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Location: Cape Cod MA, USA
 
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UTC quote
What are the specific requirements to ride on U.S. highways?

In my case, I would occasionally use short bits of U.S. Route 6, Cape Cod, limited to the Sandwich-Provincetown section, and not beyond that.

Foe example, is the Honda Grom, listed as "124 cc", legal?
Some say it is not but not why, or where (Cali?)
@jakem avatar
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Hooked
Vespa Sprint Sport S 125cc
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UTC quote
Italy offers their small frame Vespas as a 125cc or a 155cc (in Europe, its easier to licence a 125cc, but you need more than 125cc to go on the Italian motorways).

The states only gets the 155cc, which suggests that maybe your 125cc's aren't compliant? Hopefully someone else can fully answer this though.

I also think some countries have a hp power requirement / minimum speed requirement, rather than just cc.
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UTC quote
I think it varies by state. I've heard that there's a 150cc limit in Minnesota, but to be honest I've never seen that in writing. I assume that since my 125cc Zuma can maintain the minimum posted speed (40 mph) it's okay (not that I'd like to ride it very far on a busy highway). I've seen signs on interstates in other states (I don't recall where) that specifically state 150cc as a minimum. As far as I know, mopeds (50cc) are banned everywhere.
@corn avatar
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UTC quote
There are limits in some states on interstates - usually around 150cc.
Route 6 shouldn't have a limit, but it will be posted if it does and you should be able to navigate around that section.
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UTC quote
In the US, the federal minimum engine size for Interstate access is commonly and repeatedly stated as 150cc.

HOWEVER

I can't find any official federal source for this information -- it's just been repeated so many times that it has become effectively true.

What I can find are various states that regulate minimum engine size for freeway access. California clearly states that 150cc is the minimum.

Massachusetts may (or may not) have other ideas.

As an aside, the various LEOs that you will meet along the way generally have no idea whatsoever what the minimum engine size is, and might not even be sure that your "moped" is allowed on the freeway at all. This is usually pretty easy to push back against, though, if you state with authority that scooters are classified as motorcycles, and that 150cc is the minimum required engine size. Even if, you know, you can't actually cite your source.
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Around here, as long as you can maintain the posted speed limit, you're good.
OP
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Location: Cape Cod MA, USA
 
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UTC quote
Looking blindly through the MA regulations, I find:

------------ quote
Section 1E....
A person operating a motorized scootershall have the right to use all public ways in the commonwealth except limited access or express state highways where signs specifically prohibiting scooters or bicycles have been posted, and shall be subject to all traffic laws and regulations of the commonwealth and the regulations contained in this section, except that: (1) a scooter operator shall keep to the right side of the road at all times, including when passing a motor vehicle which is moving in the travel lane of the way; and (2) the scooter shall be equipped with operational stop and turn signals so that the operator can keep both hands on the handlebars at all times. No person shall operate a motor scooter upon any way at any time after sunset or before sunrise.
--------- end quote

Hmm..
Separately, there is a distinctive class of over-20mph but under40 mph cycles.

to the above post, I rarely seen minimum-speed postings around MA.

Also, to MA visitors: forget about speed limits!
⚠️ Last edited by JaytheMoose on UTC; edited 2 times
@dooglas avatar
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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@dooglas avatar
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UTC quote
pokeyjoe wrote:
Around here, as long as you can maintain the posted speed limit, you're good.
The posted speed limit on a state or federal highway is generally a maximum, not a minimum. I have never heard of a requirement anywhere that all vehicles must maintain the maximum posted speed (even though some might wish that were true). Many states do have a minimum speed for various classes of highways as well, but they typically also have some more general rule about obstructing traffic or creating a possibly hazardous situation.
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UTC quote
JaytheMoose wrote:
What are the specific requirements to ride on U.S. highways?

In my case, I would occasionally use short bits of U.S. Route 6, Cape Cod, limited to the Sandwich-Provincetown section, and not beyond that.

Foe example, is the Honda Grom, listed as "124 cc", legal?
Some say it is not but not why, or where (Cali?)
Even if you can take a Grom on the highway, would you really want to? It's hard enough to be seen on a large frame 300 cc Vespa Scooter, let alone on a bike as small as a Grom.
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Veni, Vidi, Posti
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UTC quote
I know people who were pulled over and told their "moped" wasn't allowed on the highway. They were riding a GTS 300 going over 65 mph (indicated 72mph). Many officers have no clue what is or is not allowed.
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Molto Verboso
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@jbacklund avatar
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UTC quote
My State of South Dakota requires a minimum 150cc engine displacement for motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds to operate on state highways, freeways, and Interstates.
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2019 Primavera 150, 2019 Honda Super Cub 125, 2017 Honda Metropolitan, 1965 Honda Super Cub 50 CA102
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UTC quote
In Ohio the freeway regulation is as follows:

(A) No person, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, shall:

(1) …

(2) Occupy any space within the limits of the right-of-way of a freeway, with: an animal-drawn vehicle; a ridden or led animal; herded animals; a pushcart; a bicycle, except on a facility that is separated from the roadway and shoulders of the freeway and is designed and appropriately marked for bicycle use; an electric bicycle; a bicycle with motor attached; a motor driven cycle with a motor which produces not to exceed five brake horsepower; an agricultural tractor; farm machinery; except in the performance of public works or official duties.

