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Ask 2: Are motorized bicycles legal in Texas?

A motorcycle sits outside on a sunny Florida day.
A motorcycle sits outside on a sunny Florida day. (News 6)

HOUSTONAs part of KPRC’s Ask 2, we’ve invited you to ask us questions about Houston that you’ve wondered about, and we will try to hunt down the answer for you.

Question: Are motorized bicycles legal in Texas?

To simply put it- yes, but let’s cover all the bases.

The Texas Department of Public Safety defines a motorcycle as “a motor vehicle, other than a tractor or moped, that is equipped with a rider’s saddle and designed to have when propelled not more than three wheels on the ground.”

A motorcycle requires safety training and a Class M driver license, unlike a moped which drivers need a Class C license to operate and does not require safety training.

The Texas Department of Public Safety defines a moped as “a motor vehicle that is equipped with a rider’s saddle and designed to have when propelled not more than three wheels on the ground, that cannot attain a speed in one mile of more than 30 miles per hour, and the engine of which cannot produce more than five-brake horsepower and if an internal combustion engine, has a piston displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less and connects to a power drive system that does not require the operator to shift gears.”

The Texas Constitution and Statutes transportation code defines an electric bike as a vehicle which is equipped with a motor that propels no more than 28-mph with the rider pedaling or 20-mph without the rider pedaling. The code also states owners of an electric bicycle cannot register the vehicle for operation on a public highway.

Motorized bicycles or motorcycles, moped and electric bicycles are all legal in Texas; however, they each have different requirements and restrictions.

Do you have a burning H-Town-related question? Send it our way, and we will try to hunt down an answer.

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