Idaho Law Clarification / My First Motorized Bicycle

BikerBen

New Member
Jul 27, 2019
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Idaho
Hello! This is by first time on MotorBicycling.com!

I live in Idaho and I am currently a Senior attending High School. For my senior project I made my first ever Motorized Bicycle! :) ( nothing special though, just a simple Chinese 2 stroke 49 cc engine. I figured I'd start out cheap with my first project )

I want to make sure that my Bicycle is as legal as possible, but some of the laws regarding Motorized Bicycles in Idaho seem a bit unclear. Here is what I have already done with my bicycle.

- I have made sure that my engine displacement ( cc's ) is 49, so no greater than 50.
- I have front and rear reflectors
- I have a front light ( which is bright enough for the daytime )
- I have a rear light ( which is bright enough for the daytime )
- I am willing to install blinker lights on my bicycle, and I probably will sometime in the future.
- I am willing to order a horn and mirrors.
- I always ride with my Drivers License
- I always ride with a helmet

* I have also tested my Motorized Bicycle to see that it can go no greater than 30 miles per hour with a GPS, and I topped out at 30 MPH *

However, recently the Idaho Legislature made a change to a Statute ( Section 49 - 114 ) which applies to Mopeds. ( The Idaho legislature categorizes Motorized Bicycles as mopeds apparently. ) In Line (9) which they recently added at the beginning of this month, it says , " (9) "Moped" means a limited-speed motor-driven cycle having wheels less than twenty (20) inches in diameter "

My Bicycle has 26 inch tires, and one would assume that this new law would make my bike " Illegal ". Yet, 20 inch tires are about the size of the BMX bike I had when I was 12, and I have looked all over the internet for a bike frame that would be compatible with 20 inch tires and fit the engine inside of the frame, but I have found nothing. And on top of it this would make every Motorized Bicycle with tires bigger than 20 inches in Idaho illegal right?

I tried contacting my Local Authorities, and the Deputy there said that really as long as I don't have an engine bigger that 50 cc and I am not doing any crazy stunts on it, he wouldn't pull me over for having wheels 6 inches too big. ( I don't live in Boise so I am sure that the police are not as picky where I live )

I also have looked on the Idaho DMV website and it says that technically mopeds ( which a motorized bicycle falls under ) are required to have liability insurance. I don't know how I can yet vehicle liability insurance on something that is not considered a vehicle, but even if I could get it insured, I don't want to pay around 100 dollars a year to ride this bike every once and a while to a friends house, especially when I got the engine kit for less!

I am a very safe rider, I am easy going on the throttle, and I don't ride in the Bicycle lanes. ( despite me feeling like I am going to get ran over, and all the bicyclists ride on the sidewalk. ) I also usually don't ride at night.

So ultimately my question is, are there any motor bicyclists in Idaho that know if I need to follow this 20 inch tire rule, and get liability insurance?

BikerBen
.ride7a
 

Greg58

Well-Known Member
May 1, 2011
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Newnan,Georgia U.S.A.
Welcome to the forum, I don't think you'll have a problem, law enforcement usually has more to do than stop someone on a bicycle. As long as you don't speed and obey traffic laws have fun and enjoy.
 
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BikerBen

New Member
Jul 27, 2019
5
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1
Idaho
Welcome to the forum, I don't think you'll have a problem, law enforcement usually has more to do than stop someone on a bicycle. As long as you don't speed and obey traffic laws have fun and enjoy.
Yeah, most likely if don't do anything stupid than I won't get pulled over. I just wanted to know if other motor bicyclists have ran into issues with law enforcement about these problems. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