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ABS rule change will make motorcycling safer

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From 1 April 2020 it will be mandatory to have an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) on motorcycles, improving safety for motorcyclists and other road users.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency staff, attending the Burt Munro Challenge 2020 in Invercargill, are reminding motorcyclists this week of the rule change being introduced in April. 

Changes to the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002, will make it mandatory for all new model new motorcycles over 125cc to have ABS, and all new model new motorcycles up to and including 125cc to have either ABS or a Combined Braking System (CBS) from 1 April 2020. 

Motorcyclists make up four percent of total road users yet accounted for 17% of road deaths between 2014 and 2018 at 248. The risk of being killed or injured in road crashes is 21 times higher for motorcyclists than for car drivers over the same distance. 

In 2017 alone, 46 people motorcycling were killed, 511 were seriously injured, and 820 suffered minor injuries. 

Motorcycles are, by nature, less stable than four-wheeled vehicles. Braking too hard can destabilise a motorcycle and lead to the front or rear wheel locking, causing the bike to overturn or slide. Alternatively, failure to brake hard enough can result in a motorcyclist failing to avoid a crash. 

ABS works to prevent a motorcycle's wheel, or wheels, from locking during braking. It uses speed sensors on both wheels to accurately determine wheel speed, as well as sensors to determine when a wheel is about to lock. ABS adjusts the braking pressure accordingly to prevent the wheel from locking and assists with maintaining the stability of the motorcycle. International studies suggest ABS could reduce crashes by more than a third. 

Compulsory ABS for motorcycles is part of the Government’s focus on road safety, which includes the development of the Road to Zero Safety Strategy 2020-2030(external link)

Transport Agency staff will also be at the Shiny Side Up events being held around the country but if you can’t attend, information about the rule changes is available from www.nzta.govt.nz/abs-changes(external link). 

Rule changes to the Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002

From 1 April 2020 all new model new motorcycles over 125cc must have Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), and all new model new motorcycles up to and including 125cc must have either ABS or a Combined Braking System (CBS). 

From 1 November 2021 all current model new motorcycles and imported used motorcycles over 125cc must have ABS, and all current model new motorcycles and imported used motorcycles up to and including 125cc must have either ABS or CBS. 

Previous and currently registered motorcycles are not required to be retrofitted with ABS. Trial or enduro motorcycles used primarily off-road or at events are exempt and there are some exemptions for classic or collectible motorcycles. 

For more information visit – www.nzta.govt.nz/abs-changes(external link) 

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