road rules and licences >> 

Tips for motorists

Motorists sometimes don't see bikes or may misjudge the speed of an oncoming cyclist, so adopt the habit of ‘have another look’ before you shoot for the gap in traffic or suddenly change lanes. 

Ride forever

Read the '21 for September' checklist, plus for all information you need to know about being a motorcyclist, head to the Ride Forever website and if you have any tips for this page, let us know

Have fun and enjoy the ride, now and the future.

Motoring tips