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Engine size of motorcycle on highway - Ask The Expert

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Engine size of motorcycle on highway


I went to a dealer to look at buying a new scooter. The dealer told me that the minimum enigine capacity for a motorcycle on the highway is 90cc. I always thought this was 125cc and the bike had to be more than that, so even if you had a 125 scooter you were still not allowed on the highway. Can you tell me what the latest legal limit is? Does the limit apply to all parts of the highway at all times of day? I have to travel on the N1 for about 1.5km during peak traffic.


If the question is about FREEWAYS, then the rule is that motorcycles of 50 cc or less are not allowed on freeways at any time of the day or night.

Here is the official wording from the Road Traffic Act:
323.   Special provisions relating to freeways
(1)  No person shall operate on a freeway—
a motor cycle having an engine with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cubic centimetres or which is propelled by electrical power or which is a vehicle as contemplated in paragraph (b) of the definition of motor vehicle in the Act;
a motor tricycle or motor quadrucycle;
This rule is the general rule if there is no road sign governing motorcycles on freeways.

On the freeways in Jhb that there are signs that say ‘No 125cc’ motorcycles beyond this point." This is probably where the person got the idea from.

So ... the general rule is: NO M/cycles 50 cc or less on ANY freeway.

On some freeways, probably where there is a high density of traffic, there may be a further restriction on that stretch of the freeway that prohibits any M/cycles that have a higher engine capacity too ... like 125 cc. I have not seen the actual signs myself, so I am not in a position to state exactly what such a road sign is prohibiting.

As always, ANY rule of the road applies unless there is a road sign or a traffic office giving a different instruction in a particular situation.




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