Dual Sport Conversion for Street Use

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Dual Sport Conversion for Street Use

Post by 4Strokes » Sun May 29, 2016 8:32 am

Topic: All - Dual Sport Dirt Bike Conversion for Street
Author: Admin
Posted: 10/20/2004 1:20:48 PM

Conversion of dirt bikes for street use (dual sport)
Vehicle registration policies in most states typically allow conversion of an off-road only title into a street title or in some states a designated "Dual Registration." To register a dirt bike for street use, it must be equipped with the necessary lighting and other equipment required by your states vehicle code.

Every state requires what is called "The Federal Minimum Requirement" which consists of:
  • Headlight with a high and low beam
  • Headlight indicator light visible to the operator to show when the high beam is operating
  • Horn - Some states mandate an electric horn
  • Battery powered taillight and brake light which must operate for 20 minutes on battery power alone
  • Rear view mirror
  • Turn signals for motorcycles manufactured after 1/1/73 (Most States)
  • Some states require speedometers and odometers
  • Tires should be DOT approved
  • Lights should be DOT approved
  • Fuel tank should be DOT approved*
*Even though the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard specifies steel gas tanks for street motorcycles, most states will not enforce this for converted dirt bikes.

Registration procedures vary from state to state but typically involve:
  • Signing an affidavit certifying that the vehicle meets state standards.
  • Bringing the bike to the DMV for an inspection for proper lighting
  • Once the paper work and inspection are complete the final step is to exchange your off-road title for a street title
Exchanging your title
Most states have a "Dual Registration Form" You should be able to download this form from your states DMV over the internet or filling it out at your DMV office. Then pay the transfer fee and obtain your registration, put the plate on your bike and go show your friends!

California information removed based on new CA laws. Thanks to Brian10 for the reminder.

Info courtesy of Electrex USA

Reply by forgeanvil on 10/22/2004 05:02:43 AM
I contacted both Georgia and SC DMV's and they were emphatic that a dirt bike cannot be converted to street use so long as it has a MSR that reads "For Off-road use only." I haven't found any way to get around this here despite repeated calls to various departments of these two states. I was planning on going with the 650R after having such a hard time with my L's heat issues. After the states shut me down, I did some research, found this forum, and did all the mods. Boy am I glad. I"m sure those R's are hot but I love my L.

Reply by Admin on 10/22/2004 06:56:45 AM
I've read that some people take their bikes to neighboring states that allow a dirt bike to be registered then switch the title back in their own state. I have personally not tried it though.

Reply by Brian10 on 10/22/2004 09:11:22 AM
In California, you can no longer (as of the end of January 2004) register off highway bikes for on road use. All of your information was correct up until that time. now, it is no longer possible to register these bikes at all. The state found some obscure law from 1978 or 1976 that prevents vehicle without a Federal Emissions Label from being eligible for highway registration. They interpreted that to mean dirt bikes since they do not have this label.

Now, there is no way to register these vehicle in California for highway use. If, you register them out of state, as many people were doing with the Red Sticker bikes, and try to bring them into California, they deny you highway registration. They will only issue you a Off Highway Registration. I have personally witnessed a Dual Sported bike from another state with on highway registration from that state and all the required equipment be denied California Highway Registration because it did not have a Federal Emissions Label. They would only issue off highway registration for this bike.

I live in California, and I am very familiar wit its laws. There is no way around this right now. If that changes, I'll write it up. I'm not telling anyone to dis-obey the law here, but the only way to make your dirt bike street legal here in California is to register it out of state. Put all of the proper equipment on the bike, and get a plate from another state. If you get stopped on the bike, you can still be ticketed for a registration violation if they can prove you are a resident of California or that the bike is permanently residing in California. If you have a California Driver License, that is a presumption that you reside in California and that the bike would need to be registered here. If the bike is registered to someone else (say your parents in another state), and you are just riding it temporarily, they can't give you a ticket because California recognizes registration from other states as valid. Yeah, this is a little bit of a hassle and a crappy way to have to do things, but that is the way California has made things for us right now. Personally, I know very few Officers are aware of the rule changes for the registration, and that if you are prepared, you can probably do this and get away with it. I would not recommend parking the bike next to your local California Highway Patrol Office every day and then trying to tell them that the bike belongs to your father in Oregon/Nevada/Arizona. You'd get the registration ticket. If you do this, keep a low profile and don't go about flaunting it.

