Motorcycle safety - get the facts

Motorcycle riders are among our most vulnerable road users.

The facts

  • Motorcycles make up around 1 in every 25 motor vehicles registered in Queensland, that’s approximately 210,000 registered motorcycles on our roads.
  • On average, 50 motorcyclists are killed on Queensland roads each year, and a further 936 are hospitalised.1
  • Motorcycle riding in Queensland is influenced by the seasons. Fine, cooler weather in late autumn/early winter can encourage more riding, and these times have been associated with an increased number of motorcycle crashes.
  • An analysis of fatal motorcyclist crashes reveals at‐risk riders are often:
    • male
    • aged between 21-59 years
    • riding on weekends on recreational routes in south‐east Queensland
    • disobeying one or more road rules
    • speeding
    • affected by drugs or alcohol
    • unlicensed riders.

Motorcycle skills

Whether you’re new to bikes, you’ve been riding all your life, or you’re coming back to it after a while away, developing and tuning up your ride craft will help you stay safe and get more out of life on two wheels.

What is your ride craft?

Your Ride Craft is really just a combination of your head, your heart and your gut that helps you read the road, the conditions, the potential hazards and stay focused and in control. The more you hone and develop it, the better your chances are of surviving to ride another day.

The Motorcycle Fatal Five


The faster you go, the harder you hit. And on a bike, you’ll always come off second‐best. The only thing speeding gets you closer to is a crash.

Alcohol and drugs

Even small amounts of alcohol and drugs affect your riding ability. Whatever anyone tells you, there’s no such thing as a safe level.


Riding tired affects reaction times and impairs judgement. Take a break or don’t get on the bike if you’re tired.


At 80km/h you travel 44m in just 2 seconds, so stay focused and leave time and space to react.

Gear and maintenance

Look after yourself and look after your bike. The right gear and regular maintenance can save your life.

Useful resources and videos

Whether you’re a new, returning, or experienced motorcyclist, the website is for you. You can find:

  • video tutorials on cornering, group riding, returning riders, and roadcraft
  • Queensland’s favourite rides
  • tips on buying the safest bike you can afford and keeping up with new technology that could save your life. Links to the safe bike finder are at
  • building vital roadcraft skills (observation, speed management, road position and attitude) as fundamental to developing a new riders’ ride craft
  • information about the right gear that could make the difference between a nasty fall and injuries that prevent ever riding again
  • tips for returning riders — like getting familiar with the motorcycle and rebuilding riding skills and knowledge of the road rules — when the first couple of months back on the bike can be the most dangerous.
  • links to the Queensland Motorcycle Riders’ Guide which contains information on motorcycle licensing and registration in Queensland, road rules for riders, rider protection, safe riding tips and attitudes, children’s safety, modifications, makes and models, classic and vintage motorcycles, imports and custom motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, sidecars and trikes, off‐road riding, motorcycle roadworthiness, routine motorcycle maintenance, offences and penalties.

Check out the video tutorials at

1 Five year average, financial years 2012/13 to 2016/17.

Where to next?

Explore these popular road safety topics on StreetSmarts.

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