Estimated Time to Read: 3 minutes

Motorbikes were not always designed to be pure excitement – they were originally conceived as handy vehicles for getting about in cheaply at the end of the 19th century and were originally designed for stability. One of the first motorbikes was the steam powered velocipede – and the first “Moto-Cycle” boasted three wheels, rather than being the mean machine bikers aspire to own these days.

However, just prior to WWI and during both world wars, the motorcycle became an essential tool for the police and then in delivering information or services among the police Armed Forces and emergency services in war time, when larger vehicles were not practical for this.

Post-war, the likes of James Dean and Marlon Brando elevated motorbikes to the ultimate bad boys’ toy.

Nowadays bikers are often socially responsible, possibly accountants and solicitors – and support the Armed Services and charities.

Motorcyclists are often demonised, but more bikers are suffering serious injury or are being killed as the UK’s roads become busier.

The demands on commercial motorcycle deliveries to be faster and more competitive in city traffic are also being stepped up, leading to risk-taking.

The modern image of the motorbike may be carefree and edgy, but without skill, stamina and concentration, more bikers would end up gravely or fatally injured.

Take a quick refresher course in how to get on your bike and stay alive with our 6 top tips for motorcycle safety:

  • Keep your motorbike in top condition – have it serviced regularly and never put off tackling any issues which might impair the machine’s performance and safety, including tyre pressure, chain tension, wiring, oil and fluid levels and lights
  • Stick to the speed limit and Highway Code – weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds may feel exhilarating, but other road users may not be as nippy or skilled as you are and a motorcyclist will almost always come off worse in any road traffic accident
  • Slow down when approaching junctions whenever possible, as other road users may not see you and pull out in front or misjudge how quickly you can manoeuvre out of their way – one of the injustices of being a biker is that you have to be more conscientious and skilled than other road users to stay safe on the roads, not less
  • Choose the best protective clothing available – and never buy second hand helmets or use crash helmets which have suffered an impact, as the protective lining under the shell may be damaged. Choose tough boots, leather gloves and padded or leather motorbike clothing – remember you could easily be dragged along the road if you have a crash or the bike slides away under you in wet or slippery conditions
  • Keep practising your skills and never take anything for granted – if you haven’t ridden for a while, be extra cautious and do not carry passengers until you are 110% confident you can handle your bike at speed and in traffic
  • Practise emergency stops until you can handle the bike in any situation without skidding or being flung off.

If you are involved in a motorbike accident and suffer injury through no fault of your own you have three years from the date of injury in which to make a claim via the Ministry of Justice Road Traffic Accident Claims Portal, so seek legal help as soon as you are able.

Claiming motorbike injury compensation can give you the peace of mind that something can be done for you after a bad accident.