“Accidental tip-overs often occur because riders aren't paying attention to their environment. As you pull off the road and consider where to park, have a think about the direction you will be leaving from and which way the surface is sloping. Park your bike facing slightly uphill rather than down hill and always leave it in gear with the steering locked to the left. Don't just stop, flick the sidestand down and jump off. Is the surface loose gravel? Melting hot bitumen? Squashy soft grass? Look for a place in the shade with a hard surface. In anticipation of less than ideal conditions, find a hard plate that you can put under your sidestand. A flattened drink can is better than nothing, but a steel or wooden off-cut is better. Keep it in your backpack or in a pannier or under your seat. “Don't park your bike on its sidestand with an excessive lean to the left. All that pressure on the sidestand could drill a hole in the ground and over it will go! Don't expect your bike to hold its position if it is parked nearly vertical, either. A gust of wind can easily topple over a bike. “If you have to manoeuvre your bike by pushing it around to a different direction, don't push it forward on full left lock and hit the front brake. Its momentum and centre of mass will have it dropping faster than you can imagine. Instead, wheel your bike backwards on full right lock until you are pointing the way you want to go, then wheel it forward and stop. “Before shifting your bike around in your garage or parking area, put your boots on and fold up the side stand. Slippers are for watching TV, not pushing motorcycles! Sidestands can catch on things or fold up when you least expect it. Keep your bike space tidy and free of trip hazards.”

Crash knob

Making your current motorcycle more resistant to damage

“Look at your bike end-on and tilt your head over to one side. Imagine your bike is now   lying on the ground. What is likely to be touching down? Which points would be crushed by the weight of the bike? These are the points you   need to protect. “Check with local motorcycle shops to see if they have accessories for your particular model. Ask the riders at your local   motorcycle café what they have fitted to save the paint on their   pride and joy. Check to see if any web forums exist for your bike and   learn from the misfortune of others to see if there are any known   problems. Some bikes have a reputation for cracking their cases or   demolishing vital parts like radiators or handlebars when they go horizontal. “Find out the prices of replacement components at the spare   parts counter. A bent lever, busted mirror and shattered turn signal could add up to over $500. Suddenly, crash protection   looks cheap. If your engine is wide, fit case guards. If you   have a flat twin, fit head protectors or crash bars. If your fairing is the widest part of your bike, then it is vulnerable. Fit crash knobs. They work! “If you have an older Ducati, you can buy a replacement part that stops the sidestand from flicking up when you lift the bike off it.”

Buying a new bike?

“Read the brochure and ask the salesperson if there are any special features which might help to reduce the amount of damage if the bike falls over. Ask if there are any genuine original accessories available for the bike. Yamaha has a range of factory-designed crash knobs on its website. “Think about the cost of crash repairs if they are needed. Some touring bikes have steel crash bars as standard while some sports bikes have crash knobs. If the bike you like has no protection at all, ask the dealer to at least fit crash knobs as a condition of the sale.”

“Think about the cost of crash repairs if they are needed. Some touring bikes have steel crash bars as standard while some sports bikes have crash knobs. If the bike you like has no protection at all,   ask the dealer to at least fit crash knobs as a condition of the sale.”

“Think about the cost of crash repairs if they are needed. Some touring bikes have ste el crash bars as standard while some sports bikes have crash knobs. If the bike you like has no protection at all, ask the dealer to at least fit crash knobs as a condition of the sale.”