According to the law in Pennsylvania, ATVs and dirt bikes are not allowed on the roads. It’s unfortunate for many dirt biking enthusiasts, but the state has had an alarming number of complaints regarding unregistered dirt bike accidents.
Since 2019, there have been over 100 deaths from ATV accidents in the state, and the commonwealth ranks high in national statistics.
Hundreds of riders come into the city of Philadelphia in packs and flood the roads, making it a nuisance and a safety hazard for residents in the state’s biggest city.
That being said, it is not completely illegal to ride dirt bikes in Pennsylvania.
In order to be fully street legal, dirt bikes need to get insured, go through a thorough inspection, and have a valid registration plate before they may operate on the roads.
Do you need a license to ride a dirt bike on the road in PA?
For a dirt bike to be a legally drivable motorcycle on public streets, it needs to go through the above-outlined steps at the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
After being insured, inspected, and registered, the driver must also ensure having a proper Class M license or a Class M with a 9 restriction to drive on the roads in PA.
Other requirements include those universal for dirt bikes:
- Safe and functional eye protection
- Specifications fulfilling helmets for both drivers and passengers.
The biggest barrier that riders face in the criteria is the strict state inspection, which includes an array of standard requirements to be met.
Equipment that must be up to standard includes:
- tire and wheels
- lighting and signals
- horn or warning device
- proper exhaust systems.
Another tough part about getting a dirt bike street legal is getting the paperwork documented and approved in Harrisburg, PA.
Depending on what kind of dirt bike it is, the modifications to convert it to a street legal form may range anywhere from $300 to $1,000, which is a cost many cannot spare.
Places where ATV and dirt bike use are legal in PA
If the vehicle is duly registered with the state, it can be used on private property or one of 11 designated trails for ATV riding in the expansive Pennsylvania state forests.
However, riding dirt bikes is legal on the following publicly available trails in Pennsylvania:
- Bald Eagle State Forest
- Seven Mountains Ramble
- Shade Mountain
- Marienville and Timberline
- Rocky Gap
- Willow Creek
These trails are maintained and offer gorgeous views of the state forests, making for stunning rides in the vicinity.
Is it illegal to ride dirt bikes on the road in PA?
A recent law threatens to limit the use of both ATVs and dirt bikes on public roads.
Unregistered vehicles may not operate on state or city streets freely, and riders can face citations and fines.
Are 2 stroke bikes street legal in Pennsylvania?
A 2-stroke bike is a popular choice for bikers.
It is called a 2-stroke because it involves only one up and down movement of the piston, i.e., the 2 strokes, to perform the full cycle of intake, compression, combustion and exhaust.
With legality, there are some things that need to be considered.
There is a difference in Pennsylvania between getting your vehicle registered and being street legal.
Being registered allows you to get a plate, but as stated above, to be street legal in Pennsylvania you have to pass an inspection.
To pass an inspection, you need insurance and a variety of approved modifications, i.e. mirrors, horn, high/low beams, working brake light, turn signals, mirrors, speedometer/odometer, a chain guard, along with a registration card.