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Topic started on 10/20/2004 at 1:20:48 PM  Member Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Conversion of dirt bikes for street use (dual sport)
Vehicle registration policies in most states typically allow conversion of an off-road only title into a street title or in some states a designated "Dual Registration." To register a dirt bike for street use, it must be equipped with the necessary lighting and other equipment required by your states vehicle code.

Every state requires what is called "The Federal Minimum Requirement" which consists of:
  • Headlight with a high and low beam
  • Headlight indicator light visible to the operator to show when the high beam is operating
  • Horn - Some states mandate an electric horn
  • Battery powered taillight and brake light which must operate for 20 minutes on battery power alone
  • Rear view mirror
  • Turn signals for motorcycles manufactured after 1/1/73 (Most States)
  • Some states require speedometers and odometers
  • Tires should be DOT approved
  • Lights should be DOT approved
  • Fuel tank should be DOT approved*
*Even though the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard specifies steel gas tanks for street motorcycles, most states will not enforce this for converted dirt bikes.

Registration procedures vary from state to state but typically involve:
  • Signing an affidavit certifying that the vehicle meets state standards.
  • Bringing the bike to the DMV for an inspection for proper lighting
  • Once the paper work and inspection are complete the final step is to exchange your off-road title for a street title
Exchanging your title
Most states have a "Dual Registration Form" You should be able to download this form from your states DMV over the internet or filling it out at your DMV office. Then pay the transfer fee and obtain your registration, put the plate on your bike and go show your friends!

Update: California information removed based on new CA laws. Thanks to Brian10 for the reminder.

Info courtesy of Electrex USA

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forgeanvil
Oxford, GA

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 05:02:43 AM  Member Profile  Visit forgeanvil's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I contacted both Georgia and SC DMV's and they were emphatic that a dirt bike cannot be converted to street use so long as it has a MSR that reads "For Off-road use only." I haven't found any way to get around this here despite repeated calls to various departments of these two states. I was planning on going with the 650R after having such a hard time with my L's heat issues. After the states shut me down, I did some research, found this forum, and did all the mods. Boy am I glad. I"m sure those R's are hot but I love my L.

1999 XR650L: bored to 101mm, 10.5:1 Wiseco, decomp removed, stainless steel intake valves, smog stuff gone, snorkel removed, 58 slow jet, 165 main, Uni filter, slide drilled 5/32", Michelin Deserts, DID Gold chain

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 06:56:45 AM  Member Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I've read that some people take their bikes to neighboring states that allow a dirt bike to be registered then switch the title back in their own state. I have personally not tried it though.

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Brian10
Portland, OR

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 09:11:22 AM  Member Profile  Reply with Quote
In California, you can no longer (as of the end of January 2004) register off highway bikes for on road use. All of your information was correct up until that time. now, it is no longer possible to register these bikes at all. The state found some obscure law from 1978 or 1976 that prevents vehicle without a Federal Emmisions Label from being eligible for highway registartion. They interperted that to mean dirt bikes since they do not have this label.

Now, there is no way to register these vehicle in California for highway use. If, you register them out of state, as many people were doing with the Red Sticker bikes, and try to bring them into California, they deny you highway registration. They will only issue you a Off Highway Registration. I have presonally witnessed a Dual Sported bike from another state with on highway registartion from that state and all the required equipment be denied California Highway Registration because it did not have a Federal Emmisions Label. They would only issue off highway registration for this bike.

I live in California, and I am very familiar wit its laws. There is no way around this right now. If that changes, I'll write it up. I'm not telling anyone to dis-obey the law here, but the only way to make your dirt bike street legal here in California is to register it out of state. Put all of the proper equipment on the bike, and get a plate from another state. If you get stopped on the bike, you can still be ticketed for a registration violation if they can prove you are a resident of California or that the bike is permanantly residing in California. If you have a California Driver License, that is a presumption that you reside in California and that the bike would need to be registered here. If the bike is registered to someone else (say your parents in another state), and you are just riding it temporairly, they can't give you a ticket because California recognizes registration from other states as valid. Yeah, this is a little bit of a hassle and a crappy way to have to do things, but that is the way California has made things for us right now. Personally, I know very few Officers are aware of the rule changes for the registration, and that if you are prepared, you can probably do this and get away with it. I would not reccomend parking the bike next to your local California Highway Patrol Office every day and then trying to tell them that the bike belongs to your father in Oregon/Nevada/Arizona. You'd get the registration ticket. If you do this, keep a low profile and don't go about flaunting it.

I only reccomend this right now because california has made it completely impossible to register these bikes after this last January. I personally knew this law was changing, and I wrote to everyone I could including the editors of every major magazine that I could reach. I saw almost nothing in print in the magazines, and almost no public outcry from California's motorcycle riders. So, this is where we are at right now. You can't convert dirt bikes in California without cheating the system a little.

I personally saw this coming and registered a 2004 bike before the law changed. That bike is grandfathered in due to being registered prior to the law going into effect.

Just remember, the dirt bike cannot be brought into California from another state with highway registration and then receive California Highway Registration unless it has a fedral Emissions Label. The DMV Employee will inspect the bike, and when they don't find the emmisions label, they will deny Highway Registration, so if your bike is already registered in another state, just keep on paying that state their registration fees and keep that plate.

04 KTM 525 MXC

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 09:39:32 AM  Member Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I do remember reading that, Brian10. Thanks for the update! I will make the changes to the post.

