Pocket bikes or mini-motorcycles are miniaturized versions of full-sized motorcycles. They were originally custom built to assist in motorcycle pit events, but have recently become part of mainstream culture through mass production and distribution. Pocket bikes are usually about two feet high and weigh about 40 pounds. They are sometimes called mini-motos, pocket rockets, minibikes, or rocket bikes.
There are two main concerns with pocket bikes. The first is that despite their small size, the sometimes can reach very high speeds, sometimes in excess of 50 mile per hour. Many of them are equipped with 40cc or higher engines. This makes them very dangerous for both operators and other vehicles in the nearby vicinity.
The second concern with pocket bikes is that, due to their small size, they can be very for other motorists to see on the roads. Pocket bikes (especially custom made bikes) often lack typical safety equipment such as turn signals, visibility reflectors, and brake lights. For these reasons, many states have outlawed or restricted the use of pocket bikes on public roads.
Is it Legal to drive a Pocket Bike in my Area?
Every state has different laws covering the use of pocket bikes. In many states and local municipalities, it is illegal to ride pocket bikes on public roads, streets, trails, or highways. In such states, pocket bikes can only be driven on privately owned lands such as a race track or a designated outdoor field. Texas and California are examples of states that limit pocket bike driving to private property.
Other states allow the operation of pocket bikes, but restrict their usage to various regulations and rules. For example, New Jersey limits the use of pocket bikes to persons over 12 years of age.
The main indication of whether pocket bike usage is legal in your area is whether your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allows pocket bikes to be registered with the state. If the DMV does not allow pocket bikes to be registered, then it is usually not legal to drive them in your area.
If your DMV does allow pocket bikes to be registered, you should register your bike before using it. DMV registration is more common for the larger versions of pocket bikes, known as “super” pocket bikes. Also, check to see if the DMV requires that the bike meet certain restrictions.
For example, many states require all motorcycle seats to be at least 25 inches off the ground. You will likely need to equip your pocket bike with all the standard equipment on a regular motorcycle, such as turn signals, brake lights, and other safety gear. Also, if your DMV allows pocket bikes to be registered, they will need to be insured as well.
If you are unsure of the pocket bike laws in your area, be sure to consult with your DMV or with an attorney before using a pocket bike.
What are the Penalties for Violating Pocket Bike Laws?
The most major offense associated with pocket bikes is illegally operating an unregistered vehicle. This can range from a simple traffic violation to a misdemeanor, depending on the jurisdiction. Such citations could result in:
·Possible jail time
·Confiscation or towing of the pocket bike
·Loss or suspension of driving privileges
In addition, if your vehicle does not meet safety specifications, you could be subject to a host of traffic violations, including, failure to signal, not having headlights or taillights, etc.
Finally, since pocket bikes are frequently associated with stunts, it is common for the police to issue reckless driving citations for dangerous activities.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer for Pocket Bike issues?
If you have received a citation in connection with the use of a pocket bike, you should contact a lawyer for advice, especially if you have received criminal misdemeanor charges. Also, before you purchase, build, modify, or operate a pocket bike, you should consult with an attorney to determine the specific laws of your state.