Do motorcyclists legally have to wear gear to ride?

We all know that motorcyclists safety gear is important. It can save your life.

But do you actually have to wear gear to ride legally in Queensland? And can you get pulled over if you’re not wearing it?

Read on to find out.

Motorcyclist's Helmets

Let’s start from the top: your head.

Do you legally have to wear a helmet? In short: yes.

All motorcyclists (riders and passengers) must wear a compliant helmet.

The helmet must comply with at least one of the following standards:

  • Australian standards (AS/NZS1698 or AS1698)
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe standard (ECE 22.05).

Your helmet must also display a label proving it is compliant. A compliance label is usually stitched into the inside of the helmet or stuck on the outside of the helmet.

One easy giveaway that your helmet isn’t compliant is if it doesn’t have that label.

So, save yourself the trouble and make sure your helmet is compliant (and that the label is intact).

Protective body gear

Let’s work our way down: your body.

Do you legally have to wear protective body gear? In short: no.

There is no legal requirement for motorcyclists to wear protective body gear. So, technically, you can get away without it.

However, protective body gear is very important. It can protect you against many different injuries.

If you value your safety, gear up!


Let’s get to the bottom: your feet.

Do you legally have to wear certain shoes? The answer is: no, but kind of.

There is no explicit legal requirement for motorcyclists to wear shoes while riding.

However, all road users have a general duty to look out for the safety of themselves and other road users.

So, you should try to wear shoes that are going to keep you and other road users safe, and avoid shoes (or lack of shoes) that might put that safety at risk.

For example, if you wear thongs and they catch on your gear lever, you could lose proper control of your bike. That could result in a crash and an injury to yourself or others.

So, while you don’t necessarily have to wear proper shoes; you probably should.


  • You do have to wear a compliant helmet.
  • You don’t have to wear protective body gear (but you should).
  • You don’t have to wear certain shoes (but you should).

If you’ve been involved in an accident, feel free to contact us on (07) 3231 0632. Our friendly team will help in whatever way we can.