Motorcycling in Norway

Things that are good to know specifically when riding a motorcycle in Norway:

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Norway is best enjoyed from a bike. Although this image was actually captured in Finland. (Photo: Mia Tolonen)

1. You have many advantages as a rider. You can filter in queues, you do not pay bridge or tunnel tolls, you can ride in bus lanes (not with a sidecar, though), and parking is for free everywhere (look for designated places in the bigger cities of Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Tromsø, Stavanger).

2: When approacing a ferry quay, ride to the front of the queue. The ferry crew likes to stash bikes where there is no room for cars.

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Explain any foreign cage drivers, if they protest you riding in front of the queue, that this is normal practice in Norway as the crew likes to stash bikes where there is no room for a car anyway. (All images: HP/ unless otherwise stated)

3. Petrol stations are everywhere, even in the sparsely populated north due to tourist traffic.

4. Helmet is mandatory. Protective gear is not, but who rides without it?

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A helmet is the only riding gear required by law. Protective wear is, however, highly recommended.

5. Law requires you to carry a hi-viz reflective vest on board your bike so other road users can spot you in case you have a breakdown along the road and need to stand by your bike. But that’s it as far as legal requirements go. This is not France.

6. Law requires you to use daytime driving lights.

7. Riders in Norway still greet each other with a hand wave when they meet on the road.

8. It is forbidden by law to warn other road users of traffic controls or speed checks ahead. If a rider comes your opposite way and waves to you by pumping his/her hand up and down, you are expected to interpret this as a friendly wave.

9. You can forget the automatic speed cameras. As a matter of citizen’s legal protection, they do not recognize bikes.

10. If you need new tyres while on the road, you need to be in a bigger town who has a motorcycle or tyre service. More often than not, and especially in the rural areas, the tyre needs to be ordered a few days ahead. Think of this if you are suspecting excessive wear on your tyres due to inspired riding.

11. No drinking and riding. For all practical purposes there is a zero alcohol tolerance when operating a vehicle in Norway. The police can and will conduct road side checks anywhere and at any given time of the day. They can also check for illegal substances in your system.

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The police conducts road side checks whenever and wherever. Do NOT drink and ride while in Norway.

12. You will get emergency medical treatment in case of a crash. No worries there.

13. Speeding is expensive if caught, even by Norwegian standards. Take your time.

14. If you are stuck somewhere, you can get in touch with your friends at the Norwegian Motorcyclists’ Union (NMCU), or you can send me an email and I will try to help. Roadside recovery insurance is, however, highly recommended.

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If a little help from your friends does not suffice, check your recovery service. Or call NMCU.

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