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The Rider's Handbook


From November 2017, South Australians with a Motorcycle Rider’s Licence can digitise their licences with the mySA GOV app.

The mySA GOV app enables South Australians to securely store selected government-issued pass and licence information on their Apple or Android smartphone or tablet. Digital passes and licences displayed in the mySA GOV app are a duplicate of existing physical licences and can be accepted as a valid and legal document.

For more information about the mySA GOV app please visit

rider's handbook

Statistics indicate that serious casualty crashes involving motorcyclists in South Australia:

  • are more likely to occur in metropolitan Adelaide
  • are mostly single vehicle crashes
  • occur more frequently on Saturdays & Sundays
  • are more likely to occur if the rider is under the influence of alcohol or
    illegal drugs
  • are more likely to occur if the rider does not have a motorcycle

Research also shows:

  • Riders using sports motorcycles are more likely to be involved in serious injury crashes than riders on other types of motorcycle. Sports motorcycles are typically ridden at higher than average speeds, which reduces the time available to spot, interpret and react to a hazard, and increases the potential number and severity of injuries.
  • A large number of fatal motorcycle crashes occur on motorcycles that have been borrowed. Every motorcycle handles differently and it is easy to make mistakes on an unfamiliar motorcycle.
  • Riding at night, particularly on country roads, is considerably more dangerous for motorcyclists than other road users. The risks of hitting an animal, misjudging a curve or not seeing a change in road surface are all increased at night.

The incidence of motorcycle death and serious injury in South Australia has increased in recent years as a proportion of all road serious casualties, while all road user trauma has generally decreased, motorcyclist casualties are reducing at a slower rate.


If you would like to start riding a motorcycle you must first attend a Rider Safe course.

Rider Safe is a compulsory motorcycle rider training course for all novice motorcyclists. The course teaches the basic and advanced skills necessary for safe riding on roads.

You are advised to complete the basic training course before you purchase a motorcycle. Motorcycles of different sizes are available for loan during the basic course to afford an opportunity to determine your riding ability before you decide to purchase your own motorcycle.

The basic course covers classroom and practical (off-road) sessions, which includes straight riding, turning, gear changing and braking, and is accompanied by a competency-based form of assessment, entitling the learner to apply for a learner’s permit (R date).

The advanced course includes a training session (off-road) and a practical assessment, which focuses on competent control of a motorcycle.

Please note; helmets are not provided for Rider Safe courses, you must provide your own compliant, fit for purpose, motorcycle helmet .


The minimum age a person may gain a motorcycle learner’s permit is 18 years. Some exemptions are available for people aged under 18 if they live in a prescribed locality (i.e. regional South Australia) or if they are the holder of a provisional licence.

When learning to ride a motorcycle, start on very quiet streets that you know well. Start off riding in daylight. Only ride at night once you have riding experience and feel confident about controlling the motorcycle.

If you are under the age of 25 years, you must not ride between midnight and 5am, regardless of whether you already hold a driver’s licence for another class unless you meet the exemption criteria.

Talk to other riders to tap into their knowledge and experience.

You must not carry a passenger either as a pillion or in a side car. This includes a person acting as a Qualified Supervising Driver.

You must not tow a trailer.

You must hold your motorcycle learner’s permit for a minimum period of 12 months, regardless of your age and regardless of whether you already hold a licence.

You must not ride a motorcycle unless you have zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC). This restriction applies irrespective of whether you hold a full licence.

Rider Safe training courses cover the skills needed for safe on road riding.

The Basic Rider Safe training course must be successfully undertaken before you can obtain a motorcycle learner’s permit.



The Department wishes to thank the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority for their permission to reprint material from the NSW Motorcycle Rider's Handbook.


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