Florida Motorcycle Laws and Definitions

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by duivendyk, Feb 20, 2009.

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  1. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    When I wintered in Florida recently it struck me that there are no uniform laws concerning MB's and that I had no idea what gave there.So I decided to look into this and managed to dig up some sobering info which can be unearthed at http://myFlorida.com by interested parties.
    The first thing one learns is that an MB is considered a bicycle if it has pedals (no licensing required),that sounds reassuring, but ONLY !! if it has ELECTRICAL assist and cannot go faster than 20mph. (probably for the ancients) So any MB's with an IC engine is not a bicycle legally,but a MOTORVEHICLE (very bad news.)
    Motorvehicles comprises: mopeds,motorcycles and 4 wheeled vehicles.If it has less than 50 cc displacement,pedals,less than 2 HP and does not go faster than 30MPH, has less than 4 wheels and has no manual clutch,or gear shift,it is considered a moped (CVT is OK.)
    If it is not considered a moped it becomes either a motorcycle or an automobile.With more than 50cc and not more than 3 wheels it is a legally a motorcycle.
    These terms mean that the legal requirements pertaining to the license&registration and safety requirements need to be adhered to.Take for instance an MB with a 2 wheel pusher-trailer, it would legally be considered an automobile (4 wheels),if it was a one wheel pusher it would be motorcycle, if it had more than 50cc displacment and a moped if it had 50 cc or less. and met all previously mentioned requirements for mopeds.
    The moral of this story,lie low and don't push your luck,stay under the radar,you have no legal leg to stand on,a good muffler and camouflage would help,because legally speaking,they have you by the b###s overthere.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 20, 2009

  2. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    I live in Florida, and it's funny, even if you had a hydrogen/oxygen based fuel cell, they would consider it a Motor Vehicle (and depending on the other factors mentioned, speed, pedals, etc) You would need a DL or MDL.
    I've seen people try to get away with using (i think they're called) friction drive gas motors to avoid the law, but I had to explain to them, it's still considered a MOTOR vehicle and if you don't have a license, you can get into trouble with it.

    And not only do they have you by the cajones, but they BUST them all the time, at least in my area... I've had to go to court THREE times in 9 months, because a cops pull me over since THEY thought my ELECTRIC POWERED 250watt driven BICYCLE, was a motorcycle.

    To add to his statement, if you're riding on the side walk with the bicycle, you HAVE TO PEDAL it ONLY...It's funny because I can go 20+mph on my bike by pedaling it, and it only goes 17mph MAX on POWER ALONE.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  3. kawasaki999

    kawasaki999 Member

    A motor asisted bicycle is excluded from the term motor vehicle. I live in fl. and I have 2 bikes registered as mopeds.

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  4. kawasaki999

    kawasaki999 Member

    Sangesf, You need to educate the cops in your area. 11 motorbikers rode last month in our monthly ride from Vinoy park to the beaches, a 35 mile ride, see many cops and we never got pulled over.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  5. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    Actually it depends. A motor assisted bicycle OTHER than an ELECTRIC motor, IS considered a MOTOR Vehicle, and you NEED A FL Drivers License. If you don't believe me, I can prove it to you. If there is a gas motor of ANY kind moving the bicycle, it is AUTOMATICALLY considered at LEAST a MOPED When it's under 50cc OR can go more than 20 mph.
    You basically contradicted yourself. It's either a bicycle OR a Moped depending on what TYPE of motor it is or what speed it's capable of.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  6. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    Oh, trust me, NOW they are educated... Took me almost a year to get them to where they are now.
  7. kawasaki999

    kawasaki999 Member

    The Legislature defines a moped as a bicycle in s. 316.003, F.S., and changed the definition of 'bicycle', 'motorcycle', and 'motor-driven cycles' and excludes motor-propelled bicycles or 'mopeds from the definition of 'MOTOR VEHICLE,' 'motored-driver cycles, 'and 'vehicle by Ch. 76-286, Laws of Florida. So here it is black and white. I really did not have to register it at all but I did it to prove it can be done. I am not here to argue, or say right or wrong.
  8. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    The question of whether a moped or a MB is considered a 'MOTOR VEHICLE',is wether they meet the definition criteria for such a vehicles (displacement,power,speed etc ).If they don't they are 'MOTOR VEHICLES'.For instance a 90cc moped or MB would be classified as such.So far what has been posted does not contradict my conclusions,it's pretty silly that you can pedal a bike at any speed yet an MB doing same would be illegal,like me trying to catch up with my grandson.It looks to me that getting a moped license (if posible) would be the lesser evil and keep the cops from giving you a hard time.Otherwise stealth and good road manners are best.If you start making a nuisance of yourself ,you'll probably get unwelcome attention
    Electrified MB's would have distinct advantages,it's a bicycle period !,they would have to catch you in the act of speeding.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2009
  9. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    I DO ride an electric bike. I just LOOKS like a motorcycle/moped. It's TOP speed is 18 mph. And ANY "bicycle" with ANY kind of GAS motor, no matter what top speed it is, (even 5 mph) or ANY displacement, it's considered a MOTOR vehicle. An ELECTRIC bike, is a VEHICLE (re: NOT considered a MOTOR vehicle) UNTIL you can go more than 20 mph OR have 2bhp or more, and THEN it becomes a MOTOR vehicle.
  10. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    We are in agreement then.By starting this thread I was hoping to clarify matters under Florida Law as far as MB's are concerned.If there is anyone out there who does not agree with what I wrote initially,please contribute by posting a reasoned rebuttal preferably by reference to section 316.003 F.S. or any other relevant Florida Statutes,so that we can have clarity on this issue.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2009
  11. kawasaki999

