LAW IN MN - Did you know that?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by tcg20, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. tcg20

    tcg20 New Member

    Getting my bike back up and running, brushing up on MN motorbike law. Looks like they've really upped the ante since last I knew.

    Brief summary:
    Mopeds (or motorized bicycles) have a piston displacement of 50cc or less, two-brake horsepower or less, and are not able to go faster than 30 mph on a level surface, as defined by Minnesota lawmakers. If a vehicle exceeds any of these categories, it will likely be classified as a motorcycle.

    If you have a driver's license, you're legally allowed to drive a moped. If you don't, you'll need to obtain a moped operator's permit. Applicants must be at least 15 years old.
    Moped drivers need to carry liability insurance, but riders of electric-assisted bicycles do not. Mopeds must be titled at registered at a Driver and Vehicle Services location, much in the same manner as a car.

    Mopeds must be registered in Minnesota. A title or proof of sale of the moped is required for registration, along with a photograph. After registration, mopeds are required to have license plates

    Mopeds are not allowed on lanes and trails that have been set aside for bicycles.
    Riding on sidewalks is not permitted except where it would be necessary for a short distance.
    Mopeds do not need to be inspected in Minnesota.
    Moped riders must wear eye protection at all times.
    To operate a moped when it is dark outside, it must be equipped with a headlight that meets the standard set for motorcycles.

    Motorcycle Law:
    All motorcyclists must do the following:
    * Have a motorcycle instruction permit or a motorcycle endorsement.
    * Register their motorcycle and display a valid license plate.
    * Carry liability insurance for their bike and proof of insurance when riding.
    * Wear eye protection, either a face shield, goggles, or glasses.
    (No MN helmet laws w00t)
    Motorcycle permit holders:
    * Must wear a DOT-approved helmet.
    * Cannot carry passengers.
    * Cannot ride on interstate freeways.
    * Cannot ride at night.

    Misc. Law:
    Motorcyclists are entitled to the full use of their lane and have all the rights and responsibilities of other drivers.
    Minnesota motorcyclists are protected under Minnesota motorcycle law that makes negligent drivers responsible and liable to Minnesota motorcyclists.
    Headphones / earphones: one ear only.
    Motorcyclists must not carry anything that interferes with holding onto the handlebars.
    All laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs apply to motorcyclists as well.
    Penalties for riding without a motorcycle endorsement or instruction permit include up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, and having the motorcycle towed and impounded.
    Motorcycle equipment

    For street-legal motorcycles:
    - if the motorcycle has a passenger seat, it must also have passenger footrests.
    - a rear view mirror, horn, and muffler are required equipment.
    - the headlight must be on at all times when riding. Motorcycles are required to have at least one, but not more than two, headlights with both high and low beam. Headlight modulators are legal in Minnesota as an exception to FMVSS 571.108.
    - a red tail light is required, including a brake or stop lamp. A "blue dot" on the tail light of up to one inch in diameter is legal.
    - at least one brake is required, front or rear, which may be operated by hand or foot.

    Oh yeah and no lane splitting. I've always thought that should be legal in US. Virtually all other countries allow it. And they're usually better motorists. Not just for that reason but my point is traffic in Europe, South America, and India is far more challenging than US resulting in more awareness. I'd love to line up with cars an zoom through the middle of a pack accordian tag style. That'd make them aware of motorbikes lol.

    I've put about 3000mi on my motorbike, and it's made me respectfully aware of the poor ability of most drivers out there. So that's my rule of the road, assume you're the only one with their eyes open.

  2. graucho

    graucho Active Member

    So are you saying you need to get your bike registered as a moped when its up and running? Ive been past plenty of police putting at about
    15-20mph without any problems so far. If you put a motor kit on a bike what do you use for a title when you go to the DMV to register it?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  3. tcg20

    tcg20 New Member

    Yeah if I wanted to be legal I'd have to register. My engine 3.5hp 70cc so I'd most likely have to register as motorcycle, I think for title they take photographs and give it a State Identification Number, I think I heard they issue pink slips too. This is going off when my buddy titled a dirtbike. I'd have to get a motorcycle endorsement on my license, and I'd have to carry motorcycle insurance.

