How to Make a Dirt Bike Street Legal
Tired of hauling your dirt bike in the back of a truck? In the absence of a street bike, a dirt bike can be a great way to save gas money while bouncing around town, but you need to make it street legal first.
Your state might have some specific quirks to get your motorcycle off the trail and on the road, but there are a few basics that are needed regardless of where you live. Here are some ways to make a dirt bike street legal.
Street-Legal Dirt Bike Requirements
The finish line you’re trying to get to when you start getting your dirt bike set to ride the streets is called the Federal Minimum Requirement. With a few exceptions, this entire requirement revolves around visibility.
You basically need a headlight, a taillight, turn signals and a horn so that people can see and hear you, but you also need to be able to see others. For that part, you need rear-view mirrors.
Dirt Bike Headlights & Turn Signals
Up front, you’ll need a DOT-approved headlight. Not every jurisdiction will require you to have a high-beam, but if you do, you’ll need one with an indicator you can see from the saddle.
In many cases, you’ll need two parts: the headlight housing, and the headlight kit with the wires and bulb that fits inside the housing. The headlight doesn’t need to run through the battery, but the taillight does, so it might make sense for you to run the headlight through the battery as well. But with LED lights, they’re not much of a draw on the electrical system anyway. You’re also going to need turn signals on the front and back.
Dirt Bike Tail Lights
The taillights need to run through a battery, and that requirement is going to set off some work behind the scenes. You’ll probably need to add a charging system to maintain the battery, and that means some big changes.
On some bikes, you may be able to add a charging system on the existing motor. In other cases, you might be in for more of a challenge. The good news is you’re probably not the first person to think about adding a charging system to a bike like yours, so check the forums to see what other riders have done.
Dirt Bike Rearview Mirrors
You’re going to need rear view mirrors on your dirt bike to make it street legal, and we have lots of kits here at Partzilla.com that run from really basic to more sporty models.
Dirt Bike Tires and Wheels
You’ll need DOT-approved tires to run on the street, but here’s the trick: the wheels on your dirt bike get a vote when it comes to the tires you pick. You can get DOT-approved tires that fit the existing rims on your machine, but you’ll basically end up with a dual-sport bike. On the other hand, you can drop a lot more cash into the bike, upgrade the wheels and tires and brakes, and create a Supermoto-style motorcycle.