The following are key extracts from the Queensland Motorcycle Riders’ Guide.

If you are planning to apply for your Queensland motorcycle licence, you must familiarise yourself with this guide. Download the comprehensive Queensland motorcycle riders’ guide (PDF, 3.6MB)

Riding to the conditions

Riding at night

Riding at night is considerably more dangerous for riders. Riding at night reduces your vision and makes it harder for other motorists to see you. Take extra care and:

  • wear reflective clothing
  • check your lights and indicators are working
  • reduce your speed
  • use high beam to increase your field of vision, except when you are within 200 metres of another vehicle
  • keep extra distance from other traffic.

Riding in varying weather conditions

The following weather conditions can have a significant impact on the safety of your ride. Riding in unfavourable weather conditions is tiring, so watch for the signs of fatigue, and rest if necessary.

Bright sunshine

  • Adjust your mirrors to reduce glare
  • Be aware that motorists in front of you may have difficulty seeing you before they overtake or change lanes.


  • Avoid the temptation to follow the vehicle in front close enough to keep contact with its rear lights. Instead, make sure to slow down and increase your crash avoidance space to allow yourself more time to respond.


  • Reduce your speed to allow yourself more time to respond
  • Avoid riding on painted arrows and lines as they can be slippery
  • Use low beam during the day to increase your chances of being seen.

High winds

Strong gusts which may affect the handling of your motorcycle can occur on entering or emerging from under bridges, crossing an open valley and riding into open country. These can also cause other vehicles to veer suddenly, especially high sided vehicles such as trucks or buses.

  • Reduce your speed
  • Firmly grip the handlebars. It may help to lean your motorcycle into the wind to compensate for sideways force
  • Keep your speed down and create space between you and other vehicles.

Rider protection

Wearing the right gear can help you to stay safe, keep you comfortable and protect you from the elements.

Check the Motorcycle Clothing Assessment Program (MotoCAP) website before you buy. MotoCAP rates motorcycle protective gear for safety and comfort and aims to help riders make more informed decisions about their protective clothing.

MotoCAP has ratings for jackets, pants and gloves; more ratings for protective gear will be added over the coming months.

Close up of motorbike rider in helmet


Your most important piece of gear is your helmet.

  • It must comply with the Australian Standard AS 1968, AS/NZS 1698 or ECE Standard 22.05.
  • The chin strap needs to be fastened and the helmet should be tight fitting.
  • A full face helmet will protect your face, jaw and chin and offers better eye, wind, sun and impact protection than an open face helmet.
Two motorbike riders cornering

Eye protection

Visors and goggles shield you from wind, rain and dust.


  • They should be clean, shatterproof and have clear lenses for night use.
Two motorbike riders riding on a curvy road

Jackets and pants

  • Should be tightfitting and completely cover the entire body.
  • Secured at the wrists, waists and ankles.
  • Need to be abrasion and tear resistant and provide extra reinforcement over your limbs and vulnerable areas.
Motorbike rider with back protector on

Back protector

A back protector will protect your spine in the case of a crash.


  • Dual density foam is recommended.
Motorbike rider with gloves on


  • Should be gauntlet style and have a reinforced palm area, knuckle protection and a Velcro/zip around the wrist.
Motorbike riders with boots on


  • Should be leather and overlap the pants.
  • Should have zipper/Velcro fasteners.

Safe riding


The way you feel when you get on your motorcycle will show up in the way you ride. Try to be mindful of your mood and behaviour on the road and try and stay impartial to other drivers exhibiting aggressive or bad behaviour.


Safe riding requires your full concentration. Do not ride if you’re impaired by:

  • fatigue
  • alcohol
  • drugs
  • dehydration
  • exposure to fumes.


The road ahead of you is constantly changing so it is important to regularly:

  • scan the road ahead
  • watch the road surface
  • monitor your left and right
  • check your mirrors and instruments.


Fit riders are better able to stay alert on endurance rides and during physically demanding conditions.

Returning riders

If you have not ridden for a while, take time to familiarise yourself with your motorcycle and rebuild your skills.

  • Perform a routine maintenance check on your motorcycle
  • Inspect your protective clothing for deterioration and fit
  • It is a good idea to start off with short journeys and build up your endurance over time
  • Ensure you are alert, comfortable and ready to get back on the bike
  • Consider taking a refresher or advanced safe riding course
  • Make sure you are up-to-date with all current road rules – some may have changed since you last rode.

Motorcycle roadworthiness

Before you ride you need to make sure your motorcycle is roadworthy. Check the:

  • registration is current and the registration plate is clearly displayed and securely attached
  • lights are working – including headlights, tail-light, brake light, indicators
  • brakes, steering, suspension and horn are in correct working order
  • tyre pressure and tread depth is at least 1.5 mm over the whole tyre surface
  • chain/drive belt guard.

Routine motorcycle maintenance

Perform these checks daily to make sure your motorcycle is in a good and safe condition to ride.

Back tyre of road motorbike


Put the motorcycle on a stand and make sure you can rotate the wheels. Also check the wear indicators and make sure the tyres are not damaged.

Checking tyre pressure on motorbike

Tyre pressure

Check tyre pressure is within the manufacturers’ recommendations, at least every two weeks and when the tyres are cold.

Chain tension on motorbike

Chain tension and lubrication

Rotate the wheels to detect any tight spots. Oil the chain when it is hot.

Brake pads on motorbike

Brake pads

Look into the calliper to check the pads have enough material on them.

Engine oil on motorbike

Engine oil

The oil should be between the high and low marks on the inspector window or dipstick.

Brake fluid compartment on motorbike

Brake fluid

Check the level on both the front and rear master cylinder reservoirs.

Coolant level check on motorbike

Coolant level

If your motorcycle is liquid cooled, check the level in the coolant reservoir tank.

Motorbike fork legs

Fork legs

There should not be any evidence of fork oil leakage.

Close up of motorbike handlebars


Check all the electrics such as lights, indicators and brakes.