Bike Reviews & More

Coronavirus advice for bike riders

Coronavirus is affecting every aspect of daily life, both in the UK and across the world. Self-isolation and social distancing pose practical problems, which most people have never experienced before.

In this article, we aim to answer frequently asked questions which may come up for motorbike riders. We aim to keep this page updated as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic changes.

For medical advice please make sure you visit the NHS website.

For advice relating to the UK’s response in any other areas, please visit the UK Government’s website.

To keep up to date with all our latest content, or ask us a question, visit our social channels – Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Youtube.
What do I do if my bike breaks down?
You would think with a large percentage of the population currently working from home and schools being closed that the roads would be quieter. It is important to consider that breakdown services will be under pressure, just like all other services and businesses at the moment.

We spoke to the AA, who was keen to let people know that they will still attend to their customers if they have a problem on the road. They recently updated their app and have briefed telephone-based customer service staff, to help identify anyone who has a problem who has coronavirus symptoms or is in self-isolation. This should reduce the risk of exposure for both customers and their staff.

The AA CEO Simon Breakwell has explained that they’ve “already taken a range of steps to maintain our service to you, but you may experience a longer wait than usual when contacting us on the telephone while the COVID-19 situation continues.”
We are expecting to see plans evolve from other breakdown services soon.
Will my bike theory test be cancelled?
The DVSA (the agency that oversees driving tests for cars and theory tests) confirmed on the 19th of March that theory tests have been suspended for 4 weeks due to coronavirus (COVID-19). Please visit Gov.UK to see updates as the situation develops.

We spoke to a DVSA spokesperson who told us that “a testing service will still be available to those who have a critical need, such as the NHS and drivers delivering goods across the UK.”

If your test has been postponed, “the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will automatically rebook your test, free of charge, as soon as possible. DVSA will send you another email with the new date and time as soon as it’s been rebooked.”

If you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, even if this is at short notice, you should cancel your theory test and there will be no charge. If your test is over 3 working days away you can do this here. If your test is within the next three days, email or call the DVSA.
Will my CBT or bike full licence training be cancelled?
If you have a CBT or full licence training course booked in, you should contact the training provider to check if it has been cancelled or not.

James Beddows the Managing Director of RideTo the UK's #1 Motorcycle Training Platform says:

"All of our Compulsory Basic Training bookings are currently unaffected by COVID-19 and existing bookings are to proceed. We have already taken major steps to ensure customer hygiene and safety is our top priority.

A number of DVSA test centres for full licence exams have stopped tests taking place due to COVID-19. Any customers affected by this we have informed and have taken the necessary measures to ensure their training and test takes place at the earliest and safest time available.

Our customer service teams are working tirelessly to reassure all riders and we encourage customers to bring their own gear for training where possible.

Due to the influx of riders looking to get on the roads and avoid public transport we continue to monitor the situation and safety of our customers daily as the COVID-19 situation continues."
Can I still refuel my bike?
This depends on whether you have symptoms of COVID-19 coronavirus and or are ‘at risk’ or not. To check if you are ‘at risk’ please check the NHS website.
If you have no symptoms and are not ‘at risk’:
The NHS are advising that people with no symptoms, who are not ‘as risk should still practice ‘social distancing’ for more information on this please visit the NHS website..

In this situation, use self-service pumps (lots of supermarket filling stations have these) and use disposable gloves when handling the pump and paying, pay by contactless where possible. When you fill-up, avoid any human contact.

There are now come app-based payment systems (e.g Shell’s Fill Up & Go) which allow you to pay for your fuel on your phone. If you use an app, wash and or disinfect your hands afterwards.
If you have symptoms, have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or are ‘at risk’:
The NHS advice is to stay at home for 7 days if you have symptoms of coronavirus. If you live with someone who has symptoms, then all members of the household should stay at home for 14-days after the first person shows symptoms. Read more about this here.
I was due to attend a speed awareness course, what should I do?
As a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Chief Constable Bangham (the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Roads Policing) has confirmed that they believe that it is no longer appropriate for police forces to offer classroom-based education courses as an alternative to prosecution for motoring offences covered by NDORS.

