If you’re looking to turn your dirt bike into a street-legal, adrenaline-raising speed machine, you will need to do some work first. Start by asking yourself several important questions, including what are the laws for making your dirt bike street legal?
The laws may be long and winding, but you do not have a choice. You will have to find a way of mastering these laws. As if that is not enough, you also need to be a very good mechanic or have enough funds to hire one.
What Are the Laws for Making Your Dirt Bike Street Legal?
So, what are the laws for making your dirt bike street legal? The U.S. government has made it easier to understand the requirements for all on-road bikes. Your bike, whether from the factory or your workshop, must meet many guidelines to be considered street legal. You should check with your state authorities to be sure because some of these laws may vary.
Regardless of your state, your dirt bike needs Department of Transportation (DOT) approval to be allowed on city roads. Various parts of your bike require this approval to turn it into a street-legal bike. These parts include the headlights, which should have both low and high beams, battery-powered tail and brake lights, turn signals if your motorbike was manufactured after January 1, 1973, and tires.
Other requirements include two rearview mirrors (some states require only one), an electric horn, and a steel fuel tank. However, you may not have to fulfill all the laws because some states give leeway. For instance, some states are not too keen on speedometers and odometers. To be on the safe side, though, be sure to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state.
How to Upgrade Your Turning Signals
Turning your dirt bike into a street-legal machine also requires certain upgrades to your turning signals. Since some states need the turn signals to be in place, you need to learn how to upgrade your turning signals. However, before you go about it, you have to learn the laws relating to these turn signals.
The rules determine where the turn signals should be placed on your bike and how to position them in relation to the taillights. Their switches should be on the left-hand grip for easy access without having to let go of the throttle. The switch should be clearly visible from the rider’s position. City riding offers different experiences than your off-roading adventures.
If you are converting the bike in your workshop, you have several viable options at your disposal. You could consider any turn signals with super-bright LEDs, sold in pairs, and with OEM-type wiring harnesses. You could also use signals with lightweight ABS, waterproof wire grommets, and rubberized anti-vibration mounts.
Be sure any options you use are DOT-approved. Street riding is a different mettle altogether, especially if you are transferring your bike from off-road to on-road adventures.
What Are the Best Wheels and Tires for Street-Legal Dirt Bikes?
What are the best wheels and tires for street-legal dirt bikes? Your aggressive-looking off-roading tires, no matter the deep treads, would be no good for city roads.
You may have to change the tires if you are going to switch out the wheels. This may be important if you are considering maintaining the off-roading capabilities of your machine. In this case, your stock wheels will remain but have to be DOT-approved.
Are you toying with the idea of building a Supermoto-style bike? The wheels, tires, and braking system will have to be overhauled and upgraded to fit this billing. Go for sportbike-sized wheels with larger disc rotors. Combine them with DOT-approved tires, and you are good to go.
You may find lots of information on wheel and tire transformations, but keep in mind that not all bikes converted in this manner are street legal. If you are considering getting a fresh set of wheels and tires, look for major brands such as Pirelli and Michelin. Whichever brand you choose, ensure the tires come with an “S” or “R” rating for highway use.
If you’re wondering where to start, here are some examples:
Pirelli MT90AT Scorpion Front Tire – 90/90-21 S54: These are best for asphalt roads and high ground and optimized for high speeds.
Michelin Tire Combo: These feature a high level of grip on city roads with reinforced knobs to resist abrasion and tearing.
Michelin AC-10 Tire Combo: With excellent traction, these tires resist tearing and chunking even under heavy-duty use. They boast a specially formulated rubber mix to bolster durability.
You may have to go the extra mile to find wheels and tires that are legally allowed on your city roads. It is also important for your safety and the safety of other road users to use the right kinds of tires.
Electrical System Upgrades
Most of the new electrical items needed on your street-legal bike are powered, so you will want to upgrade your electrical system. Study the bike’s service manual to see how the existing components are wired. You may consider a stator upgrade, but you will have to install a charging system to keep the electrical components powered even when the engine is off.
However, installing a charging system may not always be possible. This is because manufacturers usually do not use the same electrical engines for off-road and street-legal bikes. You can do some research to overcome this challenge. Here are some alternatives you may want to check out:
Electrosport Lighting Stator: This features triple insulation and 20% greater output and comes supplied with new wiring sleeves and electrical connectors.
Trail Tech High Output Lighting Stator System: This provides a constant 80 watts of power at all times and never fails because it includes a regulator/rectifier.
Ballistic Battery: This is a state-of-the-art lithium battery with ferrous phosphate and is 10 pounds lighter than a stock battery. It is also environmentally friendly and recyclable.
Converting your off-roading machine to a street-legal bike requires an understanding of state laws governing your city roads and an upgrade of your turning signals. You also need the best wheels and tires to complete your street-legal dirt bike transformation. If you need any more info, kindly contact 2Wheel for assistance.