You and your passenger are more vulnerable than other drivers and passengers, you do not have the protection given to them by their vehicles and seat belts -- which you have to make up by the use of your skills.

The best way to remain upright and in complete control of your machine is to avoid abrupt changes -- fierce braking, hard acceleration, bad gear changing, sudden changes of course -- and this means thinking ahead so that each change of condition is carried out smoothly and gradually. You cannot suddenly change direction at any but the lowest speed.

Use rear-view mirrors regularly. No matter how good your mirrors are look around and over your shoulder -- particularly before moving off or overtaking.

You must not ride a motor-cycle on a footway, pedestrian-only road, footpath, or public open space.

If your motor-cycle has a cyclinder capacity of less than 125 cc you must not ride it on an expressway.

You must not wear earphones of any audio devices when riding a motor-cycle on the road.

Road surfaces

The condition of the road surface is very important to every motorcyclist. You depend upon the grip of your tyres on the road surface for your stability and safety. Look out for danger from poor surfaces and potholes even in dry conditions. Surfaces become slippery not only when they are wet but when they are covered with loose gravel or sand, mud or oil. When wet, objects set in the roadway such as metal road studs or manhole covers, as well as road markings can become slippery and cause some types of front tyre to deviate uncomfortably off course. Good and well maintained tyres are essential on a motorcycle.

If the road is flooded beware of potholes or mud hidden below the surface of the water.

Overtaking

In heavy and slow moving traffic only ride through gaps that can be driven through without danger. Look out very closely for pedestrians and for vehicles that may move into your path. If in doubt stay in the traffic lane in the normal position.

On two-way roads with 'Double white' lines you may overtake a vehicle by passing between the vehicle in front and the 'Double white' lines. But only do so if it is safe and you are sure that the driver in front knows you are coming through and does not push you over the 'Double white' lines and into the oncoming traffic.

If there is more than one traffic lane in your direction then overtake in the normal way using the right-hand or middle lane. Do not overtake another vehicle by using the same traffic lane as that vehicle.

Being seen

Being seen A motorcycle can be more easily seen with the headlamp on, even in daylight.

It is difficult for other road users to see motorcycles because when seen end-on they are 'thin' ( a quarter the size of a car ) and often dark in colour. You need to ensure that you can be seen by other road users, including pedestrians.

You should ride with your dipped headlamp on in the day as well as night; on all roads.

Switching on your headlamp will help other road users including pedestrians to see you coming; if necessary flash your main beam. Your rear light will indicate your presence to drivers coming up from behind. Fluorescent and reflective clothing -- or just a fluorescent belt -- will help, day and night.

Good positioning -- riding where drivers and pedestrians will be looking and expect to see you -- is very important.