5 things to keep you on the right track when taking to the trails
We know, you probably can’t wait to get out there and test your motorbike, and yourself, on one of the many trails this land has to offer. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you do to make sure you are respecting not only the law, but your environment, your machine, and your own safety.
- Where can I ride?
If you have a valid motorbike licence and your bike is fully registered, then you can ride on any public access road. There are some great trail-bike riding opportunities in Queensland’s parks and forests. You can search for parks and forests with trail-bike riding opportunities or check out this list for some of the best.
You can also find out about the best places to ride by visiting The Victoria Government trail bike riding web page or the Queensland Government trail bike-riding web page.
- Unlicensed riders are not allowed in parks and forests. Riders must be licensed and bikes must be fully registered: conditionally registered bikes are not allowed.
- Signs may prohibit or regulate riding on roads in parts of the parks or forests. These signs are there for good reasons.
- Other vehicles — including logging trucks, four-wheel drives, mountain bikes — as well as horse riders, also use many of the trails.
- Do I need a permit?
You are only required to obtain a permit if you are involved in an organised event, a competitive event or a commercial activity. Contact the Victoria team for further information. They say the following:
“A permit is required in a forest reserve or forest park for an organised entertainment, sporting or recreational function involving 30 persons or more. It’s important to keep in mind that a forest permit is only available for non-profit events. A commercial activities permit or licence is required if you intend to run a commercial event in a state forest.
Your event application will be assessed with consideration to environmental impacts, risk to participants and spectators, potential impacts on other users, venue availability and value to tourism and recreational needs. Eligibility requirements may vary for different parks”.
Please consult the relevant authority for more information regarding eligibility requirements.
- Always be seen to be obeying the speed limits.
- By all means push yourself, but when you ride outside your skill level be prepared for the occasional hard lesson.
- Pay attention to and use safety and advisory signs. As well as keeping you safe, they indicate where the best challenges are.
- Spinning your rear tyre is a skill honed on the trails and allows you to steer with the rear wheel as well as ‘push’ grip into the front wheel.
- Wash your bike thoroughly before and after trips. While this is to prevent thespread of weeds it’s also important because no one likes riding out with a grubby mate.
- Respect park neighbours and other visitors—make sure the noise and dust from your riding doesn’t upset other people. Non-motorcyclists have a long and glorious history of whining about us whenever they get the chance. Giving them less of an excuse is never a bad thing…
Penalties for doing the wrong thing can include fines and having your bike confiscated. So ride smart, ride safe and ride in the right place!
Make sure you have the right protective gear before setting out on your ride.
Serious accidents involving trail bikes have occurred in national parks and forests. Accidents can be avoided by following road rules and riding safely. Normal road rules apply when riding on roads in national parks, regional parks and forests. Riders need to be prepared for difficulties that could be encountered in remote areas and in rough terrain.
- Am I ready to ride?
- Make sure you have the right protective gear, which can include helmet, gloves, jacket, boots, body armour and goggles.
- Make sure your bike is in good working order before you travel.
- Plan your trip.
- Before you leave home, check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.
- Check current weather conditions before you travel at the Bureau of Meteorology website and road conditions at the Victoria Government’s traffic and travel information website.
- Let a responsible person know of your travel plans; where you’re going and how long you’ll be.
- Always ride with at least one other vehicle if you are going to remote places.
- Respect the environment
Watch out for wildlife, pedestrians and other road users
- Ride carefully to allow time to react to sudden or unexpected problems.
- Always expect to find someone or something on the road around the next corner. You may encounter other trail-bike riders, horse riders, cyclists, vehicles, wildlife, cattle and natural obstacles such as fallen trees and water-eroded tracks. Give way to the walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and go around the fallen trees – you have no choice.
Ride out during and after wet weather
- Watch out for washouts, scoured road shoulders and loose surfaces.
- Be especially careful in wet weather. Some roads may become impassable, and it all depends on your skill level!
- Unless you have a good knowledge of the area, always walk across any rivers before attempting to ride across.
- Riding during and after heavy rain, though challenging, is a must on these trails. Getting stuck while riding on wet roads will result in a comprehensive roostering.
- Have I got the right equipment with me?
Essentials to bring include:
- Maps and guidebooks.
- First-aid kit.
- Adequate drinking water.
- Tyre pressure gauge and a pump to re-inflate tyres.
- Sufficient fuel (and be aware of where you can refuel).
- At least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and EPIRBs are the most effective, as mobile phone coverage can be unreliable.
Make sure your machine is in great working order before you take to the trail by downloading our pre-ride POWDER checklist.
To find out more about raceway motorcycles and services please contact us directly on 03) 9351 0055