Is your motorcycle street legal?
It’s time to take a good look at your cafe bike / chopper / bobber / enduro…
Riding old enduro bikes around in the woods and street is pretty awesome. It’s some of the most fun I’ve had since BMX.
My CT1-175 and IT250 are pretty loud. Chain saw loud. I assume most people assume I’m on an off road dirt bike, just like every other ghetto kid ripping around. I get it. Whenever I hear that 2 stroke noise I naturally assume the bike is an off road dirt bike and not street legal.
So, I started thinking about what it really means to make any motorcycle 100% street legal?
For example, yes, my CT1 is insured, and has PA title and registration, and I have lights. Bike is totally street legal right…? But if a cop pulled me over, could he still give me tickets for little things if he wanted to be a dick?
Items needed for a MC in PA to be truly street legal
- Motorcycle VIN needs to be the type: “dual-sport” or “street”. “Off-road” type VIN can’t be titled for street use.
Read comment #5 and #6 here if you want more clarification.
- You must have a MC permit or license and insured.
- Must have a registration. Yes, Vermont is fine and legal.
- Must have inspection. Unless your plate is an “antique” plate?
- Must have a working horn.
- Must have a brake on each wheel.
- May have turn signals. Basically this means, you don’t need them and can hand signal.
PA MC code: 175.146 sub section f2.
- Must have a speedo and odometer.
- Tires must be DOT and say DOT on them.
- Must have a headlight and tail light. Tail light or a light must illuminate the license plate.
- Must have at least 1 mirror
- Fuel system must be leakproof. So if your carbs leak, you could get a fine?
- Exhaust can’t be louder than 88 (decibel (A).
- Must have fender for each wheel.
- Must have a kick stand.
- License plate can’t hang loosely. Must be seen by 50ft from the rear. Can’t be obscured.
All of the above info is based on the PA motorcycle code. Link below:
PA motorcycle code
Just because it states you need everything in that list, I highly doubt any cop is checking certain things. For example; are they checking if you have a horn ha. 90% of the time cops don’t even care if your MC is inspected. Seriously, who the F gets their MC inspected. Are cops riding around with a decibel sound tester for your exhaust, ha. No.
Guarantee the cops don’t know the PA MC code off the top of their head anyway, so if you get pulled over be nice and play dumb. It’s worked for me; “Uh, I didn’t know my license plate couldn’t be hidden under my seat. Are you sure officer?” Ha.
Last – To reiterate from a previous post I made several months ago here… about if the cops can take your MC… In this article by NBC10, Lt. Stanford of the Philly police states twice; “Police can only confiscate a dirt bike under two conditions — if the operator doesn’t have a license or the bike is not registered.”
Comment and let me know if there’s anything big I’m forgetting, or if anything is blatantly wrong, which I’ll update in the list above. I’m not a lawyer so I’m reading the PA code and making the best sense of it that I can.
13 responses to “Is your motorcycle street legal?”
Published - Aug 28, 2011
When I was 20, I had a mini interview in Dig BMX magazine. It had nothing to do with me being good at riding or anything like that… I was just kinda friends with the right people and in the right place at the right time. Check it out… ha, it’s funny to read this […]