California laws on motorized bikes

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Joker_precy, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. Joker_precy

    Joker_precy New Member

    Hey guys, I was wondering since i just got a motorized bike, Can i just go out and ride it right away? or do i need special licences and will i get pulled over? sorry im new to this :)

  2. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    what area of CA do you ride in?
    Some areas enforce these laws and others don't.

    There are lots of threads here about CA motorized bike laws..........

    To be legal you need a M2 or M1 endorsement on your drivers license.

    A $20 one time license plate from the DMV

    DOT rated helmet.

    Left side mirror, horn, lights
  3. Joker_precy

    Joker_precy New Member

    Im in Orange County but ive read u dont need a licence as long as you dont go faster than 20 mph.
  4. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Where did you read that?
    I have been pulled over by Huntington Beach cops and know
    many people who got tickets in OC and California.

    What you quoted is only for ebikes which is 406 (b) CVC
    ebikes don't need any kind of drivers license, be over 16 and wear
    a bicycle helmet.

    Gas powered motorized bikes are covered in 406 (a) need all of what
    I posted above and can go 30 mph.

    OC cops in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach will
    ticket you.
    North OC doesn't seem to care or know the motorized bike laws but
    you are taking a risk of getting some hefty fines.
  5. Westcoaster

    Westcoaster New Member

    I'm thinking there's the statewide DMV code regarding registration & M1/M2 licensing that we all know about, but, then local authorities can also have their own specific rules regarding MB that can vary. At worst, they might not allow them in certain jurisdictions or more likely just have guidelines that must be followed (traffic/road laws & safety requirements).
  6. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    California law REQUIERS at least a M-2 license, The M-1 is better, SAME test and works for motorcycles AND MB's a "special" plate, HEADlight, Tailight, brake light and mirror. 30mph top speed for gas engine. And,OF course, a helmet. All that said,I've NEVER been asked for the M-2. I had one cop check everything else but didn't ask for the license. IF you want to check out the code sections just ask and I'll post them, Or PM them to you. I think I have them ALL marked on this computer thingy. MOST cops wont bother you unless yer gettin stupid and riding CRAZY. Thats my experience anyway.
    Big Red.
  7. motman812

    motman812 Member

    I've found that the easiest way to keep the police from bothering you is to obey the law. Otherwise it's, "when you play you pay."
  8. Big Red

    Big Red Active Member

    The cops see so many of these things they dont have time to bother with it, or too lazy to bother with it unless ya flip em"off as you go by. And I REALLY dont recommend doing that. As much as I'd like to, I restrain myself.
  9. Westcoaster

    Westcoaster New Member

    Yeah, I registered my new GEBE mountain bike and got the paper & plate. It maxes out around 27-29mph so far... so, I'm not lying when I say max speed is 30 mph. I'll go in sometime and apply for the M1/M2 permit. Also, contacted my insurance agent and he was baffled at first... then, looked into it and got me a price quote.

    Other than that, best I can do is outfit the bike properly and get an adequate looking helmet. Then, it's just riding responsibly (not going too fast) and following traffic laws... lots of ghost pedaling probably doesn't hurt either.
  10. MotorBicycleRacing

    MotorBicycleRacing Well-Known Member

    Get the $20 lifetime moped plate/ ID card.
    and wear a DOT helmet.

    If you had a M1/M2 permit you ARE LEGAL so no need for paranoid ghost pedaling around cops.

    How much was your insurance quote and through what company?
  11. Westcoaster

    Westcoaster New Member

    $100 deductible on theft & collision ... $160/yr. (MB including attached accessories valued around $1,200)
    State Farm.
  12. sactownie

    sactownie Member

    $13.33 a month is really good piece of mind just for the the theft part. I suppose you need to have receipts for everything since its homebuilt?
  13. determined

    determined Member

    Does anyone out there know about the sacramento ca. Laws regarding motor bikes? I hear from other people that the cops dont bother you .
  14. sactownie

    sactownie Member

    It probably kind of depends where you ride. I ride allot north of sac, antelope, north highlands areas and I haven't been bothered in a year of riding. just make sure to have a helmet cause I have had them pace me, checking me out before and as soon as I start peddling they take off and leave me alone.
  15. determined

    determined Member

    Do you mean a full on motorcycle helmet or do you think i can get by with a bicycle helmet?
  16. sactownie

    sactownie Member

    I wear a skid lid branded helmet, its a 1/2 helmet that allot of Harley riders wear, it almost looks like a bicycle helmet but allot heavier. It costed $40 at the motorcycle shop on watt ave in north highlands. I have seen other motor bikers wear bicycle helmets but I think as long as it looks like a motorcycle helmet your ok. the fact that a bicycle helmet cost the same as a motorcycle helmet i just got the motorcycle helmet!

    I just remembered this, allot of law enforcement officers are on the lookout for DOT approved helmets. take your chances with a bicycle helmet or get a motorcycle helmet.

    The law is that if your going faster then 20mph you need a DOT approved motorcycle Helmet
  17. determined

    determined Member

    Wow thats great info. Do you know if i need a license.? I heard you dont as long as its under 49cc.
  18. k-wad

    k-wad Member


    Motorized bicycle riders in the state of California are required to have a M2 (motorized bike/moped) or M1 (motorcycle) license.
    Go back one page in this thread and read what MotorBicycleRacing said in post number 2. He is spot on to what the vehicle code requires.

    Also, the vehicle code here doesn't mention motor size, but, stipulates that the motor can not produce more than 2 horsepower (this is why the 138cc Whizzer motorbikes are legally considered mopes here).
    I think the "under 49cc and no license required" myth came from a couple of sources. When the Chinese 2 stroke motors first started getting popular, that was what all the dealers claimed (under 49cc, no license required). It may have been true in other states, but, not here in California.
    I also think some people got confused over a change in the law that pertained to scooters. About 10 years ago, they changed the laws so that you can ride a 49cc scooter (goped with a seat) without needing to register it. However, even with the 49cc scooter, the driver needs a regular class C license.

    The only motorized thing that you can ride legally without a license in California is an electric bicycle.
    If anyone tells you otherwise, they are either misinformed, or trying to sell you a bicycle motor kit......
  19. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    If my memory serves me correctly there's an automatic transmission requirement. That means technically you need a centrifugal clutch. I'm sure that would also depend on the area you live in as well as to whether or not it was enforced.
  20. sactownie

    sactownie Member

    K-wad is correct with the legal stuff. If you do not have a license of any kind do not draw any unnecessary attention to yourself and you'll likely not be bothered but of course just like life itself nothing is guaranteed.