A common question we’re asked as dirt bike enthusiasts is: “Can I ride on crown land?” because after all, it looks so tempting.
Now the laws do differ country to country, but generally speaking:
You can ride your dirt bike on crown land provided it’s registered and has insurance. Motocross bikes are generally banned from being ridden on crown land, though in some states, recreational registration is available which is discounted from the normal price of registering a motorcycle. To get registered to ride on crown land, you will need a licence plate, mirrors and headlight.
It’s always good to check with your local authority for clarification. Then again, there are exceptions that they don’t even know about.
Riding Dirt Bikes on Crown Land
Riding on government land is the best because it’s free! You don’t have to pay the expensive price for entry into a dirt bike property and have crowded tracks. Riding on crown land and away from others is the ultimate freedom.
Keep in mind that even if it is legal where you are, then there are some things to keep in mind:
- Always ride on formed tracks and never create your own
- Take off your mirrors but keep them with you on a backback or fender bag
- Look for signage that permits or restricts certain vehicles such as dirt bikes
- Be respectful of other users. You may find 4×4 enthusiasts on these tracks
- Given the remoteness of some places, you can expect wildlife in abundance
- Leave gates as you’ve found them. There are times that you’ll traverse private property
- Always lock your car and trailer at the trailhead as you never know who’s around.
While the government beaurocrats and officers won’t venture out to see what you’re up to, this doesn’t mean you should be pushing the limits. There have been some great riding tracks which have been shutdown over the years due to irresponsible behaviour.
Again, keep in mind that the laws do differ between Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, the United States and Canada. There are then different laws between states and council regions regarding dirt bikes being ridden on government property.
Alternatives to Riding on Government Property
While free riding on government property with your dirt bike sounds excellent, and it is indeed a lot of fun, there are some great alternatives to consider. These include:
- Private property. You can approach local landowners if you can ride on their property.
- Dirt bike parks. Some farmers have decided to open their property to other dirt bike riders who struggle to find a good place to ride.
- MX tracks. There are plenty of MX tracks around, though they are small and aren’t suited to enduro riders.
- Organized group rides. Generally, a few people get together and organize permits where you can ride an unregistered dirt bike on crown land quite legally. This doesn’t happen regularly but you can look out for your local enduro club who will organize this.
- Consider getting registered. By having a registered dirt bike, it opens so much more potential to ride and explore most places quite legally. This could mean having to sell your current MX bike and buying an enduro bike, or see if you can convert your current ride to a road-registered dirt bike.
- Go for an electric dirt bike or mountain bike. Because of the nature of dirt bikes (loud, fast and aggressive), it’s understandable that local councils don’t want you riding on crown land. A popular alternative is electric dirt bikes which may be illegal to ride in your area, but generally aren’t detected by local law enforcement.
With these alternatives, you can open up so many more riding spots without so much getting yourself in trouble.
We hope we’ve answered this question very straight forward. It’s always best to consider a road-registered dirt bike as their performance is almost identical to MX bikes while they can also be ridden on the bitumen and at night time.
This will open up so many more riding spots than just the local private tracks and you won’t need to be looking over your shoulder.