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Motorcycle Laws You Didn’t Know Existed


It’s common for drivers to occasionally come across driving laws they’ve never heard of, but did you know that there are a number of bizarre laws for motorcyclists, too? We’ve compiled a list of the most eyebrow-raising legislation out there so you will be in the know when you get on the road.

Motorcyclists have the ability to run red lights – legally. 

In Illinois, among 11 other states, motorcyclists are permitted to treat stop lights as if they were stop signs, yielding to other traffic before proceeding through the red light.

A motorcycle’s headlight must always be turned on.

If you’re in Connecticut, your headlight must always be illuminated- even if it’s the middle of the day. The reason for this law may be to help riders remember to be safe not only at night but all the time.

Don’t hangry honk.

Think twice before honking your horn past 9 PM in Arkansas. It’s illegal to honk your horn near sandwich shops after that time period no matter how hungry you are. 

Thou shall wear pants.

In Minnesota, students must wear pants while riding specifically during a motorcycle learning or endorsement programs – not all the time.

The state of Minnesota wants to keep students safe when it comes to their choice of garb since shorts don’t provide the proper amount of protection while riding. This law is specifically aimed at students’ outfits while riding during a motorcycle learning or endorsement program – not all the time.

Pop wheelies on the regular? You may want to think twice.

While laws about wheelies are generally pretty common, there are a number of variations that can be found across different municipalities including in Maine. 

Don’t run out of gas…or else.

In Youngstown, Ohio, it’s illegal to run out of gas. We’re curious, does anyone actually do this on purpose anyways? Always check your fuel levels before you head out, but triple check if you’re riding in Ohio.

Ride within your limits.

In the state of West Virginia, no resident “shall operate a motorcycle outside of their ability”. We thought this one was a no-brainer…but maybe some riders need an extra reminder?

Wherever you ride, it’s a good idea to brush up on the latest laws, however strange they might be. 

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Check out CycleTrader.com to easily browse thousands of bikes.

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Emily Sullivan
Emily Sullivan
Emily Sullivan is a Content Curator for Trader Interactive, serving the recreational brands RV Trader and Cycle Trader. Her mission is to provide thoughtful, practical content to those who are always on the hunt for their next adventure.

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10 Responses

  1. Wearing pants is always a good idea, boots, also good. Most injuries happen from the feet up. With only the head injuries getting the most news.

  2. Wearing pants is always a good idea, boots, also good. Most injuries happen from the feet up. With only the head injuries getting the most news.

  3. I would have to disobey the "cover your face" rule in the winter. I will cover my face in two ways… one with a mask for dust which works great in the winter and a face shield on my helmet along with my windshield. They can do as they will but my safety comes first and ice formed from water from my eyes and nose hanging obstructing my vision and making me shiver all over is not my idea of safety!
    The rest seems right to me. I do forget my gloves on occasion.

  4. Going through a red light is also allowed in some states that use on-demandon-command traffic light systems, like NH. Sometimes the sensor might not detect the presence of a motorcycle and you may go through the red light after waiting a certain amount of time and if traffic allows.

  5. Seems like some (not so common) common sense stuff for the most part. I think the mask law should be reviewed as We need more protection and not less from increasingly careless cage drivers, the elements, insects, critters and sometimes seemingly insane combinations. Riding a big thumper dirt bike in the boonies is a great luxury to get all the cutting up done and then focus more on safety for on road/public. Yep, gotta wear pants and no mask messed up the halloween plans.

  6. My god some of your American traffic laws suck!
    Here in Australia (Google it in case you think I mean Austria) very few of those "laws" apply…
    Ride free! (Unless you live in the good 'ol USA….

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