Wisconsin Motor Bicycle Law Part 1&2

DasKapitan

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I searched the Wisconsin Statute Database in regards to "Motor Bicycle" and put together the following; The text is too long for one post so it is in two parts

Text from Revisor of Statutes Bureau Database of
2005-06 WISCONSIN STATUTES & ANNOTATIONS
Updated through 2007 Wis. Act 242 and June 30, 2008.

CHAPTER 194
MOTOR VEHICLE TRANSPORTATION
194.01 Definitions.
194.01(7)
(7) "Motor vehicle" means any automobile, truck, trailer, semitrailer, tractor, motor bus or any self-propelled or motor driven vehicle, except a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle , electric personal assistive mobility device, or vehicle operated on rails.

CHAPTER 340
VEHICLES — GENERAL PROVISIONS

340.01 Words and phrases defined.
340.01(4)(a)
(a) Type 1 is a motor vehicle designed and used primarily for carrying persons but which does not come within the definition of a motor bus, motorcycle, moped or motor bicycle .

340.01(29m)
(29m) "Moped" means any of the following motor vehicles capable of speeds of not more than 30 miles per hour with a 150-pound rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind, excluding a tractor, a power source as an integral part of the vehicle and a seat for the operator:

340.01(29m)(a)
(a) A bicycle-type vehicle with fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and an engine certified by the manufacturer at not more than 130 cubic centimeters or an equivalent power unit.

340.01(29m)(b)
(b) A Type 1 motorcycle with an automatic transmission and an engine certified by the manufacturer at not more than 50 cubic centimeters or an equivalent power unit.

340.01(30)
(30) "Motor bicycle" means a bicycle to which a power unit not an integral part of the vehicle has been added to permit the vehicle to travel at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour with a 150-pound rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind and having a seat for the operator.

CHAPTER 341
REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES

341.05 When vehicles exempt from registration. A vehicle, even though operated upon a highway of this state, is exempt from registration if any of the following applies:
341.05(23)
(23) The vehicle is a motor bicycle or bicycle, except as provided in s. 349.18.

CHAPTER 343
OPERATORS' LICENSES

343.05 Operators to be licensed; exceptions.
343.05(3)(c)
(c) No person may operate a moped or motor bicycle unless the person possesses a valid operator's license or a special restricted operator's license issued under s. 343.135 or a restricted license issued under s. 343.08. A license under this paragraph does not authorize operation of a moped or motor bicycle if the license is revoked, suspended, canceled or expired.

343.16 Examination of applicants; reexamination of licensed persons.
343.16(2)(d)
(d) Motor bicycle or moped waiver. The department may promulgate rules authorizing a license examiner to waive the operating skill examination of a person applying for a license to operate a motor bicycle or moped if the applicant has the physical ability to operate the vehicle safely. The rules shall ensure that the applicant demonstrates knowledge of the traffic laws necessary for the safe operation of the vehicle.

343.075 Instructional permits for applicants for special restricted operators’ licenses.
343.135 Special restricted operator’s license.

CHAPTER 346
RULES OF THE ROAD

346.16 Use of controlled-access highways, expressways and freeways.
346.16(2)(a)
(a) Except as provided in par. (b), no pedestrian or person riding a bicycle or other nonmotorized vehicle and no person operating a moped or motor bicycle may go upon any expressway or freeway when official signs have been erected prohibiting such person from using the expressway or freeway.

346.37 Traffic-control signal legend.
346.37(1)(c)4.
4. Notwithstanding subd. 1., a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle , or bicycle facing a red signal at an intersection may, after stopping as required under subd. 1. for not less than 45 seconds, proceed cautiously through the intersection before the signal turns green if no other vehicles are present at the intersection to actuate the signal and the operator of the motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle , or bicycle reasonably believes the signal is vehicle actuated. The operator of a motorcycle, moped, motor bicycle , or bicycle proceeding through a red signal under this subdivision shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicular traffic, pedestrian, bicyclist, or rider of an electric personal assistive mobility device proceeding through a green signal at the intersection or lawfully within a crosswalk or using the intersection. This subdivision does not affect any authorization for a bicyclist under subd. 2.

346.79 Special rules applicable to bicycles. Whenever a bicycle is operated upon a highway, bicycle lane or bicycle way the following rules apply:
346.79(5)
(5) No person may ride a moped or motor bicycle with the power unit in operation upon a bicycle way.

