The motorcycle lean (or roll) angle development is one of the main characteristics of motorcycle lateral dynamics. Control of motorcycle motions requires an accurate assessment of this quantity and for safety applications also the risk of sliding needs to be considered. Direct measurement of the roll angle and tyre slip is not available; therefore, a method of model-based estimation is developed to estimate the state of a motorcycle. This paper investigates the feasibility of such a motorcycle state estimator (MCSE). A simplified analytic model of a motorcycle is developed by comparison to an extended multi-body model of the motorcycle, designed in Matlab/SimMechanics. The analytic model is used inside an extended Kalman filter. Experimental results of an instrumented Yamaha FJR1300 motorcycle show that the MCSE is a feasible concept for obtaining signals related to the lateral dynamics of the motorcycle.