So that is the law but I still do not ride by Primavera 150 on the freeway. Here in NEO most drivers are going 70-80+ mph. I feel that I am too slow, too small, and too quiet to freeway drive.

Chris From CLE
UTC

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UTC quote
Kalifornia has a 150cc requirement for operation on freeways. Never had a problem riding my souped up Grom on them, CHPs have better things to do unless you're horsing around.

Unfortunately Grom visibility is a problem. I had a very nice gentleman turn left right in front of me, it's been five years and I am still recovering.
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UTC quote
Dooglas wrote:
The posted speed limit on a state or federal highway is generally a maximum, not a minimum. I have never heard of a requirement anywhere that all vehicles must maintain the maximum posted speed (even though some might wish that were true). Many states do have a minimum speed for various classes of highways as well, but they typically also have some more general rule about obstructing traffic or creating a possibly hazardous situation.
The rules over here yhey have a speed indication in them.
Vehicles that cannot meet a minimum of 70km/h (44mph) on a flat road are not allowed on motorways.

Nothing on engine size on the other hand.
If you have a 50cc engine in your bike and it can go faster than 70km/h and it is registered as a motorcycle, you are free to use the motorway.
@dooglas avatar
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PeterCC wrote:
The rules over here (yhey) have a speed indication in them.
Vehicles that cannot meet a minimum of 70km/h (44mph) on a flat road are not allowed on motorways.
In the State of Oregon there is a minimum speed of 40 mph on highways, but this minimum speed is not posted on highway signs as is the maximum speed (speed limit). PTWs that are not capable of 30 mph can not be registered/licensed as a motorcycle/scooter.
OP
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PeterCC wrote:
If you have a 50cc engine in your bike and it can go faster than 70km/h...
The above brought a smile on my face, as I was recalling the race-prep'd Kreidlers of yesteryear!
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I believe I read somewhere that is why Yamaha made the Smax 155cc. My SH has posted 156.9cc.
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Dooglas wrote:
The posted speed limit on a state or federal highway is generally a maximum, not a minimum. I have never heard of a requirement anywhere that all vehicles must maintain the maximum posted speed (even though some might wish that were true). Many states do have a minimum speed for various classes of highways as well, but they typically also have some more general rule about obstructing traffic or creating a possibly hazardous situation.
It's the law in California. If you can't do the speed limit, you're a hazard.
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UTC

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UTC quote
Dooglas wrote:
In the State of Oregon there is a minimum speed of 40 mph on highways, but this minimum speed is not posted on highway signs as is the maximum speed (speed limit). PTWs that are not capable of 30 mph can not be registered/licensed as a motorcycle/scooter.
Having lived in Portland, I can speak from experience when I suggest that the minimum speed limit should be posted. One of the few places I've lived where drivers seem content to cruse 39 in a 55 🙃
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UTC quote
On the west coast, most freeways have signs on the onramps and on the shoulder that say "motor driven cycles prohibited."

You can Google the definition just as easily as I can, but an MDC is a motorbike with a small displacement engine (I think the cutoff is 150cc in California.)

There are sections of freeway that don't have those signs; for instance, a motor drive cycle can cross the Golden Gate Bridge (but not the Bay Bridge).
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Rt. 6 is a Federal Highway with a max 55 mph speed limit. A Grom is adequate to ride on Rt. 6. My Wife's son lives in Plymouth and I've been on that road. It is like any road that goes through Towns and isn't a limited access highway. Anything 125cc and up will suffice and be perfectly legal.
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Mass.gov says: https://www.mass.gov/doc/scooteradvisory731pdf/download?_ga=2.122044363.1338226087.1695429345-453136139.1695429345&_gl=1*1ouv867*_ga*NDUzMTM2MTM5LjE2OTU0MjkzNDU.*_ga_MCLPEGW7WM*MTY5NTQyOTM5OS4xLjAuMTY5NTQyOTM5OS4wLjAuMA..
⚠️ Last edited by old as dirt on UTC; edited 1 time
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UTC quote
JaytheMoose wrote:
A person operating a motorized scooter
Generally speaking, when the vehicle code uses words like "scooter" they are not referring to Vespas (and other similar, ummm, scooters). Scooters above 150cc in the US are generally classified as a motorcycle. Your registration might even say so.

