Motorcycles and Quad Bikes

Motorbike on a country roadA motorbikeMotorbike on a country road

Motorcycle Safety

Northumbria Police engages with motorcyclists to encourage safe and responsible use of motorcycles on our roads.

We operate road safety initiatives to:

Reduce fatal and serious collisions;

Reduce anti-social use of motorcycles; and

Encourage riders to ride with respect and within their limitations.

The aim of these courses is to equip riders with additional skills to keep them safe on the roads.

Operation Weekender is a proactive road safety initiative to reduce the anti-social use of motorcycles in rural areas and encourage riders to ride with respect and within their limitations. Offenders are either offered a place on the national RIDE scheme, an educational course as an alternative to prosecution, or prosecuted through the courts. They may also have their motorcycles seized in certain circumstances.

Experienced motor patrols officers hold Cornering Clinics throughout the year. These are free of charge, look out for additional information throughout the year.

Our partners at Northumberland County Council deliver an Expert Rider course for motorcyclists at a reduced cost. This is a one day practical riding session involving over 100 miles of road work featuring a range of riding environments.

Find out more about Expert Rider courses from Northumberland County Council.

The Bends Dead Ahead campaign is aimed at reducing fatalities and serious injuries to motorcyclists, as well as reducing the anti-social behaviour of a few motorcyclists who have a negative impact on our communities.

Damage to helmets

If your helmet receives any serious impact you should always buy a new one. Damage won't always be visible to the naked eye. For this reason you should never buy a second-hand helmet.

Visibility aids for motorcyclists

Many road collisions involving motorcyclists occur because another road user didn't see them. Using some form of visibility aid will help others to see you. Remember you need to be visible from the side as well as the front and back.

Wearing fluorescent orange or yellow clothing in daylight will improve your chances of being seen.

Other methods you could use to help other road users to see you in daylight include:

wearing a white helmet

wearing brightly coloured clothing

riding with your headlamp on dipped beam

To improve visibility in the dark you need to wear reflective materials. They work by reflecting the light from headlamps of other vehicles. This makes you much more visible from a long distance away.


If you need glasses or contact lenses to read a number plate at the prescribed distance then you must wear your glasses or contact lenses when you ride. You should not wear tinted glasses, visors or goggles if you are riding in the dark or conditions of poor visibility.

It is very important that you keep your visor or goggles clean. You must have a clear view of the road ahead at all times.

Warning! The below video may contain upsetting images.

Quad bike in fieldQuad bike riding through along a trailQuad bike riding through a field

Quad Bikes

If you want to ride a quad bike on the road it must be type approved, registered, taxed and insured. If you use a quad bike for agricultural work you'll have to register it as an agricultural vehicle.

For further information about driving quad bikes on and off road visit the Government website

Although there is no requirement to wear a crash helmet while riding a quad bike or a three wheeled motor cycle, it would be strongly advised to wear a crash helmet to:

comply with British Standard BS 6658:1985

comply with UNECE Regulation 22.05

comply with any standard accepted by a member of the European Economic Area which offers a level of safety and protection equivalent to BS 6658:1985

Using a quad bike as a normal road-going vehicle wouldn’t normally be allowed. Unlike a four-wheel road vehicle like a car, it wouldn’t be able to meet certain construction needs, such as the tyres, braking system and seat belt requirements.