    That's just a regular old grubee from ebay.

    But I've never had any special license for moped/motorcycle. I'm probably not going to register my bike when it's cruise worthy again. I didn't have my license when I was riding it. Although, I was usually further outside the city, often on side trails. I figure cops usually just saw a bike and not the motor when they passed me. Never got pulled over. Waved to most of them. Also I think it's reasonable to assume a factor of unfamiliarity with the specifics of the law. I figure a cop's going to stop a motorbike just to check it out, not hassle you. Most have better things to do.

    But that's in the 'burbs. Now I live near the downtown, there's 3 cop shops within 2 miles of my house. But still I don't think there'll be much trouble.

    I pulled my bike out of storage to get set up for a couple quality rides before it's winter, got a few repairs and planning a few performance mods (fixed sprocket adaptation, expansion chamber exhaust, performance carb) she should be running great and that's when I can't help but go all out. So maybe a cop will see me go through a stop sign or something or they see me early morning (that's when I usually go for long rides) and it's the first hour of the day and the first thing they see is a biker in the middle of the doing S patterns and they can't really seem to catch up.. yeah maybe I'll get pulled over.

    But they're just doing their jobs, respect them they respect you. Unless your being a total idiot and traffic's been honking and swearing at you for the last few miles, you probably deserve a ticket, otherwise I figure 9/10 cops wouldn't intend to ticket a MBer unless said MBer made them want to issue a ticket.

    I've gotten the spotlight and flagged down all the time skateboarding. I'm usually out way late or way early, whatever you want to say there's no cars on the road when you go out at 3 AM, so I can't not roll in the street and cut back and forth and jump the median and stuff. So I draw attention, and cops see me but it's the conversation every time, why I'm out this time of night, where I'm coming from, going, stay on the sidewalks 'cause there's drunks out here, etc. I always just speak clearly, say sir/ma'am/officer, yeah I give somewhat vague answers, but they've got no right to ask my address or even try to see my ID at this point. And because I've done nothing wrong I just act like it. And sometimes I say thanks for checkin' up on me or some halfway snide remark as they're rolling away.

    Cops are people too lol.

    But as far as riding around in the downtown and stuff, just going to respect the road, obey the laws, ride like I'm invisible, and try to spot cops before they spot me, maybe actually use the pedal drive lol. Even if they wanted to talk to me I think it's unlikely they'd want to ticket me unless they actually witnessed a violation.

    Anyway long post but that's just my experience with the popo.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  4. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Bicycles and Motors and Licenses in Minnesota

    No title, no license, so says the local people. No way to title bike and they don;t want to mess with it.

    I explained that I ride a bike with a belt driven motor attached, with the belt off, most of the time and was told not to worry then. Seems our great legislature blew it, again.

    I did read the statutes and although the statute now seems to lump bicycles with motors together with mopeds, maybe to increase revenues by ten scoots, and asked no one about the differences, they put the whole matter into a sort of limbo that no one cares about, at least at this point.

    Screw it!

    I just do my thing and hope no cell phone using jerk or inattentive moron hits me.

    No freaking common sense!
  5. sseisup

    sseisup New Member

    I called the dmv central office, they wanted nothing to do with home built motor bicycles due to the liability involved. They don't want to have to inspect them all so as of summer 2008 unless produced by a manufacture motor bicycles are allowed to go anywhere a bicycle can except for trails marked no motorized veichals. So of course I asked who enforces the no motor rules and they said no one. I haven't called the police yet but the dmv said there is no penalty or enforcement in place for those signs. No license, tabs, plates, insurance, not even the 50cc 30mph rules apply to home builts. Right now it's a free for all unless things get out of hand. Ride safe and respectfully

    Side note, at least slow down at the lights, you do have a motor, you'll catch back up.:cool:
  6. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Minnesota Laws

    Thanks for heads-up. Will get with local legislator to get laws in line with common local enforcement people cannot go off on their own and someone gets the shaft.
  7. Lazieboy

