66cc 2-stroke legality in CA

BigBikeMan

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
5
1
3
29
I overlooked the CA DMV specification and something caught my eye.


A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is:

A two or three-wheeled device, capable of no more than 30 mph on level ground, and equipped with:
- Fully operative pedals for human propulsion.
- A motor producing less than two gross brake horsepower and an automatic transmission.
- An electric motor, with or without pedals for human propulsion. (CVC §406(a))

Aren’t 2-stroke manual because they have a clutch and one gear?
Wouldn’t this mean that I do not need an m2 to ride my bike?
And if it is exempt from being a moped does it classify as a bicycle?
 
  • Like
Reactions: ddoormatt

Zeldanumber17

New Member
Oct 26, 2019
19
8
3
21
You don’t need one. I ride around the sac area to get around town. Sometimes I do 20-30 mile trips. Officers here don’t really mind motorized bikes as long as you’ve got a helmet on and aren’t on the sidewalk. Only encounter I’ve had with law enforcement was when a motorcycle cop pulled next to me at a light and said “hey that’s pretty cool” told me to be safe and have a good ride. So many people on these things around here recently.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ddoormatt

curtisfox

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2008
5,138
1,559
113
minesota
Like Zeldanumber said! Also a clutch is not a transmission, mopeds have a type of CVT and they are legal as long as no shifting, like a motorcycle ..........Curt
 

bairdco

a guy who makes cool bikes
Aug 18, 2009
6,549
238
63
living the dream in southern california
In Newport and Huntington Beach you'll get ticketed, might get your bike impounded, and will be arrested if you have a suspended license or are legally drunk and you will be charged with a DUI. I've personally seen all of this happen, and i was ticketed before, had to go to court, pay a fine, and I learned the laws.

I've also been given the thumbs up, laughed at, and ignored by cool cops.

Some cities and cops are lenient, some are not.

Bottom line, you do need at least an M2 endorsement and a licensed bike. The law states you need a headlight, taillight, brakelight, horn, and left mirror, and a DOT helmet.

You don't need insurance.

This subject has been debated on this forum for as long as its been around. Your "loophole" won't get you out of a ticket.
 
  • Like
Reactions: indian22

indian22

Well-Known Member
Dec 31, 2014
3,825
4,552
113
Oklahoma
Just back from a three day ride, just over 540 miles total, and no tickets here in Indian Territory. Some state highways used, but mostly secondary roads. Lots of little towns and one metroplex on the route I selected. Hybrid was seen by a lotta' cops, deputies and troopers, overtaken by several and passed...no problems running gas or electric. I stay on the roadway shoulders on the state highways with minimum speed limits, just as I do on my bicycles & continually pedal under e-power. My best guess is it's just up to the cops you meet and riding responsibly helps deter stops, but not eliminate them. No way I'm riding legal in this state!

Rick C.
 

BigBikeMan

New Member
Oct 9, 2019
5
1
3
29
In Newport and Huntington Beach you'll get ticketed, might get your bike impounded, and will be arrested if you have a suspended license or are legally drunk and you will be charged with a DUI. I've personally seen all of this happen, and i was ticketed before, had to go to court, pay a fine, and I learned the laws.

I've also been given the thumbs up, laughed at, and ignored by cool cops.

Some cities and cops are lenient, some are not.

Bottom line, you do need at least an M2 endorsement and a licensed bike. The law states you need a headlight, taillight, brakelight, horn, and left mirror, and a DOT helmet.

You don't need insurance.

This subject has been debated on this forum for as long as its been around. Your "loophole" won't get you out of a ticket.
If I were to register my bike, I would be lying on a DMV form. The forms make you certify under penalty of perjury that the information you provide is true. One of the boxes you have to check on REG 230 is if your bike has an automatic transmission which my bike doesn’t have. Therefore it would be illegal to register my bike since I would be lying on a DMV form. So it seems like I cannot do anything but to just ride my bike at this point since registering it would be illegal.
 

xXNightRiderXx

Active Member
Jan 12, 2017
415
62
28
Boise
In my state, it also stipulates that manual clutches are permitted, so long as there is no additional clutching or shifting once the moped is moving.

