Motorized Bicycle Users Under Attack in Indiana!!!

Drivers License Required & Registration Required

  1. woodsrat

    woodsrat Member

    The Indiana General Assembly along with a motorcycle rights group that mostly caters to Harley riders, ABATE of Indiana, may be working together to require licensing and other new legalities for motorized bicycle users here in Indiana.

    As currently written a motorized bicycle in Indiana is defined as a two or three wheeled vehicle with a motor of no more than 50cc, under two horsepower, an automatic transmission and a design top speed of no more than 25 MPH--fairly reasonable requirements. You must also be at least 15 years old to operate them and have either a State issued I. D. or driver's license, again not an unreasonable rule.

    Unfortunately last year's high gas prices and increased motorized bicycle use has drawn attention from both legislators and ABATE of Indiana, who has said they would support licensing and further restrictions on motorized bicycle use.

    What happened here is that motorcycle accidents are on the increase and legislators are talking about reinstating a helmet law for motorcyclists in Indiana. In an effort to keep this law off the books ABATE is willing to "throw motorized bicycles under the bus," figuratively speaking, and use them as a sacrificial lamb in this fight.

    If you're as unhappy about this as I am I urge you to contact Mr. Jay Jackson, Executive Director of ABATE of Indiana, and let him know what you think about further restrictions and/or licensing of motorized bicycles in Indiana. He can be reached at

    Thanks for your help in keeping motorized bicycles on Indiana roads!!!

    Tim W., a. k. a. Woodsrat
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008

  2. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    That's disturbing. Motored bicycles are NOT motorcycles, and should not be associated with them. I don't feel safe on any motorcycle AT ALL due to the non-drivers in cars out there, which is why I'd rather ride a motored bicycle in the bike lane or sidewalk AWAY from cars and major traffic.

    Increase in motorcycle crashes is just an "excuse" to try to control the bicyclists and get their money.

    BTW, most motorcyclists I meet on the road are REALLY NICE and enjoy seeing a motorized bicycle, and ask lots of questions. Seems to be no conflicts of interest whatsoever.

    A motorcycle rights group trying to effect bicycles, should be NONE of their business! RIDE AND LET RIDE!!!
  3. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    i just wrote to mr jackson a note. couldnt hurt. mitch
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    I agree and why I'm adamant about responsibly self-regulating clear definition between the two but as much talk I see here about speed and performance enhancement I doubt it will happen.

    It's just a bicycle.....supposedly.
  5. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    Performance and speed wasn't the issue here, as originally posted by woodsrat
  6. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    You'd have to put up the whole post to get the meaning rather than snipping out of context.

    There has been an even larger increase in non-motorized bicycle use with higher fuel prices but the MC group didn't go after them.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  7. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    hi Tim
    you may wish to forward to your state contact person
    MB laws in some other states where everyone seems to (be happy now)
    such as AZ or Calif
    ride that THING
  8. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    Good point Happy Valley. There are more bicycles than ever. Maybe some folks are jealous of the fact we can ride in bike lanes and go around traffic, instead of being caught up in the danger like they do, and hardly use any fuel while doing so.

    *I didn't mean to take your post out of context, I was just saving post space and highlighting the point of the souped-up bikes. I agree, self responsibility is the key, and hopefully we can keep riding, and the folks in Indiana.

    It's all good and happy here [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2008
  9. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    hi; ABATE'S rep. wrote me right back requesting input. i asked him to contact out site to expain their position. so PLEASE send your thoughts civily as soon as possible. we have thousands of riders around the world that can be impacted by legislation. we dont need to talk among ourselves about it, we need to send a message. mitch
  10. woodsrat

    woodsrat Member

    First off THANK YOU for all your support on this issue. I sincerely appreciate it!!

    Second my apologies to the moderator for putting this thread in the General Discussion forum before I saw the "MotoredBiking Laws and Legislation." My bad.

    Although I've been riding motorcycles for over 37 years I've always had an appreciation for simple inexpensive motorized transport. Sadly motorcycles are fast moving away from this and now the magazines are all filled with $10,000+ wonderbikes that a majority of the public cannot afford. A bit of middle-aged craziness in the form of pit bike racing (using a bike based upon the infamous Honda 50 motor) led me to a renewal of my interest in the basics of motorized transport. Motorized bicycles/small scooters/small motorcycles are the basic form of transport in many countries and they make perfect sense. Here's an affordable machine that's inexpensive enough for virtually anyone to purchase and simple enough that anyone who knows which end of the wrench goes where can work on. High gas prices make them appealing to everyone.

    Unfortunately when anything gets popular the greedy hand of government immediately sees a way to add to their coffers, in this case through licensing and registration. Add to this the reality that anytime anything gets popular somebody is gonna get hurt and the Safety Nazis get involved.

    ABATE of Indiana has done good things with their motorcycle safety program which has trained thousands of riders. Unfortunately their single most important goal is keeping the helmet law away. With the increase in popularity of motorized bicycles came a cooresponding increase in accidents and I believe they think that by diverting the attention towards motorized bicycles in the Indiana General Assembly they can keep the helmet law away for another year. Using a small minority like motorized bicycle users for this purpose is dead wrong!!!

