The rules for dirt and trail bike riders in Victoria

Motorbikes prohibited sign at park in Victoria, Australia

Tianna Nadalin

Posted March 03, 2023

Illegal recreational motorbike riders in public parks across greater Melbourne will be targeted in a new safety campaign by Parks Victoria.

The campaign will target riders who are unlicensed, who are riding unregistered recreational motorbikes or who are riding in prohibited areas, after a spike in reports and observations of trailbikes in popular parks across Victoria.

Using recreational motorbikes in urban areas not only poses a safety risk for walkers and hikers, it can also potentially cause damage to native habitats, contribute to soil erosion.

Parks Victoria Authorised Officers will be patrolling for recreational motorbikes at peak riding times, with increased presence at parks including Lysterfield Park and Churchill National Park, as well as Bunyip State Park and Kurth Kiln Regional Park, which have been impacted by illegal trailbike activities since the 2019 bushfires.

In partnership with the Conservation Regulator and Victoria Police, Parks Victoria aim to ensure safety and compliance on public land, with unregistered or unlicenced riders’ details to be shared with Victoria Police.

So what are the rules for off-road motorbike riders, and where and when can you ride?

Person riding dirt bike through dirt road

Recreation motorcycles are not permitted on roads declared as freeways or arterial roads. Photo: Getty.

Recreational motorbike rules in Victoria

While trailbiking is legal in many parks and state forests in Victoria, there are certain legal and safety requirements that must be observed if you want to ride an off-road motorbike on public land: 

Do you need a licence to ride a recreational motorbike in Victoria?

Motorbikes must be registered, and riders must hold a valid motorcycle licence or learner’s permit to ride on public roads and paths. Riders should note that some eBikes are considered motorbikes under the law, so make sure you check yours on the VicRoads website to ensure you are compliant.

Unregistered motorcycles, quad bikes, all-terrain vehicles and side-by-side vehicles cannot be legally be operated in state forests. Your motorcycle must be registered (either full or recreation registration).

What are the road rules for recreational motorbikes in Victoria?

All road rules apply on forest roads and vehicle tracks, including wearing an approved helmet, keeping left and riding according to the track conditions.

Where can you ride a recreational motorbike in Victoria?

All motorbikes must stay on formed roads or tracks where this activity is permitted. It’s illegal to ride on natural terrain, in streams or on informal single tracks. Riders must comply with signage and avoid riding in areas where trailbikes are not permitted. There are no legal ‘single trails’ for motorbike use on public land.

Penalties apply for riding off-road or in areas where this activity is prohibited. Check details of your local park or forest road before heading out on your ride.

Can you ride a recreational motorbike on the road in Victoria?

Recreation motorcycles are not permitted on roads declared as freeways or arterial roads under the Road Management Act 2004.

Recreation motorcycles may only operate on:

  • Roads that are not declared as freeways or arterial roads and are outside built up areas (which are defined by speed zones of less than 100 km/h)
  • Areas that are not a road and are solely for the training and assessment of a holder of a motor cycle learner permit by an organisation approved by VicRoads for that purpose.

Do you have to wear a helmet when riding a recreational motorbike?

Yes. It is illegal to ride a recreational bike without wearing an approved helmet. For safety, always ride with others and wear full personal protective equipment (PPE), including a helmet, boots, goggles, body armour, gloves and knee guards.

How old do I need to be to ride a recreational motorbike?

A person operating a recreation motorcycle on public roads and paths must be at least 18 years of age and hold an appropriate motorcycle learner permit or licence.


Want to know more road rules for motorbikes? 
Check out our dedicated page here →