Riding in Tasmania
Are you new to riding? New to the state? Just visiting? Tasmania has some fantastic motorcycling roads suitable for riders of every skill level.
If you’ve never been to Tasmania before, here are some things to be aware of:
- Prepare for all weather – it really is true that if you don’t like the weather, come back in 5 minutes! And on a motorcycle, another half an hour’s ride down the road makes all the difference.
- Watch out for damp corners in shaded areas, and particularly in the cooler months, ice, frost or moss on the roads. While in summer, most roads will fully dry out, if there has been recent rain, you may be caught out even later in the day. Black ice is particularly a problem in winter months.
- Be aware of gravel on the road, particularly on narrow, winding roads. You may not necessarily see it until it is too late, so set your pace accordingly. You may also encounter rocks and boulders through mountainous areas, mud on livestock crossings and road-kill on any route.
- Visibility through corners is often restricted on rural roads, particularly through mountainous and hilly areas. Take notice of the speed advisory signs and ride to the conditions.
- Tasmanian roads are normally in quite good condition, however due to the unpredictable weather, even a newly surfaced road might pose some challenges. Loose gravel, smooth polished patches and potholes can catch you unawares at any time of year.
- Log trucks, large delivery trucks and small road trains, as well as caravans also pose a risk to the unwary rider. You never know if you’ll encounter an oversized vehicle on any road and motorcycling can be unforgiving if you lose concentration.
- There may be wildlife out and about at any time of the day, but almost certainly during dawn, dusk and night-time. A wallaby or wombat can cause considerable damage to your motorcycle, but even a smaller animal can be a problem. Take care if you’re riding early or late and adopt a suitable pace.
- If you decide to hit the unsealed roads, take care as road edges are usually soft and ruts and potholes in the surface can set you off your line – it is much harder to regain control on unsealed roads than it is on sealed roads. Be smooth with your braking and accelerating and prepare for corners well in advance.
- Much of rural Tasmania does not have mobile phone reception. Telstra provides the widest coverage, but still drops out on many favourite motorcycling routes. A spot-tracker may come in handy if you’re on a long tour. Pack a basic tyre repair kit and essential tools and let someone know where you are going.
- While most cites now have 24/7 petrol available, some towns only have petrol available until 7pm, or in some cases, midnight. However many rural areas only have petrol available during normal business hours. Plan your route and make sure you fill up when you can – you do not want to leave it too late. Not all petrol stations in rural areas take credit cards, so always carry some cash just in case.
- If you are involved in a crash, medical help can be an hour or so away, and on remote roads, you cannot guarantee another vehicle will spot you. Ride within your limits, pay attention to the speed signs – advisory, cautionary and limits, and be aware of all the conditions.
- Most of all, enjoy your ride around Tasmania!
Ride Tassies West Coast – New
Features Tasmanian motorcycle enthusiast and Regional Chief with the Tasmanian Fire Service, Jeff Harper riding the West Coast on his Victory Cross Roads Cruiser.
Charley Boorman in Tassie – New
Charley talks about why he loves riding in Tasmania and has some tips for other visiting riders.
Mal Wally Campbell and Blue Knowles- Produced 2 years ago
If you’ve travelled to Tasmania by motorbike or you intend to ride a motorbike while here, there are a few simple tips and rules you should know that will help keep you and your pillion safe.
Tasmania is a great place to explore on two wheels. Beautiful scenery, changing landscapes and roads make for a great journey but conditions can take motorcyclists by surprise.
For other updates on Rides and Events go to our Events page and check the calendar.
You can also check out Tasmanian Motorcycle Rides and Events Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/Tassieridesandevents/