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On The Beat: Motorcycle safety tips to keep you and your bike in tip-top condition for the summer ahead

Constable Ian Lind, North East Road Policing Unit
Constable Ian Lind, North East Road Policing Unit

As the weather improves, it’s time for the motorcyclists and bikers amongst us to dust off their beloved machines in the hope of getting out and about during the summer months.

For those of us who enjoy two-wheels, this is a timely reminder to make sure your bikes are in tip-top condition ready for the months ahead.

Check tyres and pressures, oil and water levels and that the brakes are serviced after having sat for a few months over the winter.

For those hardy few who ride all winter, it’s also worth conducting these checks, as salt and grit play havoc with a motorcycle’s component parts.

Harrowing crashes

I have extensive experience on all types of machines from tourers, sports bikes and even have to admit to owning a Harley Davidson at one time.

My role within road policing is to enforce road traffic legislation, promote road safety and carry out investigations into fatal and serious collisions.

During my 19-year career, I’ve dealt with many harrowing crashes, at times involving motorcyclists who are vulnerable on the road.

So, now that you have checked your bike over, what about your bike gear?  Is it in good condition and does it still fit well?  How old is the helmet you wear?

Suitable gear

It is worth making sure that these items are also in good condition.

Suitable footwear and gloves are also very important as everyday clothes offer little to no protection in the event of an accident, no matter how minor it may be.

Of course, it is not just about the rider on the motorcycle, but also drivers in vehicles who may not be looking out for motorcyclists or even considering they may be coming round a corner as they pull out of a junction

So, it is important to be visible with clothing – utilising lights, even in daylight hours.

I’m not just giving this advice as a long-serving police officer within the north-east Road Policing Unit, but also as a qualified advanced police motorcyclist who’s ridden since I was able to obtain a licence.

Constable Ian Lind

The checklist

  • Be mindful and patient of others, including learner drivers and visitors from out of the area or overseas who may be unfamiliar with the road network or UK road signs.
  • Be careful of the abundant wildlife if using rural routes as well as many agricultural vehicles.
  • Have you continued to follow the lessons learned during your driving test and have you spent any time or money improving your own skill set?

Further training

There are various organisations from RoSPA to the Institute of Advanced Motorist that offer courses and training to improve you and make you a better and safer rider.

Police Scotland, along with road safety partners Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the institute of advanced motorists are pleased to say that this year’s Rider Refinement North motorcycle training courses are running in various locations throughout the north-east.

Limited spaces

These courses are led by police motorcyclists and are a great opportunity to learn new skills as a rider and learn to be safer on the road.

There are limited spaces available at a cost of £40.

If you wish to have further information, please email:


Hopefully, all of this advice has been of use to you. Above all else, please remember to be safe out there whilst enjoying your mode of transport responsibly.

We share the roads with many other users. Please be courteous to everyone at all times to promote the cooperative use of road space and a positive enjoyable experience for everyone.

I’m looking forward to seeing some of you on the Rider Refinement North Courses.

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