Is it Illegal to Ride a Dirt Bike in a Neighborhood? - Risk Racing

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Is it Illegal to Ride a Dirt Bike in a Neighborhood?

May 11, 2021

Is it Illegal to Ride a Dirt Bike in a Neighborhood? - Risk Racing

Riding a dirt bike is a great way to have an adventurous weekend. But, you can’t ride your dirt bike anywhere you want. There are rules, laws, and regulations that need to be followed whenever you ride your dirt bike in public. And, these laws differ from state to state.

For most neighborhoods, it’s illegal to ride a dirt bike around and you will get ticketed. Dirt bikes are loud and cause a lot of disruption to neighborhoods. And, while there are a few states that allow dirt bikes to be ridden in neighborhoods, it is a very small number.

I’ll talk more about the specifics of riding your dirt bike in a neighborhood, as well as, what kind of license or registration is needed to ride a dirt bike. So, stick around to find out everything you need to know as I’ve ridden dirt bikes for years, and have the experience and knowledge to help you understand this topic in detail!

mx bike num 787 sitting on an ATS adjustable top stand by RR near dusk tree n hill BG

Can You Ride A Dirt Bike On The Neighborhood Street?

In many states, riding a dirt bike in a neighborhood is considered illegal. This is because, generally speaking, dirt bikes are not considered street legal. Most dirt bikes are made to be used off-road. They don’t have headlights, taillights, turn signals, insurance, or registration. 

Even if you do get your dirt-bike street legal with registration, and new parts, there is no guarantee that you can ride your bike on a neighborhood street. Not only are dirt bikes loud, but in many states across the country, you are not allowed to legally ride them in neighborhoods.

Again, though, this will depend on the state you live in. For instance, in Georgia, you can ride a dirt bike. But, it has to be driven in a private neighborhood. In Florida, you can also ride dirt bikes in neighborhoods, but you need to have a title and registration for your bike. 

Maryland, Texas, and California outlaw dirt bike riding in neighborhoods. However, if you have special permission you may be permitted to ride in a private neighborhood. This is up to the local authorities in your area, though. 

Really, the only place you can ride a dirt bike without any type of bike modifications, legal documents, or special permission is Indiana. In Indiana, it is completely legal to ride dirt bikes in your neighborhood. Your neighbors might complain about the sound, but you won’t get in any legal trouble!

If you want more information on your specific state, and its laws regarding dirt bike riding, you can go to your local DMV, talk to the authorities in your area, or talk to your local dirt bike expert.

guy wheelieing on a Supermoto

Can You Ride A Dirt Bike In The Neighborhoods Bike Lane?

Legally, there is no law that prohibits you from using the bike lane in your neighborhood. In fact, many states don’t differentiate between normal non-motor bikes and dirt bikes. But, because of the sound created by dirt bikes, there is a good chance you won’t be allowed to ride your dirt bike in the vicinity of your neighborhood. 

Of course, there is a chance that your neighbors might not mind the sound, but this is pretty unlikely! Also, check with your local authorities to confirm the legality of riding in a bike lane just to be safe, though.

supermoto corner slide

What is a Street-Legal Dirt Bike Called?

Most states won’t let you ride your dirt bike because they are not street-legal. But, if you make modifications to your dirt bike, get a title and registration, and apply for a license there is a chance you could ride your dirt bike out on the street. 

These types of dirt bikes are called by three different names. You have dual sports bikes, adventure bikes, and Supermoto/Motard bikes. 

Standard dirt bikes can be ridden without a license, and don’t have headlights, taillights, and other parts that are usually seen on street-legal vehicles. But you can’t ride them on roads or in most neighborhoods, as I have talked about extensively. 

In other words, if you want to ride a street-legal you will need to make the changes to your bike, and look up local regulations and laws. This way you know how to make your dirt bike street legal. 

a person riding a Honda grom near the ocean

What is The Smallest Street-Legal Dirt Bike?

Street-legal dirt bikes are a great option for people who can’t legally ride a dirt bike in their neighborhood or on the road. But, what is the smallest street-legal dirt bike you can get, and how many CCs is street legal?

The size of your street-legal dirt bike will depend on the state and area you live in. In some places, you can have a street-legal bike that is 50cc even 49cc. Some motorcycles are this size, as well. So, you can definitely have a legal dirt bike that is under 50cc. Usually, the ccs are not what makes your bike legal or illegal.

But, you can generally know what the size requirements for your bike should be based on motorcycle size requirements. However, if you are planning on riding on the highway, you will have to have at least a 150cc dirt bike. Otherwise, the size requirements vary greatly, and you will need to look into local laws.

ariel shot of a motocross track

Where Can You Ride Your Dirt Bike?

Again, most dirt bikes can’t be ridden in neighborhoods. So, if you are in a state or area that doesn’t allow you to ride in your neighborhood, where exactly can you ride your dirt bike legally and safely? There are a few different options, and some of these options might not be available depending on where you live. 

Private Property

The easiest way to ride your dirt bike is on private property. No one can tell you whether or not you can ride your bike or not. But, remember that noise violations and pollution laws still exist. If your property is close to other homes, you might not be able to ride your bike, even if it’s private property.

three 4-wheeler passing a rock crawler on an off-road trail in the woods

State Trails or Riding Parks

Another option is state trails or riding parks. Some state trails allow you to ride dirt bikes, but you need to be familiar with the rules of any state trail or park you go to. Some places will let you ride your bike without any type of registration or modifications to your bike. 

Other places will have some requirements that you need to follow. So, do your research any time you head out to a new riding park or state trail. You might also need to pay a membership fee at some riding parks, as well.

entire motocross pack in a jump heavy corner of an mx track

Motocross Track 

Finally, the most likely place you will be able to ride your dirt bike is a motocross track. This can be a great location to legally ride your bike. But be careful if you are a beginner. There are many potential dangers when riding on a motocross track, especially if you are new to dirt bikes.

entire motocross pack fighting for the holeshot racing directly at camera at the lucas oil pro mx championship

Final Thoughts and Tips

We all want to get the most out of our dirt bikes, but you should ride your dirt bike in areas that are legal and safe. For the most part, most dirt bikes can’t be ridden in neighborhoods and residential areas. 

Of course, laws vary from state to state, as I mentioned. But, even if you have permission to legally ride your dirt bike, the sound alone can prevent you from riding in a neighborhood. 

In short, always do research on your local dirt bike laws and regulations. And, If you are allowed to ride your dirt bike make sure to talk to your neighbors first. This way you don’t get into any trouble!  

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