Motorcycles, quad bikes and scooters

Motorcycle safety

You need to get a motorcycle licence to ride on a public road or place in the Northern Territory (NT).

Before you start riding, you should do all of the following:

  • check your motorcycle
  • check your protective clothing
  • read the safe riding tips for motorcycles
  • learn the road rules for motorcycle riders.

Check your motorcycle

You should choose the right motorcycle for you.

Make sure you get your motorcycle regularly serviced, and check that there are no fluid leaks and the oil and water levels on your motorcycle are correct.

Check your lights, brakes, steering, horn and tyres.

If you're upgrading to a more powerful motorcycle after gaining your R class licence, take time to practice before taking to the road.

Check your protective clothing

You must wear the correct protective clothing including an approved motorcycle helmet.

Pillion or sidecar passengers should also wear all protective gear.

Your protective clothing should:

  • cover your whole body with impact protectors over your joints
  • protect your skin with abrasion-resistant material in vulnerable areas
  • have secure seams
  • have secure fastenings that are protected from contact with the road or other surfaces in a crash
  • not have external pockets or straps that could become tear points or snag on something in a crash
  • be made of insulated, waterproof and windproof materials
  • include reflective or light colours and ventilation to protect you from heat
  • fit you properly
  • not be carrying anything in the pockets that could cause injury in a crash.

For more information on riding gear, read the good gear guide PDF (3.1 MB).

You must wear an approved motorcycle helmet when riding on the road or on a public place in the NT. Helmets must meet the Australian standards.

For more information on helmets, go to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website.

Safe riding tips for motorcycles

Remember the three second rule - keep a safe distance when following other vehicles – also make sure you keep a safe distance at your back and sides.

Reduce your risk of crash – a low risk rider has good observation, speed management, road positioning, decision making and hazard perception skills.

Select a safe gap when turning, overtaking or changing lanes. This is a critical skill to safe riding.

Moving between traffic

You can only lane filter through traffic travelling 30km/h or less and when it is safe to do so.

Lane filtering is when a motorcycle rider moves in between two lanes of stationary or slow moving traffic.

You must not:

  • lane split - move past stationary or moving traffic at an unsafe speed of more than 30km/h.
  • edge filter - change direction to move towards the edge, kerb or shoulder of the road to either:
    • pass one or more vehicles on the road
    • pass between two vehicles, one of which is parked.

Check for hazards

Be aware of potential hazards including blind corners, blocked intersections, crests, poor weather conditions, other road users tailgating you and maintain a crash avoidance space.

Position for curves and bends - starting curves wide will improve your vision.

Ride your own ride and don't try to keep up with your friends who may be more experienced.

Check road conditions and weather reports and adjust your journey if necessary.

Be careful at T-intersections.

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Last updated: 01 August 2019

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