    Lazieboy Member

    MN registration

    Hi, I just got liability ins. and covers my med. bills $30 a year. to register as moped (like $9) 49cc and less. over 49cc and its a motorcycle. But need title to register so i got my proof of sale and i hope will get me a title, although i havent been talked to by the popo. would like to be prepared. By the way my 66cc grubee i took all the badges off and as far as they know it's a 49cc lol.
  8. bikeshox

    bikeshox New Member

    Hi I just got a bike that will be kept in MN. Did trying to register the bike work for you?
  9. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Bike Registration Minnesota Title State

    When I went down to register the bike as a bicycle, they virtually had no clue on how to do it with no title. Bike titles are were not given then and as far as I know are not still.

    Perhaps they do it like they do old boat trailers with no title, but I do not bother with it. Bad law and clearly an effort to get our money.

    I ride title free and love it.
  10. thereyago

    thereyago New Member

    mn legislative reasearch paper

    From the article- Motorized bicycles must be registered and licensed at an annual tax of $6. No title is required. They may be operated on streets and highways if registered, but the operator needs either a driver's license or a motorized bicycle operator permit. They may not be operated on a sidewalk except to cross it. The vehicle must have a headlight and, if operated at night, a taillight. If the vehicle is an electric-assisted bicycle an operator must wear a helmet when riding on a street or highway; if it is a motorized bicycle a helmet is required only up to age 18. Operators of motorized bicycles must wear eye protection but operators of electric-assisted bicycles need not do so. Headlights and taillights are required for nighttime operation.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  11. Hive

    Hive Guest

    MN Bicycle Laws

    have been messed up for years,

    Thanks for heads-up.

    Frankly, am not going to worry about them. I ride with belt off most of the time, but when I am running hot, I have headlight, off, and ride where I want. No one seems to care. Not being a pain nor in the way and quite making sure no one is bothered. In a phrase, I do not hot-rod around, which is really the cause of most odd laws.

    Next time I am down at license bureau, will ask about the permit, but not going to worry about it until then.

    Will read the law in detail later. All they want is money...
  12. thereyago

    thereyago New Member

    okay so the most recent law

    Alright so that previous post was a legislative research in 2004 of the then current state and here is the current motorized bicycle law. TO me this tells me that no registration is possible since they canceled the bicycle registration program and it seems pretty straight forward, eye protection is the only requirement over 18 and only on roads for the most part. However the lighting for night operation has to be motorcycle worthy.

    Motorized bicycle -

    Lighting ( only at night)-

    After persueing the different referances that is not as clear.

    In the end though there is a specific section about using the motorized bike and it doesn't have to be registered though you do have to have a license.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  13. thereyago

    thereyago New Member

    the relevant law about lights ( only if needed at night)

    In the statute about Motorized Bicycles it says-

    Subdivision 1.Safety equipment; parking.Except as otherwise provided in this section, section 169.974 relating to motorcycles is applicable to motorized bicycles


    (2) a motorized bicycle equipped with a headlight and taillight meeting the requirements of lighting for motorcycles may be operated during nighttime hours;

    Subd. 4.Headlight requirement.The provisions of section 169.974, subdivision 5, paragraph (i), apply to motorized bicycles that are equipped with headlights. After June 1, 1987, a new motorized bicycle sold or offered for sale in Minnesota must be equipped with a headlight.

    So basically if you want to run at night it must be a headlight and tail corresponding to the provision of section 169.974 subdivision 5 paragraph(i)

    that provision states-

    No person shall operate a motorcycle on a street or highway unless the headlight or headlights are lighted at all times the motorcycle is so operated.

    So in my mind if you rolled with a lamp and tail light that stay on at all times for night riding you are good...

    If I was rolling just in my hometown (st paul) then I would keep the two laws refering to each other and you should be all good. Now someone could make the argument that it has to have highs and lows and all that, but my position would be if that is what they ment then the refered to statute would state that as a requirement. Furthermore it is not required for a motorcycle to have blinkers anyway.

    To wrap up, we are lucky.

