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How to correctly park your motorcycle

How to park your motorcycle
Uniform angle parking

There is nothing more unruly than a bunch of motorcyclists who park their bikes at different angles outside a cafe or pub. It’s a good indication that the riders are novices.

Angle-parking a motorcycle seems to be one of those simple procedures that many riders get wrong.

You’ve probably seen a bunch of riders pull up and then spend ages going and back and forth until they are all parked.

And then there are still big gaps between bikes where you could easily have parked another bike.

How to park your motorcycle
A big gap left

Meanwhile others are parked so close, the bike on the left won’t be able to leave until the bike next to it is taken off its side stand.

Like parallel-parking a car, there are a few easy tips for angle-parking a motorcycle and getting that perfect spacing and 45-degree angle.

That 45-degree angle isn’t necessarily enshrined in law in all jurisdictions. However it is about the optimum angle for taking up the full width of a car-width space, yet still allowing other bikes to share the car-length parking space.

1 First in

If you are first in line, you will need to get the 45-degree angle just right, or you will blow it for those coming in behind you. So ride into the space about 1m from the gutter and arc back out at full right lock for the last couple of seconds. Don’t ride back out into the traffic, but just enough so you are on about a 30-degree angle to the gutter with your front wheel just over the parking bay line. Now, turn the bars hard left and back it in. Don’t put your back wheel against the gutter and mind low pipes which will scrape on the kerb.

How to park your motorcycle
Wrong angle by the first rider

2 Lining it up

Other riders will then have something to aim at – the first rider’s front wheel. They should head for that front wheel and turn away at the end with enough room for their foot to go down on the ground without hitting the parked bike. Arc out from the bike and stop when your bike is half way in line with the front wheel of the parked bike. 

3 Back it in

Now turn the bars to the left and back in, keeping off the kerb. Your back wheel is already about the right distance from the bike to your left and will track back in at the same distance. You should now also be the same angle as the first bike.

  1. Not all bikes have the same lean angle, make sure the bike you
    park next to has enough room [handelbar ]clearance
    if you’re parking in a marked parralel parking spot
    park in the middle, otherwise there is always some
    clown in a car that thinks they can “just fit’

    1. Hi Pete,

      That’s absolutely right. Give the bike next to you enough rom to get out!

      Maybe I’m a bit OCD, but I love an orderly line-up of parked motorcycles!



  2. Of course the constabulary, if in the right mood, can then book everyone. Unless signage says rear to curb @ 45 deg, its not close and parallel, or front to curb @ 45 deg.

    Happens from time to time unfortunately.

    1. Read the road rules. From memory a motorcycle must be parked with one wheel closer to the curb than the other. You can do that in a parallel car space and 45 degrees works just fine.

      Booking people for this is inviting a crew of riders to “park to rule”/”legally”/badly with one bike per space at peak business times. It has happened and the point is very quickly made….

      1. Hi guys,
        Parking rules vary across states and nations and this is an international website, so I didn’t go into that.
        However, I have now added this line: “That 45-degree angle isn’t necessarily enshrined in law in all jurisdictions, but is about the optimum angle for taking up the full width of a car-width space, yet still allowing other bikes to occupy a car-length parking space.”
        Hope that sorts out any confusion.
        Cheers guys,

  3. I might print this out and plaster it on the scooters that keep parking me in on either side…

  4. I sympathise with Steve G! The most inexcusable/inconsiderate parking is the Scooter rider that slots in between two well parked bikes because they can’t be bothered to find a proper parking spot of their own. On the upside, most of the scooters that try this are easy enough to pick up and move to the nearest skip or plant bed.

  5. This reminds me of a German group tour in New Zealand. Every one of a dozen bikes was parked precisely at the same angle with all front wheels also at the same angle. If ever there was an example of German precision that was it.

    The urge to turn just one wheel the wrong way was strong…..

  6. I’m not surprised the bikes in the photographs are all parked higgledy-piggledy. They are cruisers after all!

  7. Even with 45 deg parking lines marked they can’t all get it right !
    This is yesterday in the UK.

  8. All you gotta do is just park it.
    Oh shit! here come the control POLICE.

  9. Justa quick question. I parked my motor scooter in a motorbike only parking area with my wheels inside the sign post however a 3 rd of the bike is leaning outside the sign so i got a ticket for illegal parking. I thought if my wherls were in it was ok? Can anyone lead me to any written rules or law. I have didputed it however they say the fine stands. I am absolutely fuming as this looks like a revenue generating con.

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