UK Off Road Motorcycle Laws
You’re certainly asking the tough questions today! There’s no easy answer to this, because the rules – and the laws – change regularly.
The first thing to bear in mind is that riding in the wrong place risks anything from annoying the locals to getting your motorcycle confiscated by the police. So if you’re in any doubt, find out before you start roaring across the mud.
You can, of course, ride a road-legal vehicle on a public road. That means that you have to have road tax and insurance, and to follow the rules of the road. You can also ride on a “byway open to all traffic”, but NOT on a footpath, bridleway or “restricted byway”.
If you have the landowner’s express permission, you can ride a road-legal vehicle on a public path. But if you are in a “public place” (for example, a beach) you must have Road Traffic Act insurance cover. The best way to find out where you can ride locally is to contact your local trail riding club or group - see the links below.
The other option is to find a track that’s dedicated to off-road riding. But check it out before you turn up with all your gear. Give them a call and ask a few questions, such as:
• Is there a separate novice track?
• How many people are allowed out at a time?
• Is the track marshalled?
• Is tuition available and who by?
• First aid availability?
• What insurance cover is there?
Don’t let this put you off venturing off the road on two wheels. If you’re new to it, you’ll probably want to start with one of the off-roading schools to get some training, and they will be able to advise you on where to ride. Get in touch with your local group and ask if you can come along with them. Or check Trials and Motocross news for what’s near you.