    We have a specific statute that states that no registration is required for a motorized bicycle under 50cc gas or electric. That means we can have gears.
    ("Motorized bicycle" means a bicycle that is propelled by an electric or a liquid fuel motor of a piston displacement capacity of 50 cubic centimeters or less, and a maximum of two brake horsepower, which is capable of a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on a flat surface with not more than one percent grade in any direction when the motor is engaged. "Motorized bicycle" includes an electric-assisted bicycle as defined in subdivision 27.

    If you are over 18 then you have to wear eye protection,operate on public roads up to 30mph, if you want to run at night you have to have a head and tail light that is always on. ( someone may try to say it has to be as good as a motorcycle but I would want to see some proof of that in the legislation.I if they wanted brake lights and turn signals they would have stated that. Instead of refering to the always on provision)

    my 2cents along with the links. Too bad I take my bike traveling and so I can't be as sure in other states. NOw if I could register it then I could go to other states and say well it is registered but I can't and at this point the less they get involved the better. THe whole point is keeping costs down. I like electric but without compitition the prices are gonna stay too high and i am on my third controller on my electric bike cause the water screws it up. Gas is more reliable.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  14. yienmaster

    yienmaster New Member

    These laws are downright confusing.

    So is it still required to register, insure, have plates on, etc a <50cc motorized bike? Cause that would mean that no motorized bike, no matter the size can be operated without jumping through all those hoops.

    Is that right? Do all you MN riders have all that going on, or do most of you find that it's not a problem to ride without that stuff if you are minding your own business?
  15. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Motored Bike in MN

    I do not pay attention to the laws and I doubt most common sense police departments do, as the regulations are in flux.

    If they go off the deep end as some states have, I will sell the rig.

    Our legislators are smart like tractor...they have no clue so s...w 'em.
  16. Hive

    Hive Guest

    GEBE in MN

    In fact, you are interested, check it out.

    Attached Files:

  17. occchopperfl

    occchopperfl Member

  18. Hive

    Hive Guest

    Mororized MN Vehicle

    At the time of his arrest, that bike was a manufactured Yamaha Moped, and considered a motorized vehicle.

    As I recall, it was not really called a bicycle or motorized bicycle. That statute was based on engine cc, I believe. Regardless, the machine came under the umbrella of that statute. Moreover, this consent issue trumped the vehicle class issue, it seems and the argument of irrelevant evidence being disallowed was the crux of the matter.

    To wit:
    The department of public safety information indicated that the vehicle was a "minibike," but it did not indicate anything about the size or power of the vehicle's engine, the brake horsepower, how fast it could go, or the diameter of the wheels.

    Defense counsel's cross-examination of Officer Crary laid the groundwork for an argument that the officer was not a credible witness regarding statutory licensing requirements, the proper statutory classification of the Yamaha, or whether a license was necessary to operate the vehicle. We appreciate that additional questioning to establish that, under the statutory definition, a motorized foot scooter may be self propelled might have given the jury further reason to question the reliability and accuracy of Officer Crary's testimony. But the district court reasonably perceived these questions as irrelevant, explaining that there was "no evidence" that Lichtenberg was operating a foot scooter.

    Thanks for the information.

    Actually, these are the bozos who screw it up for the rest of us.

    As to motored bikes here, the issue remains unclear. In my case, if I was under the influence, I would remove the belt and pedal home, fearless but careful.
  19. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    Actually, in most states pedalling home would be a bad idea. You can get a DUI on a bicycle....or horse......or lawn mower etc etc. Dumb...yeah. About 3 years ago a friend and his wife went out and got a bit too tipsy. They decided to walk home about 6 blocks. The police were watching their car, and after they had walked about 2 blocks past it, they were arrested.....for DUI. The justification was that they left the keys in the car, and *get this* they *could have walked back and picked it up after they went home*. Not only stuck. Now that's dumb.
  20. Hive

    Hive Guest

    MN Bicycle Laws

    If that were the case here, I would be wary, but in MN, bicycles not "motorized" seem to be exempt. Locally, we have had one or two arrests for people on bikes, with no DUI charges, as I recall. One guy ran into a home and was found in yard, next to bike...disorderly.

    As expected, states differ.