Some changes will need to be made to your dirt bike in order to make it street legal, and these changes will come with a cost. If you’re planning on making your dirt bike road legal, you should first consider these costs, so you know how best to approach the project.
It can cost from $100 to several hundred dollars to get your dirt bike road legal. This is down to many factors, including personal preference, where you live, the kind of bike you have, whether you will still ride off-road, and the extra weight your new parts add to the bike.
Each state has their own requirements for mandatory parts, as well as their own established laws for registration requirements. Some of the cost depends on the labor needed to add the new parts that are tricky. Below, we’ll consider each of these costs in more detail.
Standard Modifications Required To Make A Dirt Bike Street-Legal
While every state has their own part requirements, there are a few standard parts that are needed to be street legal anywhere you go. These include road-legal headlights and taillights with brake light capacity. The battery also must support the tail/brake lights for a solid 20 minutes. These ensure the safety of drivers at night and in inclement conditions as well as helps with spatial awareness.
Every state has different requirements for what makes a headlight legal, mostly depending on their color. It’s therefore suggested to look into your local laws before buying any. Headlights for your bike can range from $45 to several hundred dollars. This pricing depends on which brand you pick, whether or not you’re getting a starter kit, whether your bike needs to be re-wired, as well as the cost of labor.
A lot of stock dirt bikes come with their own headlights, but many of these have too low of a beam for the road.This is why, in many cases, the headlights will need to be replaced. You can change them out yourself, but most mechanics can complete this installation, and it’s usually not too expensive.
Stock bikes don’t always come with tail and brake lights. Installing these can often call for a new or updated wiring system for your bike.This process can be quite tedious, as the tail light also needs to have brake light capacity. Not all tail lights come with this,so it’s important to consider when searching for your new tail/brake lights.
Lights and wiring kits are frequently sold together, and can range from $30 to hundreds of dollars,depending on many things including whether you buy them separately or in a kit. You also need to consider if you want a kit that also includes turn signals, which brand you want, whether you purchase it online or not, if you buy it from the manufacture directly, and once again the labor costs.
Many state laws require that the battery be able to sustain both tail and brake light functions for at least 20 minutes. This is to keep bikers from endangering themselves and others on the road with a dead battery mid-trip. 12-volt lithium batteries are suggested for street legal bikes, as they are the standard for most motorcycles. However, some 6-volt batteries will support a street legal bike.
Being able to use a 6-volt battery depends on the type of lights you purchase and the wiring system you install. The appropriate battery will run you anywhere from $20 to $200. This will vary depending on if it’s purchased new or used, if you buy it from the dealer directly, or if you buy it online or in-store. Labor costs apply here too.
Many states, but not all, require you to install turn signals to make your bike street legal. This is to help drivers communicate on the road. As with the tail and brake lights, the wiring for this often needs to be adjusted when adding this feature to your bike. The cost of signals begins at about $20 for a set of 4, but fluctuates, because some light and wiring kits for bikes include turn signals already.
Licensing And Registration Information
A license, registration, and a plate mount are often required to get your bike ready for the road. Needing a license to ride the streets isn’t required in all states and has different age restrictions, ranging from 14 to 21. The majority of states, however, have set their age requirement at 16, and many places will also allow children as young as 10 to ride on the roads when they’re with a licensed adult.
The kind of license you’ll need will also depend on the state you are in. Some places require a motorcycle license, while others will ask for off-road vehicle licenses. These also vary in cost. Some states, such as Arizona, only charge $7 for a motorcycle license. Others, like Florida, charge $48. To determine the kind of license that you will need and the cost, you’ll need to see your local laws.
Registration will also play a factor in the total cost of a road-worthy dirt bike. This is another component that depends on where you’re located. In Kentucky, for example, a dirt-bike is classified as an ATV. These are not registered and are severely restricted for road use. However, in states like Alabama you have to get a license plate for your bike to be street legal.
License Plate Mounts
In many of the states that require you to obtain registration for your bike, they will also require that you mount your license plate. This task is not difficult and will almost never require labor costs. It does still require research of your local laws, because some mounting equipment is not permitted for use for various reasons, such as the plate potentially being unreadable, or being unstable on the bike.
