A motorcycle is a great vehicle to use in a major city like New York due to its versatility. However, there are still parking rules to consider so you don’t get fined, which can cost in the range of $110 for illegal parking. Safety is also a concern when riding within New York, so let’s look at these two factors.
Here are the motorcycle parking rules:
New York DMV motorcycle laws for parking and riding on NYS roadways
- All riders of a motorcycle must be wearing a helmet at all times (this includes passengers)
- Helmets must meet US DOT federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS 218)
- Protection for eyes is required for all riders (including passengers)
- Eyewear has to meet ANSI (American National Standard Insitute Standards Z87.1)
- Motorcycle headlights must be on during the daytime, and headlight modulators are permitted.
- Motorcycles that have passengers must have a passenger seat and footrest.
- Motorcycle riders must not ride between lanes, traffic, and parked cars.
- Motorcycles must be parked with the rear tire perpendicular and close to the curb.
- Motorcycle riders must not overtake or pass another vehicle in the same occupied lane.
- Motorcycles that use Muni meters must have their receipt displayed.
- Motorcycle riders may not park or operate their motorcycle on the sidewalk for any reason.
Motorcycles must be parked with the rear wheel perpendicular or at least 35 degrees to the curb, and a bike may not operate or be parked on the sidewalk. The law dictates that for safety, all riders must wear helmets, protective eyewear, must use headlights in the daytime, and may not overtake vehicles in the same occupied lane or ride between lanes.
This article will cover more in-depth the parking rules and road rules for motorcycles in NYC, along with giving you parking tips and tips on how to ride safely within the city limits.
Use motorcycle garages
Below are six specific motorcycle garages including contact details and information so you can book your parking space:
Rising Wolf Garage:
336 East 9th St. New York, NY 10003
(212) 505-5205 fax
- Rising Wolf Garage has a number of excellent facilities which I have listed below:
- Metal shelving to store your gear is included within your rental space
- Power point to plug in a battery charger in each parking space
- There is an on-street washer facility to wash your bike
- You have access to an air compressor
- You can change your bike’s oil and use the recycling oil drum for oil disposal
- There are security cameras working 24/7
- You can access your bike 24 hours a day using a key code
Since 1997, Nuri and Michael Wernick have been the sole proprietors and creators of Rising Wolf Motorcycle Parking Garage, located in the East Village in NYC. Both Nuri and Michael are avid motorcycle enthusiasts who turned their passion of motorcycling into a business. Ironically, they met because Nuri sold Michael a new motorcycle when she was managing a motorcycle dealership. After many years of parking their bikes on city streets, they would walk around and ask themselves, why isn’t anyone addressing the needs of the motorcycle owner, where one could park and work on their bike indoors?
To fill this void, the Wernicks purchased an existing garage and transformed it into an exclusive motorcycle parking facility. They wanted to create a friendly, secure, and congenial atmosphere where like-minded people could share tech tips, help one another wrench, and gather for group rides.
The Other garage in the East Village is Cycle Garage:
330 E8th St
New York, NY 10009
Recognizing the problem of finding a safe place to keep a bike, I established Cycle Garage in 1994. My goal was to create a clean, secure motorcycle and scooter only garage; a place for people who cared about their bikes to bring them indoors, safely away from the worries of street parking or public garages.
Having kept a bike on the street for many years, I know what it is like, dealing with careless car drivers who knock over bikes and damage them, vandals who stole covers and slashed seats (and worse), and last but not least, parking tickets. I worried every morning that I would return to where I had parked to find my bike damaged, with parts missing, or GONE. I investigated commercial parking garages. Though they said they catered to motorcycles, they were often just as bad as street parking.
Many garages employed people who didn’t know or didn’t care one bit about motorcycles. Often “parking spaces” were merely places that the garage otherwise couldn’t use to park a car. Bikes were frequently moved (and dropped) by employees. Likewise, security was minimal at best. I have heard many stories of parts and accessories disappearing from bikes parked in these facilities, including an entire brand new exhaust system.
