Ride motorcycles wisely

It’s easy to see the appeal of motorcycles – they are cheaper than cars, practical, fuel-efficient and, for many riders, a thrilling experience. Over the past 10 years, 5% more Australians each year have registered motorcycles. Riding in this country has also become less life threatening.

While the number of motorcyclist deaths has stayed much the same over the decade, the national trend in fatality rates has fallen. Unfortunately, for every motorcyclist who loses their life, 35 more have to go to hospital with serious injuries. A motorcyclist’s risk of injury, compared to death, is much higher than for pedestrians (16 to 1), or people in a vehicle (18 to 1).


In NSW, motorbike riders cannot afford to be complacent, as death rates rose 1.2% each year over 10 years. In NSW:

  • Mostly men die – 93% of motorbike and 60% of car deaths
  • Mainly women passengers die – 60% of pillion deaths
  • Under 40s – less than half of deaths in 2016 (two thirds in 2007)
  • Age 40 – average age of fatally injured motorcyclist.

Crash types

The majority (90%) of fatal crashes and serious injuries are not caused by collisions with another vehicle. Fatal crashes are more likely to occur on a curve, where the rider fails to stay in the lane or on the road.

If there are two vehicles involved in a fatal crash, they are most likely to be travelling in opposite directions. For injury crashes, they are more likely to be travelling in the same direction. Most crashes, as you might expect, happen on the weekend.

Ride to Live

Everyone can increase their chances of staying alive. The chances of dying on a motorcycle depend on your gender and age, as well as road conditions, safety features used, protective clothing worn, or level of proper training.

While these statistics are sobering, staying well informed is the best way to ride a motorcycle safely. The NSW government site, Ride to Live is a good resource for anyone who owns a motorcycle. It also has a virtual hazards test, so you can test your skills to find out just how good a rider you are.

Registration and CTP

Registration for a motorcycle costs only $62 for private or business use. For CTP insurance, motorbikes are classified on the basis of engine size:

  • Under 225cc
  • 226cc to 725cc
  • 726cc to 1,125cc
  • 1,126cc to 1,325cc
  • Over 1,325cc.

When buying a green slip, the brand does not matter but you do need to know the size of the engine.

For more about the appeal of motorcycles, see our other blogs, New motorbikes – best sales in 7 years  and The risks of motorcycles for the over 40s.

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