Noticed something insidious (legality issue)


Well-Known Member
Local time
2:58 PM
Mar 23, 2008
central illinois
Yesterday my daughter and I took a ride uptown for a pop. On the way we passed some skateboarding kids. As we passed one of them (only about 10 or 11 yrs old) was yelling at us (kinda furiously) "That's an illegal bike! You need a license for that!"
When we stopped I mentioned this to my daughter and she said, "Yeah, there's a rumor running around the school that I'm riding an illegal bike."
Now maybe this "rumor" is just a bit of whispering, rather than the big issue of the day. But, all the same, these are just kids. I wouldn't even expect them to wonder about the legal issue. I suspect that they are hearing this "illegal" business from grown-ups.
It's a shame; but we have to face the fact that we are gonna get some grief over riding out of nothing other than jealousy.
My first guess would be that some of them had pocket bikes and were racing them up and down the blocks. Watauga just passed an ordinance against them since the kids don't wear helmets and parents don't supervise. I was behind a kid the other day who didn't have mirrors and never looked back and was riding the center line in the street swerveing back and forth like NASCAR drivers warming up their tires.
They didn't play right with their toys and had them taken away. Jealousy like you said. Our bikes are a lot taller and have a higher profile. That kid on the pocket bike was lower than the window on a corvette, an easy obstalce for autos to overlook.
one kid sees, the other kid wants....and ...

I am sure those kids want one. And their parents just tell them , they are illegal. End of conversation, you are not getting one. Because Dad is all thumbs and can not build.. But..Instead of telling the kid that, they just tell them they are illegal. That ends it for that kid. lol. I am sure that is the largest part of it.
No advice here, just quotes of some Illinois laws. There may be other laws that are applicable as well.

625 ILCS 5/1-148.2
A motorized pedalcycle is a motor-driven cycle whose speed attainable in one mile is 30 mph or less, which is equipped with a motor that produces 2 brake horsepower or less. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement shall not exceed 50 cubic centimeter displacement and the power drive system shall not require the operator to shift gears.

625 ILCS 5/3-412
(a) The Secretary of State upon registering a vehicle subject to annual registration for the first time shall issue or shall cause to be issued to the owner one registration plate for a motorcycle, trailer, semitrailer, motorized pedalcycle...

(b) Every registration plate shall have displayed upon it the registration number assigned to the vehicle for which it is issued, the name of this State,...

625 ILCS 5/6-104
No person shall operate a motor vehicle unless such person has a valid license with a proper classification to permit the operation of such vehicle, except that any person may operate a motorized pedalcycle if such person has a valid current Illinois driver's license, regardless of classification.

625 ILCS 5/11-1403.1
Riding on motorized pedalcycles.
(a) The operator of a motorized pedalcycle shall ride only astride the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and shall not permit 2 persons to ride thereon at the same time, unless the motorized pedalcycle is designed to carry 2 persons; any motorized pedalcycle designed for 2 persons must be equipped with a passenger seat and footrests for use of a passenger.

(b) The provisions of Article XV shall be applicable to the operation of motorized pedalcycles, except for those provisions which by their nature can have no application to motorized pedalcycles.

625 ILCS 5/13C-15
...(6) The following vehicles are not subject to inspection:
......(B) Motorcycles, motor driven cycles, and motorized pedalcycles...
Thanks Houghmade,

In a way, though, it only confused me further. There was one statute involving the Secretary of State issuing registrations to vehicles including motorized pedalcycles. That would seem to include happy times. But when I checked the Sec/State website (a while back) I got the definite impression that these did not fall under the moped category. Do you suppose that "pedalcycle" and "moped" are the same in the case of statutes like these? That would be good.

Anyway, I'll have another look at the Sec/State website. And if anything seems noteworthy, I'll report back.
I would check with a real person with the state and see what they say. However, the issue may not have come up enough that they have any experience with it.
But, all the same, these are just kids. I wouldn't even expect them to wonder about the legal issue. I suspect that they are hearing this "illegal" business from grown-ups.
Who else can teach our children if not grownups?

One of these is true... either they were caught on a pocket rocket or GoPed and one of 'em was told by the police that it's not street legal, or the situation of the dad with all thumbs had to make up a story to tell his children.

But... that kid shouting at you was prolly telling the truth since it seems you do have to register it. If you go strictly by the word, you're riding illegal bikes. But most judges, cops, or police chiefs would understand motorized bicycles shouldn't be regulated if a regular bicycle isn't. A cop could always write you a ticket, but he prolly wouldn't... he'd hopefully at least give you a warning first. Even still, registering only isn't too bad. I'd go ahead and do it, so that I could set the rumors straight.
I wouldn't mind registering them at all. But I am afraid of finding myself in the spot where one authority is telling me "It must be registered" and another is telling me "It can't be done".

Oh well, I guess I'll just cruise along and keep a low profile. It sounds like a lot of people have gotten along for years doing that. And the local police know me and my family. Known us for years now. And now they know us as a motorized family, and it doesn't seem to bother them. And it doesn't seem to bother my neighbors or others; they're mostly admiring. I'm a little worried that some busy-body will start lobbying the village board of trustees for a ban. (Tsk, Tsk. There oughta be a law against those THINGS!!!)

Now I've got to figure out if I'm justified or if I'm just being paranoid. But people do stick knives in each others backs.
The same for us and every other law enforcement agency throughout the world,all your daughter has to say to anyone that yells at them that their bike is illegal is.........."prove it".....that'll shut them up. ;)