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Brian10
Portland, OR

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 09:57:48 AM  Member Profile  Reply with Quote
I re-read my update, and I kinda realize that I sound a little harsh in there. Sorry about that. I just get a little ticked when I think of all the stupid stuff that goes on related to our sport here in California. Anyway, it is all up to date info, and I hope it helps someone out.

04 KTM 525 MXC

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 10:47:47 AM  Member Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I can understand your frustration. I recently moved back to California and went to the DMV to register my dirt bikes. The woman working behind the counter wanted to give me red stickers for my dirt bikes that were originally purchased in California and previously had green stickers. She said the VIN digits indicated red stickers. I explained to her that there is a grandfather clause that goes back to I think 2000. She did not believe me and refused to give me green stickers. I called CARB on my cell phone while standing in front of her and they confirmed it with me and asked to speak with her. I handed her my cell phone and they told her to give me green stickers and also faxed her the document. Itís pretty sad when we (the public) have to educate the people that are enforcing vehicle policies and procedures.

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Brian10
Portland, OR

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 12:36:28 PM  Member Profile  Reply with Quote
Amen to that!!!! In California, the Burecrats have gone wild. Thay confuse themselves, and they cannot possibly keep track of all the rules because there are over 40,000 Vehicle Codes alone. That does not include the millions of other rules they have for everything under the sun. It is a joke. I have been in the same position as you on several occasions. Right now, I'm doing battle on another issue with DMV.

I'm having to actually contact the capital and petition State Senators about the requirement for riders trying to get licensed under the age of 21. They require them to go through a MSF School. I have absolutely no problem with that; in fact, I think it is a great idea, but they don't have the schools available in all areas. So, it costs a kid who wants to be legal and do everything right and who lives in a rural area approximately three times the ammount of money to get his license. in some cases, he cannot possibly attend the school and return home without violating the conditions of his permit in a single day. They require the kid to pay for his own out of town lodging in that case. In my son's case, this ammounts to over three hundred dollars above the cost of the class which is $150. And, no the state will not reimburse him for these expenses. They stopped the reimbursements in either May or June. Simply put, that is not fair to kids who are trying to be legal but live in rural areas removed from large population centers.

04 KTM 525 MXC

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Posted on 10/22/2004 at 3:42:15 PM  Member Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
"In California, the Burecrats have gone wild. Thay confuse themselves" You said a mouthful there! LOL!

Good luck with the State Senators. If you need us all to go to Sac and stand on the lawn in front of the capitol building to help, just yell!

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bp 1.8
Bemidji, MN

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Posted on 11/03/2004 at 7:26:26 PM  Member Profile  Send bp 1.8 an AOL message  Click to see bp 1.8's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
so whats all involved with getting a bike registered in florida?

Panterra 125

Kimberly
Ocala, FL

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Posted on 11/10/2004 at 7:50:07 PM  Member Profile  Reply with Quote
Since they changed the laws in Florida too, you can no longer register and off road bike for street use. The only bike that you can register is a KTM, due to the fact that they do not put "For Off Road Use Only" on their MSO's. Actually the KTM dealer can tag it for you, my local dealer did when I bought my KTM. I have since sold the bike. I tried about two years ago to convert a dirtbike, I followed all of the guidelines and was turned down at the inspection due to the fact that the original MSO was for off road use. The only way that you can tag a bike is to do it out of state (which some states have stopped doing unless you have lived in that state for 6 months), or you have to have a frame with a original MSO that does not say "For Off Road Use Only". No anyone can go in their backyard, weld a frame together out of any old kind of material, sign an affidavit that says that they made the frame, and register it for street use!! Now explain that? Some of the local dual sport clubs have tried to find ways, and as of yet noone has.

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bp 1.8
Bemidji, MN

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Posted on 11/12/2004 at 10:44:35 PM  Member Profile  Send bp 1.8 an AOL message  Click to see bp 1.8's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
if its under 125cc's you can do it. i did it with my panterra that had an mso saying "for off road use only". they tag it as a scooter and not a motorcycle.

i was wondering how hard it would be to title a 125+cc machine though. i guess it looks pretty difficult.

Panterra 125

bp 1.8
Bemidji, MN

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Posted on 11/20/2004 at 10:48:32 PM  Member Profile  Send bp 1.8 an AOL message  Click to see bp 1.8's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
has anyone done the vermont dealie?

Panterra 125

rtben
Traverse City, MI

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Posted on 01/26/2005 at 1:32:27 PM  Member Profile  Reply with Quote
how about Michigan?

Dirt Bike Rider

Cisco
Selah, WA

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Posted on 03/18/2005 at 12:27:33 PM  Member Profile  Reply with Quote
I just purchased a 150cc motorcycle. I bought it new and when I went down to get the title transfered they gave me a licence plate for it.
It is an off road bike so I am a bit confused. I got the title transfered at a sub-agent of the DMV. Did they make a mistake by registering it a a street bike? THere is nothing on the registration that states "off road use only".

I think I will put a Dual purpose conversion kit on it and use it as such.

FYI, i live in Washington state.

150cc Dirt Bike

oldnewbie
Aberdeen, MD

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Posted on 08/17/2005 at 4:51:18 PM  Member Profile  Reply with Quote
Has anybody tagged one in Maryland?

2004 KTM 450 MXC
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