I only recommend this right now because California has made it completely impossible to register these bikes after this last January. I personally knew this law was changing, and I wrote to everyone I could including the editors of every major magazine that I could reach. I saw almost nothing in print in the magazines, and almost no public outcry from California's motorcycle riders. So, this is where we are at right now. You can't convert dirt bikes in California without cheating the system a little.

I personally saw this coming and registered a 2004 bike before the law changed. That bike is grandfathered in due to being registered prior to the law going into effect.

Just remember, the dirt bike cannot be brought into California from another state with highway registration and then receive California Highway Registration unless it has a federal Emissions Label. The DMV Employee will inspect the bike, and when they don't find the emissions label, they will deny Highway Registration, so if your bike is already registered in another state, just keep on paying that state their registration fees and keep that plate.

Reply by Admin on 10/22/2004 09:39:32 AM
I do remember reading that, Brian10. Thanks for the update! I will make the changes to the post.

Reply by Brian10 on 10/22/2004 09:57:48 AM
I re-read my update, and I kinda realize that I sound a little harsh in there. Sorry about that. I just get a little ticked when I think of all the stupid stuff that goes on related to our sport here in California. Anyway, it is all up to date info, and I hope it helps someone out.

Reply by Admin on 10/22/2004 10:47:47 AM
I can understand your frustration. I recently moved back to California and went to the DMV to register my dirt bikes. The woman working behind the counter wanted to give me red stickers for my dirt bikes that were originally purchased in California and previously had green stickers. She said the VIN digits indicated red stickers. I explained to her that there is a grandfather clause that goes back to I think 2000. She did not believe me and refused to give me green stickers. I called CARB on my cell phone while standing in front of her and they confirmed it with me and asked to speak with her. I handed her my cell phone and they told her to give me green stickers and also faxed her the document. It's pretty sad when we (the public) have to educate the people that are enforcing vehicle policies and procedures.

Reply by Brian10 on 10/22/2004 12:36:28 PM
Amen to that!!!! In California, the Bureaucrats have gone wild. They confuse themselves, and they cannot possibly keep track of all the rules because there are over 40,000 Vehicle Codes alone. That does not include the millions of other rules they have for everything under the sun. It is a joke. I have been in the same position as you on several occasions. Right now, I'm doing battle on another issue with DMV.

I'm having to actually contact the capital and petition State Senators about the requirement for riders trying to get licensed under the age of 21. They require them to go through a MSF School. I have absolutely no problem with that; in fact, I think it is a great idea, but they don't have the schools available in all areas. So, it costs a kid who wants to be legal and do everything right and who lives in a rural area approximately three times the amount of money to get his license. in some cases, he cannot possibly attend the school and return home without violating the conditions of his permit in a single day. They require the kid to pay for his own out of town lodging in that case. In my son's case, this am mounts to over three hundred dollars above the cost of the class which is $150. And, no the state will not reimburse him for these expenses. They stopped the reimbursements in either May or June. Simply put, that is not fair to kids who are trying to be legal but live in rural areas removed from large population centers.

Reply by Admin on 10/22/2004 3:42:15 PM
"In California, the Bureaucrats have gone wild. They confuse themselves" You said a mouthful there! LOL! Good luck with the State Senators. If you need us all to go to Sac and stand on the lawn in front of the capitol building to help, just yell!

Reply by bp 1.8 on 11/03/2004 7:26:26 PM
so whats all involved with getting a bike registered in florida?