However, my bike must be registered as a motor driven cycle because it makes more than 2hp, but less than 5hp, is larger than 49cc, and goes faster than 30mph. Any transmission may be used on a bike of this class.

Unfortunately, this also means that I need an M endorsement and insurance. I wish Idaho just had a separate motorcycle license.
 
  • Like
Reactions: waynesdata

bairdco

a guy who makes cool bikes
Aug 18, 2009
6,549
238
63
living the dream in southern california
If I were to register my bike, I would be lying on a DMV form. The forms make you certify under penalty of perjury that the information you provide is true. One of the boxes you have to check on REG 230 is if your bike has an automatic transmission which my bike doesn’t have. Therefore it would be illegal to register my bike since I would be lying on a DMV form. So it seems like I cannot do anything but to just ride my bike at this point since registering it would be illegal.
Save your explanation for the judge. I'm just telling you what the law is, not enforcing it.

And you're not the first person to come up with that argument. It pops up every year or so.

If you'd rather pay a bigger fine than a $21 license fee, and possibly get your bike impounded, that's up to you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peligro

xXNightRiderXx

Active Member
Jan 12, 2017
415
62
28
Boise
But in many states, it's more than just $21. In my state, even mopeds have to have a working lighting system with a horn, something not too many people are keen on designing themselves. That is costing me a total of $600, not including past failures.

Not to mention, because my state is one of those who refuse to provide a separate motorcycle license instead of a combined endorsement, I have to pay the $25+$15, and then there's all the testing. Most people aren't going to spend that much making these things even legal, let alone able to be registered. Anything over 49cc= ~$500 for the build+~$600 for the electrical+$40/4yr for license+~$80/yr for registry+~$300/yr insurance+$x/yr for maintenance. Only someone who is really serious about these things is going to spend about $1220 just to be legal.
 

waynesdata

Active Member
Jul 10, 2017
254
107
43
42
In my state, it also stipulates that manual clutches are permitted, so long as there is no additional clutching or shifting once the moped is moving.

However, my bike must be registered as a motor driven cycle because it makes more than 2hp, but less than 5hp, is larger than 49cc, and goes faster than 30mph. Any transmission may be used on a bike of this class.

Unfortunately, this also means that I need an M endorsement and insurance. I wish Idaho just had a separate motorcycle license.
If you are going to register why not fix a craigslist motorcycle?
 

xXNightRiderXx

Active Member
Jan 12, 2017
415
62
28
Boise
If you are going to register why not fix a craigslist motorcycle?
Because I would have no idea what I was messin with, and it would cost a whole lot more because I'd have to buy tools too. I mean, every project bike I'd seen either needed a new engine, or a whole ton of parts or specialty tools, none of which I can afford. I mean, I'm on a tight budget even without building this bike, and my bike uses cheaper parts than a yamaha or harley.

Meanwhile, I'm still learning with this one, and will learn a lot more as it breaks or as I upgrade. I want to be ready for anything before I get a full blown motorcycle.
 

waynesdata

Active Member
Jul 10, 2017
254
107
43
42
I am in the same boat, maybe worse. I welcome the challenge. The trade war with China has me on layoff. Building a company just in case

Thinking harborfreight v-twin using many of the same ideas we use to build our bikes. A build like that could draw attention to some other business you want to run.


That looks allot like a big version of the TAV2 we would use. With in a year I want to build a motorcycle.
 

xXNightRiderXx

Active Member
Jan 12, 2017
415
62
28
Boise
I was one of the people who suggested they do that. Cars and Cameras are GREAT! Have you seen their drag rail? Same engine, same cvt. Lot of mods.
 

Tony01

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2012
1,386
819
113
sf bay area
It’s illegal. Bikes must also have lights, brake light, turn signals, horn mirror etc. But if you don’t drive or act like an ******* you’ll be fine for the most part. Don’t discuss the law with police. Save it for the 2min conversation with your public defender on your day in court.

Also, it’s $25 for 2019. It was $20 in 2014 and it goes up by a dollar every year.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: waynesdata