Top 5 Most Common callouts for Breakdowns

By: Dave MotorCycle Direct Posted: August 8th, 2016

Recently the RAC has constructed a summary of the most common causes for callouts for their motorbike members. This information has been put together to ensure that bikers are aware of these common causes so they can prepare their bikes for any upcoming journeys.

It is a particularly good idea to monitor your bike regularly particularly if it is coming out of hibernation from the winter months. It's important to check any vehicle you are going to use if it hasn't been used in the last few months. In 2015 the top reason for RAC call outs was to deal with punctures and other tyre related issues. These could have been avoided with a few simple checks. When you're driving on two wheels not four, any tyre related issues are much more noticeable and can cause more damage than you may realise.

Last year, the RAC dealt with 27,000 motorcycle breakdowns due to these top five reasons:

1. Tyres
2. Flat Battery
3. Mechanical failure
4. Alternator
5. Drive Chain

These top five causes made up 67% of all breakdowns that year. Other reasons were due to running out of fuel, accident recovery and clutch issues. The busiest month of the year recorded was April which is also the most common month for motorcyclists to get their bikes back out on the road. Some problems could be avoided if simple checks are carried out.

Battery check

If batteries go unused for a long period of time they can become unreliable and let you down. If you aren't sure of the state your battery is in then get it checked by a local dealer or invest in a battery optimate which keeps your battery charged up for months on end.

Inspect the brakes

Brake fluid can absorb moisture from the air. For this reason it is recommended that you change your brake fluid every two years but this can vary on the model of bike so be sure to check your owners handbook.

Fuel Refresh

If you bike has been laid up or not used for quite a long period of time then you should consider changing the fuel by draining out the old stuff and filling up with fresh fuel. Engine oil can also weaken over time if not used so it's a good idea to change the oil and filter. If this is not done, then as a minimum the oil level should be checked before being used.

Check Tyres & Rims

The overall condition of your tyres is extremely important. As noted above, tyre issues were the most popular reason for call outs in 2015. Therefore it's extremely important that they are checked regularly. Check the pressure, depth and condition of the tyres and any dents or corrosion in the trims that may need correcting.


Clean your bike from top to bottom. This includes checking the drive train, spark plugs, cables and lights. Also, cleaning from top to bottom can also help you to identify any problems such as corrosion which may have some long lasting effects on your motorbike.

Carrying out these checks will take time however it may result in avoiding a problem which could otherwise result in a breakdown at the roadside. For this reason it is worth carrying out these checks for peace of mind.