Louisiana Motorized Bike Laws

License Required & Registration Required

  1. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I had to go to the DMV office today on another errand, and while I was there I asked for (and received) a copy of the pertinent legal restrictions here:

    So, engine of 50 cc or less, bhp of 1.5 or less, automatic transmission, must be registered/titled, you must have a motorcycle endorsement on your driving license, wear a helmet and/or goggles or face shield.

    The final note makes me ask - if my bike doesn't meet the requirements, do I have to meet the licensing? Reading the statutes in full does not demonstrate an affirmative duty to comply with the limitations - it implies that if you do, here is what must be met, but does not say you must comply.

    Louisiana Statutes: http://www.legis.state.la.us/

    Specific authority

    R.S. 32:1(39)
    R.S. 32 (41)
    R.S. 32:198
    R.S. 47:501
    Last edited: May 21, 2008

  2. thatsdax

    thatsdax Guest

    not sure what to make of that..

    Not sure what to make of that. Since a bicycle never comes with Title or Certificate of Origin. Not only that, but to take a bicycle on a Highway? Something just does not seem right about those rules. What I would do is, when I see trouble coming, or what looks like trouble coming, I would hit my kill switch and pedal. Then it is a bicycle. Then what can they do? But that is me. What other choice would I have living there in Louisiana? I mean.. A bicycle does not come with those things required to get registration or what ever. Federal law says they are still bicycles. But you have a local law that is saying they are motorized? Check with a lawyer. With gas prices way up and going even higher, you all there will need a way to get around in order to survive. A motor assisted bicycle is the perfect way to get around and conserve . Check with a lawyer. Call your local news media. Radio and TV. Also Show the lawyer and media the federal regs and see if you can get your state law to reflect federal law. That is what Roland of Spooky Tooth did in the State of AZ. Enjoy the ride..
  3. thatsdax

    thatsdax Guest

    Here is a loop hole.. Maybe..

    Here is what I think may be your loophole. It defines a motorized bicycle with an engine of less than 50cc, pedals, and auto transmission. Here may be your loop hole.. The Typical motor Assisted Bicycle has no Transmission. They are direct drive with Dry clutch. They have no transmission and allow for no gear selection that a transmission affords. Since they have no Transmission, they do not fit under that ruling of motorized bicycle. They are still motor Assisted bicycles and thus falls under the Federal Regs and makes them still a bicycle. That is..As long as they are less than 50 cc and do not exceed 25mph on level ground. That is how I see it. But then again .. I am no lawyer, but you should speak to one and point these things out to that lawyer. A lot of states have that requirement that as soon as you add a transmission that allows you to change gears, it is no longer a bicycle and is motorized bicycle. Thanks..Enjoy the ride..
  4. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    Good points, all.

    I have an out that is not available to most folks, but it is also a source of a serious whole other set of issues. I'm handicapped, having only one hand (the right), and due to diabetic neuropathy, no sensation in either leg below the knees, and no use of the outer two fingers on my hand. I also have a physician who is a really reasonable guy, and will sign just about any description of a trike (Louisana law says a trike is NOT a bicycle) I come up with as a handicapped access vehicle.

    I have almost finalized my leaner semi-recumbent tadpole trike plans - next is to start fabrication.

    In the meanwhile, I've been working on a autotrike (as defined in LA law) plan, which will technically actually be a 4-wheeler, but the rear two wheels will be 26 inch bicycle wheels with 2.25" wide road tires, the drive sprocket between them, hubs on a common axle, seperated by 2 inches. The rear end will be pivoting (, and flexing in a vertical plane, with the engine mounted on that subframe and running through a jackshaft. I intend to use a Shimano three-speed hub, and the right wheel will be free-wheeling, with disc brakes outboard on both rear wheels, inboard on both front.. Tadpole trike front end, using 20 inch wheels. Wheelbase is 36 wide by 72 long.

    Been debating power options, and think I'll likely go for about 5-6 horsepower, aiming at a top speed around 55 mph. Train-light style headlights integral to each front fender, with omnidirectionally visible turn signals on the apex of each of the headlight fairings (1/2 ping-pong balls with a strong colored LED lighting them internally will suffice), twin rear taillights (again, LED illuminated) at the end of each of the major frame tubes (one inch thin wall tubing in a horizontal S-curve, set on 6.5 inch between centers, ladder crosslinked every 16 inches).

    Steering is locked common pivot parallelogram, with a curving headstock. 12.5 degrees caster, 11 degrees ackerman angle on the trailing arm links to the steering, which will be a central bell crank, tie rod to the left wheel, connecting rod to the right wheel. Body will be skinned with spandex/resin over lost foam molding shapes. Basically, I'm aiming at an open single seater roadster type vehicle with a total vehicular weight in the region of 150 pounds. Properly geared and tuned, it ought to be capable of the speeds I'm looking for, with a fuel economy in the neighborhood of 120 mpg.
  5. WOAH! I can't wait to see this thing!
  6. eljefino

    eljefino Member

    I want to know about this "impeded traffic flow"... so if they set up road construction you're suddenly not permitted through that stretch of road?

