Unfortunately for most cyclists, there are legal limitations on what can be driven on public roads.
Electric dirt bikes may or may not be legal, depending on whether they meet specific requirements. It’s a shame because electric dirt bikes in California are eco-friendly, lightweight, and fast.
To be street-legal, electric dirt bikes must meet specific criteria. This is no different than gas-powered bikes.
Electric dirt bikes in California need powerful brakes on the front and rear wheels. These brakes must provide stopping power to bring the e-bike to a halt at top speeds.
Moreover, the front and rear forks should be 82cm. Other requirements for being street-legal include a headlight, horn, and red stop lamp.
Street-legal electric dirt bikes must have at least one rearview mirror. This rear-view mirror should be outfitted on the left side of the e-bike.
The e-bike should have a speedometer, a noise muffler, and tires with at least 8mm treading. You should also check your local area’s motorcycle handbook to study other requirements.
Specific regulations exist for electric dirt bikes, ATVs, and other off-road vehicles. In some cases, no off-road vehicles are allowed to operate within the boundaries of a city.
The good news is that most electric dirt bikes are street-legal. This is because they are outfitted with proper equipment for the road and make little noise.
Some of the most popular street legal models include KTM Freeride E-XC and ZERO FX. They work well on off-road terrains but also meet street legal regulations.
Do note that the legality of these e-bikes depends on where you live. You must check in with the authorities before taking your e-bike on the streets.
Indeed, it is not uncommon for authorities to confiscate e-bikes for not meeting road regulations.
All vehicles, including e-bikes, must meet certain conditions to be considered street-legal. Let’s take a look at some of them here.
This is essential safety equipment that every street-legal e-bike must have. The horn should be audible for at least 200 feet.
The horn can make any note or sound if it meets the minimum volume requirements.
The bare minimum for street-legal electric dirt bikes is to have one mirror. By contrast, most cars have a minimum requirement of two mirrors.
One mirror should be on the driver’s side and an interior rearview mirror.
This requirement is a no-brainer. Your electric dirt bike should be able to stop at any speed reliably.
The brakes must be fully functional so you can stop them at a moment’s notice.
Most electric dirt bikes will meet tire requirements out of the gate. But street legal tires must be installed in a specific manner. The goal is to minimize the danger of discharging debris toward following vehicles.
Electric dirt bikes must have proper lighting, including headlights, taillights, stoplights, and turn signals. All lights should be of the approved colors allowed by the Department of Transportation.
This is an important one. Your electric dirt bike must carry a license plate, and that location must be lit.
Some states require a license plate on the front and rear. But some states require a plate on the rear only.
If your electric dirt bike is street-legal, it must be registered and taxed. You can only ride the electric dirt bike on the road if you have a license.
Riders are also required to wear a helmet at all times. Failing to wear a helmet might get you a fine. So be careful!
The biggest advantage is that they play a positive role in the environment. Electric dirt bikes don’t require gas. This means there is no smog and pollution.
They are capable of the same things that make electric cars popular. These include excellent acceleration and incredible torque.
A major advantage of using electric dirt bikes is that you can save on fuel costs. Given the rising fuel prices, switching to an e-bike can save you.
Charging your electric dirt bike isn‘t exactly free. But charging e-bikes is cheaper than refueling with gas.
You will have to register your electric dirt bike in some locations to make it street-legal. This isn’t a long and drawn-out process.
You will need a valid proof of ownership. The process should be complete in about 3 weeks. You will have both registration papers and a valid plate.
Various services handle registration on your behalf. We recommend looking them up to help you out with the registration process.
You could do this yourself, but you will probably have to learn a lot.
This section takes a look at the best electric dirt bikers that are street-legal. We recommend checking local and state laws where you live to confirm this.
Sadly, most prominent electric dirt bikes are only designed for offroading. These include the Alta Redshift, Stark Varg, and KTM Freeride. But there are exceptions.
The Zero FX tries to do it all: dominate the streets and the off-road terrains. It can tear through mountain roads and dirt tracks with ease.
The base price for the Zero FX is a bit steep at $12,000. The battery pack has a capacity of 7.2 kWh. It has a range of 91 miles in the city.
The range decreases at higher speeds. The top speed for the Zero FX is an impressive 85 mph. This electric dirt bike can sustain top speeds of 70 mph.
It comes with a brushless motor that has an output of 34kW. The peak torque for the Zero FX is 106 Nm. This allows it to climb up steep hills comfortably.
Charge times for this electric dirt bike is about 10 hours to reach 100%. The front and rear suspensions feature durable forks that absorb shocks and bumps.
Both front and rear wheels feature Bosch Gen 9 ABS brakes. They are 240 by 4.5 mm disc brakes.
The tires are provided by Pirelli Scorpion MT 90 A/T. These tires are designed for both off-road and street driving.
The total carrying capacity of the Zero FC is about 340 pounds. It has a curb weight of 290 lbs.
