If there’s a road trip in your future, why not consider leaving the car at home and riding across country on a motorbike? It’s better on gas, you’ll love the feel of the breeze against your skin, and you’ll meet plenty of like-minded souls who crave the open road as much as you do.
Although riding a motorcycle can be the ultimate testament to freedom, the fact is that you still have to obey the law. When talking about street legal bikes, every state is slightly different, but most of them follow the similar guidelines for motorcycles.
To help make sure that you are within your legal rights as a biker, we’ve compiled a list of the top five motorcycle laws that you should know.
Wear a Helmet
Even if it’s not a law in your state, it should be common sense to wear protective motorcycle gear. Motorcycle helmets are necessary to protect your most valuable asset—your brain—in an event of a collision. Bikers are far more likely to get into an accident, so make sure that you’re well protected at all times.
Most states prohibit the practice of lane splitting, i.e. weaving between cars on a highway. In a few places, like California, lane splitting is legal, but that doesn’t mean you should do so with impunity. If your state does allow lane splitting, be sure you have high quality tires, like Dunlop tires, to keep you safe.
Sharing a Lane
If you like to travel in a group, you may be tempted to share one lane rather than go in single file. Depending on your state, this may be illegal. Even if it seems more practical, you don’t want to risk getting pulled over because you’re in the wrong lane.
Similar to cars, your bike should have operating headlights that have a high-beam and a low-beam setting. Some states may require that you have two lights in front, but most will only require one. In almost all cases, however, high beams are required.
Generally speaking, if you are going to take passengers, you will need to have a dedicated seat for them. That means a seat pad and footrests are required. Some states may overlook this, but the majority of them are sticklers about this rule. Don’t risk a hefty fine by taking a passenger on a one-person bike.