Bike lane use in California

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by Matt-83, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Matt-83

    Matt-83 New Member

    I have been digging up as much as I can about riding in the bike lanes and I think I understand but It still seems like a grey area. Reading comments from searching this forum there seems to be an assumption that riding a street legal motorized bike with plates in bike lanes is illegal? I can't find any literature stating this other than opinion. I could be wrong but I'm not finding it.

    What I have found is this:21207.5

    What I can gather from that is its not ok to ride on stand alone bike lanes unless the use of motorized bikes is permitted by local jurisdiction, but if the bike lane is on or next to a main road it's ok to ride in it unless otherwise posted by local jurisdiction...

    I also found this:21209

    Which basically reaffirms that riding in the bike lane is not prohibited, and gives a outline of how to use the bike lane safely within 21207.5

    There is nothing stated about license plates, and the law does not break down the difinition of a motorized bicycle into 406 a or b, so from what I gather it's ok, as long as your within 21207.5 and it's not otherwise posted I don't see an issue.

    Any thoughts? Or is there something I missed?

    Attached Files:

  2. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    I don't use plates or a license, and have no automatic transmission that would define me as a motorized bicycle, so I act like a bicycle & stay in bike lane. Had no problems this last 6 years.
  3. Wolfie65

    Wolfie65 New Member

    What CA law says, I don 't know, might want to ask at your local DMV or police department.My thoughts are that if you're riding a motorcycle (= engine size > 50cc), requiring things like plates/license/insurance/registration, you have no business in the bike lane unless you're pushing it.
  4. Matt-83

    Matt-83 New Member

    Motorized bikes don't require insurance in ca-from what I can gather. My only reason for wanting to use bike lanes is because a lot of the main roads in my area are 40 mph, above what a mb is capable. So off to the side in the bike lane is a lot safer, at 30 mph it's still a bike, pedal bikes can reach that speed.
  5. crassius

    crassius Well-Known Member

    if one d'ls CA DMV form 230, it asks 4 questions before accepting a bike for registration - a 'no' answer to any question means the bike is not one that requires registration - the 3rd question is 'does it have auto trans', so if no centrifugal clutch it does not have any form of auto trans and is not a registrable bike

    this is a gray area not specifically addressed by law and carrying the form with you is recommended by many CA riders
  6. Matt-83

    Matt-83 New Member

    I could see this being a grey area, I think the intent of the question is to determine if there is any manual gear shifting, could be worded better/differently. Most mopeds have a centrifugal clutch that sends power to the transmission. However the bikes do have transmissions, you could say gear box instead of transmission but to argue the point of weather or not it is automatic is a conversation I personally choose to avoid.
  7. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    There is no grey area.

    Your logic is flawed and your reading comprehension is influenced by the fact that
    most of your customers don't have drivers licenses.

    If you answer no to any of the 4 questions on the REG 230 form then you are told to register
    your bike as a motorcycle using REG 343.

    If you answer no to any of the 4 questions your bike is not registrable [sic] so that
    makes it illegal on the streets just like a pocket bike or mini bike is.
  8. Matt-83

    Matt-83 New Member

    That basically sums up the way I viewed it, it has a transmission-gears driving other gears achieving gear reduction. By the definition of 406 a, there is no way it's street legal without registering. If you want to ride around without a plate it must fall under 406 b.

    I don't see the need to take the risk on a grey area when it's as simple as mailing in a form with $18 and your good to go.
    MotorBicycleRacing likes this.
  9. Matt-83

    Matt-83 New Member

    Again I'm just looking for clarification on riding in the bike lane. In reading the laws around it I conclude that sometimes it's ok and sometimes it's not, depends on where it is and what the local jurisdiction allows. Otherwise it's ok to do so.
  10. 2old2learn

    2old2learn Member

    All bikes have gears driving other gears to achieve gear reduction. Adding a motor just makes it an illegal MAB on that basis!

    For instance, I have a 21 speed mountain bike that I pedal through my pedal axle. I have a motor that also powers that same pedal axle so I can pedal, power or pedal and power and quite naturally I can use all the bike gears with pedalling or power. The motor just has a centrifugal clutch, no transmission?
  11. Matt-83

    Matt-83 New Member

    Exposed gears and enclosed gears are different, once enclosed it's a gear box/transmission-open to interpretation. And the kit I have has mechanical clutch I operate with a lever.