How safe is it to use your motorcycle for commuting and leisure in South Africa?


I am due to take my post in SA by September this year. Knowing the security while you’re driving by car (closed windows and doors), I would like to know what are the conditions to drive around on a motorbike?

Is there a lot of “bike-jacking” and do South African use their motorbike on a day to day basis or is it more for fun outside the cities ?

I would be very grateful if you can give some answers.


There are a lot of perceptions with regards to South Africa and general safety when using our vehicles or motorcycle for commuting and leisure.

There is a vast number of people who use their motorcycles daily to work and back because they want to save fuel, beat traffic congestion and because they are true motorcycle enthusiasts. There is an equal number of people who would only use their motorcycles for social rides on weekends just from a safety point of view. These riders either don’t feel comfortable riding in traffic or their work situation does not warrant the use of a motorcycle.

I can assure you, in all my years of motorcycling, bike-jackings are unheard of. Bike theft is very real but there are measures one can take to minimize the risk, i.e. tracking devices, wheel lock, alarm or immobilizing systems etc. Bike theft is due negligence or ignorance on the rider’s part.

A general rule for commuting on a bike or car is to frequently change your route, this way you are more aware as a rider due to frequent change of scenery and you throw off the planning of the jacker. I would also suggest that you travel the route to work and back in a car or public transport once or twice to learn the areas, road and traffic conditions before attempting it on a motorcycle. Knowing the area and route (day or night) well will help you focus more on your riding and be more observant. Lastly, always make sure you are in 1st gear by the time you come to a stop at a traffic light or Stop sign, this way you can move off quickly should you need to.

Any motorcyclist will tell you that they truly enjoy riding in South Africa; the roads, scenery, destinations etc. are what most of us live for. We look forward in seeing you do the same!

For more in safety, feel free to visit the Safety Page on our website using any of the links below.


HEIN JONKER | Editor and Senior Instructor






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