What to do if your motorbike breaks down

Knowing what to do if your motorbike breaks down is important to help keep you and other road users safe, and to help get your motorbike recovered as soon as possible.

If you’re riding when your motorbike breaks down or suffers a punctured tyre, hold the handlebars firmly and gently roll to a stop at the side of the road.

Use the engine cut-off switch to stop the engine quickly if necessary; for example, if the motorbike is falling over.

Breakdowns on motorways

Use the hard shoulder on a motorway or dual carriageway if your motorbike breaks down and you cannot make it to the next exit or service area. Stop your motorbike as far to the left as you can, away from the traffic.

While you’re waiting for help

  • turn on the hazard lights, if your motorbike has them
  • turn on your parking lights if visibility is poor or at night
  • telephone the emergency services
  • do not try to make any repairs to the motorbike.

It’s best to use a roadside emergency telephone to call for help: the number on the phone box will make it easier for the services to understand where you are and get to you quickly.

If you cannot use an emergency telephone, you can use a mobile phone to call for help. You’ll need to give precise details about where you are: use the numbers given on the nearest marker post on the hard shoulder to help the services identify your location.

When you’ve finished using the telephone, wait on the bank near your motorbike so you can see the emergency services coming. Do not wait close to your motorbike in case a vehicle drives into it while it’s parked.

Warning other road users

Use the hazard warning lights (if your motorbike has them) to warn other road users that your motorbike is blocking the road or is in a dangerous position.

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