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How To Convert A Dirt Bike To A Legal Street Bike

So you’ve got a dirt bike, but what you really want is a street legal bike. Commuting by motorcycle is a great way to save tons of money on gas, and it’s a whole lot more fun in general than driving a car. Luckily if you have basic mechanical knowledge and capabilities, it’s not too complicated to make the upgrade yourself. Here are a few of the considerations you must keep in mind if you are trying to convert your dirt bike into a legal street bike.

Lights

To an extent, most specific regulations will depend on the state and even the county that you live in. In general, for on-road riding, you will need at least a headlight with high and low beams, tail, and brake lights. You may also need turn signals, or local law may dictate that you may use hand signals.

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Lights are relatively easy to install, so this will be no worry to you, however some bikes will need additional power source and a regulator so the lights don’t burn out. There are systems available that run on battery power, or you can upgrade your stator.

Brakes

Because you may be traveling at highway speed, you will need higher breaking ability.The easiest way to achieve this is usually by replacing the rotor with a larger one, and installing a relocation bracket. You might also want to replace your rubber hose with a braided brake line, which will give you much firmer and consistent braking power.

Wheels

Typically when you upgrade a dirt bike to be street friendly, you will need to upgrade your wheels to accommodate for the different terrain. Most dirt bikes start with 19-20 inch wheels, but for road riding you will usually want 17” wheels. This will make you feel a lot lower, but it will allow you to better handle the bike. Wider is also better when it comes to wheels and tires, but once you get to around 4.25” tires on a 17” wheel you may encounter problems with the wheel pinching the bead.

Extras and Accessories

There are lots of additional little adjustments that you will need to make, and the specifics depend largely upon where you will be riding. Reflectors, a working horn, road legal exhaust, and mirrors are all smart to have, and some are legally required.

Still feel overwhelmed with the task ahead of you? There are plenty of resources to help you perform the required maintenance, as well as a wealth of resources to guide you to exactly what you will need. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a great place to start for additional research, and the AMA has a state-by-state guide to help you find out exactly what you need to do.

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