Legality issues in Vermont... more than three wheels?

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by TheMightyGoat, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. TheMightyGoat

    TheMightyGoat New Member

    I just learned of these motor bicycle kits, and the idea quite appeals to me. Unfortunately I talked myself into researching the laws in Vermont before ordering one of these kits, which reveals nothing but obstacles.

    In Vermont, if it has two or three wheels and a motor, it's either a motorcycle or a "motor-driven cycle", both of which are subject to insurance and registration. The literal reading of the law is this:

    Motorcycle: "Any motor driven vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding motor-driven cycles..."

    Motor-driven cycle: "Any vehicle equipped with two or three wheels, a power source providing up to a maximum of two brake horsepower and having a maximum piston or rotor displacement of 50 cubic centimeters... speed not to exceed 30 miles per hour on a level road... and which is equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only, not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged."


    Basically, unless it has more than three wheels, or some sort of enclosed cab, it's either a motor-driven cycle or a motorcycle. Here is a flowchart that simplifies the process:

    The problem of course is getting an insurance company to insure something that was cobbled together in your garage and has no identification number or receipt from a manufacturer. Plus it'd just be a pain in the codpiece to make this thing compliant with lights, etc, to be able to inspect it. So, my questions are as follows.

    1) Has anyone had success getting an insurance company to insure a motor bicycle?

    2) What would happen if I were to build one of these bikes, and affix two additional wheels to the frame of the bike that would be touching the ground? They would be superfluous, but could serve some contrived purpose - perhaps they would be under spring tension so as to feign a suspension. I'm thinking these would be in line with the original two wheels, not off to the sides. This is the only loophole I see. Think it'd fly?

    Appreciate any input.

  2. srdavo

    srdavo Active Member

    Adding a 4th wheel might throw the classification into automobile. Now that's a whole new can of worms to open.
  3. TheMightyGoat

    TheMightyGoat New Member

    True enough.

    I'm considering doing what others have; just ride the thing and see if anyone picks up on it.
  4. sangesf

    sangesf New Member

    Didn't see anywhere, where it said you needed to insure it..
    Also state's that it does not need tO be titled..
    You DO need DL tho
  5. TheMightyGoat

    TheMightyGoat New Member

    That law doesn't, no. That law explains how it's classified as a "motor-driven cycle" - Vermont's new euphemism for a moped. But Vermont does require insurance and registration for a motor-driven cycle.
  6. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

    4 wheels - build a Tomahawk-style motorized bicycle.

    I called the DMV investigator here in Idaho, and he gave me some good info - lights and whatnots are simple enough - the tough part is adequate braking to pass inspection and get a state issued VIN.