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Anti-lock braking system rule changes

On 12 September 2019, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter, made a rule change – Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes Amendment (No 2) 2019.

The rule change makes it compulsory to have an anti-lock braking system (ABS) on motorcycles over 125cc.

Motorcycles up to and including 125cc must have ABS or a simpler system known as a combined braking system (CBS).

The rule change is expected to improve the safety of motorcyclists on our roads.

Since 1 April 2020, all new model new motorcycles over 125cc have had to have ABS and all new model new motorcycles up to and including 125cc have had to have ABS or CBS.

From 1 November 2021

All current model new motorcycles and imported used motorcycles over 125cc must have ABS.

All current model new motorcycles and imported used motorcycles up to and including 125cc must have ABS or CBS.

Exemptions

There is no requirement for existing motorcycles to be retrofitted with ABS.

There is also a limited exception from the Rule for motorcycles registered in any country prior to 1 January 1990. These motorcycles will not be required to be fitted with ABS or CBS. This will allow motorcycle collectors to continue to import classic motorcycles where there is no ABS equipped option available.

For motorcycles first registered after 1 January 1990, a new special interest motorcycle permit would allow for collectible motorcycles to continue to be imported, under the condition that there is no equivalent option with ABS available. Motorcycle owners would need to apply to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency. Up to 100 special interest motorcycle permits will be issued each year.

There is also an exemption to allow New Zealand citizens or residents to continue to import, as an immigrant’s vehicle, a motorcycle they had owned and registered for use overseas for at least 12 months.

Vehicles that are exempt:

  • Trial and Enduro motorcycles for the purpose of a sanctioned competition.
  • Quad bikes designed and constructed for off-road use.
  • Classic or collectible motorcycles.

If you are an importer

If you are a motorcycle importer, your nearest entry certifier can assist you.

Entry certification

More information

Rule

Land Transport Rule: Light-vehicle Brakes 2002

Information flyer

Anti-lock braking system rule changes flyer [PDF, 1.1 MB]

Media releases

ABS rule change will make motorcycling safer – 5 February 2020

Life-saving motorcycle technology to be mandatory from April 2020 – 20 September 2019

Questions and answers

Mandating anti lock braking system (ABS) questions and answers [PDF, 81 KB] – updated 20 February 2020