Called the AL State Troopers Office

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by mike93082, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. mike93082

    mike93082 New Member

    I called the local Mobile, AL police department and talked to the traffic division. The lady was rude and I dont think she knew her face from azz and she just said if it is motorized then you need blinkers, headlight, taillight, insurance, etc etc etc.

    So I tried calling another precinct and they really had no clue as to what to tell me.

    So finally I decided to call the local state troopers office. At first he said it must be registered, etc. But he then found out I am not talking a motorcycle but a standard bicycle with a gas assist engine and he said I know exactly what you are talking about. He said they are treated just like a regular bicycle and you do not need to register, get insurance, tag, wear a helmet if you are over 16, or any safety equipment (but recommends it).

    So now on my next pay period I am going to get a bike and order a motor kit :cool:

    I want to ask you guys though which bike should I use. I do not care to spend 300 on a bike but I have heard to avoid aluminum frame bikes as the frame can break on you at 30mph and it is not fun. Some of the bikes I have looked at are your steel framed 79.00 18spd Wally-World specials. I checked craigslist but around here I do not believe people realize that items drop in value and you cannot sell something for the price you paid when it is 3 years old lol.

  2. spunout

    spunout Member

    did you get the officers name? it may be wise to contact him again and ask for the statute number he was quoting (unless he was just making it up on the fly) and print that out. carry it with you.
  3. professor

    professor Active Member

    On the bike question, to be safe, get something with brakes on both ends!
    Never heard that about aluminum frames but the vibration from an engine may be the cause if it is true.
    I got a Mongoose (from wallyworld) full suspension al. frame with steel rear end, and I like it but you can't put a HT kit in the frame. You can do a rack mount on it though.
    I love the full suspension ride. But if you have no rough rides, a cruiser with gears and Vbrakes would be fine.
    First thing I do on any bike is get a real seat and get rid of the flat (lean forward) handlebars.
    Spend some more time here looking around before you commit to something, I think that will help you.
  4. I also use an aluminum frame with no problems. You might want to consider getting excellent quality wheels and hubs, especially on the rear. At the speeds we ride rough roads/streets are hard on wheels. I buy cheap bikes, then replace the wheels with the best quality heavy duty wheels I can afford.
  5. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    I have found that old single speed steel cruisers work the best. Wait until something good pops up on craigslist or something for $90. Shoulda bought an engine right after Christmas... bikeberry had some killer deals on grubee engines. If you keep your eyes open you can really do this thing cheap, I just put a whole bike together (engine and all) for less than $200.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  6. stealthc9

    stealthc9 Member

    ^+1 on an old steel cruiser....i got mine for $10 at a yard sale. im gonna take it apart soon and paint it tho.
  7. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Good morning Mr Mike,

    As to your question on the legality of a motorized bicycle in the State of Alabama. The Alabama Code of 1975, Title 32, Motor Vehicle and Traffic, recognizes a bicycle as:

    [Sec. 32-5A-281. Definitions.
    As used in this article, the following words shall have the following meanings:

    (1) BICYCLE. A human-powered vehicle with two wheels in tandem design to transport by the act of pedaling one or more persons seated on one or more saddle seats on its frame. "Bicycle" includes, but is not limited to, a human- powered vehicle designed to transport by the act of pedaling which has more than two wheels when the vehicle is used on a public roadway, public bicycle path, or other public road or right-of-way, but does not include a tricycle.]

    Anything with mechanical power is classified as a motor vehicle and all registration, licensing, and insurance rules apply. Let me be perfectly clear about this, an unregistered motorized bicycle is ILLEGAL.

    Having said that, my wife and I have ridden our motorized bicycles around Birmingham, Trussville, Gulf Shores, Jefferson and Marshall Counties. We've come in contact with numerous local, county and state law enforcement officers without incident but that doesn't mean it won't happen. I can offer suggestions to help keep you out of trouble:

    1. Wear a helmet, 1/2 motorcycle is better than a bicycle but either will work.

    2. Make your machine as quiet as possible.

    3. Follow all traffic rules and keep to the right as much as possible.

    4. A flashing tail light indicates a safety conscious rider.

    5. Stay out of high traffic areas (safety issue as well).

    6. Full motorcycle style lighting system for night riding (safety issue as well).

    Feel free to PM me if I can be of any help.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015
  8. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    print that out. carry it with you.

    that's what I did spunout
    I carry with me when riding two e-mails
    sent to me by two different law enforcement agencies
    stating that it is more that alright and legal for me to

    Ride That THING Sideways -------------------------------- in Calif
  9. mike93082

    mike93082 New Member

    Got an email from the Department of Public Safety

    I decided to email the Department of Public Safety. They told me when an engine is installed on a bike no matter what size it is classified as a motor driven cycle and a tag is required along with proper lights and signals and insurance.

