Category Archives: Motorcycle

5 Weird Motorcycle Laws You Probably Don’t Know

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The U.S. is made up of a patchwork of laws that dictate public, and in some cases private, life. Riding a motorcycle is legal in all 50 states, but state and local governments are free to implement their own rules in the interest of public safety. You might have to adjust your riding style depending on where you’re riding, especially if you plan on crossing state lines on a long road trip. State and local motorcycle laws range from the practical to the absurd. Here are 10 laws that should stand out on your list:

Safe on Red Laws

If you’ve ever waited at a red light on your motorcycle, you know how frustrating it can be. Most intersections with traffic lights have sensors that will change the light depending on whether a vehicle has been detected, but many of these sensors can’t detect motorcycles, leaving you stuck at the red light for what can feel like an eternity. 

Some sensors are built into the pavement and will activate the light when a vehicle comes to a stop or drives towards the intersection. These sensors are placed on either side of the lane where a car’s wheels would normally land. More advance sensors emit energy from the traffic light and will change the color if a vehicle is nearby. Both types of sensors can be problematic for motorcycles. 

That doesn’t mean you can plow through red lights whenever you want. Driving through a red light can be extremely dangerous, but 12 states and localities have safe-on-red laws that allow motorcyclists to drive through a red light if there is no one coming, including:

  • Arkansas
  • Idaho 
  • Illinois 
  • Minnesota 
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia 
  • Wisconsin

These laws vary from state to state. For example, in North Carolina motorcyclists can legally run a red light if they come to a stop, wait for three minutes, and the light doesn’t change. Regardless of how long you have to wait, every state with safe-on-red laws on the books says you must first check to make sure no one is coming before carefully proceeding through the intersection. The key word there is “carefully”. Go slow and listen for other cars and pedestrians to avoid getting into an accident. 

If you hit someone while driving through a red light, these laws will not absolve you of responsibility. You will still have to pay damages and be prosecuted by the full extent of the law.

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Clean Your Tires

Minnesota has an obscure law that requires motorcyclists to keep their tires clean. According to the law, dirty tires are “a nuisance that affects public peace, safety, and general welfare.” The idea of someone getting pulled over for dirty tires might sound insane, but all that extra debris can put you at risk, especially if you plan on going off-road. In a rural state like Minnesota, a lot of riders will use ATVs and dirtbikes as motorcycles, or vice-versa. Remember to wipe off your tires before you get back on the road to avoid getting into trouble with the law. 

Keep Your Headlights On

Connecticut requires motorcyclists to drive with their headlights on at all times to increase visibility. But you don’t have to use them when operating a motorcycle less than 90cc off-road. Bikes can be hard to spot on the road, so it’s best to light up whenever possible even if you’re not in Connecticut. Just remember to turn off your headlights when you’re done riding to keep your battery intact. 

Send Off a Flare

Speaking of visibility, Pennsylvania wants to know your location when you venture off the beaten path on your motorcycle. If you go off-road on your bike, you are required to stop every mile and set off a flare or rocket signal, so other people can find you in an emergency. It’s not clear anyone will be around to see your signal, but it will definitely come in handy if you get lost wandering one of the state’s many national parks. 

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No Helmet, No Headset

Most states require you to wear a helmet at all times while riding, but Illinois is one of the few exceptions. You should still wear a helmet just to be safe, but the state outlaws motorcycle headsets to keep drivers from getting distracted on the road. 

However, most people agree that Bluetooth motorcycle speakers actually improve rider safety. They may even save your life if you get into an accident. Illinois makes an exception for single-earpiece headsets, so one ear stays unencumbered and can listen for traffic. If you use a motorcycle Bluetooth headset, take one ear out when riding in Illinois. 

You can also use a half-helmet Bluetooth motorcycle helmet when riding with a half-face helmet or skull cap. The included boom mic will pick up your voice, so you can call for help and safely communicate with your fellow riders as you navigate the road. 

Every state has its own way of regulating traffic safety, but some laws verge on the extreme, while others seem counterintuitive. Keep these laws in mind to make sure you are following the rules in every state.

What Are the Best Riding Gloves?

Let’s get real. We don’t often think about how vital our hands are on a day-to-day basis … until we hurt ourselves and can no longer function as usual. I mean, a mere cut can wreak havoc on a routine. It’s even worse if we end up with horrific road rash on our hands from a motorcycle crash.

In most states, the only equipment required to wear while riding a motorcycle is a helmet, even though, according to John Hopkins Medicine, one of the top three reasons most sports injuries occur is because of “inappropriate or lack of equipment.” While a helmet is the most important equipment to wear, “equipment” isn’t limited to a helmet.

Gloves are often forgotten (especially in nicer weather) because we usually only think of gloves in terms of keeping our hands warm. But keeping our hands well-protected is also extremely important.

According to Kinney, Fernandez & Boire Law, road rash is on the list of the top five most common motorcycle injuries, and it can lead to infection and nerve damage. Nerve damage in the hands could potentially affect our ability to ever ride again (if we can’t work our controls, we can’t ride).