346.94 Miscellaneous prohibited acts.
346.94(10)
(10) Clinging to moving vehicle. No person riding upon a motor bicycle , moped or motorcycle may attach the same or himself or herself to any other moving vehicle upon a highway except when the motor bicycle , moped or motorcycle is incapacitated and being towed. A tow device attached to a towed motor bicycle , moped or motorcycle shall be attached so that an operator of the towed vehicle may release the tow device at any time.
 

DasKapitan

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Misconsin Motor Bicycle Law Part 2

CHAPTER 347
EQUIPMENT OF VEHICLES

347.09 Headlamps on motor vehicles.
347.09(1)
(1) No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a highway during hours of darkness unless such vehicle is equipped as follows:
347.09(1)(c)
(c) Every motor bicycle or vehicle registered under s. 341.067 and operated by a person licensed under s. 343.075 or 343.135 shall be equipped with at least one and not more than 2 headlamps, which headlamps shall comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in sub. (2) and s. 347.11.
347.09(2)
(2) Every headlamp on a motor vehicle shall be located at a height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 24 inches.

347.11 Headlamp specifications for mopeds and motor bicycles.
The headlamps on mopeds or motor bicycles may be of the single–beam or multiple–beam type but in either event shall comply with the following requirements and limitations:
347.11(1)
(1) The headlamp shall be an electric headlamp and the current shall be supplied by a wet battery and electric generator, by a current–generating coil incorporated into the magneto or by a generator driven directly by the motor by means of gears, friction wheel, chain or belt.
347.11(2)
(2) The headlamp shall display a white light of sufficient illuminating power to reveal any person, vehicle or substantial object at a distance of 200 feet ahead and shall be so adjusted or operated that the glaring light rays therefrom are not directed into the eyes of the driver of any oncoming vehicle. No headlamp shall have any type of decorative covering that restricts the amount of light emitted when the headlamp is in use. This subsection does not apply to any type of decorative covering originally equipped on the vehicle at the time of manufacture and sale.
347.11(3)
(3) If the moped or motor bicycle is equipped with a multiple–beam headlamp, the upper beam shall meet the minimum requirements set forth in sub. (2) and the lowermost beam shall meet the requirements applicable to a lowermost distribution of light as set forth in s. 347.10 (2) (b).
347.11(4)
(4) If the moped or motor bicycle is equipped with a single–beam lamp, such lamp shall be so aimed that when the vehicle is loaded none of the high–intensity portion of light, at a distance of 25 feet ahead, projects higher than the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.
History: 1983 a. 243; 1995 a. 346.

347.115 Modulating headlamps for motorcycles, motor bicycles or mopeds.
A motorcycle, motor bicycle or moped may be equipped with and use a means of modulating the upper beam of the headlamp between a high and a lower brightness at a rate of 200 to 280 changes per minute. A headlamp may not be modulated during hours of darkness.
History: 1981 c. 52; 1983 a. 243.

347.145 Deceleration warning lights for motorcycles, motor bicycles, mopeds or motor buses.
347.145(1)
(1) A motorcycle, motor bicycle or moped may be equipped with and use a system in which an amber light which pulses in a controlled fashion at a rate which varies exponentially with deceleration is center mounted on the rear of the vehicle.

347.39 Mufflers.
347.39(1)
(1) No person shall operate on a highway any motor vehicle subject to registration unless such motor vehicle is equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise or annoying smoke. This subsection also applies to motor bicycles.
347.39(2)
(2) No muffler or exhaust system on any vehicle mentioned in sub. (1) shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass or similar device nor shall there be installed in the exhaust system of any such vehicle any device to ignite exhaust gases so as to produce flame within or without the exhaust system. No person shall modify the exhaust system of any such motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle, and such original muffler shall comply with all the requirements of this section.
347.39(3)
(3) In this section, “muffler” means a device consisting of a series of chambers of baffle plates or other mechanical design for receiving exhaust gases from an internal combustion engine and which is effective in reducing noise.
History: 1983 a. 243.
Cross Reference: See also ss. Trans 305.20 and 305.39, Wis. adm. code