    kawasaki999 Member

    sanjesf, Did you not read my post??? What do you not uderstand ? Motor assisted bikes and mopeds are excluded from the term motor vehicle. They are not motor vehicles!!!!
  12. dvddtz

    dvddtz New Member

    I live in Pensacola, and all the police that I have spoken with told me to ride my mb at will. A lady ran a stop sign last Oct. and I went through her windshield,I have no drivers licsense,the cop told me he was glad to see I was using my lights,did not say a word about the 70cc motor on my bike.So I guess it depends on the police in your area.I just dont do anything silly when riding.
  13. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    A pusher trailer with 2 wheels in no way shape or form is considered an automobile. In fact, the law makes ZERO references to pusher trailers at all. It's a gray area in the law that I happen to proudly take advantage of. When it's a trailer, it's not part of the vehicle, instead, it's simply being pulled by it.

    If you have a regular motorized bicycle, and you pull a 2-wheel trailer, it does NOT suddenly transform your bicycle into an automobile. Where the engine is located is irrelevant. There's plenty of folks here with MB's that pull trailers like in the picture, and it does not make the bicycle an automobile, AKA car.

    In fact, the law does not even mention anything about an engine powered trailer AT ALL. Regardless of engine HP or cc's. Sure, I can have up to 50cc on the bike, but there's NO limits to the cc's on a trailer, simply because the law or Florida Statues make no mention of it. I'm simply hauling my engine. There's no laws that say I can not possess or carry an engine.

    The law is not open to interpretation or manipulation. You either abide by the law or you don't. If it's NOT listed, it's NOT against the law. It's unlawful to put something in a category of the law where it does not belong.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  14. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    I have looked at s 316.003 F.S. some more,it turns out that indeed mopeds are not considered 'MOTOR VEHICLES' as I had stated originally,provided they meet the definition of a 'MOPED' under paragraph 77, which I had outlined previously.A MB that would meet those particular requirements would be considered a moped I assume,since is does not meet the classification of a bicycle according to par. 2 (only electrical assist &less than 20mph allowed).If the vehicle does not meet either the moped or bicycle designation (below 50 cc or less than 2hp), it is considered a 'MOTOR VEHICLE' (motor cycle or 4 wheeled vehicle).Substantively nothing is really different except that an MB
    that meets certain criteria is not a 'MOTOR VEHICLE'
  15. kawasaki999

    kawasaki999 Member

    Duivendyk, You are 100% correct!
  16. BrettMavriK

    BrettMavriK Member

    I was at the Clearwater, FL DMV on Friday for almost 2 hours.
    I only waited for 15 minutes until appointed to from the lobby.
    I was attempting to get a moped license plate. I had proof of a
    32cc engine that had 1.6 HP and a top speed of 30 along with
    a bill of sale. I wanted to see if I could pull it off. The lady himmed and hawwed trying to wrap her head around the photo of the bicycle with a motor on it.
    She said it was not a moped. I told her to look up the definition on her computer.
    320.01(28) "Moped" means:
    ANY vehicle with pedals to permit propulsion by human power, having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels, with a motor rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground, and with a power-drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting gears by the operator after the drive system is engaged. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement may not exceed 50 cubic centimers.

    So she said she would have to get the supervisor.
    The supervisor said the same thing; "It's a bicycle....not a moped."
    I told her of a friend who came into this very office with the same thing and got a plate.
    He's posting on this thread: Kawasaki999
    She said she'll have to call Tallahassee for clarification.
    Tallahassee then transferred her to a B.F.O. DMV Officer to clarify. He spoke to me and her (was very nice)
    He explained that this is nothing new and this path has been crossed before. He stated the head of the Florida DMV Department said that they will not be issuing plates and registration for motorized bicycles, they are not needed, and they will be treated as if they were a BICYCLE on the road... motor running or not.

    There, ya have it.....
    We have (motor assisted) Bicycles in Florida !!!!

    End of Story.....
    'nuff said...

    Case closed.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2009
  17. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    So it would seem from that experience, for the being anyway, the best thing would keep them as much like bicycles as possible, IE in looks, function, performance and sound.
  18. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    Confusion seems to reign at the DMV,and prob. among the law enforcement legions too.They must have the notion that if it does not look like a duck (moped) it's not a duck and leave it at that,regardless of what the legislators came up with.So MB's are pretty safe for now.Nothing much surprises me anymore about the Sunshine State,after the 2000 election farce.
  19. junkyard

    junkyard New Member

    well here in st pete they are trying to encourage alternative means of transportation. new bike lanes everywhere and more to come

    i think they realized making the vehicles that would use these lanes illegal would be stupid and counter productive
  20. duivendyk

    duivendyk Guest

    It does not matter what one chooses to think,the pusher-trailers fit and don't not fit the following legal categories:
    1) it is a 'motor vehicle' according to 316.003 par. 21,that it is an articulated vehicle is immaterial.
    2) it does not meet the definition of a bicycle or motorized bicycle according to 316.003 par.2
    3) it is not not a moped either according 316.003 par. 77
    4) it is not a motorcyle either since it has 4 wheels.
    The only applicable legal category is the one of 'motor vehicle' and the assertion made that this vehicle is in legal limbo is not tenable,the circumstance that it does not have the normal attributes of a 'motor vehicle' is legally irrelevant.The LAW is blind.
    Keeping a low profile in Florida is the smart thing to do, as it is in most other places,therefore don't go around attracting the attention of the cops with outlandish, overpowered MB's.