There is a Scooter section, added at the request of some of the members. This is a space set up so that the scooterists can be together and enjoy a slightly reduced monthly rate. This area is out of the way of the motorcycle population but with all of the amenities the bigger spaces enjoy.
All this for less per month than any commercial parking in the area.
Downtown – 1 Ryders Alley New York, NY 10038
Midtown – W55th (between 9th and 10th) New York, NY 10019
- full security with proxy card keys
- video surveillance monitoring the garage cameras 24/7
- requires CRIMINAL background checks for each member before being accepted
- battery tender provided with each motorcycle
- 5-tier storage shelf
- communal workspace with motorcycle lifts
- Oil and Coolant Drums for recycling
- Air compressor available
- Tire changer on the premises
This isn’t a garage, its a community. Ryders Alley is about building a team who share a passion for motorcycles. It’s a haven for gear-heads, with indoor access to a safe, clean workspace, lounge with couches; it’s a space to get that motor smell and escape the apartment. We screen the distinguished MotoGP series and more. We get city folks out to the track & trails.
“Ryders Alley is a dream come true. It’s taken a lot of work and is a continual work in progress. I’ve had a lot help from friends.”
523 3rd Ave. (between 12th and 13th)
- long and short term parking available
- Workspace with tools supplied
- Lounge area
- free wifi
In Brooklyn, in Gowanus, adjacent to Park Slope, is VAX Moto. The facility has space for parking bikes, with flexible, long-term, and short-term arrangements available. It also has a workspace with three lifts and tools, a lounge area with foosball and a pool table, free WiFi, and is often the scene of parties, art exhibits, etc. Owned by Justin Walters.
WHY VAX MOTO?
At Vax Moto in Gowanus, Brooklyn, I have created a comfortable environment for motorcycle enthusiasts to explore the art of motorcycle maintenance, while providing a secure and fully-equipped space for slip rentals and long-term storage.
The practice of fixing, maintaining, and restoring motorcycles with one’s hands (instead of paying someone else to do it!!) is not a lost art, and in fact, it thrives here. We believe there are enough like-minded riders out there who share this passion for their machines, and the personal care that is required to keep them rolling for the long run. This kind of hands-on approach to the bikes we love bonds us, creating the unique community of riders you will find at Vax Moto.
– Personal Parking Slip with Private Key Card Access
– 24/7 Video Surveillance and State of the Art Alarm System
– Fully Equipped Professional Workshop for Building, Rebuilding, and Maintenance
– Exclusive All-Hours Access to Private Slips and Community Members’ Workshop
200 9th St
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Machina Cycles is a community-minded Motorcycle and Scooter Storage Facility. Located conveniently on the corner of 9th St and 3rd Ave in Brooklyn, Machina Cycles offers a full array of equipment and services for your year-round needs.
Machina Cycles is a community minded Motorcycle and Scooter Storage Facility.
Located conveniently on the corner of 9th St and 3rd Ave in Brooklyn, Machina Cycles offers a full array of equipment and services for your year round needs.
Featuring 24 HOUR Video Camera Surveillance and Access Control. Electricity for each spot for Battery Tender and equipment usage, Wireless Internet and other amenities.
We believe in empowering two wheel riders by giving you the tools to maintain your prized vehicle.
117 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 554-7524 fax
Williamsburg in Brooklyn now has a motorcycle garage as well called Moto Grrl. They are offering perks such as an alarm system with individual codes, a security camera, an air compressor, and a lift, a common workspace, and priority towing services.
SERVING THE MOTORCYCLE COMMUNITY SINCE 2004
MotorGrrl is a professional full-service garage. We can fix your new or vintage motorcycle, build you a custom one or teach you how to do either of these things yourself.
We offer bike parking, DIY memberships, and custom build workshops to name a few of our amenities. In non-covid times we host charity events, showcase artists, and have raging season opener parties.
We are proud to serve our moto community and continue to look for innovative ways to do so. Motorgrrl is woman-owned and operated with the support of an outstanding team, established in 2004.
Use an app to find parking
Technology is wonderful, and you get an app or website for almost anything, even for NYC parking. Check out this website that will allow you to make online parking reservations within New York City.
