Perhaps a dumb question... moped registration and interstate travel

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by bakaneko, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. bakaneko

    bakaneko Active Member

    Hello. I am enjoying my little 2-stroke motorized bike but I would like to build a bigger bike in the spring. I have been looking at different options including a big predator engine and moped motors. I decided on getting a Lifan 125cc motor and mounting it to a bike hopefully with fat tires.

    That being said, in Wisconsin, the bike will have to be registered as a moped (has pedals and less than 130cc), which is fine. But, what happens if I want to go on an interstate trip to other states do not recognize it as a moped... For example, it seems in Illinois it has to be both less than 130cc and no more than 30mph (how a 130cc motor goes no more than 30mph... God knows).

    It would suck if I build it and am only confined to Wisconsin or friendly moped states... :confused:

  2. Wolfshoes

    Wolfshoes Member

    Wisconsin has reasonable regulations of motorbikes; perhaps from being the birthplace of Harley Davidson which had pedals until about 1917. I ride my motorbike in Wisconsin not far from Lake Geneva at times taking the lane in heavy traffic on Hwy 12 near the state line where the interstate ends. From what I understand about Wisconsin and pedal motorbikes, you can build it anyway you want and ride it up to 30 mph. Above that; it would have to be registered as a motor driven cycle and be usable anywhere except interstate highways. I would expect the trick would be bringing up the build to a state police approvable level as a motor driven cycle and get insurance without a VIN number. Not impossible, but it could turn into a really time consuming P in the A.
    As far as major motorbike manufacturers go; a similar build to the one you want is ahead of its time. This in my opinion is a bike with a multispeed crate engine instead of pedals. My guess is it has never been made because of the risk of a driver standing on the pedals while a passenger sits on the seat and overloading or damaging the build. A independent builder could make one street legal, but I have not seen one yet. Getting insurance could be harder than getting the plates. I have looked at Pitster Pro crate engines as being an option on a pioneering build with approvals easier on a totally custom made frame away from bicycle or imported attachments.
  3. bakaneko

    bakaneko Active Member

    Yeah, I don't know. My approach would just be contacting the DMV central office and hopefully working with someone higher up than approaching my local DMV. I've seen guys with custom hot rods driving around so I hope to follow their approach to register the bike. There are "bikes" with these motors already; they are called motopeds.

    My other question is say I get the build done and the bike registered. Can I take the bike to another state without getting in trouble with the law there?
  4. Wolfshoes

    Wolfshoes Member

    Last summer in a northern Illinois state park, I saw a Tomos motorbike parked with a Vermont moped plate. This was a primative moped as far as lighting was concerned. My guess is the rider was at home as far as the law was concerned. States typically recognize the registrations of out of state travelers without a problem. Plated motorized bikes and mopeds would be a pioneering group and their out of state riding problems could be surprisingly few in my speculation. Perhaps the wild card would be if the home state did not require insurance. I don't know if all states require motorists to have insurance. It could be to the point now that if it has a plate, the police expect insurance coverage and you are in trouble if you don't have it. I do not recall any MB posts where a rider mentions having insurance on a bike with an aftermarket gas motor and commenting on the issue. There was a time I went online to inquire about insurance for a Whizzer. One of the questions was; is the frame modified.
    I am not aware of an Illinois Moped regulation as being separate from motor driven cycles with its own plate. The state reg on MB is 1 hp limit with no mention of displacement. The speed limit is 20 mph from a dead stop or a 20 mph boost as accepted in central Illinois. I don't know if Wisconsin requires insurance on a moped, but I would bet they do. If you obtain a plate and insurance on a self made moped or MB in Wisconsin it would be the first I have heard it could be done. If the bike was propelled by a 125cc motor with transmission, it would be all the more interesting.
  5. bakaneko

    bakaneko Active Member

    Thanks for the insight, wolfshoes. I got a reply from the Wisconsin DMV main office. A few interesting things...

    - We need to complete a MV-1 Wisconsin Title & License Plate application and provide original bills of all major components including frame, engine, and transmission. And, additional items over $150.
    - Obtain an inspection of the vehicle (moped has less stringent requirements)
    - We can opt to register the bike as a moped instead of a motorcycle
    - We have to check up with each individual state about how they will handle our custom made moped/motorcycle in their state...
    - I was wrong they want mopeds to travel no more than 30 mph... And, yet a bicycle type vehicle can have as much as a 130cc motor. How does a 130cc motor not go more than 30 mph? I wonder if people just don't care about the 30 mph requirement.

    Well, that clears up things for me except the 30 mph requirement. I really would like to register it as a moped as the requirements for a moped is much less than a motorcycle in terms of lights, licenses, and whatnot... o_O