    PLEASE keep the emails flowing to Mr. Jackson. Be respectful and try to show him all the good that comes from these wonderful, simple and efficient little machines--and why they should remain license-free.

    Tim W.
  11. woodsrat

    woodsrat Member

    Okay, here's the reasoning (???) behind the push for motorized bicycle licensing/registration in Indiana.

    On Sept. 26, 2008 a 59 year old man on a Honda 50 Metropolitan scooter (Indiana motorized bicycle-legal) was sitting in the eastbound lane of U. S 24 seven miles west of Logansport, IN waiting to make a left turn into his driveway on the north side of the road. According to a local newspaper report an eastbound dump truck came up behind the man on the scooter and was unable to stop, swerving into the westbound lane where it clipped a westbound school bus. The bus flipped onto it's side and then slid into the path of another eastbound dump truck which hit the roof of the bus, killing four special-needs children inside and seriously injuring the driver.

    This was not a limited-access highway so the Metropolitan rider was perfectly legal in using this road, a two lane highway with a 55 MPH speed limit. (Personally if it were me on a bike like that I would have pulled to the side of the road, waited for traffic to clear in both directions and then crossed the road into the driveway but that's just me.)

    Common sense and everything we were ever taught about defensive driving told us that we should never drive any faster than we can safely stop. Given this it's pretty likely that one or both dump trucks were driving faster than was safe for the given conditions. Additionally the first truck's driver was likely not paying attention and the second truck may have been following too close, too.

    Given this can anyone tell me how having a license plate or motorcycle license would have changed this accident? Even had the fellow been on a Harley Road King it likely would have made little difference here.

    Sen. Alting has an email link on his web site. This site's address:

    You might want to email him as well--I am.
  12. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    A grisly feeling. I know that stretch of road quite well. I've driven it many, many more times than I can count. In my experience the drivers through there do not speed all that terribly. Nonetheless there is no way that I would sit in the traffic lane on anything as small as a scooter. That particular stretch is a bit winding, hilly and wooded.

    But to the point: The truck driver looks like the guilty party, based on this account. It is every drivers' responsibility to make absolutely certain that they do not hit ANYTHING that happens to be sitting in the road.

    It's disturbing that the almost automatic legal response to something like this is, "Let's work on getting those obstructions out of the way of traffic."
  13. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Most people here would rather let a scooter affect their chance to ride peacefully on MBs than to educate their legislators.

    What a sad, sad day we live in.
  14. woodsrat

    woodsrat Member

    I got to thinking about the possibility of registration/license plates for motorized bicycles here in Indiana and wondered since bicycles come without a Certificate of Origin how the fudge you could obtain a plate here without a title? What do other states do about this? Do they simply not allow bicycles with motors to be on the street because of this?
  15. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I'm afraid that that's what makes regulation really dangerous; the law will say that you must register it, but the bureaucracy will say that you can't register it.

    And that makes it illegal by default.

    I think there are already places in the USA and elsewhere where this is the case.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  16. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    That was very well put, bluegoatwoods.

    If we don't start jumping outta the woodworks to fight for our right to travel by MB, we will get what we deserve.
  17. ZnsaneRyder

    ZnsaneRyder Member

    Sucks they want to pass the buck to a scooter or MB instead of just being responsible for their own actions like a responsible adult.

    The term for avoiding the fact it's your fault when it truly is your fault, by putting it on someone else, is called Plausible Deniability

    It also describes a weak-minded human being.
  18. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I suppose ABATEs part in this might not be so much evil as self-preservation.
    Consider, a nasty accident like this occurs. Lawmakers start thinking, "Maybe we ought to do something about these small, motorized two-wheelers mixing in auto traffic" and the motorcycle people say, "Keep us out of this".

    And, really, that's okay; we don't want the law viewing us in the same category as motorcycles. We want to be viewed as bicycles. I could live with registering my motor assisted bicycle as long as they make sure that there is a mechanism to do so. I think a few states have been fore-sighted enough to make it possible. Isn't Sir Jakesus riding a bike that is legally registered in New Hampshire?
  19. woodsrat

    woodsrat Member

    Although I really hate the idea of any sort of registration for MB's what should we put forward as suggestions should the powers-that-be push this on us? As previously stated since bicycles (or in my case a home-built bike that qualifies as a MB under Indiana law) do not have titles how do we avoid the unbelievable hassle of having to obtain self-assembled vehicle titles? Is there any way we could convince the legislators there's another way to do this? How is it handled in other states?
  20. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    This is a guess. The problem of "VIN number?" can't be something that was written into the law in the state capital in question. It must be part of the red tape that the DMV setup in administering the law that said that the vehicle in question needs to be registered.

    So one possible fix is to ask that, if they must register these MBs, then at least make sure that the DMV doesn't make impossible demands, such as insisting on a VIN number that doesn't exist.

    Or to put it another way, we must ask that the law specifically recognize these bikes as being legitimate. Either simply as bicycles with no need for registration or as vehicles that actually are registerable.

    So I guess we'd better make sure that they are actually thinking of these bikes when they are drafting their laws.