Texas Riding Blog

rocksalt27

Member
Oct 24, 2013
98
1
6
Portland, ME
I'm down here in the cap city with a china girl. What should we worry about if we get pulled over? Can they confiscate our bike? I don't have a serial number on my bike. How do I get it registered as a bicycle?
 

biknut

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2010
6,511
206
63
Dallas
I'm down here in the cap city with a china girl. What should we worry about if we get pulled over? Can they confiscate our bike? I don't have a serial number on my bike. How do I get it registered as a bicycle?
Texas is very tolerant of china girls all over the state. The DPS says we ride in a gray area of the law, and as far as they're concerned they're just bicycles so there's no need to register them.

However different localities might have a different idea. The main thing you need to do is always remember to pedal away from stops. That way no one can claim your bike is self propelled. If it's not self propelled it's not a motor vehicle in Texas.
 
Sep 18, 2011
296
0
16
Tyler Texas
When I contacted the TXDMV in Austin asking about motorized bicycles, I received the following response:

Thank you for your email. In Texas, we do not title or register motorized bicycles. We treat motorized bicycles the same as regular non-motorized bicycles. You may consider contacting your local law enforcement agency for the rules and regulations for operating bicycles on the public road.

Please feel free to contact me for any additional motor vehicle information.

Best Regards,

Nicole Caston
Consumer Relations Division
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles


I printed out a copy of the email and carry it when I ride (which isn't as often as I used to).
 

ElGallo

Member
Jul 1, 2012
119
1
16
San Antonio, Texas
Man I need a copy of that email. ☺


When I contacted the TXDMV in Austin asking about motorized bicycles, I received the following response:

Thank you for your email. In Texas, we do not title or register motorized bicycles. We treat motorized bicycles the same as regular non-motorized bicycles. You may consider contacting your local law enforcement agency for the rules and regulations for operating bicycles on the public road.

Please feel free to contact me for any additional motor vehicle information.

Best Regards,

Nicole Caston
Consumer Relations Division
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles


I printed out a copy of the email and carry it when I ride (which isn't as often as I used to).
 

biknut

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2010
6,511
206
63
Dallas
That's basically the TDMV saying as far as they know, they're bicycles.

If you contact state law enforcement, you get pretty much the same answer, that they also consider them bicycles.

That takes care of the DMV, and DPS, but there's still local police, and they may take a different interpretation of the law.


The problem is there's no mention of gas powered motor bicycles in any Texas statutes. Both the TDMV, and the TDPS have taken the position that they consider gas powered motor bicycles, bicycles, but your locality is free to interpret the law differently. This is why the DPS says we ride in a gray area of the law.

This is what I believe to be the bottom line. In Texas all motor vehicles are considered self propelled. As long as no one can say he saw your bike ride off from a stop without pedaling, you can claim in court that your bike is not self propelled, because it has to be pedaled.

In reality you probably will never be bothered unless it's for something like running a stop sign.



When I contacted the TXDMV in Austin asking about motorized bicycles, I received the following response:

Thank you for your email. In Texas, we do not title or register motorized bicycles. We treat motorized bicycles the same as regular non-motorized bicycles. You may consider contacting your local law enforcement agency for the rules and regulations for operating bicycles on the public road.

Please feel free to contact me for any additional motor vehicle information.

Best Regards,

Nicole Caston
Consumer Relations Division
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles


I printed out a copy of the email and carry it when I ride (which isn't as often as I used to).
 
Sep 18, 2011
296
0
16
Tyler Texas
That's basically the TDMV saying as far as they know, they're bicycles.

If you contact state law enforcement, you get pretty much the same answer, that they also consider them bicycles.

That takes care of the DMV, and DPS, but there's still local police, and they may take a different interpretation of the law.


The problem is there's no mention of gas powered motor bicycles in any Texas statutes. Both the TDMV, and the TDPS have taken the position that they consider gas powered motor bicycles, bicycles, but your locality is free to interpret the law differently. This is why the DPS says we ride in a gray area of the law.

This is what I believe to be the bottom line. In Texas all motor vehicles are considered self propelled. As long as no one can say he saw your bike ride off from a stop without pedaling, you can claim in court that your bike is not self propelled, because it has to be pedaled.

In reality you probably will never be bothered unless it's for something like running a stop sign.
This is true. I have never been hassled by the cops, but I carry the printed email in case I come across a cop that doesn't know what to do.
He might just let the email from the DMV make it easier for him by not having to make his own judgement call.
 

rocksalt27

Member
Oct 24, 2013
98
1
6
Portland, ME
This is true. I have never been hassled by the cops, but I carry the printed email in case I come across a cop that doesn't know what to do.
He might just let the email from the DMV make it easier for him by not having to make his own judgement call.
Exactly. If we're gonna ride in a legal gray area, it's better to have some kind of defense IN WRITING. I might look for something from the DMV's policies to go with it too.
 

