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Motorcycle Friendly status may be regulated

Springborg (second left) at the Texas Motorcycle Friendly Town launch tourism crows nest status status
Texas Motorcycle Friendly Town launch

There are moves to regulate the granting of Motorcycle Friendly Town status with a long list of essential and desired requirements for councils, pubs, cafes, restaurants, accommodation and service stations.


This is in response to several towns, shires and even one whole region in Western Australia declaring themselves Motorcycle Friendly over the past few years.

Unlike RV Friendly status, there is no official sanctioning body to determine a town, shire or region is Motorcycle Friendly.

However, there are now plans to regulate the process.

We understand there may be a national approach, but nothing has yet been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the June meeting of the Motorcycle Council of NSW decided to set up a committee to “create a set of criteria for judging the motorcyclist friendly status of establishments, accommodation, towns and regions”.

Avon Valley the first motorcycle friendly region
Bikes line the streets of York for the launch of Avon Valley, WA, as Australia’s first motorcycle friendly region

The committee is chaired by Colin Whelan who has long been judging various establishments on their motorcycle friendly status and awarding a ratings system of one to five “helmets”.

Concern has been expressed to us by those wanting to become motorcycle friendly that criteria could be too demanding and dissuade towns from seeking formal status.

There may also be the problem of what happens to current self-declared Motorcycle Friendly towns, shires and regions if status becomes regulated. Will they lose their status?

Colin has also told us that any Queensland town that did not oppose the VLAD laws should not be granted motorcycle friendly status.

Since no council commented on the state issue as far as we can find, that may mean no Queensland town can become motorcycle friendly.

However, the towns of Texas and Crows Nest and the shire of South Burnett have already declared themselves motorcycle friendly. Would they lose their status?

Crows Nest takes the cake with riders status
Crows Nest’s official Motorcycle Friendly Town launch

Some readers have told us they don’t want any regulation and are simply glad to see a “Motorcyclists Welcome” sign in a cafe window.

They say motorcyclist are not so precious or demanding as to require special treatment.

Other says it is about time we were rewarded for our tourist dollar and it is only right that those who take our money provide specialised service to riders.


Essential Motorcycle Friendly status criteria

The MCCNSW committee chairman’s proposed essential criteria includes:

  • Free overnight camping not limited to self-contained travellers;
  • The town should have a “documented track record of campaigning for improved rider safety infrastructure such as road furniture including underskirts on safety barriers and realistic speed limits”;
  • Designated motorcycle parking “on the main street of the town, within eyeline of any motorcycle friendly refreshment establishment”;
  • A visitor Information Centre offering printed and online maps and advice on road and off-road motorcycle travel, including downloadable GPS files;
  • At least one accommodation establishment with a five-helmet rating;
  • At least three levels of accommodation;
  • Accommodation must charge per person, not per room;
  • Accommodation must have a flexible cancellation policy;
  • At least one cafe/restaurant offering rider discounts or deals;
  • A servo with 91 and 95 or 98 RON fuel and clean water for visor cleaning;
  • public toilets; and
  • Meals available seven days and nights.

RV Friendly status criteria

Lee Huddleston with his caravan and Ducati Multistrada status

RV Friendly status is granted by the Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia based on a list of three essential criteria and a series of desired criteria.

Essential criteria is appropriate town parking for their massive RVs, access to drinkable water and a free dump point for toilet waste.

CMCA spokesperson Emily Smith says there is no charge to apply for official status and they issue each successful town with two complimentary RV Friendly Town signs.

We want to know what you think. Please leave your comments below or fill in this quick survey. It takes less than a minute.

We will publish the results next week and make them available to rider representative groups.

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  1. All for this as long as communities and local businesses are checked in their commitment to actually being motorcycle friendly in more than name only, otherwise it is just an empty marketing ploy.
    I am reminded of a recent occasion at Wauchope, ( a so called motorcycle friendly town ) a rider had booked 14 rooms more than 6 months in advance, only to have the motel cancel a few days before the arrival date as a golf tournament had come to town. It has to be much more than talk and good intentions and a cafe with a few MC props.
    The above criteria are a good start. Touring motorcyclists are good spenders and bring more revenue to small communities than almost any other type of traveller, certainly grey nomads.
    So yes, but without real community commitment it’s just an empty snow job.

  2. When motorcycle friendliness also includes the police not being pricks such as deliberately driving slow in unmarked vehicles to frustrate riders into passing illegally, then it will be something to consider. There’s no point being a friendly location if the constabulary are doing their utmost to create issues for riders. And no I have never been fined as a rider by the police and the only ticket I have ever had on the bike I had thrown out. I am basing my comments on the articles I read here on police baiting riders.

  3. Lets not get too precious about ” friendly” many places put up signs but do little about them where as others try hard. Popular polling of riders and voting as to the places would be better since then those whom have been there can tell the situation. If a place gets good reviews , either town or establishment then people will go there , if repeated poor reviews happen then they wont.

  4. Not a fan of regulation. The quality of so called biker friendly towns will soon enough be judged by word of mouth.

  5. All radars shoud be banned in that area for it to be declared motorcycle friendly.

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