Minimum Highway HP or CC law?
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Lurker
LXV150
Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Vancouver,WA
Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:01 am quote
I've been commuting on a 55 mph highway for the last year. The highway patrol pulled me over because he thought my LXV150 wasn't legal. He ended up not being totally sure and told me to check with my manufacturer.

So what are the minimum horsepower or CC requirements for highway riding in Washington state? Where can I find that info?

I was a little baffled, since my scooter goes 65 mph, I even take it on main highways when I need to with no problems.

The officer said," Well, it looked a lot smaller when you passed me." I'm not totally sure he knew what he was talking about, but he suggested a minimum of 27 HP, much higher than my scooters 11.6 HP output.

Thanks.
Ossessionato
Piaggio BV 500 BLUE DRAGON
Joined: 08 Oct 2008
Posts: 4065
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:43 am quote
While it may be legal,I would never do it.

Here in illinois, the law says that anything with a 150cc or greater is a class M vehicle. (motorcycle) And I believe those can be ridden on a highway of 55mph, but no greater.

A 150cc scooter is too small and light for highway traffic.

I think that was the cops concern.

Here are some photos of my BV 500 which is also the same as a BV 250. You see the size is just as large if not bigger than a 750cc motorcycle. Much more substantial for highway riding.

BV&SUZatstarvedrock.jpg

BV&SUZindriveway.jpg

Banned
Vespa GTS 300 Super & Vespa P125X
Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 4134
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:46 am quote
You really have officers out there who don't know what they are talking about. If he was going to pull you over you would think he at least had some idea.

Most states, in fact I believe every state, has a 125 or 150cc limit on what is large enough to ride on the highway. I'm pretty sure none of the states go by HP figures anymore, only engine displacement.

150cc is the norm but there are states like Michigan that allow 125cc to hit the highway.


My 300 does 87 mph and only makes 23hp so according to the data the officer with too much time on his hands, told you my bike wouldn't even be legal on that road.

If you aren't sure call a reputable dealer in your area and ask.
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 Vespa LX 190, 2011 LXV150ie, 2010 4T Stella 150
Joined: 26 Oct 2008
Posts: 7904
Location: Annapolis, MD, USA
Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:06 am quote
Belkwinith wrote:
A 150cc scooter is too small and light for highway traffic.

Very much a matter of opinion.

Depends a lot on the highway, the scooter, and the rider.
Ossessionato
Piaggio BV 500 BLUE DRAGON
Joined: 08 Oct 2008
Posts: 4065
Location: Naperville, Illinois
Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:20 am quote
You are correct.

But I would not do it here! Not on the tollways. Maybe Lake Shore Drive and other roads, but the tollways... I shudder to think!

Sometimes my BV 500 gets tossed around like a leaf when a truck goes by or if there are heavy winds. Can't imagine being on my old 150 during those times.

I would say the best requirement for riding a 150cc on a highway is BALLz!
Lurker
LXV150
Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Posts: 3
Location: Vancouver,WA
Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:48 am quote
I do appreciate the responses! I think I will call the vespa dealer (even though they are across the river Oregon) Then maybe the DMV. I wish it were easier to find the law on the government sites...

At any rate I may have just found the excuse I needed to buy a bigger, better Vespa.
Ossessionato
2009 GTV 244, 2005 BMW F652 CS, 2001 ET4 150
Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Posts: 2379
Location: Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:03 am quote
Belkwinith wrote:
You are correct.

But I would not do it here! Not on the tollways. Maybe Lake Shore Drive and other roads, but the tollways... I shudder to think!

Sometimes my BV 500 gets tossed around like a leaf when a truck goes by or if there are heavy winds. Can't imagine being on my old 150 during those times.

I would say the best requirement for riding a 150cc on a highway is BALLz!
On my way home from Michigan last night about 7:30, I passed (you can't make this up) a guy hauling ass on a 150 chinese scoot, no helmet, sandals, iPod ear buds (cannot confirm if he was listening to music), t-shirt, shorts, etc. . . . on the EISENHOWER EXPRESSWAY. And not just any part of the Eisenhower, mind you . . . the part from downtown to Western that is grooved and has exposed manhole covers due to construction. I really wish I could have taken a picture.

He was balding on top . . . hope he was wearing sunscreen, otherwise it would have been dangerous.
Moderator
2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 10670
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:17 pm quote
Check out this:

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=46.61.425

http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/enforce/speedlaws501/toc/waspeed.pdf

I couldn't find anything limiting access based upon engine size or horsepower. Doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Call the DMV, and if they give you an answer, ask for the citation.

Not sure I'd consider an Oregon dealer the final word on WA law.

Al
Molto Verboso
GTS 250ie
Joined: 21 Jun 2008
Posts: 1669
Location: Rhode Island
Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:11 pm quote
Vehicular laws are state-by-state.

