Electric dirt bikes are often seen as better choices over their gas-powered equals because they are less messy, less noisy, and even cheaper. And since you want that from your commuter bike, you have to ask, ‘are electric dirt bikes street legal?’
Electric dirt bikes are only street legal when registered for street use and equipped with the essential DoT-approved roadworthy accessories such as rear mirrors, speedometer, turn signals, and license plate. Moreover, they should be designed for on-road use.
So, for an electric dirt bike to be street legal, state laws and DoT requirements are worth considering. But still, you have to factor in the dirt bike type as not all are street legal.
I’ll discuss all those reasons to help you understand when you can and cannot ride a dirt bike legally on the streets. I’ll also share ways to make your dirt bike street-legal and where to ride it legally if you cannot do it on the streets.
But first, let’s see when electric dirt bikes, also known as dirt e-bikes, are street legal and when they aren’t.
When Are Electric Dirt Bikes Street Legal?
Here’s when dirt e-bikes are street legal:
1. When Registered for Street Riding
Every vehicle that uses public roads must be registerable for such use, including dirt bikes. So, if you want to ride a dirt e-bike on the streets, you must first register it according to your state requirements.
Just head to your state’s Department of Transport (DoT) to inquire about the registration.
2. When Equipped with DoT-Approved Roadworthy Accessories
Registering your dirt e-bike alone doesn’t make it street legal. You also must ensure it has all the essential DoT street riding accessories that make it roadworthy. That includes the following:
- Rearview mirror
- Functional horn
- Street-riding tires
- Turn signals
3. When Designed for On-Road Use
Note that only those electric dirt bikes designed for on-road use are road registerable. So, what electric dirt bikes are street legal?
Generally, here are the street legal dirt e-bike types:
a) Dual-Sport Dirt Bikes
Dual-sport dirt bikes, also known as adventure bikes, are primarily designed for street riding, even though they are modifiable for off-road use. The bikes usually have long-travel suspensions, multi-surface tires, and low gears. They typically are lightweight for fast riding.
b) Street Bikes
As the name suggests, a street bike is for riding on the streets. This type of dirt bike comes with smaller tires for smooth rolling on paved roads and has powerful engines capable of hitting 100mph (gas options). Their electric versions, however, are slower.
Here are some top-speed Razor electric street bikes for your consideration:
- Razor RSF350 Electric Street Bike (View on Amazon) – It’s best for 13-year-olds and above, with a maximum weight of 63Kg (140lbs). Speed-wise, it averages a full speed of 14mph and enjoys a battery runtime of 35 minutes.
- Razor RSF650 Electric Street Bike (View on Amazon) – It’s best for 16-year-olds and above, with a maximum weight of 100Kg (220 pounds). This street legal electric dirt bike for adults can hit a top speed of 17mph and enjoys a battery runtime of 50 minutes.
c) Enduro Dirt Bikes
While enduro dirt bikes are primarily designed for off-road races, they are modifiable for on-road use. So, you can register them for street riding and equip them with the necessary street riding accessories and gear.
d) Supermoto Dirt Bikes
You can also ride supermoto dirt bikes on the street if they meet your state’s dirt riding requirements and are registered. Supermoto dirt bikes usually come with smaller street-ready tires and improved brakes for effective and safe street riding.
e) Trail Dirt Bikes
Trail dirt bikes can serve off-road and on-road in equal measures – 50/50. Just ensure you register yours for street riding and equip it with the necessary DoT-street riding gears.
But lately, trail dirt bikes have been declining as most riders favor enduro dirt bikes.
When Are Electric Dirt Bikes Not Street Legal?
Electric dirt bikes aren’t legal on-road in the following scenarios:
1. When Designed Only for Off-Road Use
After mentioning electric dirt bikes that are street legal, here are the options tailored for off-road use only:
a) Trial Dirt Bikes
Trial dirt bikes are for taking on challenging terrains for competition purposes. These bikes mainly test on balance. While these dirt bikes are registerable for off-road use, their designs don’t favor street riding.
b) Pit Bikes/Mini Bikes
Pit bikes are also not best for street riding. These dirt bikes are for taking on dirt-riding parks, private properties, and competition circuits.
c) Motocross Dirt Bikes
Motocross dirt bikes, as the name hints, are for motocross racing. So, they are only best on motocross tracks but not on the streets. They can handle fast rides, huge jumps, and freestyle stunts, making them the ultimate off-road thrill.
Sadly, you cannot ride them on-road. You’ll have to change a lot to do it, which could turn expensive.
d) ATVs (Quads)
While all-terrain vehicles (ATV) suggest vehicles that can take all terrains, ATVs are generally best for off-road competitions and farm use. You cannot register them for street use as they are too bulky and slow for street riding.
