Can trikes park in motorbike bays?

Can trikes park in motorbike bays? bashing

Trikes, roadsters and other three-wheelers are classified as motorcycles, but are they permitted to park in motorcycle parking bays that are often smaller than the footprint of the three-wheeler?

The issue was raised by an Adelaide rider who took the above photograph of a Can-Am Spyder taking up two motorcycle bays.

And the issue is going to become more prevalent as Harley-Davidson has finally been allowed to import its Tri Glide and Freerider trikes.

Harley-Davidson Freewheeler times parking bays
Harley-Davidson Freewheeler

Our Adelaide rider pointed out that the South Australian Local Government Parking Regulations indicate it may be illegal and a fineable offence.

It clearly states that a vehicle in a marked-out parking space “must be parked wholly within a parking space so that no part of the vehicle or anything in, on or attached to the vehicle protrudes outside the parking space”.

Similar rules apply in other states.

We are not aware of anyone being fined for this, but it also raises the issue of etiquette of taking up two spaces when CBD motorcycle parking spaces are so scarce.

Can-Am Owners Australia member and BRP ambassador Mike Hatton, of Brisbane, points out that a Spyder is classified in most states as a motorcycle.

Mike and Catrina Hatton with a 10th anniversary Spyder bays
Mike and Catrina Hatton

“Consequently, you could be afforded all the same entitlements that of our two-wheel counterparts inclusive of motorcycle parking areas without restriction as long as you are not causing an obstruction,” he says.

He says there no specific legal restrictions on parking for Can-Am Spyder.

“Most state legislation, including that of learning and licensing has not kept pace with the modern three-wheel motorcycle. It is in need of review,” he says.

Spyder advice

However, his advice to Spyder riders is to exercise courtesy and commonsense.

“Personally, would I take two allocated two-wheel parking bays for my Spyder, no I wouldn’t,” he says.

“Could you receive a parking ticket, possibly. One motorcycle occupying two bays is most likely an infringement. Very much open to interpretation.

“I suggest, don’t force the issue, find another space. Just because you are technically a motorcycle by legal definition, doesn’t mean you are in reality.

“I’m technically permitted to lane split … would I do that … I’ll leave that one up to you.

“Bottom line; motorcycle parking bays are designed for a narrow two-wheel footprint. That was their intent before the Can-Am Spyder came along. Leave those spaces for that purpose.”

Footpath parking

Footpath parking threat bays
Footpath parking in Melbourne

In Melbourne where motorcycles are allowed to park on the footpath and there is no white-line markings for a specific size, Spyders and trikes should be able to park like a motorcycle.

However, they may have some difficulty adhering to some of the requirements.

For example, they have to dismount and walk the vehicle while on the footpath.

They also have to ensure they are not blocking pedestrian access.

8 Comments

  1. I have to disagree with Al because the Can-Am Spyder (and other three-wheelers) must be treated equally with the two-wheeled counterparts.

  2. Problem doesn’t arise in Brisbane because you won’t find one free bike space, let alone two side by side. Royal Brisbane Hospital is particularly bad, there are heaps of good undercover parking spots for motorcycles along Lutwyche Rd, but they refuse to let anyone park their bikes there.

  3. Some interesting points here. In Victoria for example, the old VW based trikes WERE registered as Motor Cycles, which meant they could be allowed to park on a footpath. The newer Spyder’s have come along and are now registered (in Victoria) as a CAR and thus CANNOT be parked on a footpath. The classification being deemed by the number plate. (either a car OR a motor cycle)
    That is how they have dealt with it here in victoria.

  4. This issue of trike parking could be difficult in some sections of the Perth CBD where they have put in coin feed parking meters for each bay. That would mean, a trike rider, who takes up two bays parking his trike, would have to feed two machines.

    I also remember parking my VTX 1800 in the only bay left out of four in Francis street, Northbridge, because an ignorant woman in a flash BMW, had parked across the other three. I went a pains to explain to her, her mistake and that there are already very few motorcycle parking bays in & around the Perth CBD, but she would not wear it, so to say and after locking the car, walked off. As I was locking my helmet to my bike, I noticed the parking inspector venturing down Francis street, and yes, helping out my fellow riders, I pointed out the parking misdemeanor. I left to do why I had come to the city, but returned to my bike at about the same time as the BMW owner. I noted that she was none too pleased to find not one but three parking fines under her windscreen wiper. I thought for a minute and then thought, yep, that’s karma. She is after all across three motorcycle bays.

  5. There are usually oversized vehicle allowances when it comes to parking spaces.
    If you look at the rules further you will find them, this is to cover vehicles with trailers or that are larger than the allotted space provided they do not exceed the size of a normal vehicle to the point of requiring a permit to be on the road or that they not hinder traffic. The rules quoted are so idiots who can’t park can be booked.
    That said if you want a car get one with four wheels , a convertible like an MG a Mini Moke or a Miata is just as fun or even more fun than a Canam Spyder because most of them have heaters aircon and a fold out roof, getting stuck in a traffic jam on a Spyder or other trike is definitely not fun especially in full riding gear.

    1. Al, I am strictly a passenger on a CanAm Spyder and get really tired of attitudes such as your “get a car” You have no idea why people choose to ride a three wheeled bike. I have met many lifetime riders who for one reason or another are no longer able to ride a two wheeled motorbike. Why should they be restricted by small minded attitudes? Will you make the same comments directly to the people who through no fault of their own are now paraplegic or amputees? The Spyder is a perfect vehicle for them to still enjoy the riding experience. If we wanted a convertible, we would buy a convertible. I have air conditioning (environmentally friendly too!) I have heated handgrips, some have heated seats. Who needs a roof when you have a helmet? Stuck in a traffic jam?… no worries, sit back and wait like everyone else.

  6. The Can-Am Spyder requires an open motorcycle license to operate in Australian States & Territories, so therefore it’s a motorcycle & therefore should be parked as one.

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