Motorcycling in France
Easily reached by boarding one of our car ferries bound for our ports in Calais, Dieppe and Dunkirk and just 175 miles from our Dutch port near Amsterdam. France is Europe’s second largest country and offers even the most veteran motorcyclist a diverse and stunning experience.
France provides motorcycling holidays for every taste. From thrilling mountainous routes through the Alps, to gentle week-long tours through sleepy villages on quiet rural roads - France really does have it all. What’s more, the French people are famed for their love of motorcycling and are often more welcoming to bikes and bikers than people in the UK.
Unless otherwise stated, speed limits on French roads are as follows:
- Motorways – 130 km/h
- Dual carriageways – 110 km/h
- Other roads – 90 km/h
- Built-up areas – 50 km/h
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
Helmets & new hi-vis laws
In France, motorcyclists and their passengers are required by law to wear safety helmets with reflective elements. Make sure to fit reflective stickers before travelling - one on the front, one at the back and one on each side - if your helmet is without reflectors.
As of January 2016, motorcyclists and scooter riders are required to carry a hi-vis vest or jacket while riding in France. An on-the-spot fine of €11 can be issued by police if you do not have one with you. A more serious fine of €135 can be issued if you are not wearing your hi-vis vest or jacket on the roadside or hard shoulder in the event of an accident or breakdown. Pillion passengers are not exempt and will face the same fines as the driver.
As of February 2016, motorbike riders around Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, and Lyon are now legally allowed to ride between stationary lines of traffic. However, it is only allowed on dual-carriageways and motorways where the speed limit is 70 km/h or more and when traffic in all lanes is at a standstill.
Elsewhere in France the practice is still considered illegal.
If you’re staying in the north of the country, consider spending three days taking a tour of the D-Day beaches and the memorials, cemeteries and museums in the towns surrounding these historic locations. Or, if you’re looking a little further afield, ride south of Paris and embark on a tour of the fashionable Loire Valley to take in the opulence and splendour of countless chateaux and historic sites in this UNESCO World Heritage region.
Motorcycling in Europe
Planning a motorcycling holiday in Europe? Check out our video below for more information and inspiration.
We are Europe’s Leading Ferry Operator 2012-2017 & the World’s Leading Ferry Operator 2011-2017!