They are even noisier, and you don’t want to create all the attention on public roads.
2. When Unregistered/Unlicensed
It’s equally essential for the dirt bike to have the necessary registration before riding on the streets. And as the rider, you need to be licensed to ride it. If you don’t meet these requirements, you cannot legally ride on the streets.
3. When Lacking Basic DoT-Approved Roadworthy Accessories
A dirt bike needs to feature basic street riding gears and accessories before you can take it on the streets. Remember, turn signals, rear mirror, headlight, taillight, and license plate are a must-have, while other requirements depend on your state laws and dirt e-bike type.
Factors Determining the Street Legality of Dirt Bikes
In general, these factors determine if an electric dirt bike is street legal or not:
a) State Laws
Different states have different dirt bike legislations. In California, for example, dirt bikes must feature functional lights, turn signals, windshield, and rear mirrors to be street legal.
The state of California classifies dirt bikes as off-highway vehicles (OHVs), which are subject to California’s Air Resource Board (CARB).
In that case, all OHVs should have a CARB sticker, and the sticker should be red to ride on the streets. A green CARB sticker will only allow you to ride seasonally on OHV tracks.
On the other hand, only dual-sport bikes can ride on public roads in Texas but must feature DoT taillights, headlights, rear mirrors, and horns.
A dirt bike should have a blue and white license plate and be insured to be street legal in Canada. You also have to have a rider license to operate a dirt bike on the roads.
Some dirt bikes come with white and green plates, which only qualifies them for off-road use. Only white and blue license plates allow you to ride on-road and off-road.
Australia allows you to ride a dirt bike on the streets if fully registered and have a rider license.
b) Dirt Bike Type
As shared earlier, not all-electric dirt bike types are road registerable. Options like motocross, trial dirt bikes, ATVs, and pit bikes are not road registerable. Thus, they are only best for off-road use.
In contrast, dirt bikes like dual-purpose, street, supermoto, trail, and endurance dirt bikes are road registerable, thus street legal.
But How Do You Make An Electric Dirt Bike Street Legal?
You can do several things to make an electric dirt bike that is not street legal to become so. They include:
a) Equip it with the right street-riding gears and accessories
For a dirt bike to be street legal, it must feature all the essential safety accessories that all roadworthy motorcycle accessories.
These dirt bike street riding accessories include turn signals, rearview mirror, headlight, taillight, blinkers, and windshield.
Remember to go for DoT-approved accessories to enable you to comply with your state’s DoT requirements.
b) Comply with the state laws
- Register the dirt bike
- Get the necessary insurance
- Wear the necessary safety gear, especially a helmet
- Get the required license plate
Different states have different regulations about e-bikes, but overall, you need to meet these basics to ride on the streets legally.
Where can you ride an electric dirt bike legally off-road?
Now, if you cannot ride your dirt e-bike legally on-road, there are many areas where you can ride them. Here are some of your options:
- Motocross tracks
- Private properties
- State parks/trails
People Also Ask
1. Are Electric Bikes Street Legal in Texas?
Electric bikes are only street legal in Texas if they are dual-purpose bikes with DoT-approved accessories like taillights, headlights, horns, tires, and rear mirrors.
2. Are Electric Bikes Street Legal in California?
Electric bikes are only street legal in California if they meet California’s Air Resource Board (CARB) guidelines and obtain a red CARB sticker. One of CARB’s requirements is to feature basic conventional DOT requirements such as DoT headlights, horns, turn signals, brake lights, and rear mirrors.
3. When Do You Need a License for an Electric Dirt Bike?
While you don’t need a rider’s license to ride an electric dirt bike off-road, you need it to ride on the streets, especially if its top speed is about 20mph. In addition to the license, you’ll need insurance to operate on public roads.
4. Why Are Dirt Bikes Not Street Legal?
Dirt bikes are mostly not street legal because they lack basic roadworthy vehicle requirements such as rear mirrors, functional horns, turn signals, headlight, windshield, and blinkers. Others are not registerable for street riding.
5. Are Electric Dirt Bikes Worth It?
Electric dirt bikes are worth it because they are cost-saving in the long term as they are cheaper to maintain and run. They are also good for the environment – causing little noise and air pollution. And when it comes to kids, their slow speeds make them safer for the little ones.
Are Electric Dirt Bikes Street Legal? Closing Thought:
As shared, factors like state laws, DoT compliance, and dirt bike type determine if a dirt bike is street legal. Usually, you can ride a dirt e-bike on the roads if it’s registered and comes equipped with the requirements of a standard motorcycle vehicle as per the state DoT requirements.