In general 150cc is highway legal, but check with your own state's DMV to be sure.

Is your bike registered as a Motorcycle? Your registration slip should say.

Do you have an operator's license with a motorcycle endorsement?

If so, odds are you can operate your bike without restrictions.

Again, the best authority is your state's DMV.

PS--Traffic officer should know these things. Shame on him/her.

P.
Ossessionato
2010 Orange S150
Joined: 25 Sep 2008
Posts: 2827
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:24 pm quote
I did I-5 (65-70 MPH limit) on my 150 many many times & was never pulled over for it. That Johnny Law needs to pull his head out. He must have been bored that day.
Molto Verboso
S 190
Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 1141
Location: CT
Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:25 pm quote
here in ct, i talked to a cop, if it is able to maintain 55mph it is highway legal on any highway. i too got pulled over and went in surch of the answer, but i found no laws against it but the law about vehicals that can't maintain 55mph are not allowed on the highway. but my 150cc i take on the highway all the time, it easly goes 75mph gps, all day long.
so io would not let this cop shake you, he probally is not going to pull you over again becouse he does not know the stature it is breaking. have fun, but he just wants you to be safe so you can't be mad.
Ossessionato
2009 GTV 244, 2005 BMW F652 CS, 2001 ET4 150
Joined: 28 Aug 2009
Posts: 2379
Location: Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:28 pm quote
As a LEO, his duty is to protect the public. He saw you on what he perceived to be an unsafe vehicle for conditions and pulled you over, i.e. protecting you.

Did he give you a ticket? I'm assuming no, since you didn't mention it, and did mention that the LEO was unclear on the rules as applied to your Vespa.

In my mind, no harm, no foul. He was doing his job. At the very least, you'll be prepared the next time this happens.
Ossessionato
Kymco P250 Now, P200E in the 80's
Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 3908
Location: Antelope, CA, USA
Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:38 pm quote
When you find the citation in the WA State Vehicular code, you may want to print that section of the book and have it with you in case this happens again. The DMV may print it for you if you ask real nice.

This way, if you get pulled over in the future, you can prove to the officer that you are legal.

I looked but did not find it.
RCW 46.04.330 wrote:
Motorcycle.


"Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, on which the driver:

(1) Rides on a seat or saddle and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a handlebar; or

(2) Rides on a seat in a partially or completely enclosed seating area that is equipped with safety belts and the motor vehicle is designed to be steered with a steering wheel.

"Motorcycle" excludes a farm tractor, a power wheelchair, an electric personal assistive mobility device, a motorized foot scooter, an electric-assisted bicycle, and a moped.
Destroyer of Worlds
Beverly 125, Vespa GT200
Joined: 12 Aug 2007
Posts: 1937
Location: London, United Kingdom
Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:17 pm quote
In CA, the minimum for freeway access is 150cc. I ride my 200 on the freeway all the time, and have occasionally done so on my kitted P125. A CHP officer once told me that if you can maintain 45mph, he won't look twice. Slower than that and he'd write you up for too slow for conditions.
Ossessionato
Scooterless at the moment
Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 2840
Location: Brooks, Alberta, Canada
Tue Aug 17, 2010 3:25 pm quote
I've been pulled over doing 90 km/hr with a GTS 250 and told I was illegal,
My guess is that they look at the tires and not the speed.

After a lot of letter writing to the "President of Ontario"and phone calls,
I was told that I was perfectly legal and to ignore the O.P.P.


Yet an Austin Mini had 10" tires and it was allowed on the highway,
Don't figure, Guess it was because it was a cage.

Write or call the local authorities,
You can bet they have people riding scooters.

Forgot to mention...I've been up to 130 km/hr on a Derbi 150 Blvd,
Never got pulled over on that scooter.