Reply by Kimberly on 11/10/2004 7:50:07 PM
Since they changed the laws in Florida too, you can no longer register and off road bike for street use. The only bike that you can register is a KTM, due to the fact that they do not put "For Off Road Use Only" on their MSO's. Actually the KTM dealer can tag it for you, my local dealer did when I bought my KTM. I have since sold the bike. I tried about two years ago to convert a dirtbike, I followed all of the guidelines and was turned down at the inspection due to the fact that the original MSO was for off road use. The only way that you can tag a bike is to do it out of state (which some states have stopped doing unless you have lived in that state for 6 months), or you have to have a frame with a original MSO that does not say "For Off Road Use Only". No anyone can go in their backyard, weld a frame together out of any old kind of material, sign an affidavit that says that they made the frame, and register it for street use!! Now explain that? Some of the local dual sport clubs have tried to find ways, and as of yet no one has.

Reply by bp 1.8 on 11/12/2004 10:44:35 PM
if its under 125cc's you can do it. i did it with my panterra that had an mso saying "for off road use only". they tag it as a scooter and not a motorcycle. i was wondering how hard it would be to title a 125+cc machine though. i guess it looks pretty difficult.

Reply by bp 1.8 on 11/20/2004 10:48:32 PM
has anyone done the vermont dealie?

Reply by rtben on 01/26/2005 1:32:27 PM
how about Michigan?

Reply by Cisco on 03/18/2005 12:27:33 PM
I just purchased a 150cc motorcycle. I bought it new and when I went down to get the title transferred they gave me a licence plate for it. It is an off road bike so I am a bit confused. I got the title transferred at a sub-agent of the DMV. Did they make a mistake by registering it a a street bike? THere is nothing on the registration that states "off road use only". I think I will put a Dual purpose conversion kit on it and use it as such. FYI, i live in Washington state.

Reply by oldnewbie on 08/17/2005 4:51:18 PM
Has anybody tagged one in Maryland?

Reply by Sixgun on 08/24/2005 5:41:48 PM
I just got a GY200, which came with all the on-road goodies. I went down to the tag office and handed them my MCO and they said that the MCO looked "fishy" since it was not completely filled out by the Mfr. They (Mfr.)only put the make and model on the paperwork. So now I am trying to get the seller of my bike to complete the form so I can hopefully register the bike in GA.

Reply by oscarmeyer on 11/16/2005 6:39:59 PM
Any word for NC. I don't have a bill of sale, can I still register this thing (xr250l)? It was titled at one time, but the guy i bought it from didn't have the title. Anyway I can get it?

Reply by JayIzGrimey on 05/13/2006 12:52:53 AM
oscar I think ur pretty much screwed, I was in the same predicament with my other xt. I bought it but the dude didn't have the title saying the people he bought it from "only used it for farm use, so they didn't give him a title", so i had to deal with the NYS title bureau because of his idiocy. In turn the NYS title bureau tried to make me do a damn ancestry search to find the original owners or "holders" of the title to get them to sign the bitch down the line. Anyone know how to avoid this, or get around? that was my first bike so I didn't really know about all the extremities of freakin certificates n stuff. I thought u could just go to the dmv and apply for all that stuff, so now I have one good xt350, and one working one that doesn't have any of the papers. Any advice?

Reply by ashtong63 on 06/21/2006 2:02:07 PM
I'm from VT, and managed to get my WR426 registered for road use a few years ago. The DMV did have a problem with the "for off-road use only" part, but here's how I got around it.

I got the vin varifacation sheet filled out by a state trooper as I normally would before registering any other vehicle. Then, I went to my local motorcycle shop that does inspections, and the guy inspected the bike to make sure it was legal. (DOT tires, headlight, brake light, tail light, mirror and horn. No winkers required here.) I had put all of the required things on before I took it to him, so it checked out.

Now, to get it registered, all he had to do was to write a letter to the DMV on his letterhead saying basically "this WR426, vin .... has been properly converted for safe street use and has all of the required components, mirrors, lights, etc. then gave his name and the name of his shop" I took this letter to the DMV along with the title that said "not for off-road use" and they gave me a registration! Once I had the registration, I got insurance, and then took it back to the guy who gave me an actual inspection sticker. (he couldn't do this before, no registraton=no inspection.)

The beauty of this was that the DMV never even looked at the bike, only the guy that owned the shop. The guy at the shop doesn't care what I ride on the road, and the only way he is liable is if he inspects an illegal bike, which he didn't. It had everything required to make it legal.

I realize that many states require blinkers, as well as a Hi-Lo headlight (I used an acerbis one with one beam, and he never checked it). The cheapest way to take care of this would be to find an old doner street bike. Pick one up with working components and a seized engine or something for 50 bucks, and rewire it for your bike. If you don't have a strong enough coil, just stuff a battery in your air box for the inspection.

Hope this helps, I don't know other states' policies on the letter thing, but it worked in VT!

Reply by holleyb19 on 05/27/2007 12:39:18 PM
Originally posted by Cisco
I just purchased a 150cc motorcycle. I bought it new and when I went down to get the title transferred they gave me a licence plate for it. It is an off road bike so I am a bit confused. I got the title transferred at a sub-agent of the DMV. Did they make a mistake by registering it a a street bike? THere is nothing on the registration that states "off road use only". I think I will put a Dual purpose conversion kit on it and use it as such. FYI, i live in Washington state.
Man, That's good news. I have been reading the post and I am trying to turn my bike into a dual sport, but it seems it isn't working out for everyone. I love in Washington too.

Reply by eagle12s on 07/14/2007 02:40:45 AM
ok. i'm a little slow here- and read the long posts. but am not 100% clear and was wondering if these laws are still in effect, considering my reply is several years after the original post. i have a yz250f with a larger front, and smaller back sprocket and am looking for a daily rider to college and back. to do this, would i have to take it all the way to Nevada? and all that you described? also. the rational for all the extra effort was because the off road bikes dont have some federal emissions test- i take it you cannot get this test? ahhh. such a simple thing yet to damn elaborate. California sucks! -Drew

Reply by exrider416 on 09/05/2007 12:21:34 AM
can i do this in new york? i don't have a bike yet but i would like to get one and don't want to spend the cash on a dual sport and i like most of the bikes that aren't dual sports better then the dual sport bikes lol. i am guessing that i can't do this in ny b/c they are a pain in the butt on everything else but i am hoping someone knows about the laws here or has done it here and can help me out

Reply by swkak on 12/03/2007 3:55:58 PM
I am looking to do the VT Vermont conversion and registration too. My wife is limited to a smaller bike and there is nothing decent in an on off road machine. I got her a Yam ttr 125 and installed a complete Baja Design Kit and then used dot tires. I am looking for the shop that ashtong63 used as they seem user friendly. If you would e mail me that would be great. Thanks.

Reply by ALS650L on 12/03/2007 5:07:22 PM
Where in VT are you located? I'm in VT as well. Any motorcycle inspection station should be able to do the deed for you. I'll try to find the state bulletin that says what needs to be done.

Reply by swkak on 12/03/2007 5:20:34 PM
white river area. thanks for that and I will look forward to hearing what you find.

Reply by MightyBright1 on 05/02/2012 07:34:07 AM
I just got back from the WV DMV where I brought my 2012 CRF450X title to see what is required to make it street legal. They gave me a simple form for any inspection station to fill out. I just return the form with a odometer statement and I'm good. Just ordered my lights from Dr. Enduro along with a vapor. Now I have to order DOT tires (YUCK!)

Reply by gobigblueku on 05/08/2012 2:14:51 PM
Walter, did you get all the way thru the process and get a tag? I'm in NC and having a really tough time getting anywhere with my xr650r.. Keep us posted!

Reply by MightyBright1 on 05/08/2012 7:11:52 PM
Im waiting on Dr Enduro to ship my Street kit. I did stop by an inspection station that I frequent to see if there are any special things I should be aware of and feel the process should go very smoothly. I will most certianly keep you up to date.

Reply by Rider69 on 08/13/2013 10:04:45 AM
I am in the process of making my 650 XR street legal In Kentucky? Where should I start ? I dont have a Title. All information will be a Big help thanks for your replies Neal

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