Making Bobber Motorcycle Kits Street Legal

Some bobber motorcycle kits, like the Kikker 5150 Hardknock Bobber, come with most of the equipment needed to make your finished bike street legal. Others are simple rolling chassis without any of these extras. Whatever the case, it’s your responsibility to make the finished bike street legal.

Some bobber motorcycle kits, like the Kikker 5150 Hardknock Bobber, come complete with with a brake light kit, headlight, horn, DOT tires and MSO (upon request). So they can be titled and registered as street legal vehicles in most states. Some states will also require the addition of a license plate bracket, which you will need to purchase separately. On the other hand, some bobber motorcycle kits are simple rolling chassis and will not include any of these extras. In any case, remember that you are buying a kit (i.e. parts), not a motorcycle. So it is your responsibility to make the finished bike street legal, not the supplier of the kit.

Since each state is different, always check with your local DMV for information specific to your area. Here are specific points that typically need special attention to make your custom bobber street legal:

  • Tires. Typically they must be DOT approved for street use. No racing tires.
  • Exhausts. Open pipes of any kind are generally out. If you can’t attach a legal aftermarket muffler, then your bobber is a very loud showpiece, not a street bike.
  • Mirrors. You’ll need at least one rear view mirror.
  • Turn signals. Turn signals are not required in every state, but they are nevertheless a smart thing to have (if you use them).
  • Headlamp and Tail Light. A DOT approved headlight with Hi/Low beam and a tail light that lights upon application of the front and the rear brake.
  • Horn. Another safety feature that may one day save your life.
  • License plate brackets. Not required in every state. Check local regulations if you wish to forgo.
  • Manufacturers Statement of Origin (MSO). Some states will require an MSO or MCO (Manufacturers Certificate of Origin) specifically stating that the vehicle is intended for highway use. Some bobber motorcycle kits will provide this upon request.

As you might expect California has some additional emissions restrictions that should be investigated if you live there. Suppliers that specialize in street legal conversion kits and related accessories for MX bikes, like Baja Designs, are a good general source of information too.

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