15 ways road surfaces will destroy your motorcycle.


Riding a motorcycle gives bikers a fantastic edge at getting through traffic; however, it’s not without its cons. Whether you’ve been a dedicated biker your whole life, or you’re just starting, problem roads can still be fatal. Read on to find out more about the most common road defects and what you can do following an accident.

Hard shoulders

If you’re riding down the road and need to pull over in an emergency, the hard shoulder can usually provide a safe space in which you can await recovery. However, hard shoulders can be a danger in themselves, mainly when the edge contains broken gravel areas. This, in itself, makes it more difficult for bikers to maintain control of their vehicle. Harsh-braking into loose gravel could lead you to go down with your bike. Always be cautious of the road conditions when stopping on a hard shoulder.

Pot Holes

A pothole often occurs from repeated years of extreme weather. As the rain falls and ultimately freezes, it can cause the road to separate. Potholes can cause a sudden dramatic change to your motorcycle’s suspension. Long term, this could lead to damage. Immediately, you could have a burst tyre on your hands, or it could interfere with your braking performance. Even if a pothole has been repaired, if it hasn’t been restored to the right standard, it can still pose a severe risk to bikers.

UK Pot Holes

Moss Build-up

This isn’t usually an issue if you live in a built-up area or city. However, infrequently used rural roads can have problems with built-up moss at the edge and centre of the road. This is particularly difficult after rain as the road surface can become slippery. This is far more dangerous than your regular tarmac. Moss can additionally lead to further breakdown of the roads leading to quicker degradation. Often this can be very problematic for bikers who need to stop quickly.

Corrugations, parallel grooves and ruts

Creases and parallel grooves can often be a result of vehicle heavy road use. These can be dangerous to bikers as they can often cause ‘tram-lining’. This is where the bike’s wheels have the tendency to follow the rut of the road. This is particularly dangerous for motorcycles as they only have two wheels. Corrugations and ruts can often cause an unexpected direction change for bikers.

UK Road Works

Cracked Seals

Occasionally when the road is repaired, your local council will opt to seal a crack instead of ripping up the entire road. However, this in itself can be problematic for bikers. The seals can be particularly slippery on a wet day. The end result is that the bike can slide right from under you.

Tarmac Bleeds and polished surfaces

While the weather in the UK never truly hits a high extreme, it does occasionally get hot enough that the tarmac becomes sticky. When the temperature drops, the tarmac solidifies and is eventually polished by the on-coming vehicles. The end result? A very slippery road.


Pavement Surfacing

Pavement surfaces can become an issue to bikers where the road hasn’t been repaired to a correct standard. This is because it can cause chips in the covers. They can snag on your motorbikes tyre and ultimately lead to the need for a new tyre.

Pavement Markings

Older road markings which don’t use skid-resistant paint can be hazardous to bikers travelling on the road. This can pose an extreme risk during an overtaking manoeuvre. Newer road markings have fantastic anti-skidding properties mixed in with it – however, bikers should still make a habit to avoid riding over them- just in case.

Vegetation at the side of the road

Trees at the side of the load shed a lot of leaves in Autumn. A build-up of vegetation can create an extremely slippery surface for bikers. Since the vegetation is shaded continuously by the trees, it rarely dries up. Instead, it turns into a soft mud posing a hazard to two-wheels. Try to avoid riding at the side of the road to avoid going down.

Road Debris

Roadside Debris

During a storm, rain can cause rubbish, grass and even sharp objects into the road. This is particularly troublesome since as biker often won’t see the issue until it’s too late. In addition to this, tight corners can often be home to diesel and petrol spills from large vehicles. When the weather starts to take a turn for the worse, remember this additional risk when you’re heading into a bend. Try to decrease your speed before entering to avoid going down dramatically.

Grease and oil build-up

If you’re an experienced rider, you probably know the risks of riding on the first sunny day after heavy rain. When the weather has been dry for a while, grease and oil build up on the road. Combine this with heavy rain, and you’ve got yourself a lot of slippery roads. Many inexperienced bikers may assume that as soon as the weather clears up, the roads are clear too. However, if you hit top speeds on a dry day after a few wet ones, you run the risk of a damaged bike and a damaged you.

Oil Crossing

Temporary steel plates and ramps

If there are ongoing building works, your local council may place yellow steel plates over uneven surfaces. Occasionally these can be placed over cables too. However, despite the textured area to the plate, these can be extremely slippery, so don’t overdo it.


When the local council are making adjustments to underground services such as waterways or network cables, it may be the case that they need to dig trenches into the ground.  The issue that arises from this is that once the trenches have been filled, it can often lead to bumps in the road. Hitting a bump at high speed on your motorcycle may temporarily lead you to become airborne.

Railway and Tram crossings

It’s commonplace for roads to overlap with railway and tram lines. However, these crossings can pose a risk to bikers on the road because the wheels on a motorcycle can become caught in the tracks. In addition to this, the railways themselves are incredibly slippery and can cause the bike to veer off-course.

Rail Crossing

Accidents and spillages

If there’s recently been an accident on the road, there may be broken glass and plastic as well as fluids on the road. These can pose a number of different risks to bikers on the road. Sharp objects can become tangled in the wheels and chain of your bike. In addition to this, fluids can cause the bike to slip. You should always ride with caution when entering an area that has recently had an accident.

How can SorryMate help me after I’ve had an accident?

If you’ve had an accident on the road, it may not be your fault.

SorryMate takes a professional yet understanding approach to those who have suffered an injury after coming off their motorbike. Making a non-collision accident claim involves claiming against local councils which can be daunting. This is why we do all the work for you, which includes claiming compensation for your injuries, damage to your vehicle, repair work, and kit. In addition to this, any other related expenses, such as loss of earnings, travel and medical expenses. If you’ve suffered a non-collision accident, contact SorryMate below to find out if we can help.

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