Are Dirt Bikes Street Legal?
A dirt bike is generally considered to be a small capacity motorcycle built with special tyres and suspension for riding on unpaved roads and over rough terrain.
'Supermoto' bikes (road-legal dirt bikes with road tyres fitted to them) have been on the rise on UK roads for quite some time, with many riders opting to use this as their mode of travel due to the superior handling, dexterity, and how little they can be damaged in the event of an accident due to a lack of fairings.
A standard dirt bike that you can buy at a dealership, also known as a motocross bike, is not typically street-legal in the UK. These bikes are designed for off-road use and lack the necessary equipment, such as lights and mirrors, to be used on public roads. Plus, their off-road tyres, which have deep tread to provide traction on loose surfaces, will crumble and deteriorate rapidly when ridden on the tarmac.
Using a dirt bike on public roads may be illegal and can result in fines or other penalties if you are found to be doing so. It is important to check with local authorities and ensure that the bike is properly equipped and registered before using it on public roads.
Can You Convert A Dirt Bike To Be Street Legal?
It is possible to convert a dirt bike to be street legal, but it is a time-consuming and costly process. In order to do so, the bike must be equipped with the necessary safety equipment, such as lights, turn signals, mirrors etc.
It is time-consuming due to the steps required to register the motorcycle with the government, pass an MOT, and be taxed and insured.
In addition to the cost and time involved in converting a dirt bike to be street legal, it is also important to consider the safety implications. Dirt bikes are not designed for use on public roads and may not provide the same level of stability and control as a traditional street-legal motorcycle. This can pose a risk to the rider and other individuals on the road.
If you are looking to ride a dirt bike or a dirt bike-based machine on the road, your best option would be to buy a pre-built and legal motorcycle from a manufacturer. As previously mentioned, supermoto motorcycles have been on the rise in recent times, with Ducati's Hypermotard a popular option. They differ from dirt bikes in that they have treaded tyres, road-tuned suspension, and more durable engines, but they can still provide the same thrills.
Are Electric Dirt Bikes Street Legal?
Electric dirt bikes are a relatively new innovation. Some electric dirt bikes are designed to be street-legal and come equipped with the necessary safety equipment and while electric dirt bikes may offer some potential advantages over their petrol equivalents, it is best to check with local authorities to determine their legality for use on public roads.
In general, dirt bikes are designed for a specific purpose and should only be used in designated off-road areas or motocross tracks. These areas are specifically designed for off-road vehicles and provide a safe environment for riders to enjoy their hobby without breaking the law and putting themselves and other road users in danger.
While it is possible to convert a dirt bike to be street legal in the UK, it is not advisable due to the cost, time, and safety implications. It is best to stick to designated off-road areas for dirt bike use and for on-road use to purchase a pre-made, road-legal motorcycle that can withstand consistent road use directly from a trusted manufacturer or dealer.