Molto Verboso
Former owner of an ET4, GTS 250, BV 500, and Buddy 150
Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 1160
Location: San Diego, CA
Tue Aug 17, 2010 4:15 pm quote
orange s150 wrote:
here in ct, i talked to a cop, if it is able to maintain 55mph it is highway legal on any highway. i too got pulled over and went in surch of the answer, but i found no laws against it but the law about vehicals that can't maintain 55mph are not allowed on the highway. but my 150cc i take on the highway all the time, it easly goes 75mph gps, all day long.
so io would not let this cop shake you, he probally is not going to pull you over again becouse he does not know the stature it is breaking. have fun, but he just wants you to be safe so you can't be mad.
I'm really curious how you can do this all day long... please share! My ET4 can do 65mph indicated all day long but I think the real MPH is closer to 60 in my case. I don't feel like there's a speed limiter like I do with my GTS... it actually kind of shudders when I hit about 83mph indicated but my ET4 doesn't do any of that... it just gets stuck there. I'd love to be able to get it up to 65mph for quick jaunts on the highway... by quick I mean 3-5 exits on freeways I'm extremely familiar with.
Molto Verboso
S 190
Joined: 04 May 2009
Posts: 1141
Location: CT
Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:54 pm quote
phuocsandiego wrote:
orange s150 wrote:
here in ct, i talked to a cop, if it is able to maintain 55mph it is highway legal on any highway. i too got pulled over and went in surch of the answer, but i found no laws against it but the law about vehicals that can't maintain 55mph are not allowed on the highway. but my 150cc i take on the highway all the time, it easly goes 75mph gps, all day long.
so io would not let this cop shake you, he probally is not going to pull you over again becouse he does not know the stature it is breaking. have fun, but he just wants you to be safe so you can't be mad.
I'm really curious how you can do this all day long... please share! My ET4 can do 65mph indicated all day long but I think the real MPH is closer to 60 in my case. I don't feel like there's a speed limiter like I do with my GTS... it actually kind of shudders when I hit about 83mph indicated but my ET4 doesn't do any of that... it just gets stuck there. I'd love to be able to get it up to 65mph for quick jaunts on the highway... by quick I mean 3-5 exits on freeways I'm extremely familiar with.
i added dr.pully rollars, it runs fast becouse i weigh in at 130lbs and a duck down at the high speeds. it has hit 80mph and i did not hit the rev limmitor. one thing i have noticed and others aswell is that when i get up on the highway it takes a few miles before in my opinion the motor gets hot enough to run faster. at first it will go 70 indicated and after a few miles it will easly hit 80 indicated and faster. i beleve it is a heat thing. try it. use you scoot on the highway for a few miles and see if you experience this aswell.
Moderaptor
2xGP800, Fuoco, X9 500 Evo, The Hornet (GT200, aka Love Bug), 'Olive' (GT200) and 'Dimples' - a GTS 300
Joined: 26 Aug 2007
Posts: 31317
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Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:12 pm quote
Can I take a deep breath now?
Banned
Vespa GTS 300 Super & Vespa P125X
Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 4134
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:43 pm quote
stinkyjones wrote:
As a LEO, his duty is to protect the public. He saw you on what he perceived to be an unsafe vehicle for conditions and pulled you over, i.e. protecting you.

Did he give you a ticket? I'm assuming no, since you didn't mention it, and did mention that the LEO was unclear on the rules as applied to your Vespa.

In my mind, no harm, no foul. He was doing his job. At the very least, you'll be prepared the next time this happens.
Having dated a state trooper for some time and having a father who is a LEO they would NEVER pull someone over for something unless they knew they were breaking the law. All that officer had to do was call it in to get the facts before he wasted the guys time. They have a ton of resources at their disposal to find these things out. I would die before I pulled someone over and I didn't know the law myself. That is pathetic and just dumb.

No harm no foul? No reason to pull him over in the first place. You don't just pull people over to talk to them.
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1980 P200E - "Old Rusty"
Joined: 12 Jun 2008
Posts: 7019
Location: Redwood City, CA
Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:17 pm quote
VEZPA wrote:
Having dated a state trooper for some time and having a father who is a LEO they would NEVER pull someone over for something unless they knew they were breaking the law.
They are better LEOs than you often find in VT, then. The state troopers there are notorious for pulling people over for "having no tail light" or "license plate obscured" or something to, in reality, just take a gander at the driver and the back seat. Who knows, they might get lucky and smell booze or find that a seatbelt isn't on, right? Never mind that the lights are all in fact fine and you pulled them over under completely false pretenses.
Banned
Vespa GTS 300 Super & Vespa P125X
Joined: 21 Jun 2009
Posts: 4134
Location: St. Petersburg Florida
Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:33 pm quote
xantufrog wrote:
VEZPA wrote:
Having dated a state trooper for some time and having a father who is a LEO they would NEVER pull someone over for something unless they knew they were breaking the law.
They are better LEOs than you often find in VT, then. The state troopers there are notorious for pulling people over for "having no tail light" or "license plate obscured" or something to, in reality, just take a gander at the driver and the back seat. Who knows, they might get lucky and smell booze or find that a seatbelt isn't on, right? Never mind that the lights are all in fact fine and you pulled them over under completely false pretenses.
You are completely correct. That's why I'd be pissed. The officer in this case though clearly admitted he didn't know the law and had no reason to pull him over. What amazes me is the officer still didn't know the law before he let him go! He should have found out before or during the stop.
Addicted
Pearly White GT 200 Buttercream '79 P200
Joined: 21 Feb 2010
Posts: 578
Location: Way past Odd, not yet to Crazy...
Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:41 pm quote
Instead of monkeying around with dealers or the DMV, why not go straight to the source?

