When you have a motorbike crash, whether it’s your own fault or not, it’s often more than your ride that’s dented – your confidence can take a big hit too.
But how do you regain your confidence to get back on the saddle? Insurance experts at Bikesure offer some advice for bikers whose bodies, bikes and self belief have been a little battered and bruised after a road accident.
7 tips if you’ve been in a motorbike crash
- Don’t start riding again until all your injuries have healed. If you ride while unfit your performance may be affected.
- Consider getting some extra training.
- Upgrade your helmet and leathers.
- If your bike is repairable, get the work done by a professional and have it MOT tested to ensure it is safe to ride.
- On your first ride after an accident, take a route you are familiar with on a bright and clear day at a time when there is little traffic.
- Ride with friends until you feel confident enough to be on your own.
- Go gentle. Corner with care, accelerate sparingly, signal in good time, brake early.
But don’t take our word for it. This is what two experienced bikers had to say about regaining confidence after each was involved in a motorbike crash.
Motorbike crash case study 1: John J Millar
John is a 72-year-old retired ship’s captain who lives in Duston in Northants. He has been riding motorbikes for more than 30 years.
He has suffered two accidents in the space of 18 months. The first on a BMW R1200RS which cost him £14,000, the second on a Triumph Tiger which he bought for £11,000.
John explained: “I’ve had two offs in the space of 18 months. The first was in 2017 when I was on a Spanish tour.
“I’m afraid my ambition overcame my ability. I was riding on a gravel road and as the bend tightened up I slid into a stream which was about a metre deep.
“In the second accident I was on a roundabout and I was knocked off by a car entering without stopping. Classic “smidsy” – sorry mate I didn’t see you.”
In both motorbike crashes the machines were written off and John suffered niggling knocks and bruises – ribs, knees, shoulders and arms – from which he took around six months to fully recover.
‘Crash gave me time to reflect’
John added: “Neither crash really put me off, but waiting for insurance completion gave me time for reflection.
“My wife, although not actually saying, thought it was time for me to stop riding, but I couldn’t really stop. Riding a motorbike is still the most satisfying thing you can do.”
Once the insurance was through he bought another bike and got straight back on the road. For John the odd spill just comes as an occupational hazard, part of the biker’s deal. Every biker knows it’s not a case of “if” but “when” they will come off their bike.
But, admits, two accidents in pretty quick succession have made him more aware and more cautious on the road, “especially with the number of careless motorists on the road these days”.
And John’s words of wisdom for those struggling with confidence issues after having a motorbike crash?
“Never, ever relax or become complacent. Extra training, even though you may have been riding for years, is essential.”
Motorbike crash case study 2: Steve Whittet
Steve is a 59-year-old Clerk of Works who lives in Orsett, Essex. He has been riding motorbikes for around 45 years.
He crashed on his Suzuki DL1000 which he bought new in 2015 for £10,800.
Steve explained: I was approaching a crossroads controlled by a set of traffic lights when part way through the junction I was struck by a vehicle turning right. The driver simply hadn’t seen me
“The bike was written off as a category N (non structural damage). I have since bought the bike back and repaired it.
“I suffered soft tissue injuries to my right side and both shoulders I am still recovering and still have pain in my shoulders.”
Like John, while the accident shook him, it didn’t put him off riding. In fact, he was riding again as soon as his injuries allowed, in just a week or so.
‘Riding is a way of life for me’
He said: “I enjoy riding it’s a way of life for me and I couldn’t think of my life without a motorcycle in it
“I am obviously more cautious in similar circumstances to the accident, however I believe you should learn from every experience whether negative or not.”
And Steve’s golden rule for those suffering a crisis in confidence after a motorbike crash: “Take a long breath, look at everything that happened and ask yourself ‘did I do everything possible to avoid the accident?’.
“If the answer is yes, get straight back on the bike. If the answer is no, think about improving your riding, consider additional training with something like a Bike Safe course.”
Be prepared for that spill and have Bikesure on your side
Many people reckon that when it comes to accidents it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” you have one if you ride a motorbike. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to have a specialist motorcycle insurer such as Bikesure on your side?
Bikesure have access to more than 40 different motorbike and moped insurance schemes and have been providing affordable cover for people just like you for almost 30 years.
Check out the expert’s tips for safe motorcycling in France
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