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Can You Ride a Motorcycle Through a Drive-Thru? [8 Tips]

can motorcycles use drive thrus

Can motorcycles use drive-thrus? This is a question I recently read on Quora. The answer to these questions should have been pretty straightforward. Yes, you can use your motorcycle in a drive-thru. 

However, the question was inspired by a recent incident where a famous fast food declined to take the order of a motorcycle rider, earning them the ire of many netizens. While a motorcycle is a vehicle that can be used to order food at a drive-thru, there are a few caveats, which we will talk about in this article. 

Why Are Some Vehicles Not Entertained at Drive-Thrus? 

Person Riding Red Sports Bike

Some restaurants and fast food places don’t serve certain types of vehicles other than cars. The risk of being in an accident while the motorcycle, bicycle rider, or even skater is in the restaurant’s vicinity is always there. They run the risk of being sued if any damage is incurred. The policy to deny service to certain vehicles became a reality. 

With the number of motorcycles and bicycles going through drive-thrus, most fast-food restaurants are changing their stance simply by accommodating them.

In some countries, such as the Philippines, McDonald’s accepts a variety of vehicles, including cars, trikes, motorcycles, bicycles, skateboards, and even horse-drawn carriages (locally known as calesa), which are used to visit historical sites around Manila. So far, it’s drawing good feedback from its patrons, and no accident has been recorded since the idea was launched.

Tips for Riding Your Motorcycle Through a Drive-Thru Window

Here are 8 pointers to keep in mind if you plan to use your bike to order food from a fast-food drive-thru:

1. You Will Need Help

It’s good to take a back rider with you if you don’t have a backpack or any top or side boxes where you can place your food. Having a pillion who can help you carry what you ordered can help you avoid spilling it. More importantly, having a plastic bag of food hanging on the side of your handlebar can upset the balance of your bike and cause an accident.

2. Take Care When Paying or Receiving the Change

When you’re wearing gloves, it’s difficult to handle small things, like keys, paper money, or coins. When you’re paying at the cashier window, take extra care when handling these things. Having to get off your bike, remove your gloves, and pick up something you’ve dropped is annoying for you, the cashier, and the people lined up waiting for you.

 3. Lean Over and Speak Loudly

It would be difficult to understand what you’re saying if you’re wearing a helmet and your motorcycle is idling loudly in the background. You may have to speak a little louder to be heard and lean closer to the speaker to listen to the order taker. Depending on how noisy your engine and exhaust pipes are, you may turn off your motorcycle to have a smoother and clearer order processing.

 4. Use Your Backpack

If you have a backpack, you can put it on the front and load the food you ordered. It’s more convenient to keep your cash in your pockets. If you feel safe riding with your backpack on your chest, go ahead and do it. Pullover and put your backpack in the correct position if the ride proves to be uncomfortable. Anything that makes your ride uncomfortable is not safe and should be corrected immediately.

5. A Tank Bag Does the Trick

The tank bag is an essential piece of equipment on your motorcycle. Besides the many benefits it offers, a good-sized tank bag should be able to safely and securely hold the food you ordered. Plus, it’s right in front of you, so it’s easy to just place them inside and close the bag, and you’re off to go. 

6. Triggering the Sensor 

Most fast-food drive-thrus have a tarmac sensor that alerts the order taker. These sensors are looped wires embedded in saw cuts, and they sense large metal objects when the magnetic field around them is disturbed. Most vehicles, including motorcycles (and even bicycles), trigger this sensor. There are incidents, however, when this doesn’t happen. 

To ensure that your bike is detected, it’s best to ride slower than usual. If nothing happens, don’t worry. Just press the button to order. If no one responds (probably there is no one manning the order-taking queue), just park your bike and head inside to order. 

7. Make Sure Your Money or Card Is Ready

Some fast foods will only accept cash, and some would gladly take your card. Because of this, make sure you have enough money on hand to cover the bill. The last thing you want to be is to hold a long line because you can’t find your card or your money is still in your bag or pocket. 

8. The Food You Can Order Is Limited

Some restaurants offer combo meals, and this often includes drinks. Drinks cannot be placed inside your backpack, and they also cannot be stuffed inside your tank bag. If you ordered a combo meal by mistake, you would have to plan what you need to do with the drinks quickly. 

The flimsy lids on drinks in plastic cups will pop open if pressure is applied. So, it’s best to avoid including them in your order. If you buy drinks with your meal, ask for the ones in bottles. 


Fast-food drive-thrus are becoming more popular as they are now available in many places. And it’s convenient to order food at the drive-thrus. If you want to avoid an accident, you should follow the abovementioned guidelines.

Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. I’m always open to new ideas and points of view. I hope you enjoyed this post and have a wonderful day.

Thank you!