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Laws and Legislation for Motorized Bicycles Share you knowledge of the laws in your state in this forum. Remember to always verify everything yourself with your dmv

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  #1  
Old 06-09-2009, 09:37 PM
eugesd eugesd is offline
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Default Washington state laws

What are the state laws on motorized bikes, i saw two of them turned off engine and avoided them. If one ever confront me i want to be sure that there not illegal
thanks
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2009, 06:02 AM
Ulysys Ulysys is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

I did alot of research on the law for these thing in washington state. The problem is that it contradicts itself.

Technically, they are classified as a moped. It states that a moped is a vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels 16in or smaller, with no larger than a 49cc engine, pedals for propulsion and can't go any faster than 30mph. There is a change to the law coming into effect in august that makes it more ambiguous. They take out the bit about pedals, but don't state that a moped doesn't have pedals, or that it's a moped if it has pedals or not.

Then there's the bit about licensing. Part of the law makes it sound like it needs to be registered as a moped. But in another section, it states that a moped cannot be operated on the state highways if it isn't registered, which suggests that as long as you don't go on a highway, you don't need to register and license it.

I've also heard that here in spokane, the police don't really care as long as it isn't over 49cc. I heard that from a guy in town that builds them at a local bike shop, but the guy seems like a bit of an ass, so I took it with a grain of salt .

With how screwed up the moped laws are, I'd say it largely depends on your local police.

Edit: Electric bikes get a free pass as long as it doesn't go ever 18 or 20mph, don't remember off the top of my head which, and has under a 700w motor I think. I would have to look it up again.

Last edited by Ulysys; 06-10-2009 at 06:07 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-10-2009, 10:35 AM
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Zev0 Zev0 is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

Can't say about other parts of the state, but here in Ocean Park, we have 0 problems with the police, Sherrif or the state police. Most of them wave at us as we travel up and down the penninsula. We, of course wave back at them all the time. Last year there was a motorized bicycle rally here in OP with about 25-30 riders from all over WA and OR and 1 came down from alaska and 1 from CA. The one from alaska rode his vehicle all the way down here from the Seattle area without a problem.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:19 PM
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TerrontheSnake TerrontheSnake is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

OK, lets break down a few words here. Moped, Motor+Pedals=Moped. If it does not have pedals it is not a MOPED it is a scooter. I have weeded through the BS in Oregon and this is what I have found. In Oregon you can drive "ride" anything up to 36cc without the need for licenses, or insurance. You must wear a helmet, and if you ride at night you must have a rear and front light. As well as abiding by traffic laws. I have done everything except abide by the 36CC rule. I have a full light set up, wear my helmet, and have a quieter muffler. When they pull me over I am simply ready with the info. When they ask how big the motor is I say 36cc, they pull out their little cheat sheet and look at the numbers. It checks out on the paper and I'm free to go.

Last edited by TerrontheSnake; 06-10-2009 at 12:46 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-10-2009, 12:57 PM
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Ghost0 Ghost0 is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

I have ridden many miles up here in Bellingham and have had no problems with the police. I have lights, wear my helmet and don't do anything stupid. I simply obey all normal traffic laws including hand signals. I have been seen by and been followed by our local police and they don't give me a second look.
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2009, 01:01 PM
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TerrontheSnake TerrontheSnake is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

Actually I forgot a few things. It may not have any more than one gear, and your not supposed to have real clutch. If you are more informed about the laws than the officer in question they will leave you alone. Once they start saying something start giving them more info than their little cheat sheet has and they will be impressed and believe that you have abided by the rules since you are so well informed. If you start saying "I don't know how big it is" expect them to mess with you.

Last edited by TerrontheSnake; 06-10-2009 at 01:06 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-10-2009, 01:06 PM
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TerrontheSnake TerrontheSnake is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

I have had many run ins with the police I am running a schwinn OCC chopper with an 80(67)cc china motor with a clutch. I still have my bike, and like I said just act like you are fully informed and complying with all the rules. Don't be a rude SOB and cause havoc to make them look poorly apon us MB'rs and all will be well.
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2009, 06:50 PM
eugesd eugesd is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulysys View Post
I did alot of research on the law for these thing in washington state. The problem is that it contradicts itself.

Technically, they are classified as a moped. It states that a moped is a vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels 16in or smaller, with no larger than a 49cc engine, pedals for propulsion and can't go any faster than 30mph. There is a change to the law coming into effect in august that makes it more ambiguous. They take out the bit about pedals, but don't state that a moped doesn't have pedals, or that it's a moped if it has pedals or not.

Then there's the bit about licensing. Part of the law makes it sound like it needs to be registered as a moped. But in another section, it states that a moped cannot be operated on the state highways if it isn't registered, which suggests that as long as you don't go on a highway, you don't need to register and license it.

I've also heard that here in spokane, the police don't really care as long as it isn't over 49cc. I heard that from a guy in town that builds them at a local bike shop, but the guy seems like a bit of an ass, so I took it with a grain of salt .

With how screwed up the moped laws are, I'd say it largely depends on your local police.

Edit: Electric bikes get a free pass as long as it doesn't go ever 18 or 20mph, don't remember off the top of my head which, and has under a 700w motor I think. I would have to look it up again.
funny, i got the idea of building one from a guy who lived in Cheney
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  #9  
Old 06-11-2009, 12:10 AM
Ulysys Ulysys is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

I figure it's probably ok to have one, and not register it as a moped in washington. The cops around here probably don't really care, unless they're bored, which in spokane has been known to happen .
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2009, 12:11 AM
eugesd eugesd is offline
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Default Re: Washington state laws

BTW i have no license
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