347.489 Lamps and other equipment on bicycles, motor bicycles, and electric personal assistive mobility devices
347.489(1)
(1) No person may operate a bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device upon a highway, sidewalk, bicycle lane, or bicycle way during hours of darkness unless the bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device is equipped with or, with respect to a bicycle or motor bicycle, the operator is wearing, a lamp emitting a white light visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of the bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device. A bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device shall also be equipped with a red reflector that has a diameter of at least 2 inches of surface area or, with respect to an electric personal assistive mobility device, that is a strip of reflective tape that has at least 2 square inches of surface area, on the rear so mounted and maintained as to be visible from all distances from 50 to 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle. A lamp emitting a red or flashing amber light visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear may be used in addition to but not in lieu of the red reflector.
347.489(2)
(2) No person may operate a bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device upon a highway, bicycle lane, or bicycle way unless it is equipped with a brake in good working condition, adequate to control the movement of and to stop the bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device whenever necessary.
347.489(3)
(3) No bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device may be equipped with nor may any person riding upon a bicycle, motor bicycle, or electric personal assistive mobility device use any siren or compression whistle.
History: 1973 c. 182, 333; 1977 c. 208; 1983 a. 243 s. 39; Stats. 1983 s. 347.489;
1995 a. 138; 2001 a. 90.

CHAPTER 349
VEHICLES — POWERS OF STATE AND LOCAL AUTHORITIES
349.18 Additional traffic–control authority of counties and municipalities.
349.18(1)
(1) Any city, village or town, by ordinance, may:
349.18(1)(a)
(a) Designate the number of persons that may ride on a motor bicycle at any one time and the highways upon which a motor bicycle or moped may or may not be operated.
349.18(2)
(2) Any city, town or village may by ordinance enacted pursuant to s. 349.06 regulate the operation of bicycles and motor bicycles and may by ordinance require registration of any bicycle or motor bicycle owned by a resident of the city, town or village, including the payment of a registration fee.
349.18(3)
(3) Any county, by ordinance, may require the registration of any bicycle or motor bicycle owned by a resident of the county if the bicycle or motor bicycle is not subject to registration under sub. (2). Such ordinance does not apply to any bicycle or motor bicycle subject to registration under sub. (2), even if the effective date of the ordinance under sub. (2) is later than the effective date of the county ordinance. A county may charge a fee for the registration.
History: 1977 c. 116, 288; 1983 a. 243, 288, 343, 538; 1985 a. 135, 197, 298, 332;
1989 a. 167; 1993 a. 246; 1995 a. 138; 1997 a. 27.
349.18 - ANNOT.
Cities and villages cannot license bicyclists, create bicycle courts, or impound bicycles in the absence of express legislative authorization. 66 Atty. Gen. 99.
 

lestat101

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Jul 15, 2008
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Thanks for the post I was wondering if I would have a problem with my future project!!!
 

DasKapitan

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Yes from what I've read Wisconsin has their act together regarding motorized bicycles.
Some folks are having real problems. All states should use wisconsin as their template, re; this particular matter. I'm going to bring mine on my ship to various great lake states. It'll be interesting if they try to bust me when I'm not a resident.
 

Dave31

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Mar 1, 2008
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I found this article:

TH - Across the Tri-States Article

Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin
King: Motorized bikes not legal

Prairie du Chien Police Chief Michael King is warning city residents about the use of small, purpose-built gas motors to power a standard bicycle.

King warns bicyclists that this option in not legal under Wisconsin motor vehicle laws, and any operation of such a vehicle on public streets or sidewalks within the roadway right-of-way can subject the rider to serious fines. Any motorized vehicle operated on public streets must be registered and equipped with working traffic safety devices such as lights, turn signals and a horn.

King said Prairie du Chien residents can learn more on the legality of motorized bicycles, scooters and mopeds at Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
 

DasKapitan

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Fairracing - Thanks for the heads up!. I just hate it when the misinformed are in positions of power. I'm composing an email to Prairie du Chien City Hall & the Telegraph Herald to inform them of their misstatements. I'll post any replies.
 
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DasKapitan

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This is the text of the email I sent to the Prairie du Chien Police Chief, City Administrator, Police Admin Assistant & the Telegraph Herald City Editor;

Subject: Motor Bicycle Law in Wisconsin
From: [email protected]*********.net
Date: Wed, October 1, 2008 11:55
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected] (more)

Chief King,

My name is Robert Christensen. I'm the Captain of the USEPA's Research Vessel Lake Guardian. I'm also a resident of Wisconsin in the Town of Birchwood and an advocate of the Motor Bicycle. In a forum of which I'm a member Bicycle Motor Forum - Motorized Bicycle Engine Kits, Manuals, And Help this article TH - Across the Tri-States Article has been brought to my attention. The Wisconsin DOT website is not an accurate or viable source on the subject of Motor Bicycles however the Wisconsin Statutes are. I've conducted my own study of the law in this regard and the statements you made as indicated in the above referenced article are false. Below are all Wisconsin Statutes relevant to the Motor Bicycle that I've confirmed. Please publicly retract your position on this matter.