    Horses are legally entitled to use the roads, would a horse in a road construction site force everyone to follow at 3 mph?

    I was just thinking, since you built the bike, you could write your own manufacturers' certificate of origin. Shoot, if you're a manufacturer, see if you can get manufacturerer's plates-- you see michigan ones all the time on new cars they're testing out etc.
  7. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    "impeded" is a typographical error on my part. It should read "impede". Sorry 'bout that.

    LA code makes no provision for a manufacturers certificate of origin for a motor vehicle by a one-off maker. For custom vehicles such as I've described, you must provide documentation of purchase of all components and materials used in the construction (receipts, salvage certificates, bills of sale for donor vehicles, etc.), provide a makers affidavit, assign a vehicle identification number (which must be permanently affixed to the vehicle), and comply with all applicable vehicular standards. It is truly a monumental pain - like the old Johnny Cash song - "When they got done, the title weighed 60 pounds!"
  8. eastwoodo4

    eastwoodo4 Member

    the whole thing makes me sick.motorcycle endorsement?kiss my as s!
  9. bayou_ratt

    bayou_ratt New Member

    I've emailed my state rep and state senator to no avail. I've just started riding mine and haven't really ventured off too far from home yet and haven't seen any cops while riding. I even sent the DMV an email asking about the whole registering process and was sent the same information in their reply that I sent to them in my question so that got nowhere. Once it's broke in and all of the little kinks worked out I'll start riding it around town and see what happens. I'll let you know in about a month how that works out.
  10. roughrider504

    roughrider504 Member

    I pass the police all the time and none has even batted an eyelash yet. *knock on wood* I guess as long as your MB isn't too crazy and motorcycle looking, you'll be fine. Something like an OCC chopper might get their attention, but a normal bicycle with an engine doesn't seem to attract much attention. Especially with the use of a helmet, gloves and protective glasses.
  11. bayou_ratt

    bayou_ratt New Member

    Roughrider, do you live in New Orleans or the burbs? I'm in Slidell.
  12. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Good point

    Good point! The anti-bicycle people in US have tried to ban or tax bicycles and esp mo bikes in every state! If you can ninja your way around some kind of law in your state by build design, or lawyer tricks, do it and let your friends know! Mb's are some people's only way to get around, and a backup for gas price hikes and possible national scandal or disaster.

  13. tjs323626

    tjs323626 Member

    I have been riding my motorized bike for a few months now and so far had no issues with the police. I live in a rural area, not much traffic at all but they do drive fast. Most of the cops are mellow here as long as you look straight. If I still had long hair and a beard it might be a different story.
  14. scarecrow47

    scarecrow47 New Member

    Register it , license it and insure it if you can or you may end up like me. Crippled , broke and without a leg to stand on. No pun intended. I was hit by a truck doing 45 to 50 mph. The driver was impaired by drugs and never saw me. Now his 10k insurance plan won't even cover one of the hospital bills and they want to charge me with driving under suspension. Just because the cops smile and wave doesn't mean they won't ticket you. Learn from my mistake. Don't let this happen to you.
  15. scarecrow47

    scarecrow47 New Member

    If anyone knows a lawyer or legislator , even a state representative that can help us . Please talk to them. Post their name and a contact number and we can call. We need help. At least I know I do. I want to see some changes made.
  16. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    America is so screwed up! The druggie driver should be in the prison, and you should be 100% free and compensated.
  17. scarecrow47

    scarecrow47 New Member

    Yea your right Happy but it just isn't that way. I hope some how we can do somethig to get the laws in this state changed in our favor.
    You would think the government would want to promote this sort of thing . Of course they have to figure a way they can make their money off the top before they will lift a finger to help us.
  18. ibdennyak

    ibdennyak Guest

    Agreed and agreed. Unfortunately, to be covered by insurance, we have to be among the insured, which brings on registration etc etc. Kind of a Catch 22 situation. Trying to ticket you is carp. The legal system, well meaning though it may be, does fall down when logic is applied. :confused:

    Coming up with THE ANSWER, is beyond my capabilities I am afraid. Also beyond those whose business it is to come up with the answers I think.
  19. scarecrow47

    scarecrow47 New Member

    Its beyond my capabilities too but if we all put our heads together we might come up with a solution. I hope so anyway Denny bu
  20. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    If a drunk driver hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian has a right to compensation. Will pedestrians now have to buy Pedestrian Insurance?