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Riding a motorcycle on motorways ( part five )

Posted by Howard Trott on Sunday, September 11, 2016 Under: Motorcycle Riding Skills
End of motorway

There will be end of motorway signs at all exits. These mean that the road you're joining will have different rules. Remember to watch for any signs telling you what these are, particularly - speed limits - dual carriageway - two-way traffic - clearway - motorway link road - part-time traffic lights.


Speed when leaving motorway

After riding at motorway speeds for some time, your judgement of speed will almost certainly be affected, 40 or 45 mph seems more like 20 mph - adjust your riding to suit the new conditions - check your speedometer. It will give you the accurate speed. Motorway slip roads and link roads often have sharp curves which should be taken at much lower speeds. The road surface on these curves may be slippery - look for signs of fuel spillage.

Motorway weather conditions

When you ride on motorways the most common weather problems will be - crosswinds - rain - fog. 


A sudden gust of wind can blow you off course. Keep your speed down where there is a danger of crosswinds. Riding more slowly will help you to keep control. You need to be especially careful - as you come out from the shelter of a large vehicle when overtaking or being overtaken on exposed stretches. In a strong wind, drivers of high-sided vehicles, or those towing caravans, are also likely to experience difficulty. Allow for this when riding near these vehicles.


In heavy rain the surface spray from other vehicles, especially large ones, will seriously reduce visibility, as well as increase stopping distance. Make sure that - you're visible. Use dipped headlights and wear bright clothing - you can see clearly. Keep your visor or goggles clean - you adjust your speed to suit the conditions and leave larger separation distances, at least double the normal. 


In fog you need to - slow down and keep your distance from the vehicle ahead - use dipped headlamps and rear fog lamps (if fitted) when visibility falls below 100 metres - make sure that your visor or goggles are clean and aren't hindering your view ahead - wear bright clothing. This will help other drivers to see you. Fog can drift quickly and is often patchy. If a motorway warning sign shows fog - be prepared - reduce speed in good time.

Stopping on motorways

You must only stop on a motorway if - it's an emergency - it will prevent an accident - police or road signs or signals indicate that you must. If you need to stop for a rest, find a service area. The hard shoulder is for emergencies only. It isn't for parking or resting.


If your motorcycle breaks down, try to get onto the hard shoulder. When you have stopped - park as far to the left as you can away from traffic - switch on your hazard warning lights if fitted - switch on your parking lights in poor visibility or at night - make your way to the nearest emergency telephone and call for assistance. Never - attempt even minor repairs.

Emergency telephones 

Police-controlled emergency telephones are on most stretches of motorway at one mile intervals. Look for a telephone symbol and arrows on marker posts 100 metres apart along the hard shoulder. The arrow directs you to the nearest phone on your side of the carriageway. Walk to the telephone, keeping on the inside of the hard shoulder. Never - cross the carriageway or an exit or entry slip road to reach a phone or for any purpose.

Using the emergency phone

The telephone connects you to the police control, who will put you through to a breakdown service. Always face the traffic when you speak on the telephone. You'll be asked for - the number on the telephone, which gives your precise location - details of your vehicle and your membership details, if you belong to one of the motoring organisations - details of the fault. If you're a vulnerable motorcyclist such as a woman travelling alone, make this clear to the operator. You'll also be told approximately how long you'll have to wait.

Mobile phones

If you are unable to use an emergency telephone, use a mobile phone if you have one. However, before you call, make sure that you can give the police or motoring organisation precise details of your location. Marker posts on the side of the hard shoulder identify your location and you should provide these details when you call.

Waiting for the emergency services  

Many motorway deaths are caused by vehicles driving into people on the hard shoulder. For this reason wait on the bank near your vehicle, so you can see the emergency services arriving.  

In : Motorcycle Riding Skills 

Tags: motorbike riding skills  riding a motorcycle on motorways  motorway riding   


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