    I called the DMV and they said they could not tag a bicycle with an engine since it did not have the federal sticker on it that cars and regular motorcycles have. So in a sense these things are flat out illegal in AL.

    Anyone have any ideas for me? Or has anyone ever tagged one of these? I do not mind going through the process.
  10. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Mike -- for now conntact our member kerf -- he lives in Al
    he rides his motor bike THING and seems to have no problem

    MBc Member Join Date: Nov 2007
    Location: Birmingham, Al
    Age: 59
    Posts: 2,365
  11. kerf

    kerf Guest

    Did my post in this thread become invisible?
  12. mike93082

    mike93082 New Member


    I saw your post but someone refered me to a certain user and without verifying I thought it was someone different from you that may of had additional info.
  13. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    no excuse I will try to pay better attention

    no excuse I will try to pay better attention
    I apologize there guys

    please don't tell on me
    I will try to pay better attention
    I just promised my wife that yesterday !!!

    as we ride those motor bike THINGS
  14. mike93082

    mike93082 New Member

    I found something interesting for AL

    Section 32-12-22
    Registration; operator's license generally.

    Every person, except a person holding a driver's license issued under authority of Chapter 6 of this title, before operating any motor-driven cycle upon a public highway in this state, shall register it with the Director of Public Safety and procure an operator's license. Operators' licenses shall be issued under and be governed by the provisions of Chapter 6 of this title; except, that such a license shall be issued to any person 14 years of age and older if such a person can satisfy the Director of Public Safety or an examining officer that he is competent to operate a motor-driven cycle with safety to persons and to property.
    (Acts 1949, No. 652, p. 1006, Sec.3.)
    Note the exception in the law
    "except a person holding a driver's license issued under authority of Chapter 6 of this title"
    Registration and obtaining a motor-driven cycle license is only required for 14 and 15 year old persons. Having an Alabama drivers license exempts registering the motor-driven cycle or having the separate motor-driven cycle license.
    Definition of a motor-driven cycle.

    Section 32-12-20
    Definition; parent or guardian not to authorize or permit violations.

    It is unlawful for any person to do any act forbidden or to fail to perform any act required by this chapter. The parent of any child and the guardian of any ward shall not authorize or knowingly permit any such child or ward to violate any of the provisions of this chapter. As used herein, the term "motor-driven cycle" shall include every motorcycle weighing when fully equipped less than 200 pounds and every bicycle with motor attached and every motor scooter.
    (Acts 1949, No. 652, p. 1006, Sec.1.)
    Most but not all 50cc Scooters weigh less than 200 pounds but some do. Make sure you purchase a Scooter weighing less than 200 pounds. You do not need to register or insure it in Alabama. Bicycles with motors attached are considered motor-driven cycles. As long as you do not exceed 200 pounds in weight, 5hp or 150cc you do not need to register or insure it. Nothing in the Code of Alabama requires retaining operational pedals.bothered about not having a tag on my motor-driven cycle since.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015
  15. kerf

    kerf Guest

    That's very interesting because there was a bill introduced and passed in the Alabama house to exempt motorized bicycles from the Motor Vehicle Code. That bill died in the Alabama Senate, I thinking in 2003, not sure. This reads like we should be able to skate but more reading and research must be done.

    The above mentioned bill defined a motorized bicycle, 50CC or less, 2 HP or less, 25 MPH or less as a bicycle. Maybe we should write someone at the DMV, trouble is finding somebody that knows what the law is at the DMV.

    "Anyhoo", great job!
  16. Salter

    Salter New Member

    Another way to get an answer would be to request an Attorney General's opinion from the AG's office. Its not technically law, but treated as such.