You finally decided to buy that Harley-Davidson you’ve had your eye on for months. Now that you can enjoy the open roads in the California sun, you need to follow the rules so you can stay safe. Every state is different when it comes to motorcycle riding laws, however, so don’t assume you know what is and what is not legal in California. Read on to become more acquainted with laws in the state before you head out on your bike.

California Motorcycle Laws

Wear a Helmet

Not all states have helmet laws, but California does. When riding on California roads, you must wear a helmet at all times. And not just any helmet—it must be one approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The helmet of your choice should have a DOT sticker on it, meaning that it meets the minimum safety requirements.

Use Your Turn Signals

California law requires that motorcycles have working front and rear turn signals. The state excepts bikes first built and registered before 1973, though.

Follow Handlebar Height Limits

Your handlebars cannot be more than six inches above your shoulders.

Follow Laws for Passengers

There are no age restrictions for passengers, so even the youngest or smallest child can ride with you. However, the motorcycle must have a seat that is securely fastened behind the driver. In addition, there must be footrests placed at the appropriate height. This is so the passenger can place his or her feet safely on them while the motorcycle is in motion. Special seats with built-in footrests may be required to accommodate small children.

Ride at the Appropriate Age

California law requires that you be at least 16 years old before obtaining a motorcycle license. Other motorists must complete a driver’s training course, but motorcyclists must also complete a motorcycle training course.

Don’t Tamper With Your Exhaust

Many motorcyclists want to make their exhaust louder, so they invest in aftermarket systems. However, you can get a ticket for having a non-compliant exhaust. In 2010, the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act came into effect and this applies to bikes purchased after January 1, 2013.

Share the Lane Safely

California is the only state that allows lane sharing. Lane sharing means that you can drive between cars in adjacent lanes. However, you must do so in a safe manner. This means traveling at a speed no higher than 35 mph. Motorists may find this law a bit insane but they must abide by it and not attempt to open their car doors or try to impede the motorcycle in any way.

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? We Can Help!

Even if you follow the laws, motorcycle accidents can still happen. If you’re a victim, make sure you take the proper steps so you can get damages. Recovering compensation can help you pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. The Long Beach motorcycle accident lawyers at The Beliz Law Firm can assess your case and help you file a claim against the liable party. Contact us and schedule a consultation by calling (562) 452-3772.

Author Photo

Michael Beliz

Michael A. Beliz, Esq., established The Beliz Law Firm in the spring of 2011.  Michael has been a practicing attorney since 2006 and worked for two of the most prominent plaintiff’s personal injury law firms in Southern California.  He has worked on and handled hundreds of cases as an attorney in all types of personal injury cases, including vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents and dog bites, and successfully recovered millions of dollars for his clients.

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