To find the best price for a mounting kit, first check your local restrictions for requirements, such as license plate location, and find out what size you need based on your bike. These are fairly cheap parts and can be purchased new or used in good condition. You can buy a mounting plate for as low as $1 or you can spend up to $30 for an entire kit. You’ll usually only need the plate.
More Optional Features
We have covered most of the required modifications that factor into the cost of your soon-to-be road worthy bike. Now let’s discuss a few that are not always required, but are always a good idea to have. For safety and convenience there are some things on your bike that you may need to adjust if you’re going to be riding in towns or cities. Adding mirrors, a kickstand, and tires would be a few worth stating.
Mirrors aren’t always required, but they can save your life on the road.It’s not always easy to be completely aware of other drivers. Some cars are quieter than expected, while others are so large you need to ride the line to avoid being hit by them. As a biker, being aware of your surroundings is the key to safe riding. Mirrors make it easier to be aware of what’s going on around you.
The mirrors you choose should be attachable to your handlebars. There are many brands and styles to choose from, ranging from $8 to hundreds of dollars. Keep in mind that while many parts can run in the hundreds, that price has a great deal to do with the aesthetic you want. While many people buy standard parts, customized ones are an option to fit the style you want. Those will be more expensive.
Another cost factor is how frequently you plan on riding and for how long. If you know that you will be doing light travelling, then you might consider clip-on mirrors. They can detach conveniently when going from the street back to the trails. These are not suggested for long distance road travelers, as you’ll be using your mirrors more regularly, and therefore mounted mirrors are a better choice.
The majority of states don’t require you to use a kickstand, but they make things like stopping for gas and propping up your bike when there is no available parking much less problematic.
When budgeting for a kickstand, you won’t need to shell out a big chunk of change. They can be sold for as little as $5. It’s important to shop around for the one that best fits your needs. More expensive ones can run up to around $150 and are for both looks and function. Keep installation costs in mind, and consider the weight of the bike as well.
A kickstand is only designed to hold so much weight. If you purchase a kickstand, make sure you know the weight of your bike AFTER all the other additions you will make. If you are adding several things to your bike, such as a windshield, mirrors, or a license plate, it will add extra weight to your bike. Your kickstand needs to be able to support all of this as well as you.
As with most vehicles, all kinds of tires exist for all kinds of terrain.You can get off-road only tires, tires only equipped for pavement, or tires that are a hybrid. Most places in the US do not have tire requirements to be on the road. Whether you’re planning to ride only on the street or sometimes off-road, along with the weather, are important things to consider when choosing tires.
You will also want to consider the weight of the tires you are selecting, and the dimensions of your bike. On top of tire function, tire size will make a difference to your budget. Once you have determined these things, you will need to decide if you need to get new rims or not. In most cases you won’t need to, as an already functioning bike typically has them, but if you do it will raise the cost.
You can buy tires and rims individually or sets of tires separately from the rims, or both together. This will also have an effect on the price, but on average you’ll spend $50 to $150 for this upgrade. Don’t forget that the weight of the tires you choose will also affect the total weight of your bike, which in turn will change the kind of kickstand you may need. Like many modifications, consider labor costs too.
Other Possible Street Modifications To Explore
Some modifications, such as a speedometer, horn, and gear modifications, are not required but can also be considered.Indiana is the only state that requires you to install a speedometer, but it can keep help you in many situations. No one wants to be pulled over on their way to work! Speedometers are the best way to combat that. They also keep you and other drivers safe from accidents.
A horn is a necessity in most states, and while many bikes come with them, it is still important to consider when setting your project’s budget. You will want to inspect your bike and local laws. Horns run cheap at $5 to $30,and are considerably cheaper than speedometers, which will run you from $30 to $150. These are also going to add weight to your bike and should be factored into your project.
Gear Wear And Tear
Shifting from off-road to on-road will make a difference in how you ride. The road is designed for higher speeds and thus affects your shifting. The difference in this can take time to get used to, and during the transition many people wear down their gears. When they need to be replaced it will cost you. It’s therefore important to pay attention to your gears, and practice on low-speed roads at first.
While there are many things to research if you plan on making your bike street legal, it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Many people can complete their own labor, and most of the parts you’ll need can be bought for a fairly decent price. It does, however, mean that you will need to do some homework to make sure you stick to your state’s laws and regulations.