There are plenty of motorcycle parking garages, so you should not have a problem finding one near to where your final destination is.
Motorcycle parking rules and New York City
Riding a motorcycle in New York City has its perks, but just like drivers of regular vehicles, there are rules of the road that you have to abide by. Knowing and obeying the road rules, especially when it comes to parking and rider safety in New York City, can save you a lot of hassle, money, and perhaps even your life.
Here Are Some Top Tips for parking your Motorcycle in New York:
- Use an app to find parking
- Park correctly as outlined by DMV Law
- Know the parking rules within the area you are going to be
- Use motorcycle garages
This is surely obvious, but besides parking perpendicular to the curb, there are other factors to consider that you may not have known about.
Here are the other factors to concider when parking a motorcycle in NYC:
- Try and avoid parking behind vehicles.
- Do not park your motorcycle between two vehicles where space is limited.
- Choose to park in areas that have a low turnover rate.
- Park your motorcycle in the middle of a parking spot (when parking in a public parking spot), so other motorists can see your bike.
- Know the area in which you are parking.
Know the parking rules of the area you are traveling to
Depending on where you are in New York, different areas have various parking regulations, and they can change during the days of the week and during the times of the day. Make sure you know the rules for the areas and sections you can park in.
For example, In the five boroughs (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island), you are only allowed to park on the street.
When in doubt and you cannot find a parking space even with an app, or you are in an unfamiliar area and don’t know the rules, it is always best to use a motorcycle parking garage. There are plenty of them situated around the city.
How Do You Park Your Motorcycle For FREE In New York City?
Riding your motorcycle around New York City is easy enough, and you should be able to get to your destination without any hassle.
If you use one of the dedicated motorcycle parking garages, it could cost you as much as $50 per night, but many offer deals where you can pay a monthly charge of about $200 if you need to park regularly. However, you shouldn’t need to pay for motorcycle parking in NYC unless you are in a metered area.
Ensuring you can understand the parking signs once you arrive in New York City is an important factor in being able to park up for free.
There are two types of arrows → and ← → and these arrows signify the length of the parking regulation on the sign.
The arrows finish location (terminus) is the end of the block on which the parking sign is located.
Here are the most common sign information you will find on parking sings in New York city:
- No parking at any time
- No parking from X-X
- No standing
- Metered parking
- Diplomatic plates only
- Police only
- Dept of ED only
So when looking to park, you will need to note any time restrictions and make sure that the area is a safe one to park in. In most residential neighborhoods in NYC, you shouldn’t have a problem finding free motorcycle parking.
Parking in Midtown and the financial district is a different story as it’s so busy and parking spaces are nearly Zoro.
However now you know how to read the parking signs and looking out tor the → arrow you should be able to find some free parking!
There are a few parking places around Grand Central Station which you can park a motorcycle for free for the day if you read the signs correctly.
Also, if you look around New Yorks Cities high rent office neighborhoods, there are similar signs with the single arrow → where you will be able to park your motorcycle for free.
You just need to keep a good eye out for them, but the money you can save will pay for the bit of time it takes to locate these parking spaces as it can cost about $70 if you want to park for over two hours within this area of New York City!
How Do You ride your motorcycle in New York city safely?
- Wear appropriate motorcycle clothing
- Ride your motorcycle responsibly
- Be visible to other motorists
- Stay focused and watch the road
- Know your escape lane
- Always make sure you inspect your motorcycle before riding
- Check the weather forecast
- Don’t just use your mirrors
- Check your insurance policy
Wear appropriate motorcycle clothing
It’s all good and well, wanting to look fantastic on a motorcycle, but that goes out the window if you find yourself in an accident. Wear the appropriate leather with a reinforced jacket, pants, and boots along with your certified helmet.
When riding in heavy traffic around a city like New York, it is always best to wear high-visibility motorcycle gear or at least a high viz vest like this one on Amazon.
