Are Dirt Bikes and Pit Bikes Street Legal in the UK in 2022?
Are you wondering if your dirt bike or pit bike is street legal in the UK?
You're not the only one.
We know that a lot of you out there love riding your dirt bike or pit bike on the weekends, but what are the laws and regulations surrounding them?
Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.
So if you want to ride your dirt bike or pit bike to the destination instead of loading it in a truck or towing it, this is the article for you!
Are Dirt Bikes or Pit Bikes Street Legal?
Unfortunately, dirt bikes or pit bikes are not road legal which means you can not ride them on public roads, public places such as parks, forests, footpaths, forests, and beaches.
The only place you are legally allowed to ride a dirt bike or pit bike is on private property with the landowners’ permission.
So if you want to take your bike out for a spin, you’ll need to find a friend with some private land or join an off-road motorcycle club that has access to trails and tracks.
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Why Can't Dirt Bikes or Pit Bikes Be Riden On The Public Roads?
Any motorised vehicle that is licensed and authorised to be used on public roads must meet certain safety requirements.
Dirt bikes and pit bikes do not have indicator lights, headlights, number plates, or mirrors which makes them unsafe and illegal to ride on the roads.
Additionally, dirt bikes and pit bikes are not designed to be ridden on tarmac as they have off-road tyres that can damage the road surface.
What Happens if you Get Caught Riding a Dirtbike or Pit Bike on the Road in the UK?
If you get caught riding your dirt bike or pit bike in the UK, you will likely be prosecuted in the Magistrates’ Court.
Your motorbike may also be seized by the police and you could lose your driving license.
It is illegal to ride a pit bike, dirt bike, or quad bike on public roads or in public places such as parks, beaches, and forests in the United Kingdom.
What is the Difference Between a Road Legal Bike and a Dirt Bike or Pit Bike?
A road legal bike is a motorcycle that has been designed and built to be ridden on public roads.
They have indicator lights, headlights, number plates, and mirrors as well as being fitted with tarmac-friendly tyres.
Dirt bikes and pit bikes, on the other hand, are designed for off-road use only.
They do not have any of the features that make a motorcycle road legal and their tyres are not suitable for tarmac.
The suspension and brakes are also not the same since an off-road bike will need stronger brakes and more durable suspension to deal with the rougher terrain.
Also, an off-road bike won't need to meet the same noise level restrictions and emissions as a road-legal motorcycle.
The sport of motocross doesn't require riders to have number plates, headlights, horn, or an MOT certificate.
This is because motocross tracks are built on private land and are not open to the public. They are specifically designed for off-road riding.
If you want to ride a motocross bike on the road, you will need to adhere to the same rules as any other motorbike. This includes having number plates, lights, horn, and an MOT certificate.
However, you must still comply with noise restrictions set by the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
There are few motorbikes that still use two-stroke engines and as a result, they are not subject to the same rules and regulations but have the ability to be used both on-road and off-road. However, since emissions regulations have come into place, many two-strokes have been phased out and are no longer legal for road use.
This means that if you want to ride a two-stroke bike on the road, you will need to make sure it is compliant with emissions regulations.
You will also need to have number plates, lights, horn, and an MOT certificate.
How Can I Make My Dirt Bike or Pit Bike Road Legal?
In order to make your dirt bike or pit bike road legal, you will need to make a few modifications.
You will need to add number plates, lights, horn, and mirrors. You will also need to ensure that your bike is compliant with emissions regulations and have a valid MOT, NOVA declaration.
Once you have made these modifications, you will then need to take your bike to a garage to get an MOT certificate.
Once you have an MOT certificate, you will then be able to register your bike with the DVLA and get road insurance.
Please note: Even if you make these modifications, your bike will still not be as safe as a standard road motorcycle and you may struggle to find insurance cover.
Certificate Of Newness
Also, if you want to make your motorbike road legal get a conformity certicate of newness. You can do this by obtaining a document from the manufacturer or vehicle importer which states that the motorcycle conforms to all European-type approval requirements. Other relevant factors include the engine size and when it was manufactured.
Did you know that you don't need a licence to ride a dirt bike or pit bike in the UK?
However, if you want to ride your dirt bike on the road, you will need to get a full motorcycle licence. You can apply for a motorcycle licence when you turn 17 years old.
In order to get your motorcycle licence, you will need to pass a theory test and a practical test. Once you have passed these tests, you will be issued with a provisional licence.
You will then need to complete a compulsory basic training (CBT) course before you can ride on the roads.
The CBT course will teach you the basic skills and knowledge that you need to ride a motorcycle safely.
Once you have completed your CBT course, you will be issued with a certificate that is valid for two years. You will then be able to ride on the roads with L plates.
After you have had your motorcycle licence for two years, you will be able to take an advanced riding test.
Once you have passed this test, you will no longer need to display L plates on your motorcycle.
Dual Sport or Dirt bikes/Pit Bike?
a dual sport bike is a bike that is designed to be ridden both on and off-road.
These bikes usually have number plates, lights, horn, and mirrors as standard. This means that they can be ridden on the road without any modifications.
However, dual sport bikes are not as common as dirt bikes or pit bikes. This is because they are usually more expensive and not as well suited to off-road riding.
Since these bikes cost more, they are normally bought by enthusiasts who are planning to do a lot of off-roading. Those that need a bike to commute to work, but also want to be able to ride off-road at the weekends.
At what age can you ride a dirt bike or pit bike?
There is no legal age limit for riding dirt bikes or pit bikes. However, if you want to ride on the road, you will need to have a full motorcycle licence. You can apply for a motorcycle licence when you turn 17 years old.
Do I need insurance to ride a dirt bike or pit bike?
No, you do not need insurance to ride a dirt bike or pit bike. However, if you want to ride on the road, you will need to have motorcycle insurance.
Can I ride a dirt bike or pit bike on the pavement?
No, you cannot ride a dirt bike or pit bike on the pavement. You can only ride these bikes on off-road tracks or private land.
Can I ride a dirt bike or pit bike without a helmet?
No, you cannot ride a dirt bike or pit bike without a helmet. You must wear a helmet that is compliant with British Law.
So there you have it, now you know why you can't just buy a dirt bike or pit bike and ride it on the roads. You will need to make some modifications and obtain an MOT certificate.
You will also need to have a full motorcycle licence in order to ride on the roads.
However, if you just want to ride off-road, then you don't need a licence or insurance. But, you will still need to follow the off-road code.
We hope that this article has been helpful and that you now have a better understanding of what is required in order to ride a dirt bike or pit bike on the roads in the UK.