Are Electric Dirt Bikes Legal in NYC?

In New York, due to the absence of essential safety features like brake lights, turn signals, and mirrors, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and dirt bikes are not permitted to be registered as legal motor vehicles for usage on public roads.

Still, some laws allow people to ride bicycles with electric assistance (also known as e-bikes) on certain roads and highways.

For an enforcement campaign against the “nuisance” of off-road vehicles being driven in swarms on city streets and “terrorizing” the metropolis, the mayor of New York City chose to use 100 illegal dirt motorcycles and ATVs as “showcases.”

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Are Electric Dirt Bikes Legal in NYC?

It is not against the law to buy a dirt bike; nevertheless, according to the rules of New York State, it is unlawful to license a dirt bike or to ride it in any major area.

It is almost impossible to ride a dirt bike on public property, highways, or city streets because of the lack of suitable terrain.

It’s possible to ride an electric dirt bike for long periods, and it’s a great way to work up to riding ATVs and more advanced bikes.

The type of e-bike or vehicle you have will determine where you are permitted to ride and how you are permitted to ride in the city of New York.

While electric dirt motorcycles are generally legal to ride on the street, they typically require adjustments to meet local regulations. Riding a dirt bike on a public road, a sidewalk in a city, or within a residential neighborhood is against the law.

They are designed for “off-road use exclusively,” and in their stock form, dirt bikes are not allowed to be ridden on public streets. They do not possess the necessary gear and attachments to operate their motorcycles on public roads legally.

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However, before getting on an e-bike, users should research local, county, and state regulations. While pedal-assist electric motorcycles with a speed cap of 20 mph are not prohibited by federal law, this is not necessarily the case in every jurisdiction.

Read Are Electric Dirt Bikes Automatic?

Are Electric Dirt Bikes Legal in the Other US States?

Each state and the federal government have enacted regulations limiting the maximum speed and power of dual-use electric dirt bikes. It is, however, against the law to ride ATVs or dirt bikes on the streets or sidewalks of New York City.

Motorcycles intended specifically for use on off-road courses or contests, such as dirt bikes or other types of off-road motorcycles, are not allowed on the roads of NYC. As all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), they have to be registered.

People caught riding their bicycles on city streets or sidewalks may be subject to monetary fines, arrest, and having their vehicles seized.

Residents of New York City who believe the increased fines and penalties for people who illegally ride ATVs and dirt bikes on the street have been interviewed.

Some residents think that the increased fines and penalties have not done much to stop the dangerous activity.

According to the accounts of some locals living on the Upper East Side, it takes place daily, weekly, and even nightly.

Why People of New York Don’t Prefer Electric Dirt Bikes

Many New Yorkers feel that not enough is being done to protect and improve their quality of life in the city and guarantee their personal safety. In general, locals there are unhappy with their situation.

It is general knowledge that high-speed maneuvers are not a good idea in New York City for various reasons, yet we still need the NYPD to have a presence in the city and enforce the rules.

Over 3,050 unlawful automobiles and motorcycles were removed from New York City streets between April and October of last year, according to police statistics.

Motorized vehicles of various types, such as e-bikes, ATVs, scooters, motorcycles, and Vespa, were among those involved. This problem keeps coming up, so authorities have had to step up their game recently.

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Furthermore, several types of safety equipment are required by law or highly suggested for operating such vehicles.

Read Why are Electric Dirt Bikes So Expensive

Can Electric Dirt Bikes be Registered as Vehicles?

In New York, off-road motorcycles, also known as dirt bikes, go-carts, golf carts, and minibikes, are not allowed to be registered as vehicles and are prohibited from operating on sidewalks, streets, or highways.

The city has chosen to categorize e-bikes and mopeds into three distinct groups. Class 1 and Class 2 electric motorcycles can travel no faster than 20 mph and are restricted to roads with a speed limit of 30 mph.

Only in New York City are the Class 3 variety electric bicycles permitted. Class 1 and 2 cover throttle e-bikes with a maximum speed of 20 mph, while Class 3 covers throttle e-bikes with a maximum speed of 25 mph. They can also use bike lanes and roads with speed limits of up to 30 mph.

New York Has a Certain Set of Rules That Must Be Followed

Pedal-assist electric bikes fall into several distinct categories, all of which use a powerful electric motor.

Since it lacks the same safety features as a motorcycle, limited-use motorcycle, moped, or all-terrain vehicle, a bicycle with electric assistance cannot be registered as such.

New York State highways with a maximum speed limit of 30 MPH or less are open to using electric scooters and bicycles with electric assistance.

Still, towns have the authority to impose further regulations on the time, place, and manner in which these vehicles may be operated.

Using such devices on a sidewalk is prohibited unless expressly permitted by a municipality’s regulations.

Read How Fast Does a 1500W Electric Dirt Bike Go?

Which Electric Dirt Bikes are Legal in New York City?

To qualify as an electric bike in New York, the bike’s frame must be no more than 36 inches wide, it is electric motor must be less than 750 watts, and the bike must have working pedals. You can put an electric bike in one of these categories:

Class 1 e-bikes include a motor that helps to pedal but cuts out once the bike exceeds 20 miles per hour.

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Bicycles with an electric motor and a class 2 rating: Bicycles powered solely by electricity, with the motor cutting out after the rider reaches 20 miles per hour.

Class 3 e-bikes, which the industry defines as “a bicycle fitted with a motor that gives aid only when the user is pedaling, and that pauses to provide aid when the bicycle exceeds 28 mph,” are neither defined nor allowed to operate in New York. The legal limit in New York is 25 miles per hour.

To add insult to injury, this particular electric bicycle model is illegal everywhere except in New York City.

Each municipality has the authority to enact laws and ordinances governing the use of electric-assist bicycles, including but not limited to maximum speeds, the necessity of personal protective equipment, PPE, and the usage of readily observable reflective apparel or material.

Read Are Electric Dirt Bikes Legal in the UK?

Which Areas of New York Allow Electric Dirt Bikes?

Electric bicycles and scooters collectively referred to as “e-bikes,” are required to comply with certain laws in places under NYC Parks’ authority.

It is possible that you will not be permitted to ride your motorized vehicle everywhere based on the type of dirt bike that you own, in addition to the laws that govern your state. 

If you wish to ride an electric dirt bike on open streets and public roads, the bikes themselves need to be legal for use on the street for you to be able to do so.

This indicates that they must have the right tires, switches, mirrors, and lights in line with the area’s legislation.

Your bike needs a valid daily license as well as a spark arrestor. You’re breaking the law if you don’t have one of these.

If you want to ride electric dirt motorcycles on public roads, you will need to equip your bikes with tires, switches, mirrors, and lights that comply with the regulations in your area. Motorcycles normally need a spark arrestor and a daily license to be driven legally.

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To use your dirt bike in legal terms, you can use the following information, which will serve as your guide to transform your bike into an essential street-legal dirt bike kit.

Read Electric Dirt Bike vs. Gas Dirt Bike

Rules & Regulations for an Electric Dirt Bike in NYC

Since laws and rules can change at any time for any reason, it is important to note that you check with both the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure that you are abiding by the most recent rules.

It is against the law to register or operate a dirt bike or one of several other types of unlawful vehicles on any public roadway, parking lot, sidewalk, or other areas in the state that is open to public motor vehicle traffic, as stated by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state.

Consider the following information a guide that will assist you in determining whether or not you truly desire to modify your bike so it can be ridden on public roads.

The quality of street legal kits is judged based on how comprehensive they are. For instance, you purchased a taillight, and along with it, you also received all of the other accessories, such as a mudguard, license plate holder, and rear signal lights.

That indicates that you were presented with the very best option that you could ever be presented with.

Next, the components must be very high quality to ensure that you won’t blow out your headlight or any other street-legal parts and baubles while racing to the next road checkpoint.

Once your dirt thrasher is equipped with the necessary accessories, it will not be considered illegal to ride it.

Electric Bikes are Legal in NYC

The use of electric bicycles and scooters is now authorized in New York, with a few exceptions. The presidential budget for 2021 included provisions for the legalization of electric bicycles and scooters, more commonly known as e-bikes and e-scooters.

The state will only permit pedal-assist bikes to be ridden on the rail route. You can also get a taste of the great outdoors in New York by riding a dirt bike on one of the state’s many trails or tracks.

There are dirt biking facilities in New York State; the best part is that it is not against the law.

Five of the State of New York’s Finest Off-Road Motorcycle Routes are:

  • Palmyra (Racing Association) may be found in Palmyra, New York.
  • Richford: New York’s “Broome Tioga Sports Center.”
  • Area-51 (Motocross) in Batavia, NY.
  • Bear-Run Park for ATVs in Franklinville, NY.
  • MX Walden Track, Wallkill, NY.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice looking for riding tips, an experienced woods enthusiast, or an avid racer.

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Do You Require a License for an Electric Dirt Bike?

There is also leniency in terms of using an e-bike through registration and obtaining a license. The state of New York does not permit the registration of electric bicycles.

This indicates that you will not be required to have a license or register your electric bike to ride it. It will be handled in the same manner as a bicycle and subject to bicycle regulations.

Our Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it is against the law to ride ATVs or dirt motorcycles on the streets or sidewalks of New York City. Anyone found riding a bicycle on a city roadway or sidewalk faces the possibility of being fined, arrested, and having their vehicle seized if caught.

The information presented here may become outdated and irrelevant due to shifts in legislation and policy. Checking with your city, county, state, and any other relevant local agencies for the most updated legislation governing the correct and authorized use of electric bicycles in your area is something that EVELO strongly recommends doing.