Thank You,
Bob Christensen

(Text of Subject post followed)
 

DasKapitan

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Engera - Not a peep from anyone. Kinda CS I feel. That's not a town that I'd even be operating in, but when the Chief of Police makes a blatant misstatement, he should make a corrective statement. It would be fun to have an MB rally in Prairie Du Chien, WI.rotfl
 

thatsdax

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It would seem to me that since a bicycle with a less than 50cc motor is still a bicycle, then you would be interested in what the laws are for bicycles and not a motor bicycle. A pedal bicycle with a less than 50cc motor is still a pedal bicycle under federal law. At least from what I have read. In some states it is considered a motor assisted bicycle at the most. A motor Assisted bicycle is less than a moped and is not a motor bicycle. A motor Assisted bicycle is not a Motorized Vehicle, not a scooter, not a motor cycle. When you buy a moped, a moped comes with a headlight, tail light, horn, even blinkers on some. When you buy a pedal bicycle, it comes with DOT reflectors at the most and that is it , Then you put a small gas or electric motor on it to assist you with pedaling. But..It is still a bicycle. After reading all the regs posted above, I was keying in on "motor Assisted Bicycle" and I never did see it which tells me they are not regulated in your area in which I would assume federal Regulations apply which states it is still a pedal bicycle. That would be my postulate. Thanks.. Enjoy the ride..
 

DasKapitan

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Dax - In Wisconsin the Motor Bicycle is specifically defined ;

340.01(30)
(30) "Motor bicycle" means a bicycle to which a power unit not an integral part of the vehicle has been added to permit the vehicle to travel at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour with a 150-pound rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind and having a seat for the operator.

Its legality is a non-issue in this state. Its well defined and has specific laws written to address it.

The Prairie Du Chien Police Chief just has a different opinion and his is wrong.
 

DEATH4OF4

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Good Call... I Have To Print Those Laws Out, In Case I Have A Problem. The Cops Here Usually Laugh When I Drive By.they Probably Want One Too.
This Threads Old
Wish I Had The Net Back Then.no One Had Them Here And I Didn't Know The Laws About Them, I Just Drove Them Anyway... Somewhat Obeying The Law,but It Only Takes One Already Upset Police Officer To Rune Your Day,cause He's In A Bad Mood, I've Found That Out Before But So Far Not On My Bike.
 

DasKapitan

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Death4of4 - The WI law doesn't specify displacement regarding a motor bicycle just the speed;

340.01(30)
(30) "Motor bicycle" means a bicycle to which a power unit not an integral part of the vehicle has been added to permit the vehicle to travel at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour with a 150-pound rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind and having a seat for the operator.

If you look in the WI Statutes regarding Mopeds then you'll find the 49cc limit relevant.

Das Kapitan
 

DasKapitan

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If you Google "Wisconsin Statutes" the first hit is Wisconsin Statutes Home Page - Legislative Reference Bureau then click on the searchable NXT infobase and have fun. I spent a couple of days having fun putting it all together. The Wisconsin DOT site Bicycle transportation in Wisconsin - Wisconsin Department of Transportation makes no reference to a motor bicycle. That is the first place your local law enforcement folks, like the Prairie Du Chien Police Chief, will look. Based on the lack of mention on the DOT site they will then make the ignorant false assumption that motorized bicycles must be illegal.

I never heard squat from that pompous A$$.

DasKapitan
 

DEATH4OF4

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I Just Read Something Today In Wisconsin Dot That Says You Can Have Up To 130 Cc On A Bike With Functional Peddles. I'm Thinking That's A Bit Of Overkill On A Bicycle. You Would Have To Get A Pretty Heavy Duty Bicycle To Take The Power.
On The Subject Of That Police Chief... They Never Want To Admit They Are Wrong...that's Just How They Are I Think Its In Their Training,how To Be Bullheaded A-holes. Guilty Until Proven Innocent In A Court Of Law.
 

GhostRider

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May 10, 2009
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Hi I'm new here and in WI and thinking of getting an 80cc bicycle kit so would that be illegal to drive only 49cc's are legal and I'm 210 lbs(weird law) so does that make it also illegal?