Rudz

New Member
Jun 24, 2014
454
1
0
Tyler TX
One of the reasons why I brought my bike to TX with me was the leniency here. I've heard of people who are riding motopeds and whizzers here without being bothered
 

rocksalt27

Member
Oct 24, 2013
98
1
6
Portland, ME
Well this is what they said:

Thank you for contacting us. If your motor-assisted bicycle is considered a certified moped by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), you would be required to apply for title and registration. You can check the list of certified mopeds on the DPS website at http://www.dps.texas.gov/msb/documents/CurrentMopedList.pdf.

If your bicycle is not on this list, you will need to contact the City of Austin or Austin Police Department to verify if there are any local ordinances prohibiting its use on Austin roadways.

My message to them was:

I have a gasoline powered motorized bicycle. Are they legal on Austin roads? Do I need to get it registered? Can I register the bicycle?


They really didn't give me much there. Should I re-word the Email I sent them?
 

biknut

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2010
6,511
206
63
Dallas
If your bicycle is not on this list, you will need to contact the City of Austin or Austin Police Department to verify if there are any local ordinances prohibiting its use on Austin roadways.

My message to them was:

I have a gasoline powered motorized bicycle. Are they legal on Austin roads? Do I need to get it registered? Can I register the bicycle?


They really didn't give me much there. Should I re-word the Email I sent them?
Before starting this thread I ask the same question to the Farmers Branch police department.

They told me a motor bicycle was illegal to ride anywhere on the street or sidewalk. So I ask what law would I be breaking? I'm still waiting for an answer after all these years.

Since they didn't have answer I decided to just go ahead and start riding, and see what they do about it. What I found out is, if I was on fire in the middle of the road they wouldn't even look my way. And not just them. There's 7 locality's around Farmers Branch, and all of them are exactly the same. Addison, Carrollton, Dallas, Coppell, Richardson, Garland, Plano. I've ridden in all of them and it's the same story. I've ridden past police cars a hundred times. It's like they don't want to make any kind of eye contact at all.

Like I said, we ride in a gray area of the law, and they know it. If you get a ticket, and pay it, they'll take your money. If you challenge it, expect it to get dismissed without reason before it gets to court.

My advise is don't poke the bear with a pointy stick. They're not going to bother you. Just remember to always pedal away from stops, and don't motor down a city bike trail if anyone is watching.
 

Barnfresh

Member
Sep 5, 2011
201
5
18
Nor-Cal
Nice video Biknut, looked like a fun little ride. Our new (2016) electric bike law out here in California now allows us to ride certain classes of E-Bikes on public trails and paths (on/off road) including those with "No Motorized Bicycles" signs at the trailhead. Hopefully ebiker don't abuse it, I dread the day I roll up to my favorite trail only to see a new sign that reads "No Electric Bicycles". ~BF
 
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Air Biker

New Member
Jun 15, 2016
1
0
0
Houston, TX
I just wanted to introduce my self. My name is Tom and I have been working on a compressed air power bike to ride here in Richmond Texas. I have made good progress. its top speed is 14 mph. the range is the issue, but am working on improving that and increasing top speed.

usflg
 

Attachments

Sep 18, 2011
296
0
16
Tyler Texas
I just wanted to introduce my self. My name is Tom and I have been working on a compressed air power bike to ride here in Richmond Texas. I have made good progress. its top speed is 14 mph. the range is the issue, but am working on improving that and increasing top speed.

usflg
Welcome to the forum. Post some more info when you get a chance.
 

biknut

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2010
6,511
206
63
Dallas
I just wanted to introduce my self. My name is Tom and I have been working on a compressed air power bike to ride here in Richmond Texas. I have made good progress. its top speed is 14 mph. the range is the issue, but am working on improving that and increasing top speed.

usflg

That really thinking outside the box. Good luck with your research.
 

Solmangrundy

New Member
Apr 15, 2014
21
1
0
Northeast Texas
my advice is act and treat your motor bike like its a motorcycle, cops in my area have pulled over bicyclists for breaking traffic laws (rolling through stop lights/signs mostly), but I've never been stopped for riding my motor bicycle around town let alone been told it was "illegal" the only place i know I'm not allowed to use the engine is the city park as it has a "no gas engine/electric motor use" city ordinance sign posted which pretty much applies to anything that is self propelled other than a wheelchair.