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Readers say: Let riders ride

Readers survey

Readers of Motorbike Writer overwhelmingly believe motorcycle riders should still be allowed to ride despite the pandemic travel restrictions.

This week we conducted a brief and anonymous online survey of opinions about the restrictions, attracting 716 responses over five days.

We acknowledge it is not necessarily representative given the potential selection bias of the survey as it only sampled those who read this website. (It should be noted is the  top Australian motorcycle news website based on data from leading competitive intelligence provider,

Survey overview

(Full survey details are at the end of this article.)

The survey revealed 90% of respondents believe riders should not stop riding, 89% believe it is safe to ride during the pandemic and 61% believe it should be exempt from travel restrictions.

More than three out of four of our respondents (76%) agree that riding should be classed as an exercise and therefore exempt from travel restrictions. 

This view has been supported by various state health departments, ministers and even the national coronavirus hotline.

In fact, 30% of respondents to our survey say motorcycling is their only form of exercise.

However, Queensland, NSW and Victorian police say only “basic exercise” is allowed, it must be restricted to your suburb and a ride through the hills of your bike is an infringement of the stay-at-home orders.

Click here for more details on how the restrictions affect riders in each state.

Yet 99% say they have not been pulled over by the police for riding during the pandemic.

Another overwhelming result is that 91% are aware of the travel restrictions in their state, but 68% say the restrictions as they apply to motorcyclists are not clear.

Riders in breach of the rules face fines of at  least $1000 which almost half say is fair (45.4%).

We also cheekily asked readers if they believed the restrictions were all part of some sinister plot to steal our freedoms. Of course, 73.7% said no to that outlandish conspiracy theory!

rona riders Travel bans Will pandemic travel bans ever end? incriminate
MBW asks a police officer about the travel restrictions

Attitudes to lockdown

Whether they like it or not, 63% say they have self-isolated during the pandemic.

More than half (58%) said they did not ride their bike last weekend and about the same number (52%) would not ride the next weekend.

However, 72=% say they have not parked up their bike for the duration of the pandemic either thumbing their noses at the rules or finding legitimate reasons to ride such as commuting to work or grocery shopping.

Only 29% say they are commuting to work, although half say they ride to get groceries and 33% say they would use the bike to go to the doctor.

One in 10 say they have been overseas since the start of the year and 30% say they have cancelled an overseas trip this year.

About half (49%) say they will travel overseas when the pandemic ends.

There is a fairly even split on satisfaction with how the federal and state governments and police have handled the lockdown.

But the future looks beak, according to our readers, with about a quarter believing the travel restrictions will last three months and another quarter expecting a six-month lockdown.

Readers who responded

Of the 716 Motorbike Writer readers who responded to the survey, 28 didn’t named their state or territory, so we assume they are from overseas.

The majority of respondents come from Queensland (40.5%), followed by NSW (27.8%) and Victoria (17.8%).

Download the full survey results here.

(State level weightings have not been applied to these results. Raw data can be provided on request.)


  1. If riding your motorbike is your only form of “exercise” then I worry for you! Hehehe!

    I’ll still be riding my motorbike to and from work, but will refrain from leisure rides or weekend blasts through the twisties. I hold nothing against those who continue to ride for leisure at this time (just don’t take too many risks). For many people getting some motorbike time has a huge positive impact on their mental health. That can only be a good thing.

    1. My usual exercise is ice hockey 2 – 3 times a week, My occasional exercise is riding my KTM525 through the fire trails atm I cannot do either.

  2. This is a good survey. Every motorcycle riders should not still be allowed to ride despite the pandemic. The police take a good systematic way to wake the public.

    1. U must not ride a bike, your u would not say that, it’s fresh air awesome away from everyone, retains some sanity

  3. Lets have a look at this in an objective way.
    Assuming that social distance rules remain in place, – and few would argue with that, – what exactly is gained by NOT riding?
    We know that out in the fresh air, alone, is about the safest place to be. We are not going to infect anyone, and nobody is going to infect us, so we are NOT spreading the virus.
    The only reason against riding I can think of is the sour grapes rule, if I can’t do it, you can’t either.
    I CAN think of massive benefits. I’ m sure plenty of businesses would agree.
    Eg. My bike has a recall due. If that goes ahead, I leave my bike in the shop park and that’s it until the job is done. Mechanics remain employed.
    Downside? Zero
    Upside, the wheels of business continue to tick over and mechanic keeps job, his family can live on with dignity. Not to mention my own sanity.

  4. I agree with Peter. Which is safer? Bunnings on Easter weekend or a solitary rider? What is wrong with trusting riders to do the right thing, simply fine those that don’t. As I said previously this has to be the worst case of Human Rights infringement ever. Some guy used the F word, a lot, to disagree with me.
    Guess what, the TV programme Q&A discussed this very subject. From relative freedom to what we have now is a travesty of Human Rights. A lot of organizations such as Amnesty International are also worried. How much of this Police state will be kept? Who would have thought 6 months ago we would need a permit to travel? Our freedoms seem similar to France during WW11. Curfews, travel documents, punishment for getting it wrong. I guarantee there will be increasing anger and disobedience if the Govt. continues with many of these over the top restrictions. What we have now is a ridiculous form of logic that is similar to saying the best way to stop speeding is to ban all motor vehicles. Incredibly effective but at what tremendous cost to civil liberty? As I am not a sheep I will continue to question everything put out by Govt and the police. I will not blindly do what I am told, I will ask why and I will fight against unjust rules. This is Australia, one of the best motorcycling countries in the world, surely it has to be worth fighting for?

  5. Why would a non motorcyclist visit this site and why would any biker disagree that riders cause no harm when riding for fun? I agree with the person that said it is sour grapes, what other reason could there be?
    I would politely suggest those contributors that don’t fully support motorcycling as a leisure activity go and read Trolling Monthly and leave this website to the those that know what we are talking about and will get something positive from this forum.
    And as for blindly following the rules, not a chance.

Comments are closed.