Motorcycle Riders road rules NSW

Criminal legal

In New South Wales, motorcycle riders must follow the same road rules as drivers, but there are some specific rules. 

Helmets For Motorcycles

A helmet that meets the standard must be worn by riders and passengers:

  • AS 16-98-1988;

  • AS/NZS 1698:2006 (or later version);

  • ECE 22.05 (or later version);

Helmets must also have face shields or visors that meet helmet standards.

Footpath Parking

It’s not legal to park a motorcycle on a footpath unless there’s a sign saying otherwise. On-street motorcycle parking bays are available throughout urban areas.

Transit, Bus And Special Purpose Lanes

Motorcycles can ride in transit lanes, but not in lanes for buses, trams, bicycles, or other special vehicles.

Carrying Passengers

Depending on their licence category, motorcyclists can carry pillion passengers.

Motorcycles can only have one pillion passengers, and it can’t be a kid under 8 (unless it’s in a sidecar). It’s a requirement that a pillion passenger wears a helmet, sit behind the rider, look forward, and have both feet on the footpegs, and both legs on the side of the bike.

Carrying Animals

When riding a bike, you can’t carry an animal between your handlebars unless you’re riding it for less than 500m. As long as this doesn’t interfere with the operation of the motorcycle, you can carry an animal in a box, cage, or bag attached to the back or side. A motorcycle can’t be tethered to an animal while it’s moving.

Carrying A Load

You can’t carry anything on a motorcycle that extends farther than the front wheel, the back wheel, or the extreme outer section of the motorcycle.

Riding With Others

Only one motorcyclist can ride beside another, and they have to be 1.5 meters apart.

Small Motorcycles

It’s illegal to use small motorcycles on public roads or footpaths because they don’t meet vehicle registration standards.

Lane Filtering And Lane Splitting

It’s legal for motorcyclists to filter through stopped or slow-moving traffic at a low speed. They can go where:

  • Motorcycle travels in two lanes;

  • Two separate lanes of traffic travelling in the same direction;

  • A vehicle that’s travelling in the same direction as the motorcycle and an adjacent parked car.

When it’s safe, and unless there’s signage saying otherwise, lane filtering is allowed at speeds up to 30km/h. It’s not allowed between a vehicle and a kerb, in bicycle lanes, or during school hours.

Lane splitting, when a motorcyclist travels at a high speed between moving traffic, is illegal.


Cameras are allowed on helmets, as long as they comply with the required standards. They can also be mounted on motorcycles or motorcyclists.

Bicycle Storage Areas

During traffic lights, there is a bicycle storage area for cyclists to wait in front of cars. Motorcyclists can use the area as long as they give way to other riders.