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Trail Bike conflicts – an action plan…

Unfortunately, due to the strong dollar and cheap imports, trail bike sales and registrations increased rapidly over the last few years. Trail bikes are the largest category of motorcycle sales in Australia and a growing number of West Australians have taken up recreational off road riding as a pastime.

At the same time, residential developments have replaced many of the outlying areas where trail bike riding occurred. In 1978 there were eight designated Off Road Vehicle areas in the Perth metropolitan region. In 2013 there are four, and two of these are significantly smaller than they were.

To address the problems the Recreational Trail Bike Riders’ Association was formed. Extensive consultation with a wide range of stakeholders found that the main community concerns were:

  1. Noise
  2. Trail conflicts and trail damage
  3. Environmental impacts
  4. Nuisance, anti-social ‘hoon’ behaviour

One concept that received almost universal agreement is that in order to reduce the amount of undesirable trail bike use there has to be more provision made for managed use of trail bikes.

As a result work began on a State Trail Bike Strategy.Extensive consultation and international and Australian research was undertaken for the Strategy. 98 recommendations were formulated around six Key Focus Areas.

  1. Insurance, Liability and Risk Management – In order for facilities to be provided by land managers, the issues of insurance, liability and risk management must be addressed.
  2. Trails Planning – Designated trails and venues must be planned, developed and maintained to attract trail bike riders and to ensure minimal environment and community impact.
  3. Managing for Sustainability – In order to develop sustainability, the issues of governance, land and trail management, noise regulation and evaluation need to be addressed.
  4. Changing Behaviours – Programs are proposed using community based social marketing techniques, education, self-regulation and finally enforcement.
  5. Registration and Licensing – Trail bike riding must be better managed which requires increased regulation with registration, licensing and enforcement.
  6. Funding Models – To ensure implementation, sustainability and management a recurrent funding stream is required.

The Government has indicated broad support for the Strategy – but it remains unfunded at this stage. The BTF Board is endeavouring keep this issue on the agenda and his written to a number of ministers to advocate for various tactics to address the negative impacts of trail bikes on other recreational activities and the environment – including the implemention of the State Trail Bike Strategy.

If you have a negative experience with trail bikes on the Track let us know when, where and provide as much detail as you can. We also suggest you write to the Minister for Transport, Minister for Sport & Recreation and Minister for Local Government.

For more information go to the State Trail Bike Strategy website: