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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Motorcycle/ORV legality question

I've got a buddy who is thinking of getting into adventure/trail riding in northern MI. I'm thinking of selling my Suzuki Bandit in the spring and possibly getting in this with him as well. Our question is with the legality of riding certain bikes on roads. I'd be fine with buying a factory street legal bike (or something with a conversion kit) that I could plate and ride to work as well. I'm pretty sure that as long as I got my MI ORV sticker I could ride something like that any where I wanted. But it seems he's more interested in getting some that is more performance oriented, or even a motocross bike as he can find them cheaper but he'd like to be able to still ride on the roads. Like say we're out on the trail and need gas he'd want to be able to ride to the gas station. Do have any insight with regards to non-plated motorcycles on the road? I know some counties are allowing ATV's and side-by-sides on county back roads but I'm pretty sure if he's going to want to ride roads at all he'd need something street legal and plated. My buddy came across this and it seems to point towards that being the case:

And page 14 here:
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/ORVguide_95964_7.pdf
“An ORV NOT licensed for highway use may not be operated on the roadway, shoulder or right-of-way of a state, federal, or county road.”
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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:13 PM   #2
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Just get a dual purpose bike. Most of the newer ones are plenty capable for trails and have full legal lighting. A motocross bike with an off-road title would be difficult if not impossible to title as a road vehicle, even if you add the required equipment. The state closed to loophole to prevent people from building street quads.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #3
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Well he's looking at a total budget of $2500 so newer bikes really arent an option. I'm fine with a dual sport so I'm not to worried about myself. He's from IL and I'm living in IN so I'm not sure what kind of issues he'd run into getting a motocross bike titled/plated in IL.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Well he's looking at a total budget of $2500 so newer bikes really arent an option. I'm fine with a dual sport so I'm not to worried about myself. He's from IL and I'm living in IN so I'm not sure what kind of issues he'd run into getting a motocross bike titled/plated in IL.
look at kawasaki klr's lots in that price range. I been thinking about doing the same thing myself.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #5
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By the time I fix my exc400 I traded off here I'll have 4500 into it. Less the supermoto kit and that's $3k. I think he can buy a dual sport, or nice bike like mine that needs work for $2500. heck I have that little into my DRZ400.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:35 PM   #6
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This is a friends of mine and its titled and plated: http://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/mcy/3410116863.html
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Old November 27th, 2012, 10:39 PM   #7
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Those TTR's are nice, a lot cushier than my old Honda.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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You cannot ride a motorcycle with an ORV sticker only on any michigan road. No, I'm not talking an un-maintained ORV marked fire road up in Mio, I'm talking anything from county dirt back roads to paved to highway. I know of plenty of people who have been ticketed for such riding up north with just ORV stickers...and try to ride from your campsite to the dunes. Perhaps that's changed with the side by sides/ATV's, but I don't think it has.

As far as bike suggestions, if you want to spend 2500 bucks I'd pick up an XR400 - you can find them all day long for 1500-2K, and they're often street legal. Spend another 300 on an oversized tank, respring the suspension and you'll have a cheap/decent/bullet proof do everything bike.

You really need to ask yourself where you're going to spend most of your riding time. Bikes that do well on tight trails typically don't like open highway (say a CRF450 on a 55mph highway for long lengths), and the opposite is true for bikes that excell on the open highways (a BMW GS will never keep up with a CRF450 on tight trails). Also keep in mind that if your buddy wants to just convert an MX bike, they typically use more gas then a mild enduro bike. May not seem like a big deal, until you're 20 miles away from gas and you run out...
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Old November 28th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BlooMule View Post
Just get a dual purpose bike. Most of the newer ones are plenty capable for trails and have full legal lighting. A motocross bike with an off-road title would be difficult if not impossible to title as a road vehicle, even if you add the required equipment. The state closed to loophole to prevent people from building street quads.
Not true. I purchased and installed a dual sport kit on an XR200, had it inspected by a police officer, and plated it.

