If you’re a dirt bike fan, you will probably want to know how to make your bike street legal, so you can ride it wherever you want – thankfully for you, we have crafted this guide so that you know all the legal specifications for a road legal dirt bike.
Read on to learn more!
The Legal Part – What Does The Law Say?
In order to be considered “street legal”, a motorcycle must meet certain requirements in terms of its size and weight.
The most important thing is that the vehicle’s engine displacement must not exceed 750cc (cubic centimeters).
This means that if you are looking at a Honda CRF450R or Kawasaki ZX-14, then they would be illegal because their engines do not fit within this limit.
However, there are other motorcycles which are smaller than this, such as the Yamaha YZF-R6. This has an engine displacement of 699cc, which would be considered street legal.
As far as maximum weight goes, the rule states that the total combined mass of the rider and his/her passenger cannot exceed 250 kg (551lbs).
For example, if you were riding with someone who weighed 200 kg (441lbs), your total combined weight would be 450 kg (992lbs) – over the limit significantly.
Another important point to note is that the motorcycle must also have a minimum ground clearance of 150 mm (5.9in).
In other words, the front wheel must be able to clear any obstacles that may lie ahead without hitting them.
Finally, the vehicle must be equipped with a rear view mirror, turn signals, brake lights, horn, and headlights.
These items are required by law, but some manufacturers choose to include them anyway, so you shouldn’t have a problem here, unless you have made any alterations.
So now that we’ve covered what the law says, let’s move onto what you need to do to make sure that you meet these requirements.
Legal Specifications – How Do I Know If My Bike Is Street Legal?
Before you go out and buy a new dirt bike, you should first check whether it meets the legal specifications.
To do this, simply take a look at the manufacturer’s website and see if it lists the dimensions of the bike. You’ll find this information under the specs section, usually near the bottom of the page.
Now that you know whether your bike is legal, you might be wondering where you can legally ride it. Look into the local laws in the area you live, so you can ensure you are following the letter of the law.
So, for example, if you live in New York State, you will only be allowed to ride dirt bikes on designated trails.
Upgrades To Your Bike’s Electrical System
Many people convert their older bikes to electric by installing a battery pack. These batteries are usually found under the seat or behind the gas tank.
They are typically 12V lead acid batteries, although lithium-ion packs are becoming increasingly popular.
When these batteries get old, they lose capacity and become less efficient, hence need to be replaced. Some people even use multiple packs together in series to create a larger capacity system.
If you’re planning on making your bike electric, you’ll want to consider upgrading its electrical system. First, you’ll need to decide how much power you plan on using from the battery.
Then, you’ll need to determine exactly how many cells you need. Finally, you’ll need to figure out how big each cell needs to be.
The easiest way to calculate the number of cells needed is to multiply the voltage times the current. For example, if you have a 12V battery, you’d need two cells because 2 x 12 24.
If you wanted to run an LED light bar, you could also use one single-cell battery. However, you’d need to increase the current to compensate for the lower voltage.
Once you have determined the number of cells needed, you’ll then need to measure the size of each cell.
This will allow you to determine how many inches wide and tall each cell needs to be in order to fit inside the frame. The most common sizes are 9×12 inches and 10×14 inches.
Finally, you’ll need to install the battery. Make sure that you follow the instructions carefully, as you don’t want to damage your battery.
Also, make sure that you keep the battery away from water sources. After you’ve installed the battery, test it to make sure that everything works properly.
Street Legal Dirt Bike Headlights
A lot of people think that lights are just for nighttime riding. In fact, there are several reasons why you would want to add headlight kits to your dirt bike.
There are three main types of lights: halogen, xenon, and LEDs. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.
Halogen lights tend to produce a very bright beam with a yellowish tint. Xenon lights can produce brighter beams than halogens, but they do so at the cost of producing lots of heat.
LEDs produce a very dim beam, but the amount of heat produced is minimal. You should choose the best option for your particular situation.
When buying headlights, you’ll first want to determine what kind of lighting you want. Will you be riding at night?
Do you want to attract attention? Are you concerned about safety? Once you know what you want, you can start shopping for headlights.
When purchasing headlights, you’ll want to pay close attention to the brightness level. Most manufacturers offer multiple levels of brightness.
Some models even include variable settings. These features allow you to adjust the intensity of the light to suit your preferences.
If you decide to go with a kit, you’ll need to buy the bulbs separately. The bulb size depends on the model.
For example, most kits come with H4 bulbs. This means that the bulbs have four filaments. Another common size is H5 bulbs, which have five filaments.
Street Legal Dirt Bike Mirrors
The mirrors on your bike are important. Not only do they help you see around corners, they also give you a sense of how fast you’re going.
Unfortunately, many riders don’t take proper care of their mirrors. As a result, they end up breaking or getting dirty.
If you want to avoid these problems, you’ll need to maintain your mirrors properly. For your dirt bike to be road legal, it will have to have functional wing mirrors.
If you need to add wing mirrors to your bike, you will be able to find them in two different styles. One style is called clip-on mirrors.
They attach directly to the handlebars. The other style is called fender mirrors. Fender mirrors mount to the front wheel. Both styles work well, but some riders prefer one over the other.
You’ll need to consider the mounting method before choosing between clip-on and fender mirrors. Clip-on mirrors are easier to install.
However, if you plan to use your mirror as an indicator, you might not want to use clip-ons. On the other hand, fenders require more maintenance.
But if you’re planning to use your mirror for signaling, then you might want to get fender mirrors
Once you have attached your mirrors, you should clean them regularly to keep them functional. Use a soft cloth to wipe off any dirt or dust. Cleaning your mirror helps prevent rust, too.
Street Legal Dirt Bike Turn Signals
Many states do not require turn signal usage, but instead require hand signal usage.
Installing turn signals is important because they get the driver’s attention much better than hand signals do – keeping you, your bike, and everyone else on the roads safer.
However, if your only stumbling point is installing blinkers, using hand signals may allow you to skip this step in some states.
Some states have specifics about the installation of turn signals, while others don’t. Check the local laws in your vicinity, so that you know you are operating within the law!
Street Legal Dirt Bike Tires
Tires play a big role in how safe your bike is. Whether you ride on pavement or dirt, having the right tires can improve your safety.
A good tire has treads that provide traction on wet surfaces. It also provides grip on dry surfaces. In addition, a good tire offers protection against rocks and debris.
For your bike to be road legal, your tires should be DOT certified, which are special as they contain an extra layer of rubber, making them highway speed certified.
These DOT rated tires should fit onto your dirt bike alloy rims, so it should be easy to swap your off road only tires over to the correct ones!
In conclusion, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure that your dirt bike is road legal. You just have to follow the rules set forth by each state.
Once you’ve done all of those steps, you’ll be ready to hit the open road.
We hope that this guide has helped you understand what you might need to do to keep your bike legal – stay safe out there!