Becoming legal in Ohio?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by JohnDN, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. JohnDN

    JohnDN New Member

    There are several threads over this, but I haven't heard much about motorized bikes being classified as motorcycles. In Ohio a motorized bicycle in considered a moped as long as it is 50cc or less, 1 brake HP or less, and doesn't go over 20MPH. It must also meet all the equipment requirements of a moped and be on the state list of approved mopeds. If the motorized bicycle is over 50cc, over 1HP, or faster than 20MPH it is classified as a motorcycle.

    I think most of us fall into the motorcycle category. There are the 49cc engines out there, and anyone can gear their bike so doesn't go above 20mph, but a lot of the engines are over 1HP other than some of four-stroke engines. For motorized bicycles, Ohio Administrative Code states that:

    "4501-23-19 Assembly by person other than manufacturer.
    Nothing in these rules and regulations shall prohibit a person other than a manufacturer from constructing, assembling, or equipping a vehicle so as to conform to the specifications of a motorized bicycle. Such person shall, however, comply with all of the rules contained in Chapter 4501-23 of the Administrative Code to the same extent as is necessary of a manufacturer.
    R.C. 119.032 review dates: 09/12/2006 and 03/09/2011
    Promulgated Under: 119.03
    Statutory Authority: R.C. 4511.521
    Rule Amplifies: R.C. 4511.521
    Prior Effective Dates: 4/1/78"

    I can't find much on motorcycle assembly in the codes, but I'd assume the same applies for motorcycles. Can anyone confirm this? If it does, then we would have to meet all the equipment requirements of motorcycles and have it inspected. Our engines are already EPA certified and all the other equipment requirements can be easily purchased and added on. I'm sure not if there is a requirement on tires, such as if they have to be DOT approved or not but even if there was I'm sure you could purchase DOT approved tires somewhere.

    So, does anyone who has more experience with Ohio motorcycle laws know if this will be possible?

    OAC Motorized Bicycle-
    Digest of Ohio Motor Vehicle Laws-
    Page 25 (30/90)- Motorized Bicycles and required equipment
    Page 21 (26/90)- Motorcycles and required equipment

  2. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Note: When a reference to 1 horsepower is used, since the horsepower value is rounded off to the nearest whole number, this can be interpreted as being closer to 1 HP than to 2 HP (therefore, 1.4999 would comply.)
  3. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  4. JohnDN

    JohnDN New Member

    I emailed Carl Lynch, public inquiries officer at the Deputy Registrar. I described a motorized bike with all the required equipment of a motorcycle (since my planned motorized bike would be classified as a motorcycle). Here is his reply:

    "The vehicle in question would most likely be considered "self-assembled." This means that someone other than a manufacturer constructed the motor vehicle. A self-assembled vehicle normally has a title or certificate of origin for the frame or chassis of the vehicle, along with receipts showing parts purchased to complete the vehicle.

    You may run into a problem with your vehicle, because none of the items or the vehicle itself has a title or certificate of origin. I recommend you view the following link regarding the self-assembled process: You may also want to contact one of the inspection sites listed for more information.

    Thank you."

    So here's what I've come up so far with making a "motorcycle" motorized bike legal in Ohio.

    1) Get the original receipt for the major component parts, which are: the frame, engine, transmission, rear quarters, doors, rear door, hatchback, tailgate, hood, bumper, front fender, dash, deck lid, and air bags. *When a kit is used (most likely like the bicycle engine kits we buy), the manufacturer's certificate of origin must be presented as well.

    2) Get the original receipt for any parts with a fair market value of $100.00 or more, and for any parts of questionable origin. (I'd suggest having a receipt for all your items purchase just to avoid any problems.)

    3) Assemble your bicycle with an EPA certified engine and add the following equipment: one or two headlights, one taillight/brake light, a horn that can be heard from at least 200 feet away, one rearview mirror, handlebars no more than 15 inches above the seat, one white license plate light, front and rear turn signals, and a regularly attached permanent seat. After assembly, I’d suggest testing your “motorcycle” to ensure everything is working properly.

    4) Test the noise level of your motorcycle and ensure that it is 82 decibels or less at 35mph or less. Also test the noise level to confirm that it is not over 86 decibels at speeds above 35mph. This is based on a distance of not less than 50 feet from the center of the line of travel.

    5) Once satisfied with all the above requirements, go to the Deputy Registrar and obtain an application for vehicle inspection for a $50.00 fee.

    6) Call the nearest inspection station and set up an appointment.

    7) Bring all of your receipts, including the receipt of the application for vehicle inspection, to the inspection station. Have the vehicle inspected.

    8) Once your motorcycle has passed inspection you should be able to receive a title for the motorcycle and you will be able to register it at the Deputy Registrar and get insurance on it.
  5. JohnDN

    JohnDN New Member


    Thank you for the link. Could you provide me with a reference for the HP being rounded to the nearest whole number? I'm trying to find references for all my information so once I start the registration process I'll be well prepared for any questions.
  6. seanhan

    seanhan Member

    That was BHP ( brake horse power )
    I believe that is a measure at the crankshaft ( is that correct ? )
    Is that the same measure the Manufactures of m/b engines use ??
    or do they use a calculated measure ???
    Anybody know ????
  7. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    Brake HP is at the motor crankshaft.

    The state has rounded their HP max rating to a whole HP numbers (1 HP, and NOT 1.0 hp.) If you round your motor HP to the nearest whole HP rating, anything below 1.5 would round to 1 HP.

    Similarly, when you do your taxes, the IRS rounds all results to the nearest dollar. They count $.50 to $1.49 as $1, $1.50 to $2.49 as $2, and so on.

    I couldn't tell you where to find this. IT is common practice in many fields (engineering, science, and in the case of taxes, to accounting) to have the number itself define the level of precision required.

    1 means a number closer to 1 than to 0 or 2
    1.0 means a number closer to 1 than to .9 or 1.1
    1.00 means a number closer to 1 than to .99 or 1.01

    Search online for "Significant numbers", or "Significant figures"

    Wikipedia has an article about it. If you want to get more information, there is a published standard on the topic. (ASTM E29-08)
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  8. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    They charge you a $50 inspection fee if you home built it. What a sorry excuse for them to extract more money from you.

    What if YOU are the manufacturer? That changes everything!

    Any manufacturer I know of buys parts/materials from other sources, and assembles them into the finished product.

    What if you made your own manufacturer's label for the bike, stating max speed and that it "qualifies with state and federal regulations"
  9. JohnDN

    JohnDN New Member

    I remember reading something about the manufacturer somewhere and I think to be considered one you also have to pay a fee and fill out an application so they consider you a manufacturer.
  10. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    And, there are probably tax implications if you are "your own manufacturer."