Can You Ride Electric Dirt Bikes on the Road? (Restrictions Included)


An electric dirt bike is a fun vehicle to roam around on, especially great as a stepping stone to riding competitive dirt bikes and ATVs. Today I will be answering the most commonly asked questions I get about these machines, such as “can you ride an electric dirt bike on the road?” Let’s get to it.

Generally speaking, most electric dirt bikes are allowed on the road and they usually need some alterations to be considered street legal. That being said, it is essential for riders to check the state law and even county and municipalities ordinances for e-bike riding. While federal law considers any electronic bike with operable pedals and a maximum limit of 20 mph street legal, the regulations in your local area can be different. People interested in using a dual-use electric dirt bike need to be aware of the speed and power capacity limits under federal law, as well as local restrictions in their state and county.

Depending on the type of dirt bike you have, as well as what your state deems appropriate, you might not be able to ride everywhere on your motorized vehicle. Keep on reading to discover the distinctions some laws make and to learn what you need to make your e-bike legal.

Can you ride an electric dirt bike on the road?

Since laws can differ so much from one state to the other, the real answer is that it depends. After taking a look at a state-by-state breakdown of e-bike laws, I can say that most states allow you to ride them on roadways, bike paths, and bike lanes. Essentially, they treat them like regular bikes, as long as the bike doesn’t exceed a top speed of 20 miles per hour and an engine capacity of 750 watts.

However, there are some states that don’t allow you to use your e-bike on certain roads. For instance, in Colorado you can only ride an electric dirt bike on bike paths if you have a permit from the local authorities. In Arkansas, there’s a similar law that applies to state highways and sidewalks. Therefore, you cannot base your decision to hit the road on federal law alone.

Even though most electric dirt bikes have a top speed that is under 20 mph, let’s talk about what happens if you have a more powerful motor. In this case, your dirt bike will technically fit under the umbrella of OHVs (off-highway vehicles), much like ATVs, UTVs, and trail bikes. I wrote a separate article covering the laws surrounding OHVs that you can check out for more information.

Are electric bikes street legal?

Electric bikes are street legal in most of the country, but they fall under specific restrictions depending on the state. For instance, New York State has one of the most restrictive laws surrounding e-bikes, allowing only non-throttle-controlled e-bikes on the streets of New York City. Other states separate electric bikes in classes and have specific requirements for each one, such as Arkansas and California.

Some states even require a driver’s license, such as Connecticut, Missouri, Wisconsin, Hawaii, and a few more. Moreover, a large number of states require you to wear a motorcycle helmet under a specific age. As for New Jersey, Alabama, Nebraska, Connecticut, Maryland, and Massachusetts, they all require the use of a helmet at all ages. The bottom line is that you need to check out the laws of your state when preparing to go out on the streets.

Are electric dirt bikes road legal?

If an electric dirt bike checks all the requirements under federal law to be considered an e-bike, then in most cases they are road legal. Still, if an electric dirt bike is not advertised as a dual-use vehicle, then you most likely cannot ride it on the road as soon as you buy it. This is because it doesn’t come with operable pedals, as the law requires for street-legal e-bikes. Going beyond federal law, most states have their own road safety requirements for e-bikes, such as a headlight and a taillight, a rearview mirror, turn signals, and a horn.

If your electric dirt bike is considered an OHV, then it will become increasingly more difficult to turn it into a road legal vehicle. Once again, this varies vastly on the state you are in.

Can you ride an electric dirt bike on the sidewalk?

In most cases, you cannot ride an electric dirt bike on the sidewalk. The situation only changes in states that treat street legal e-bikes as regular bikes. Some states that allow you to use your electric dirt bike even on the sidewalk are Colorado, Alaska, and Idaho. Arkansas has a more unique take on this, only allowing you to use your e-bike on the sidewalk if you have a permit from the State Police Department. Much like the other situations I covered today, the restrictions vary by state, county, and even municipality.

Can a 12 year old ride an electric bike?

A 12 year old old can ride an electric bike, as long as it is the proper size and is not too powerful. Depending on their experience and their build, children can ride an e-bike with motors varying from 70 cc to 125 cc. The best way to choose an electric dirt bike for your kid is to go to a shop and have them sit on different models. The seat height can make a huge difference in their comfort on the bike.

As for street legality, most states have some form of age restrictions. Since the vast majority only allow riders 14, 16 or 18 and above, 12-year-olds cannot ride legally on the road in these states. Utah is one of the states that stand out on this topic, because it allows children aged from 8 to 14 years old to ride on the street if they are accompanied by a guardian. On the other hand, there are the states that don’t have an age restriction at all. These include Texas, Colorado South Carolina, Minnesota, and Arizona.

Final Words

Much like any other motorized vehicle, electric bikes are subject to some restrictions under state laws. Unfortunately, these vary so drastically from one state to the other, that it can be confusing to keep track of where they are street legal, and where not. The best thing you can do is take an in-depth look at the local laws in your area and take all the necessary precautions in order to not get an unnecessary fine.

Bob Kelly

Hey there, my name is Bob and I've been riding ATVs, dirt bikes, and UTVs for most of my life. Going on outdoor adventures has always been my passion. I love sharing tips and tricks with beginners who are getting ready to join the world of outdoor enthusiasts. You can reach me at bobtheatvguy@gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

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