Ministry of Transportation / Ministère des Transports
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Driving on dangerous surfaces

Because motorcycles and mopeds balance on only two wheels, those two wheels must have good traction in order to stay upright. Any surface that affects your motorcycle or moped’s traction will affect the steering, braking and balance. Slippery surfaces reduce your control and increase your chances of falling. It is almost impossible to keep your motorcycle or moped balanced on wet wooden surfaces or ice. If you cannot avoid such surfaces, slow down as much as possible before you get there. Do not brake once on the slippery surface. If you are riding a motorcy­cle with a clutch and gears, pull in the clutch and coast across.

Pulling in the clutch removes the engine drag from the rear wheel and helps avoid skidding. Stay off the brakes. If necessary, use your foot to hold the motorcycle up.

Watch for uneven road surfaces such as bumps, broken pavement, potholes, railroad tracks and construction areas. If the condition of the road is bad enough, it could affect your control of your vehicle. Here are some tips on handling uneven surfaces:

  • Slow down to reduce the impact.
  • Keep your motorcycle or moped as upright as possible and avoid turning.
  • Rise slightly on the footrests so that you can absorb the shock with your knees and elbows.

Traction on gravel roads is not as good as on pavement. Some areas are better than others. Stay in the tire tracks away from the loose gravel at the edge of the road.

Drive with extra care in a construction area. Slow down; the road could have ruts, mud or damaged pavement.