Motorcycle Mudguard Requirements 

Recently, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications made changes to the mudguard standards for new motorcycles, removing the requirement that normally led to manufacturers fitting a ‘mudguard extension’.

Image of a rear mudguard on a motorcycle

This guide explains the changes that have been made and what you will need to do if you choose to change your motorcycle in line with the revised Australian Design Rule (ADR 42/04) (External link).

What has changed?

Previous version of the ADR
Under the previous version of the ADR, the mudguard fitted to the rear wheel of a motorcycle had to meet the following requirement:

Image of the superseded rear wheel mudguard requirement on a motorcycle
To satisfy the requirement, manufacturers would often fit a mudguard extension.
Revised version of the ADR
Under the revised version of the ADR, the mudguard on the rear axles must continue to:
  • cover the entire width of the tyre
  • protect other road users, as far as practicable, against thrown-up stones, mud, ice, snow and water
  • reduce the dangers due to contact with the moving wheels.

The 45° angle requirement has been removed.

What does this mean for my motorcycle?

If you have a motorcycle that was built to meet the previous version of ADR 42, VicRoads recommends that you do not modify the mudguards or remove the mudguard extension fitted, as this configuration will still comply with all the current requirements.
However, if it can be determined that the mudguard extension was only fitted to your motorcycle so that it met the 45° angle requirement, it may be removed. If the extension is removed, there are a few simple rules you have to follow to make sure your motorcycle stays compliant:
  • Only the mudguard extension may be removed. No other part of the body or mudguard may be removed from the vehicle.
  • Any lights or reflectors that are mounted to the mudguard extension must be re-installed on the motorcycle in a way that meets the vehicle standards.
  • The remaining mudguard (which may include part of the motorcycle’s body that acts as a mudguard) must cover the entire width of the tyre.
  • If the number plate for the motorcycle was attached to the mudguard extension, it must be remounted and continue to meet the number plate mounting requirements.

Image of number plate visibility on a motorcycle from overhead and side on.

The number plate must be visible from 20m at all points within the arcs marked ‘A’

If you are thinking of making any other modifications to the mudguard of your motorcycle, other than removing the mudguard extension, you should first talk to a Vehicle Assessment Signatory Scheme (VASS) signatory who can help you ensure your motorcycle remains safe and compliant.

Use of vehicles not complying with the standards

A person must not use, or cause or permit to be used, on a highway a vehicle that does not comply with the standards for registration under regulation 253 of  the Road Safety (Vehicles) Interim Regulations 2020.

Further information

Vehicle operators seeking technical advice on vehicle modifications should contact a VASS signatory.


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