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Getting the right kit

Always ride with jacket, trousers, gloves and boots which will give you some protection if you come off. Always buy the best you can afford.

Jackets and Trousers

Leather offer the best protection from abrasion and impact but textiles can be more waterproof and practical. Make sure the stitches use Kevlar© and that the jacket is close fitting, with padding around the back, shoulders elbows and wrists.

Trousers should also be close fitting with protection around the knees and thighs. Make sure they are comfortable and don’t cut circulation to the lower leg.

Body Armour

Some riders consider body armour uncomfortable but it does provide more impact protection by absorbing and spreading the forces of impact.

Boots and Gloves

It is common for riders to received ankle breaks and foot crush injuries. Wear above ankle height boots made for motorcycling. Gloves should have extra protection across the palms and knuckles but make sure they are not too tight when gripping the bars, which may limit circulation and ability to operate the bar controls.

Your helmet

Follow our advice when getting your motorbike helmet fitted.

Get your head measured

Measure around the fullest part of your head just above the ears and choose a helmet in that size range. It may be tempting to buy the model you want in the wrong size but a helmet that is too small will be uncomfortable and a helmet that is too large may come off in a collision.

Try it on

Adjust the strap so that you can only fit two fingers between it and your jaw. You should be able to feel the helmet against all parts of your head without any pressure points. If not, the helmet may be the wrong shape for you.

Too tight or too loose?

With the strap secured, try rotating the helmet from side to side. On a full face, your cheeks should follow the movement of the helmet and stay in contact with the cheek pads. Next, tilt the helmet forward and back. It should stay in position and not move.

Does it come off?

With the strap secured. Tilt your head forward and get someone to try to roll the helmet off your head by carefully applying upward force to the rear of the helmet. If it can be rolled off, it’s likely that it will come off in a collision.

Safety standards

Ensure your helmet comes with either an ‘E’ or BSI approval marking.

For more information and to check helmet safety ratings go to www.direct.gov.uk/sharp

Be in the right place at the right time

The middle of the lane is generally the best place to be but be guided by traffic conditions. Choose a position that maximises your view of the road and the amount of time other road users can see you.

When turning, take up your road position early so other road users can see what you are trying to do. Signal your intention at the appropriate time in the manoeuvre.

Become an expert at reading the road and spotting biker hazards. Inspection covers, shiny asphalt, painted lines, mud, leaves are all things you need to avoid if you can.

Read the Road

Become an expert at reading the road and spotting biker hazards. Inspection covers, shiny asphalt, painted lines, mud, leaves are all things you need to avoid if you can.

Always scan the road as far ahead as you can. Look for clues in the distance that tell you what the road is about to do. Signs, lampposts and hedges can help you read the direction of the road. Remember, where you look is where you go.

Ride at a speed that will allow you to slow down and stop within the distance you can see to be clear. This is especially important on roads you know well. The right speed will depend on conditions. Be on the look out for stray animals, cyclists, horse riders and farm vehicles.