Definition of a Motorcycle to Change in California

New law will be in effect for 2009

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Several new laws have been passed in the California Legislature and ratified by Governor Schwarzenegger that will come into effect starting in 2009, one of which will pertain to motorcycles.

The definition of a motorcycle has been expanded to include three-wheeled vehicles; they now have access to the high-occupancy lanes regardless of occupancy. The new designation will also delete the weight limitation and the separate definition of electric motorcycles to officially include them under the new motorcycle definition.

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  • Nikolas

    Seems rather redundant since in California 3 wheelers have been registered as motorcycles for a long time, and federal law allows all vehicles registered as motorcycles to use the HOV lanes regardless of occupancy. I remember when the Corbin Sparrow came out years ago that they were touting this; and I definitely remember reading that motorcycles ‘have no more than 3 wheels’ in the DMV MC handbook when I took my test 6 years ago.

  • GoldWingWayne

    Links? Ruling names? I’d like to know more!

  • http://www.motorcycle.com Joe Magro

    There really isn’t much more info but here is the link: http://www.dailydemocrat.com/news/ci_11287731. Enjoy!

  • http://www.scottscustomcycles.com Scott

    I don’t see this 3 wheeled thing as a change at all but I’m wondering if helmet laws will apply to some of these new 3 wheeled “cars” that have full bodies and roofs and are already classified as motorcycles?

    There was a recent story in one of the auto mags, I think Autoweek, about a 3 wheeled truck that Wildfire Motors is putting out that basically looks like a 3 wheeled van. How does one pass their motorcycle skills test in such a vehicle if it requires motorcycle license to operate?

    I’m relatively sure a figure 8 is impossible. I’m also not confortable giving motorcycle licenses to people who have only ridden a 3 wheeled vehicle.

  • Smrf

    Actually, there is NO specific law or exclusion that allows motorcycles to use the HOV lanes in CA. They can only use them when posted “motorcycles ok”, it is just assumed by most drivers that they can than use any HOV lane, anytime…which is false. BUT, it has fallen as practice that most cops wouldn’t cite a motorcyclist for this dye to the safety and fuel efficiency of a motorcycle.

    As for the amended motorcycle law, it does not change the law for HOV use for motorcycles but ALLOWS ENCLOSED (which the article omitted) 3-wheelers to use HOV lanes regardless of occupancy.