If I say, I was on my motorcycle and I fell down, Would you still be able to understand? How weird does it sound? While on my bike, my trunk is in an upright position and literally I will fall in a downwards direction towards the ground so, is it absolutely necessary to say fall off?

  • It depends exactly what you're doing: there are many ways to fall off a motorbike and different expressions may be used for different falls (when it's stationary and you can't hold it upright, if you hit something and go over the front, if you fall off the side without the bike tipping over, or you hit a branch and go off the back, or many more.)
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


There are slightly different connotations:

  • "While riding the motorcycle, I fell off," implies that I was sitting, perhaps on the rear seat, and slipped off whilst the vehicle stayed upright. (Anecdote: a friend was trail riding alone, was knocked off by a branch, and saw his cycle proceed for another fifty-or-so meters sans rider.)

  • "While riding the motorcycle, I fell down," implies that I fell, and (likely) the vehicle did also. It depends on context, though.

  • because you become one with the bike?
    – Quique
    Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 3:44
  • In AmE, "fell off" doesn't usually imply that the vehicle stayed upright. As long as buttocks are no longer resting on seat, we can (and often do) use that phrase. Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 4:04
  • Quique - Because fell down doesn't carry the implication of 'becoming separated from the thing you were sitting/standing on'. Commented Jul 9, 2023 at 8:28

In natural conversational speech, I wouldn't usually say fall/fell. If it refers to a motorcycling accident, I would say I/he/she/they came off the bike. Here are some examples from newspaper accident reports: "The 69-year-old came off his bike at the corner of Wrexham Road and Lawrence Hargrave Drive." "British rider came off his bike at the corner where a Portuguese racer died last" "A motorcyclist came off his bike at the Shepherd and Flock roundabout" ...

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