Motorcycling in France

When travelling by motorcycle in France you must always carry:

  • A full, valid driving licence.
    Proof of insurance (third party or above)
    Proof of ID (Passport)
    Proof of vehicle ownership (V5C Certificate)
    GB Sticker, if you don’t have a GB EU number plate.

The normal speed limit on French motorways is 130 km/hr (just over 80 mph) - or 110 km/hr in rain.
The normal speed limit on dual carriageways (divided highways) is 110 km/hr (just under 70 mph)
The normal speed limit in towns is 50 km/hr (just over 30 mph)
The normal speed limit on main roads is 80 km/hr (outside built-up areas) (just under 50 mph) - if there are two lanes but no middle divide it’s 90 km/h (just over 55 mph)
48 Departments have annouced that they will revert back to 90km/h but the process will be gradually, so best stick to the singage!

New laws came into force in 2016 for motorcyclists and scooter riders, regarding the requirement to carry a fluorescent hi viz vest or jacket while riding in France.
The new €11 fine applies if you get spot checked by police and you don’t have one with you, though the fine is €135 if you are caught not wearing it at the roadside (or on the hard shoulder) in the event of an emergency due to an accident, flat tyre or breakdown. (pillion passengers need to have one as well)

You need to carry spare bulbs

You also should have reflective stickers for your helmet in four places - one on the front, one at the back and one on each side. They must be fitted in a way that doesn’t hinder the opening/closing visor of your helmet. Some helmets have them fitted as standard.
Stickers must have a minimum surface area of 18cm2.

Also the new rules state that wearing gloves for motorcyclists will be a mandatory requirement, though I would guess that most serious riders would be wearing gloves these days without it being compulsory.

It is illegal to use a SAT NAV with the speed camera locations “ON” if you have that function on your sat nav, turn it OFF! Most speed cameras are well warned of in advance!

From February 2016 motorbike riders around Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lyon will be able to LEGALLY ride between stationary lines of traffic.
The official rules now state that riding in-between the lanes of traffic will be allowed only on dual-carriageways and motorways in places where the speed limit is 70kph or more when all lanes are at a standstill. All motorcycle riders should when doing this stay in the two lanes on the left and not ride faster than 50kph.

Headlight Beam Deflectors: In recent years bike headlights just point forward so there is no difference in the direction of the beam between a UK or Euro motorbike. If you have such a bike then headlamp converters wouldn’t be required.
However if you have a beam that points left then you really should use the converters as you will be dazzling oncoming traffic.

It is compulsory though for dipped headlamps to be used day and night when riding in France.

NOTE: You DO NOT need ant breathalysers even though some sites and Ferry companies still tell you so!

Useful Websites: