Using an electric dirt bike is a great way to have a fun weekend. But you can’t ride your electric dirt bike anywhere and everywhere.
For most roads, it is illegal to ride an electric dirt bike, and you may get ticketed. Electric dirt bikes are designed to conquer the toughest terrain. Their specific frame and construction make them incompatible with most roads. Let’s find out more.
Where Can You Ride an Electric Dirt Bike Legally
According to federal laws, any two-wheeler with pedals and a max speed of 20mph is street legal. However, you still have to follow state and local laws.
The best way to ride your electric dirt bike is on your property. No one can tell you what you can and can’t do on your property.
Note that your property is not exempt from noise and pollution violation laws. If your property is near other homes, you may be unable to ride.
Every state, city, and county has different regulations with their nuances. Before taking your electric dirt bike for a ride, you must understand these laws.
Georgia allows you to ride your electric dirt bike in neighborhoods. Florida also allows electric dirt bikes in neighborhoods. You must have a title and registration before being allowed on the road.
California, Texas, and Maryland have different laws for riding in neighborhoods. However, you will need special permission to ride your electric dirt bike in the area.
It is up to the discretion of local authorities to allow you to ride your electric dirt bike. Indiana is the only state where you can ride any electric dirt bike without special permissions or bike modifications.
It is entirely legal to ride electric dirt bikes in your neighborhood. And don’t worry: you won’t get in trouble if your neighbors complain about your electric dirt bike!
The next best is your local park, with various off-road trails. Before you go there, make sure to check the rules and requirements.
Some parks and trails only require certain types of vehicles to be used there. Locations that allow electric dirt bikes also allow ATVs and other off-roading vehicles.
You may still be asked a few things:
- DNR or registration sticker
- Exhaust sound level limit (not an issue with electric dirt bikes)
- Appropriate riding gear (such as goggles, gloves, boots, and helmets
- A membership fee
- Insurance (off-road riding can be a dangerous activity)
- You may have to sign a waiver that the owners are not liable for any injuries caused to you
You may also use your electric dirt bike on private tracks after obtaining permission from the owners. Local public motocross tracks may be used with electric dirt bikes.
Beginners should be careful to avoid tracks with large obstacles. New riders are at a greater risk of injury to themselves and others, especially on motocross tracks.
The best part is that you don’t need a motorcycle license to ride electric dirt bikes. If your electric dirt bike is street legal, you can ride it on the road with a driver’s license.
Most states do not restrict riding an electric dirt bike. Some states may require a guardian present while an underage person is riding. These laws only apply if you are riding on public land.
Read How Fast Does a 1500W Electric Dirt Bike Go?
What if I Get Caught Riding Electric Dirt Bikes on Public Roads?
There will be consequences for riding your electric dirt bike on public roads.
In most areas, you may be given a citation. Your ebike may be towed or impounded with a small fine. You may also pay impound fees to get your electric dirt bike back.
A Cursory Look at Electric Dirt Bike
Electric dirt bikes look very different compared to regular street bikes. Sure they look cool, but there are other differences besides physical appearance.
Street bikes are often heavy and come with a massive range of technology for safety reasons. These include electronic displays, ABS, and stability control.
Electric dirt bikes, on the other hand, are designed for performance. This means they usually have a barebones frame with none of the above extras.
Electric dirt bikes do come with a bigger suspension to absorb more impact. Their tires are also thicker and bumpier instead of smooth. This allows for maximum traction with the muddy or snowy surface.
For these reasons, electric dirt bikes will always be seen on a dirt track instead of on the road. Sometimes you will see electric dirt bikes on the road. This is because they are designed specifically for use on the road or may be converted for streets.
However, exceptions do not dictate the norms.
How to Register an Electric Dirt Bike for Public Roads
You can ride your electric dirt bike on the road by making it street legal. You will have to register it and have it plated.
A DNR OHM trail sticker may be needed for the electric dirt bike. Every state has its laws for making electric dirt bikes legal.
Let’s take a look at all the parts you need to make your electric dirt bike street-legal.
The most important part you need for your electric dirt bike is a DOT-complaint headlight. This headlight should have the following characteristics:
- Switchable from high beam to low beam
- Fully lit during the day and night
- Easily visible to drivers but not excessively bright
These headlights can draw too much power from your electric bike’s battery. You can use an LED headlight to reduce the power draw.
Make sure to learn about local laws relating to the placement of high-low switches. Some states have no requirement for high-low switches; others are very specific.
The switch should be easily accessible to the rider. A good location for the lights is the left-hand side of the handlebar.
The tail light indicates that you are slowing down. It also improves your visibility both night and day. This increases your safety profile.
We recommend using an LED tail light to minimize power usage, like the headlight. Tail Light switches can be installed on the front brake lever and a rear brake pedal.
Both will light up the taillight when engaged. Another common solution is to use a banjo bolt switch. It adds more pressure to the brake line when engaged to trigger the brake light.
Your electric dirt bike should have at least one working mirror. It is, however, recommended to have two mirrors.
The mirror lets you know what is happening behind you. They are cheap and increase your safety. Make sure the mirror is properly installed and doesn’t shake when riding the ebike.
This is one modification that most owners of electric dirt bikes hate. Mirrors can change the overall appearance of an electric dirt bike.
A good option is to use bar-end mirrors. They have a lower profile than a stem mirror and let you see what is happening behind you.
Most states do not require turn signals but do require hand signals.
But we recommend installing turn signals. They should flash yellow to indicate that you are switching lanes or making a turn.
Besides, flashing yellow lights are better at getting the attention of drivers than hand signals. This is especially true at night.
More importantly, turn signals let you stay in full control of your handlebar when making turns.
Pro tip: Use LED blinkers to minimize the power drawn from your electric dirt bike battery.
The tires on street-legal ebikes must be DOT certified.
Most ebikes do not have DOT-rated tires. Road tires are best used on the streets. Knobby off-road tires don’t fare well on the pavement.
Moreover, tires with more knobs will wear out faster on the pavement. So keep your distance traveled on the pavement to a minimum instead of replacing them.
It may be inconvenient to swap out the tires when riding on different terrains. A good idea is to use Dual Sport tires for both street and off-road use.
Adding a horn is an important step in making your electric dirt bike street-legal. This is a requirement for all states.
We recommend installing an electric horn. They are cheap and don’t draw a lot of power.
License Plate Bracket
Every vehicle on the street requires a license plate. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Some states are very specific about the placement of license plates. Make sure to check in with local authorities to place license plates on your electric dirt bike.
You can buy aftermarket license plate brackets to make your ebike street-legal. Make sure that the plate is properly mounted under the fender. You don’t want the plate flying off when you least expect it!
Monster electric dirt bikes come with a speedometer. However, you should consider getting one if your model doesn’t have one.
A speedometer lets you know your electric dirt bike’s speed. Staying aware of your speed is very important on the road.
There are many aftermarket speedometers that you can install on your dirt bike. Most of them are easy to install. But you can enlist the help of an expert if you’re facing difficulty.
Note that most states do not require speedometers. Check in with your local DMV for more information.
Knowing the Process
We’ll be honest; changing an electric dirt bike to a street-legal one is a long process. There are many moving parts that you have to be familiar with.
Moreover, every state and county has its local laws for needed parts. A detailed step-by-step process for one state may not be applicable for another.
However, the general steps outlined above should be simple enough to act on for most cyclists.
We recommend consulting with your local DMV for more information. You could either do this in person or visit their official website.
Ask them what parts you need to convert your electric dirt bike into a street-legal machine. You can also look up online forums where users have reported success with the process.
Next, look up parts and accessories that are required by your state. Some parts may not be compatible with your electric dirt bike in California.
Conversion will not be possible if you do not get all parts.
Once everything is in order, you’ll have to get approval from your local DMV. Get all the paperwork, fill it out, and sign it before submitting it to the DMV.
Once you are approved, you’ll get your plate. Don’t give up if you don’t succeed the first time around. Learn from your mistakes and make necessary adjustments.
Some areas have multiple DMV offices. Try a different location where employees are more amenable to your request.
Whether riding your electric dirt bike on the road or forest trails- make sure you are wearing a helmet.
A helmet can reduce the risk of injury (and even death) from road accidents.
Make sure to use two mirrors instead of one. You need maximum visibility on the road to warn other drivers of your presence.
Install turn signals and tail lights to indicate whether you’re slowing down or switching lanes. Finally, make sure your horns are in working condition.
You cannot ride an electric dirt bike on the road – unless you convert it as outlined above. Some electric dirt bikes are manufactured for both off-road and street use.
Feeling overwhelmed by the conversion process? Consider buying street-legal electric dirt bikes.
Here are a few street-legal electric dirt bikes in California:
- Zero FX – Ideal for off-road trails and provides good grip on roads
- Sur Ron Light Bee X – Has a power output of 6kW to really tear up the tarmac
- Sur Run Storm Bee – Comes with an air-cooled motor with an output of 382 lb. ft. of torque
Let us know if you have converted your electric dirt bike into a street-legal motorcycle.
You may like the following dirt bike articles:
- Do You Need a License for an Electric Dirt Bike?
- Are electric dirt bikes legal?
- Are Electric Dirt Bikes Legal in the UK?
- Are Electric Dirt Bikes Legal in NYC?
- Are Electric Dirt Bikes Automatic?
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.