UK Road Offender Education who operate, manage, administer and develop the speed awareness schemes, on behalf of the Police Service, have suspended all classroom-based courses for 12 weeks, from 9 am on Friday 20th March 2020.

The UK Road Offender Education are going to work with police forces and course providers, in an attempt to establish other options, to deal with drivers who have already been offered a course. They have asked individuals to contact their course providers for further details.

Check the NDORS website for up to date information.
What if my bike needs an MoT or service?
If your MOT is due soon, due to uncertainty at the moment, we recommend parking your motorbike off-street or in a garage as if your MoT expires. This is because it’s an offence having it on the public road, even if it’s parked up and you’re not using it.
If you have symptoms, have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or are ‘at risk’:
If you, or any member of your household, are showing symptoms of coronavirus then you have to stay indoors. Once again, please read the NHS guidelines for accurate advice.

Let your MOT expire and arrange a retest for when you’re fit and well and ready to get back on the road. You will then only be allowed to ride your bike to a prearranged test at a nearby garage.

Manufacturer service intervals are important too but not a legal requirement. Check the small print of any service contracts, warranty conditions or similar to make sure that you are not obliged to have your service by a certain date. If you’re uncertain, call the dealer or manufacturer you bought the bike from to check.
If you have no symptoms and are not ‘at risk’:
On the 25th March the UK government granted ‘temporary exemption’ of MOTs of motorbikes who are due an MOT after the 30th of March. This will enable vital services to continue, essential workers to get to work, and allow the public to get essential food and medicine during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We have a detailed article on this update, you can read this here.

Manufacturer service intervals are important but not a legal requirement. For newer bikes, some dealers may be willing to collect it from you and then deliver it back once the service has been done. If you’re not using it anyway, you could just wait on the basis you won’t be adding any wear and tear in the meantime. Make sure you check the small print of any service contracts, warranty conditions or similar to make sure there are no obligations to have the service by a certain date and call the dealer or manufacturer.
Will your bike battery die if I don't ride it?
Short answer? Yes, it probably will, which can be a pain.

The average bike battery will die after 2 – 4 months if left in the garage. Newer batteries can last a little longer (3 – 5 months).

Every time you let your bike’s battery die, this causes permanent damage, making your battery lose some of its ability to charge fully.

Try using a battery charger to stop it going completely flat if you leave it for a long time.
Can I buy a bike and sell my old one without leaving the house?
An increasing number of retailers are selling motorbikes online. You can now part-exchange your bike, sort out your finance deal, purchase the new bike and have it delivered to your door - without leaving your home.

Online bike buying/selling was happening pre coronavirus, but we expect things to move even faster with this now.

If you want to buy a bike online, find the bike you want and speak to the dealer directly about it.
What happens if I struggle to make my monthly finance payments due to losses incurred by the coronavirus?
Your finance company will likely have a team within their customer services division, which you can speak to if you are experiencing financial difficulties. Ring them to discuss your situation.

Not all finance providers will have the ability to offer payment holidays, so you may need to assess what other household debts you have to look at all your options.

For independent advice on finance contracts, contact Citizens Advice or, for general financial concerns, you can try the Money Advice Service, who are independent and can provide web chat services and more.
What happens if my bike lease contract is due to expire/start while I’m self-isolating?
As with most business sectors, the answer is likely to vary from company to company. Contact your lease provider, who should be able to arrange a solution with you.
Does riding a motorbike count as exercise during coronavirus?
Normally, riding a motorbike is considered a form of exercise, it is fairly low-impact but you can burn between 170- 600 calories an hour.

Unfortunately for avid riders, riding a motorcycle doesn’t count as an acceptable form of exercise during the coronavirus pandemic.

You can ride on your motorcycle if your purpose for doing so is to get to work (if you are an essential worker), to seek medical help from a doctor, pharmacist or hospital, to help others, or to go shopping for essentials for you and your household.

The police have the power to stop and question you and may fine you if they believe your trip is not essential.

Related topics:

Bikes Homepage Features