Motorcycle riders

Motorcycle riders must generally obey the road rules for drivers, however there are a number of rules that apply only to motorcycle riders.

This section covers:

For more information on the road rules that apply to drivers travelling near motorcycle riders, see the section sharing the road with motorcycles.

The following is a summary of the additional rules that apply to motorcycle riders riding on roads.

Footpath parking

Footpath parking of motorcycles is legal in Victoria, unless specifically prohibited by signs at a location. Motorcycle riders can legally park on a footpath, as long as they don’t inconvenience, obstruct, hinder or prevent the free passage of any pedestrian or other vehicle.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 197.

To help motorcyclists comply with this road rule, the Victorian Motorcycle Advisory Council (the State Government’s peak advisory body on motorcycle matters and policy) has prepared some simple guidelines. These apply throughout Victoria, and are particularly useful when parking in busy metropolitan areas and townships where there are a large number of pedestrians and motorcyclists.

Read the Guidelines to motorcycle parking on footpaths for more information.

Footpath riding

Riders can ride on road related areas like the footpath as long as they use the shortest practicable route from their parking spot to and from the road. However, with most riders preferring to use kerb ramps or driveways, and high volumes of pedestrians, then dismounting and pushing your motorcycle from the nearest ramp or driveway is instead recommended.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 197.

Helmets

Motorbike riders and their passengers must wear an approved helmet. For more information on approved helmets visit VicRoads website.

A motorbike rider does not have to wear their approved helmet if the engine is off and the bike is stationary (but not parked) or they are pushing it. Not wearing a helmet has to be safe in the circumstances. This change enables riders to move their bikes, with the engine off, without wearing their helmet.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 270.

An illustration of lane filtering

Lane filtering

The rules relating to motorcycle lane filtering changed 2 November 2015.  Lane filtering is the practice of motorcycles and scooters travelling at low speed through stopped or slow moving traffic, for example at traffic lights. 

VicRoads have advised that the change will permit filtering:

  • between lanes or lines of traffic in the same direction
  • between lanes or lines of traffic and parked cars
  • for motorcycle licence holders (not learner permit holders)
  • at speeds up to 30km/h (penalties will apply for filtering in excess of 30km/h)
  • if ‘safe to do so’
  • on roads with two or more lanes or lines of traffic travelling in the same direction, unless signed otherwise. 

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 151A.

Lane splitting

Lane splitting, the practice of motorcycle riders travelling at high speed between moving traffic, is not legal in Victoria.   

Miniature motorcycles

Miniature motorcycles or monkey bikes do not meet the standards required to be registered as a vehicle. Therefore they cannot be used on public roads, footpaths or nature strips.

Mobile phone and GPS use

For the rules relating to motorcyclists using a mobile phone, Smartwatch or GPS, see the page mobile phones and visual display units.

Motorcycle licenses

For more information visit the VicRoads website.  

From 2014, new restrictions have been placed on motorcycle riders with a learner’s permit which are additional to current requirements. New restrictions include:

  • ride with headlight on at all times
  • wearing an approved high visibility vest or jacket whilst riding
  • if tested on an automatic motorcycle, restricted to riding an automatic motorcycle.

For more information visit the VicRoads website.

Pets and animals

The rider of a motorbike must not ride with an animal on the motor bike between the rider and the handlebars, or in another position that interferes with the rider's ability to control the motorbike or to have a clear view of the road with an exception for farmers travelling short distances of up to 500 metres. RACV has more information about travelling with your pet.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 297.

Power assisted bicycles

E-bikes or power assisted bicycles are pedal powered bicycles with an auxiliary motor. A power assisted bicycle with a motor where the motor is the primary source of power or the motor's power output exceeds 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating) is considered a motorcycle for the purpose of the road rules and the rules on this page apply.

A power assisted bicycle is considered a bicycle for the purpose of the road rules where it has:

  • one or more auxiliary motors attached with a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts or
  • an auxiliary motor producing no more than 250 watts continuously, where the rider is required to pedal for the motor to operate and the power cuts our at 25k/h. These e-bikes are known as a Pedelec.

For more information see the bicycle riders section.

Riding with other motorcycles

Motorbike riders are allowed to ride up to two abreast, and up to 1.5 metres apart. Another rider may pass if overtaking. For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 151.

Transit lanes

A motorbike rider can ride in transit lanes, regardless of the number of people on the bike. They may not however use other lanes such as bicycle or bus lanes, unless signs indicate otherwise, or allowed by other rules (e.g. travelling in a bus lane to turn at an intersection). For more information on the distances a driver or rider may travel in a lane see Special Purpose Lanes.

For more information see the Victorian Road Safety Road Rules rule 156.

RACV advice

  • Motorcycle and bicycle riders also need to be aware of other vehicles and in particular watch for any vehicles making turning manoeuvres.
  • Motorcycle riders can improve their safety by wearing protective clothing. Riders can also improve their visibility by wearing light or reflective clothing or vests.
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