So it’s always best to have a good pair of riding gloves ideal for the type of riding we plan on doing. Check out some considerations for picking the best motorcycle gloves for our riding needs:

Palm protection

Remember falling off our bikes as kids and instinctively catching ourselves by putting our hands out in front of our falling little bodies? Now, imagine that, but at much higher speeds with a full-grown body falling towards the asphalt. This is where that road rash can really wreck our day and, frankly, completely destroy our hands if we’re not careful. Look for gloves that are double-layered in the palms to prevent damage to one of the first parts of our bodies to hit the ground when we try to catch ourselves in a fall.

Full fingers

Sure, fingerless gloves may look cool, but …that’s about it. They’re basically useless for anything else. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, full-fingered gloves “protect hands from blisters, wind, sun, and cold, and will help prevent cuts, scrapes and abrasions in a crash.” We often don’t realize how vital sensations in our fingertips are until we can no longer feel them (don’t risk it).

Knuckle armor

Knuckle armor helps keep our hands elevated so there’s less impact in case of a wreck. According to First Check Point, knuckle armor provides impact protection for the whole hand. Plus, I bet it’s really horrible to break our knuckles (ouch!).


This one seems like a big “duh,” right? And, yet not enough people are wearing riding gloves even though it seems so obvious. The best motorcycle gloves will not only help with our grip on the bike, but it also prevents blisters and any abrasions from debris. Gloves should fit snugly while still providing enough movement for supreme grip and control.  

Wrist protection

According to First Check Point, “Hand and wrist injuries often require complex surgical procedures to repair.” Therefore, it’s best to get gloves that are designed to help protect our wrists from this type of damage.

Protection from the elements

When our hands go numb from the freezing air (or, mere wind chill), it can be hard to maintain a steady grip. That’s why ensuring we get a pair of riding gloves specifically designed to keep our hands optimally warm and dry is key. In the summer, it’s important to have a pair with ventilation for more comfort and to protect our grip when we inevitably sweat. For the winter months, they now make heated gloves for a supremely comfortable ride. Plus, the insulation provides further protection while keeping us warm.

How Important Are Motorcycle Boots?

As the number of motorcycle riders continues to increase in the United States, the demographics of motorcycle riders continue to change. Compared to the past, more women report being motorcycle riders. Additionally, the number of motorcyclists who have graduated college has increased, as well as the number of motorcyclists who report being married. The median age of motorcyclists has increased as well. While the demographics of motorcyclists may be changing, one thing that remains the same is the need for protective gear.

A motorcycle is a mode of transportation that is popular and enjoyable, but lacks the covering provided by cars and trucks. Just as motorcyclists can do certain things like remove their keys from the ignition or add an alarm to their motorcycle to keep it safe, they can invest in protective motorcycle gear to keep themselves safe while riding. Motorcyclists are exposed to environmental conditions, so how they dress when riding is important. This is why motorcyclists purchase helmets, jackets, gloves, and boots. Wearing motorcycle boots is more advantageous than just wearing any ole pair of boots.

Motorcycle boots are to a motorcyclist when riding what cleats are to an athlete when playing soccer, football, or any sport: they are important because they are footwear designed specifically for that activity. Motorcycle boots are designed and made in ways that make them stylish and fashionable, but their most important function is to be protective and comfortable. They are made to protect a motorcyclist’s feet in a way other types of footwear cannot, especially in the event of falling or crashing. Motorcyclists should go to a top motorcycle retailer, such as Chaparral Motorsports, for reliable, durable, high-quality motorcycle boots.

Motorcycle Boots Are Protective

A motorcyclist needs to maximize how protected they are from their head down to their feet while enjoying their motorcycle ride. In essence, wearing a high-quality pair of motorcycle boots is just as important as wearing a helmet.

While car drivers can get away with driving in sandals, sneakers, or stilettos, all of these choices of footwear would be hazardous when riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists tend to put one or both feet down on the ground when they reach a stop, in order to keep themselves stable. Wearing shoes that can easily slip on the road would hardly grant a motorcyclist stability.

Motorcycle boots are capable of withstanding conditions that other types of footwear cannot handle properly. They are able to protect a motorcyclist’s ankles and feet in the unfortunate event of falling off the motorcycle or crashing into something. Additionally, boots made specifically for motorcycle riding can prevent exhaust burns.

Motorcycle Boots Provide Comfort

Motorcycle boots not only provide protection to motorcyclists, but they also provide comfort in any and all kinds of weather conditions. They can keep a motorcyclist’s feet warm in cold weather, and keep them dry in rainy weather. High-quality, durable motorcycle boots are made to provide comfort to a motorcyclist’s feet for the duration of the ride, whether short or long. Distracted driving is a dangerous, potentially fatal behavior typically attributed to and engaged in by car drivers, however, motorcyclists can be guilty of riding while distracted, too. A motorcyclist can easily become distracted if their mind is flooded with thoughts about how much their feet hurt and how uncomfortable they are, or if they make attempts to adjust their shoes while riding. Wearing a pair of comfortable pair of motorcycle boots eliminates this hazardous distraction.When choosing a pair of motorcycle boots, it is important for motorcyclists to ensure that the boots fit and are the right size. Motorcyclists should also consider the height and material of the boots they get, to maximize protection and comfort. Are tall boots the better than short boots? Should the boots be made of leather? Motorcycle experts can assist a motorcyclist in choosing a pair of motorcycle boots that is just right for them and the environmental conditions in which they ride.