Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Proper operation of motorcycles

Two motorcycles taking a corner

Carrying passengers

  • A single passenger is permitted on your motorcycle if you have a Class M license and your motorcycle is equipped with a seat and foot pegs for two.

Side by side operation

  • Two motorcycles may operate in a single traffic lane if both riders consent.
  • A staggered riding formation is strongly recommended.

Lane splitting

  • Operate your motorcycle within a single lane of traffic. White lining or lane splitting is illegal.

Road hazards

  • Learn to "read" the road looking far ahead to give yourself time to position yourself in traffic and plan the safest course of action.
  • Take railroad crossings at a 90-degree angle if possible. Slow down before crossing the tracks and stand slightly on the foot pegs.
  • Maneuver around potholes if it can be done safely. If not, slow down, rise slightly on the pegs and take the hole straight on.

Safe turns

  • Slow down before entering a turn and look through the turn.
  • Lean your body and the motorcycle into the turn.
  • Accelerate through and out of the turn.


  • Motorcycles may park at an angle in parallel parking areas.
  • Up to three motorcycles may park in a metered stall unless signs indicate otherwise. If the meter expires, all cycles in the parking stall are in violation.

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Questions about the content of this page:
Greg Patzer, gregory.patzer@dot.wi.gov

Last modified: June 5, 2013

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