What to do if your bike breaks down

While your car breaking down is undoubtedly a nuisance, it’s arguably much worse for those who ride a motorbike...

For example, if a tyre bursts, there isn’t a spare one strapped onto the back. Or, if it starts to rain, there’s nowhere to shelter.

So, if you’re out on your bike and encounter a problem, here’s what to do: 

1. Stay calm and focused

On a motorbike you can feel a lot more vulnerable to traffic around you, especially when there’s a problem. So, first and foremost, it’s important to stay calm and focus on finding somewhere safe to pull over. Be aware of the traffic and signal to the side of the road where you want to move to. Wave your hand to signal that you need to manoeuvre – if others can see that you are in difficulty, they should slow down and give way. 

2. Call the professionals

Even if you think you can fix the problem, tending to your bike at the side of the road isn’t ideal, especially if you’re on the motorway. Concentrating on fixing your bike will make you less aware of the traffic around you, and more in danger of being hit by another vehicle. Instead, contact your breakdown provider to seek help. If you’re on the hard shoulder of a motorway, move your bike as far left as possible and wait as far away from the traffic as you can.


3. Stay visible

If you’ve broken down, you’ll want to stay visible to other drivers while you’re stationary. Use your hazard lights where possible, so people are aware you’re there and that you have broken down. If you don’t have hazard lights, consider utilising your indicators and parking lights.

Avoid leaving your headlights on as this can quickly drain your battery, causing further issues, and may also confuse passing motorists into thinking there is no issue.

Also consider carrying a hi visibility vest that you could wear should you breakdown. These can are inexpensive and they fold up very small, so should easily fit under the seat of most bikes.

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