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In most countries in the world, traffic laws seldom change, but there seems to have been a recent spate of changes in Europe that affect motorcyclists, especially in France. Trying to keep up with and understand the latest laws can be challenging, so I have tried to set out here the main laws that apply to those of us riding motorcycles in mainland Europe.

The country with the most laws affecting motorcycle riders is France and almost every tour in mainland Europe could involve riding in France, so this guide concentrates on French laws.

Many riders think that some of these laws are dumb and infringe on riders personal freedoms. I agree with some of that thinking but I look at it like this: they are fairly easy to comply with and not doing so could result in fines or even points on your licence. Even worse, not complying with these laws could delay you from doing what you are there to do – ride! So, my advice is to respect them anyway.

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