Motorcycle safety tips

In 2020 55 motorcyclists died*
In 2020 418 motorcyclists were seriously injured*


Due to their lack of protection, motorcyclists need to take more care than road users in vehicles. This information will help to improve your safety when riding motorcycles or mopeds.

Tips for safe riding on the road

For more safety tips, read The official New Zealand road code for motorcyclists.

Increase your awareness

As a motorcyclist, you're most at risk when: 

  • you're riding around a curve
  • another vehicle turns right across your path.

The other most common causes of crashes involving motorcycles include: 

  • swinging wide on bends (leading to a head-on crash) 
  • pulling out to pass too quickly or cutting in after passing 
  • loss of control – on both straight roads and bends 
  • collisions at intersections with turning, side-on, merging and in-front traffic 
  • collisions with obstructions, such as parked cars 
  • travelling too fast for the conditions. 

Motorbikes are also far more sensitive to the camber of the road (the upwards curve from the edge to the centre) and changes in shape, texture and skid resistance. As a motorcyclist you need to be aware of the following risks:

Mopeds (including scooters)

While most motorcyclist safety tips also apply to moped riders, there are a few key things you should also be aware of. Mopeds are:

  • less powerful than motorcycles – take extra care in traffic as it may take you longer to get out of a sticky situation
  • smaller than motorcycles and other road users may find it harder to see you
  • quieter than motorcycles and other road users may find it harder to hear you.

The Scooter Survival website(external link) has more tips on staying safe and dodging hazards.

The Road code for motorcyclists has safe riding tips relevant for moped riders.

What’s the difference between a motorcycle and a moped?

There are different standards and requirements applying to motorcycles and mopeds – both for the vehicle and you as a rider.

Useful resources


*Note: Data is for all crashes reported by NZ Police to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency for the year 2020 as recorded in the Crash Analysis System (CAS) at 19 July 2021.