Man doing a wheelie on a motorcycle

Wherever you go in these 50 states, you are bound to find a weird law on the books that makes you wonder how it became law, and who actually follows it. In the realm of laws that apply to motorcyclists, it’s no exception. So, here are 10 weird motorcycle laws, some of which are serious and some silly.


  1. Don’t Run Out of Gas:  In Youngstown, Ohio, you are legally not allowed to run out of gas. Good advice, but it seems unlikely that anyone would run out on purpose. 
  2. No Dirty Tires: In Minnesota, a motorcycle with dirty tires is considered “a nuisance that affects public peace, safety, and general welfare,” and as such, can get a ticket. 
  3. Drive Through Red Lights: In 12 different states, a “Safe on Red” law allows riders to stop, and then go through red lights, in instances where light sensors don’t detect the motorcycle.
  4. ALWAYS Use Your Headlights: In Connecticut, motorcyclists must ride with their headlights on at ALL times, even during the day, and even if the sun is shining. Visibility is always a good thing.
  5. Don’t Jump Off At 65 mph: In California, it turns out that it’s illegal to jump off your bike ABOVE 65mph. No speed seems safe for this, but at least they’re specific!
  6. No Cursing: In Maryland, there’s a law against cursing while driving. Without the protection of a car to muffle their expletives, riders have to keep their frustrations to themselves.
  7. No Hunting on a Motorcycle (Except Whales): In Tennessee, don’t get caught hunting from a moving motorcycle. Unless it’s to get a whale – that’s fine.
  8. Don’t Carry Anything that Prevents Access to Handlebars: This a smart law found in many states that is often ignored. Neither groceries nor pets should ever obstruct your movement while riding.
  9. Student Riders Must Wear Pants: In Minnesota, students in motorcycle endorsement courses must wear pants (as well as other protective outerwear). Hopefully, this law was prompted by a student in shorts.
  10. No Wheelies Allowed: In Maine (and other places), it’s illegal to intentionally raise the wheel of a motorcycle from the surface of the road. Not a fun law, but for safety’s sake, probably a smart one.




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Founded in 1969 in Milwaukee, the motorcycle lawyers at Hupy and Abraham, S.C. have represented nearly 5,000 riders, collecting over $1 billion for their clients. With 11 offices in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa, the firm has a reputation of providing sound legal representation to accident victims. Contact us anytime -- 24/7/365 -- by phone or online chat to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.



Jason F. Abraham
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Helping car accident and personal injury victims throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa since 1993.