It's the motorcycle regs that you have to conform to.
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In my opinion, a 150cc scooter is able to ride Interstate type roads. US 6 on the cape is a US highway, not an interstate. OP's grom should be good there, if he can keep on with traffic.
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UTC quote
Here's a man pulled over for doing 65 in a 70 mph zone. Suspicious activity.
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UTC quote
JaytheMoose wrote:
The above brought a smile on my face, as I was recalling the race-prep'd Kreidlers of yesteryear!
Yes. At the time you were allowed to drive a moped when you were older than 16 but younger than 18. You only needed a moped drivers license which was a test on traffic rules.

These mopeds were legally limited to 50cc and a max speed of 40km/h (25mph), but it was a national sport to make them go faster. Many of them would go typically 70-80km/h, and some could reach upto 120km/h (75mph). All very illegal: wrong registration, wrong insurance, wrong drivers license.
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PeterCC wrote:
Yes. At the time you were allowed to drive a moped when you were older than 16 but younger than 18. You only needed a moped drivers license which was a test on traffic rules.

These mopeds were legally limited to 50cc and a max speed of 40km/h (25mph), but it was a national sport to make them go faster. Many of them would go typically 70-80km/h, and some could reach upto 120km/h (75mph). All very illegal: wrong registration, wrong insurance, wrong drivers license.
Some French police used to carry a battery operated drill - and if they were certain some ne'er-do-well had really taken the piss they'd drill a few holes in the cylinder. At least, that's what my French buddies told me back in the day.
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JaytheMoose wrote:
In my case, I would occasionally use short bits of U.S. Route 6, Cape Cod, limited to the Sandwich-Provincetown section, and not beyond that.
Having nothing to do with the topic but possibly of some tangential interest, I just got back from a road trip on the big bike where I saw this sign on the outskirts of Bishop, CA.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
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GBaby wrote:
Having nothing to do with the topic but possibly of some tangential interest, I just got back from a road trip on the big bike where I saw this sign on the outskirts of Bishop, CA.
Very cool! I went and looked up the history on this one:

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/us6.cfm
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UTC quote
jess wrote:
Very cool! I went and looked up the history on this one:

https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/us6.cfm
Great article; I took the picture thinking, "Hmmm…maybe I should do the whole thing…". Apparently I'm an "eccentric".
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UTC quote
It does vary by state, but I wouldn't just go by state requirements. I used to ride my Vespa GT200 in the right lane on I-10 through AZ. It will hit 72 GPS at full throttle on a flat road. And you can usually find a semi truck doing around 65 in the right lane. Just fall in behind that and stay there. But, there were several times when someone came up behind me way too fast and way to close, causing me to quickly move over onto the shoulder. Many semi trucks have been rear ended by small cars on the highway. I was once rear ended on the highway while driving a large box truck that looked like a semi from the back. If these smart phone drivers can't see a huge truck, they are certainly not going to see a bike. So I pretty much stay off freeways now on any bike that will not easily and quickly exceed 100 mph. I have two of those, my Kawasaki Vulcan 750 and Sportster 1200. Just because some law says you can do it doesn't make it a good idea.
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Primavera 150
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UTC quote
I've had my Primavera 150 on roads posted with a MAXIMUM of 65mph. I was with another rider doing about 50mph (the bike is still being broken in). It's a little sketchy some times. Here in the US, people see a speed limit as a suggestion to be immediately ignored. Always add at least 7 mph, more like 15 mph to whatever the posted limit is, and that is what people will be driving at.

They are just as bad on city streets though. This weekend, I was at the scooter rally in Lynchburg, VA and some idiot in a Mazda SUV nearly rear ended me, swung over to the left lane and nearly rear ended a Miata turning left, then passed me and my friend in the left hand turn lane (through the traffic light and intersection). And all this for us to catch up to them at the next traffic light in about 45 seconds. Morons.

I don't know about other places, but in every state I have gotten a driver's license in the USA, the test is absurdly easy. And with vehicles getting bigger every year, their power increasing every year, more and more distracting tech every year, it's a recipe for disaster.

There should really be one test for the entire USA. This having different requirements and different tests for each state is just stupid. And that one national test should be as difficult as all get out to pass. The motorcycle test is harder to pass than the car one. That makes no sense. If I screw up on a motorcycle, I'm going to probably only hurt myself. But if I screw up in a 3000+ pound car with 250 hp, I'm going to kill someone else.

For the record, I try my best to stay on 55mph or lower speed highways on my Primavera 150. Problem is those roads, that used to be everywhere when I was younger, are becoming more and more rare. Best time I ever had going home to see my mother was taking the four lane 55mph highways. It took forever though because those "highways" are now roads that go through cities, with 1,000 traffic lights. We are basically forced to take interstates in this country to get anywhere without a million traffic lights!
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