You don’t want this electric dirt bike to run out of charge during the commute. Otherwise, you will have to carry it with you to the destination.
The manufacturer provides a warranty of 5 years for the power pack. The standard warranty for this electric dirt bike in California is two years.
The Zero FX is built for durability and is ideal for beginners. The motor provides power that is both smooth and predictable.
34kW is more than enough for beginners. It is also enough to make the riding experience enjoyable for riders.
The Sur Ron Light Bee X boasts excellent battery capacity, suspension, and braking. It is as big as a typical off-road e-bike.
The Sur Ron Light Bee X comes with both front and rear suspension. It comes with a kit to be used as a street-legal vehicle.
More importantly, the Sur Ron Light Bee X is lighter than most gas dirt bikes. It has a curb weight of only 110 lbs.
However, it is almost twice as heavy as most mountain e-bikes. The top speed for this e-bike is slightly underwhelming at only 48 mph.
There are two modes of speed that you can use to save power. You can always upgrade the Sur Ron Light Bee X if you want more speed.
A few upgrades and modifications can push the top speed past 90 mph.
ECO Mode can be used to limit power output to increase range. This will drop the speed to a maximum of 15 mph. This should be enough to help you with the daily commute.
Eco Mode is also useful if you want to ride the e-bike legally in some areas. But you can unlock more power from the motor using Sport Mode.
This allows you to draw more power from the battery. This will increase its torque and increase the top speed to 48 mph.
Sport Mode will reduce your range. We do not recommend using Sport Mode if you are commuting to work.
It is outfitted with Panasonic Lithium-ion batteries capable of 60V and 32Amp. You can fully charge the e-bike in just 3 hours.
The battery has an output of 500 charge cycles before running out of capacity. But you should consider looking for a replacement after 200 cycles – just to be safe.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of the Sur Ron Light Bee X is that it is lightweight. It weighs in at just 110 pounds, including the battery.
This is about half the weight of a gas-powered dirt bike. As a result, this e-bike is ideal for both beginners and adults alike.
Most riders will be impressed by the acceleration and speed of this e-bike. It also handles well in the dirt and sand.
It comes with both front and rear suspension for optimal shock absorption. The 19-inch wheels work well on off-road terrains and the tarmac.
Standard hydraulic brakes are used on the front and rear. This provides you with plenty of stopping power to bring it to a grinding halt.
You can opt for brake upgrades for superior braking power and heat dissipation. The Sur Ron Light Bee X is an excellent choice if you need a street-legal e-bike.
The Storm Bee is optimized for performance on the streets and off-road terrains. It features a showy design with flashy colors that will turn heads.
The Sur Ron Storm Bee is ideal for both professionals and beginners alike. It has an aggressive geometry that allows it to reach very high speeds.
The LCD screen shows basic information such as the odometer, time, speedometer, and battery level. It also shows motor temperature and ride modes.
Powering this electric dirt bike is a 96V 48Ah lithium battery back. This e-bike is capable of regenerative braking as well.
You can cover at least 93 miles on a single charge at 31 mph. You can also expect an additional 10 miles due to regenerative braking.
An integrated charger lets you park beside a socket to start charging effortlessly. You can opt for a better upgrade if you want more range.
The frame is made with forged aluminum alloy that provides extreme duality that is flexible. It can handle all kinds of punishment you throw at it. The frame is also easy to repair if it gets broken.
Powering this e-bike is a 96V 21.5kW brushless DC air-cooled motor. The motor provides 382 ft-lbs of torque.
This translates into excellent acceleration. But the top speed only goes up to 68 mph. The e-bike only runs on signal gear.
This means you have to be very careful when driving this e-bike. All it takes is one wrong move to fall off the e-bike.
It comes outfitted with hydraulic disc brakes on a 270mm front rotor and 240mm rear rotor. The brakes feature an anti-lock braking system. This makes braking safer in off-road terrains.
ABS prevents the wheels from locking and sliding. You can also replace the brakes with Shimano H03C for superior performance.
The 11.4” front forks easily absorb shock and vibrations. The rear air shock is adjustable to keep the ride comfortable on all terrains.
This is a good choice for beginners and experts alike. The only thing we don’t appreciate is the retail price of $14,000+.
Electric dirt bikes are superior to gas dirt bikes for several reasons. First, they are safer for the environment. Secondly, the long-term cost of owning electric dirt bikes is cheaper.
And thirdly, you can ride them on the street if certain conditions are met. The three electric dirt bikes we mentioned in this list may be street-legal where you live.
Are you planning on buying an electric dirt bike in California? If so, which e-bike do you plan on buying and why? Please share your experiences with us!
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My name is Matthew, staying in Seattle, Washington. Electric Vehicles (Electric Cars & Electric bikes) caught my attention for the last few years and my love for electric cars and bikes is everlasting. I spend many of my weekends traveling to various places all over various cities with my electric vehicle (e-bike and electric car). Here I am sharing my expertise, experience, and invaluable information about electric cars and electric bikes. Check out more.