Ride your motorcycle responsably
Know your riding ability in terms of your skill level, don’t try and overtake vehicles when you are not supposed to in order to show off, don’t pop wheelies, don’t navigate difficult roads, and don’t rush through traffic. Simply put, stay in your comfort zone.
Riding your motorcycle responsibly and looking over your shoulder when changing lanes or making a left or right turn, and generally keeping your wits about you will help keep you safe.
Be visible to other motorists
9/10 times when a collision with a person riding a motorcycle with another vehicle happens, the other motorists say they didn’t even see the motorcyclist.
To help combat this, do not ride in the blind spots of other motorists and wear appropriate motorcycle gear that is reflective and is colorful enough so that motorists will see you.
Stay focused and watch the road
Be vigilant when you ride and consider everything around you. This means keeping a safe distance from other traffic, knowing your route, and looking out for unwanted motorists that are driving badly. Again, keep your wits about you!
Know your escape lane
By maintaining a safe following distance, you will be much more aware of the road, your surroundings, and your fellow motorists. If you ride in this way, you can always have a backup plan if something goes wrong (cars suddenly stop), and you can have a route or lane planned out in your mind that you can switch to in a split second. Stay alert!
Reading the road ahead, preventing any accident from happening is the way to stay safe and upward whilst riding around a busy city such as New York.
Always make sure to inspect your motorcycle before riding
The first thing to do before you climb on your bike whenever you are about to ride is to check it thoroughly for any problems or damage such as oil stains on the floor (caused by an oil leak), damage to your chassis or foot pedals (someone may have inadvertently knocked your bike over), checking your indicators and brake lights work correctly.
You should be carrying out an inspection of your motorcycle every time you ride it.
Check the weather forecast
Before you go riding in the city, check the weather and the rest of the forecast for the day. If you are not a good rider when it comes to the rain, then perhaps a commute with public transport that day will unexpectedly save you from an accident and may even save your life.
You should read our article ’17 Top Tips For Riding Your Motorcycle In The Rain’ to get some great tips and useful information for riding your motorcycle when it’s wet or raining.
Don’t just use your mirrors
Rearview mirrors are great on a motorcycle, but that’s not good enough in heavy city traffic. They only give you a view of certain angles, and perhaps they don’t give you a proper angle of your blind spot. Be sure when turning or switching lanes to look over your shoulder to make sure that it is clear for you to turn or switch to the appropriate lane.
Drivers of other vehicles can get frustrated whilst traveling in heavy traffic, so make sure that the other driver is willing to let you go in front of them before maneuvering.
Check your insurance policy
Before you climb onto your bike and head out, you need to check that you have an insurance policy that correctly covers you for riding a motorcycle in New York City or if you do have one, you need to make sure it is paid and up to date.
You really need to have a good insurance broker or agent to ensure that you are covered for the things you didn’t know you were unaware of.
For example, in New York, the bare minimum insurance limits for any private vehicle are $25000 per person and $50000 per collision, assuming multiple claimants and most individuals opt to purchase this insurance.
Regarding a motorcycle driver who was in an accident that was not their fault and did not have coverage of what is known as “no-fault insurance,” they may be unable to pay for any medical expenses they may have incurred.
This is because the bare minimum insurance does not cover this, even though many individuals think that it does.
Make sure that you have the correct insurance for riding in New York City. It’s worth calling your insurance company or broker to check that you have the correct insurance in place.
Check out this video:
We discovered that the road rules in New York are pretty straightforward, and for most, it should be common sense (something you should have an abundance of if you ride a motorcycle). The parking laws are not that difficult to understand, and if you abide by the rules, you should not have a problem not getting a ticket every time you head out.
However, the one thing to note is that different areas in New York City have different parking rules, so you should know the area you will park in and their rules. If in doubt, use an app to book parking or park in one of the many NYC motorcycle garages.
Riding safely in the city includes all the standard factors you should be aware of, like wearing the appropriate safety attire, being vigilant when you ride, and checking your blind spot when turning or switching lanes, along with a few others.
Hopefully, this article will save you some time, anxiety, money, and possibly an accident the next time you decide to take your motorcycle out in NYC.