However, it is way easier to just get a dual sport.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 08:43 PM   #10
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You cannot ride a motorcycle with an ORV sticker only on any michigan road. No, I'm not talking an un-maintained ORV marked fire road up in Mio, I'm talking anything from county dirt back roads to paved to highway. I know of plenty of people who have been ticketed for such riding up north with just ORV stickers...and try to ride from your campsite to the dunes. Perhaps that's changed with the side by sides/ATV's, but I don't think it has.
It depends on the county you're in. In Gladwin Co. you can pretty much operate an ORV w/ an ORV sticker on all county roads and some streets within the city. You have to ride on the shoulder, can't exceed 25 mph, and if it's after dark, I'm pretty sure you have to have a headlight.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by xj4life View Post
Well he's looking at a total budget of $2500 so newer bikes really arent an option. I'm fine with a dual sport so I'm not to worried about myself. He's from IL and I'm living in IN so I'm not sure what kind of issues he'd run into getting a motocross bike titled/plated in IL.
That is a different ballgame, the info I provided is for MI.

I'm very happy with my KLX250s. You should easily be able to find one of them in your price range. I saw somebody purchased a brand new leftover 09 KLX250SM for 3k OTD in the KLX thread on advrider.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #12
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Not true. I purchased and installed a dual sport kit on an XR200, had it inspected by a police officer, and plated it.

However, it is way easier to just get a dual sport.
When was this? I used to do this often as well, it was a cheap way to get a road bike.

I tried to get a street legal title last year for my Honda XL175 that the previous owner had titled as an off road vehicle and was told it was no longer possible by the SOS clerk. Yes, I know they don't always know the laws.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:10 PM   #13
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When was this? I used to do this often as well, it was a cheap way to get a road bike.

I tried to get a street legal title last year for my Honda XL175 that the previous owner had titled as an off road vehicle and was told it was no longer possible by the SOS clerk. Yes, I know they don't always know the laws.
2009-2010ish.

mo info:

How to Register / Make a Dirt Bike Street Legal in Michigan - ADVrider
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #14
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When was this? I used to do this often as well, it was a cheap way to get a road bike.

I tried to get a street legal title last year for my Honda XL175 that the previous owner had titled as an off road vehicle and was told it was no longer possible by the SOS clerk. Yes, I know they don't always know the laws.
You believed a SOS clerk and posted it as if it was the truth. Awesome.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #15
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Plus, it won't work for quads, since the TR-54 form only applies to 2 or 3 wheeled vehicles. I'm honestly surprised we don't see more street legal 3 wheelers...
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #16
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You believed a SOS clerk and posted it as if it was the truth. Awesome.
Yes, I know

But she did effectively stop me from getting a street title.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:18 PM   #17
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Plus, it won't work for quads, since the TR-54 form only applies to 2 or 3 wheeled vehicles. I'm honestly surprised we don't see more street legal 3 wheelers...
You need a differential to be street legal, how many 3 wheelers have a diff?
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:25 PM   #18
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You need a differential to be street legal, how many 3 wheelers have a diff?
You are right, if you look at the Part B Motorcycles (2 or 3 wheeled vehicles) it does require a differential.

However, where is the differential on a sidecar rig?
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Old November 28th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #19
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Not really into sidecars, I think the Ural my neighbor had did have a diff, most HD sidecars have an electric motor to give the mess 'reverse'.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #20
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It depends on the county you're in. In Gladwin Co. you can pretty much operate an ORV w/ an ORV sticker on all county roads and some streets within the city. You have to ride on the shoulder, can't exceed 25 mph, and if it's after dark, I'm pretty sure you have to have a headlight.
Not that I don't believe you, but where are the written laws for this?

Pretty cool that they're allowing this. Still though, I wouldn't want to travel across the county doing 25mph on the shoulder. If I was to get a dual sport, I'd have it plated. It's pretty easy to do here in MI.
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