all gas motorized bikes illegal in iowa?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by mccance, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. mccance

    mccance New Member

    the new law in iowa seems pretty airtight. I bought a bike motor and was installing it and then decided to see where I could ride it. obviously the wrong order. but can anyone else see any loopholes?

  2. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    I just read that pdf document, and it's quite rediculous and illogical. :ack2:

    An electric bicycle is not even considered a motorized bicycle AT ALL, just a bicycle, but yet, it's still limited to UNDER 20mph, and has to have operable pedals.

    A gas bicycle is always considered a moped, regardless of cc's or pedals as long as it's 30mph or less. Also, they require a license, and a manufacturer's label stating the speed. They also state that it HAS to maintain 20mph MINIMUM on a 3% incline, but yet still not allowed to go over max 30mph. That means REALLY low gearing, and running your engine at high RPM all the time.

    And on top of that, they state that "A moped must have a lighted headlamp at all times when operated on a public street or roadway." However, it's unrealistic to have the light on in the daytime, because not all bikes can run their headlight from the batteries for more than a few hours at most, because of a lack of a powerful charging system.

    There's not much of any loopholes at all, or even consideration for realistic limitations.

    I'd recommend:
    1. Have a valid license or get a Moped Permit
    2. Make a manufacturer's label that says 28mph
    3. Get a visible safety flag for the rear
    4. Use 100% LED lighting for max battery life

    Happy and Safe riding,
  3. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    Those seem like pretty well thought out recommendations, ZnsaneRyder.

    And they just might work. mccance probably doesn't have a choice, anyway.

    But good luck to you, mc.
  4. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    but your bike is not a moped, they have pedals that are used to start the motor. you would never pedal a moped more than a few feet. ours are motorEDbikes. ask a cop about that. we have riders in iowa. good luck.
  5. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    Man after reading that PDF I think it would be easer to just Move !!!!
  6. fm2200

    fm2200 Member

    seanhan, It says your from Tx and if that is true you have more restrictive laws than Iowa you have to have your MB set up like a motorcycle-directionals, running lights, brake lights, liability insurance, inspections and registration. Iowa does not require liability insurance and therefore has a better deal than Texas.
  7. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    THIS is where, in all 50 states, some folks could research the 1870-90 archives. Bikes are before cars, trucks, motorcycles and planes.

    There are probably old laws on all the books that set the rules for bikes AND motor assisted bikes, the design has not changed all that much.

    Meanwhile, the only job we want government to do is drag the dead horses off main street and dispose of the carcasses, everything else is "extra" power grabs.

    A doctors note might be a clever idea, this person needs cycling exercise, and it takes an "assist" to get his out of shape **** up the hill.

    Jury would throw it out !!
  8. seanhan

    seanhan Member


    No !!! M/b's are legal here in texas for the most part.
    The only rule is 50cc and under, You cannot operate on a road where the posted speed limit is 40 mph and above however you can cross said road under power.
    But the Law does not really matter none of the Cops know it.
    and it is left up to each city to Allow them.
    I have had a Lot of cops see me riding and never been stopped.
    I guess they have better things to do ....
    So it really just depends on your city , If your in a small town that can be a bad thing, Barney Fife time. ANDY!!!!!!!!
    So just ride that thing till you get stopped then go see the Judge !!!!!
  9. iHarvey

    iHarvey New Member

    hey mccance i live in pa but do most of my riding in nj where driving a mb is illegal unless registered and insured. but as long as you have a taillight and use it with a visible at night the cops should leave you alone.

    daytime leave the speed for emtpy backroads and follow basic motor vehicle laws and common bicycling sense.

    and always have a working kill switch and always remember to ghost peddle if you do get a little too close ;).
  10. halydean

    halydean New Member

    How to Register a Motorized Bicycle / Bike in Iowa ( moped / custom moped )

    This post shows up in the search engines for Iowans trying to learn how to register their custom-built motored bikes. Rivercity Motor Bikes is in Ankeny (Northern Suburb of Des Moines) and says they've been through this several times. No registration is necessary. You just ride it like a regular bicycle and that's it.

    Iowa is the easiest state of them all. I will explain.

    In Iowa, the culture is so different from most other states that you almost need a passport to come here. "Out-of-staters" are often puzzled by the application of Iowa laws. To better understand it... you might want to watch a few episodes of the Andy Griffith show, where neighbors bake cakes for police officers who know them all by name in the town of Mayberry. Nobody locks their doors, and people look out for each other.

    A guy built a board track racer replica here a few years ago and tried to register it, because he wanted to be in compliance with the laws. He was told that the bike isn't powerful enough, and its just a motorized bicycle... he was sent home. No flag. No headlight. No license necessary. Nothing. Although Iowa is not a top tourist destination, the state is full of honest people who are very reasonable and don't like too much red tape.

    The flip side of that is that if you're not a well-liked person, and you've done something to offend the officers of the peace... they will make life hard for you. Also, if you're driving your bike "out of town" and the police don't recognize you, you might get a warning or an order to have someone come pick you up and get that thing off the road. And as you might guess, if you're caught driving it through downtown Mayberry at 40 miles per hour, you're going to be in trouble.

    A few years back I bought a military Humvee, stripped it all down, and built it up like a shiny red Hummer H-1. Guys on Harleys gave me the "low and slow." Old men saluted me. It was huge, and attracted a lot of attention wherever I went, including from police, who would pull me over just to look at it and then happily send me on my way... Iowans just don't care if some obscure law says you're not supposed to drive military vehicles on the road.

    After all... In the minds of Iowa law enforcers... aren't there laws that state that (I think this is actually true) ministers must obtain a permit to carry their liquor across state lines, a man with a mustache may never kiss a woman in public, one-armed piano players must perform for free, and kisses may last for no more than five minutes?

    So if you live in Iowa, relax. Nobody cares here. Its just a bicycle. Police might pull you over, smiling, and say, "That's a pretty neat bike! What is it? I just wanted to look at it... Is your Aunt Ruthy out of the hospital yet? Have a nice day and tell your father 'hi' for me."

    Just use your head, be a nice person, obey all traffic rules, remember people's names, smile and wave at people, and stay out of people's way.

    -- Hal
  11. Iowan

    Iowan Guest

    Speaking as a life long Iowan, this is a bit outdated culturally and legally. People do lock their doors here and registration is also necessary for motorcycles or motorized bicycles (mopeds) but not a bicycle with a 750 watt motor or less that cannot exceed 20 mph on the flat when solely powered by the electric motor.

    Gasoline powered bicycles are always either motorized bicycles (mopeds) or motorcycles. They are never merely bicycles. They must have a MCO that certifies the vehicle complies with akl federal safety standards and they must be registered or all 99 treasurers in Iowa are authorized and obligated to refuse registration.

    The law changed in 2006 to eliminate the distinction between over/under 49 cc. Game over.