Here is a link to the Washington Code
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/

You may find Title 46 - Motor Vehicles, to be the most useful.

And if I were you, I'd pay particular attention to the definition of Motorcycle in 46.04, as well as the Rules of the Road in 46.61, with special attention to 46.61.608 and those that follow.

That might give you a place to start, anyway, while you are waiting to get a live person to answer the phone at the DMV!
Sir Frets-A-Lot
Vespa GT250ie/L, Vespa P125X, Honda Elite 250, MP3 500, Honda Ruckus 50, Honda NT700V
Joined: 03 Nov 2005
Posts: 10734
Location: Bee eff eee.
Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:58 pm quote
ThatOneGirl wrote:
Instead of monkeying around with dealers or the DMV, why not go straight to the source?

Here is a link to the Washington Code
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/

You may find Title 46 - Motor Vehicles, to be the most useful.

And if I were you, I'd pay particular attention to the definition of Motorcycle in 46.04, as well as the Rules of the Road in 46.61, with special attention to 46.61.608 and those that follow.

That might give you a place to start, anyway, while you are waiting to get a live person to answer the phone at the DMV!
I hate real, meaningful, actionable advice.

Lame
Addicted
Pearly White GT 200 Buttercream '79 P200
Joined: 21 Feb 2010
Posts: 578
Location: Way past Odd, not yet to Crazy...
Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:43 pm quote
Yeah, don't worry. I'll be sending the OP a bill!
Sponsor
4:4
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 6194
Location: San Francisco
Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:20 pm quote
RCW 46.61.612
Quote:
Riding on motorcycles Position of feet.

No person shall ride a motorcycle in a position where both feet are placed on the same side of the motorcycle.
Bummer, no sidesaddle :(
Sponsor
4:4
Joined: 11 Jan 2007
Posts: 6194
Location: San Francisco
Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:39 pm quote
RCW 46.61.425
Quote:
Minimum speed regulation Passing slow moving vehicle.

(1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at such a slow speed as to impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic except when reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law: PROVIDED, That a person following a vehicle driving at less than the legal maximum speed and desiring to pass such vehicle may exceed the speed limit, subject to the provisions of RCW 46.61.120 on highways having only one lane of traffic in each direction, at only such a speed and for only such a distance as is necessary to complete the pass with a reasonable margin of safety.

(2) Whenever the secretary of transportation or local authorities within their respective jurisdictions determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a highway unreasonably impede the normal movement of traffic, the secretary or such local authority may determine and declare a minimum speed limit thereat which shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected. No person shall drive a vehicle slower than such minimum speed limit except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
Looks to me like there is no restriction at all unless there are minimum speed signs.
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2006 PX 150 & Malossi Kitted Malaguti Yesterday (Wife's)
Joined: 11 Dec 2007
Posts: 10670
Location: Paros Island, Greece
Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:32 pm quote
Of course, there is no way to tell what the officer was thinking or really concerned about. We can only speculate.

If he was polite and sincere, and really concerned about your safety and well being, more power to him. I could see, from a generous viewpoint, where he could think that there might actually be a legal restriction to support his concern. I would personally prefer that line of thought over one where he might have simply said to himself, "It's your funeral."

I can legally ride my PX 150 on Italy's AutoStrada. The signs at the on-ramps say so. No way in hell would I take that as a "pass" to do so. Got on once by mistake, and never again. What's "allowed" and what's "prudent" are often two very different things.

I lived for quite a while in WA. I doubt if every LEO has or could memorize the W.A.C.s or has significant exposure to smaller PTWs. Sounds like he was reasonable, even if not up to date.
Molto Verboso
GTS 250 "Audrey"
Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 1742
Location: New Harbor, Maine
Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:51 am quote
The previous posters have pretty much covered it for you. However, I was bored and did a little reading myself.
This link -- http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46 -- is a good starting point for this question. It's fun to discover some of the rules that you were never taught.

Anyway, from my reading for Washington, it does seem that the only restriction against riding on a highway goes to mopeds, motor-assisted bicycles, etc. Beyond that, it seems they leave it to you to know the minimum speed for a particular road/highway. If you can safely maintain that speed, you're good to go.

There is no national rule for riding on Interstates. Each state is free to write its own rules. In Florida, 150cc is the min. So if you have a 150 cc or greater, and can maintain speed, you can ride. Some states allow bicycles and pedestrians (on the shoulders) because the Interstate is the only reasonable and practical means to get from one town to the next.

Your license, registration, and insurance probably consider your LX a motorcycle. If so, that, plus the above, makes me think you're okay. You'll have to be the judge for safety.
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