Am I a Born-again biker?

easy rider motorcycle at Goodwood

Born-again bikers are the subject of a new safety campaign from North Yorkshire police.

Now, not every biker gets their very own so it means this particular group of riders must be special, special in a bad way.

That’s because Born-again bikers are more likely to be involved in a serious accident according to North Yorkshire police,

In fact, men aged between 40 and 49 accounted for 60 per cent of all motorcyclists killed on North Yorkshire roads last year.

This, says Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, is the reason behind the Born-again biker campaign.

“Our road casualty statistics clearly show that middle-aged men are more likely than any other group to be involved in fatal and serious injury collisions when riding their bike.

“This is the context behind the new ‘Born-again bikers’ safety campaign and it is important that we try new ways to get the message across to those who are most at risk.”

So what’s a Born-again biker?

A Born-again biker is somebody who after a prolonged break from riding, has decided to get back on two wheels.

The stereotypical Born-again biker usually stops riding because they have kids. Stereotypically, they return to riding when the kids have grown up.

North Yorkshire Police imply that Born-again bikers are aged between 40 and 49 years of age.

And, based on their accident data, they also confirm that Born-again bikers usually ride powerful bikes, with nearly all collisions occurring on 500cc and above motorbikes.

Not the only thing that gets rusty born again biker safety campaign from Bike Safe and North Yorkshire Police

What’s wrong with being a Born-again biker?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a Born-again biker, it’s just that they tend to be involved in a high proportion of accidents, as North Yorkshire Police have revealed.

And the Born-again biker safety campaign highlights this, stressing that 70 per cent of motorcycle collisions are the result of rider error, particularly loss of control on a bend or when overtaking.

Why are Born-again bikers more collision-prone than other bikers?

Unfortunately, one of the sad facts of motorcycle riding is that all bikers are collision prone.

A disproportionate amount of riders are killed on UK roads and of that number, Born-again bikers feature highly.

As North Yorkshire Police’s safety campaign highlights, a break from riding can result in a few things:

Bikes are more powerful

Bikes are quick and powerful machines now, when some riders stopped riding, they weren’t.

Some Born-again bikers throw themselves in at the deep-end and jump on a 1000cc brute before getting out on the road.

For many, they’re too hot to handle, which is why Born-again bikers are being advised to gradually build-up to big bikes and start on something smaller.

Skills decline

While bikes have got quicker, more powerful and more sophisticated, a prolonged break from riding won’t have had the same effect on your riding skills.

Like anything, practice makes perfect, and if you haven’t ridden a motorcycle in years, you’re going to be a bit rusty.

That’s why Born-again bikers are being urged to take refresher courses to get used to being back on a bike.

Arai lids with tinted visors on display at Motorcycle Live 2012

Kit and clothing has moved on

Still managing to fit into your 20-year-old motorcycle gear may be a point of pride but you probably shouldn’t wear them on the road.

Like anything, technology has developed and improved. Kit from this year isn’t as safe as kit from the year before, and so on.

That’s especially true of helmets, so don’t keep your old gear, buy some shiny new stuff.

And watch our helmet fitment video to see what you need to know.

So are you a Born-again biker?

If you can answer yes to any of the below, you could be a Born-again biker:

1. Did you stop riding when you wrongly thought you needed to ‘grow up’?
2. Have you secretly yearned for the smell of a two-stroke and a petrol tank between your legs?
3. Do you secretly fondle your old leathers when nobody’s looking?
4. Does turning the ignition on your car fill you with sadness?
5. Do you look at the space between two lanes of slow moving traffic like it’s a missed opportunity?
6. Do you smile at filtering bikers from the driver’s seat of your car?
7. Is your first thought on a sunny Sunday morning where are my leathers?
8. Do you still rate a café based on the number of motorcycle parking spaces it has, even if you don’t have one?

Next page: What do the new speed limiter laws mean for UK motorcycle riders?