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Pocket Bikes & Similar Vehicles
Overview
Image of a person riding a pocket bike
This page provides general information and answers to frequently asked questions about pocket bikes (a.k.a., mini-motorbikes, mini, motorcycles, mini-choppers, etc.), mopeds, electric assisted bicycles and personal mobility devices. 
 
Use the links below to go directly to any section:
Applicable Definitions
Motor-assisted Scooter
According to ORS 801.348, a motor-assisted scooter:
  • Is designed to be operated on the ground with not more than three wheels;
  • Has handlebars and a foot support or seat;
  • Can be propelled by human or motor;
  • Has a motor capable of propelling it no faster than 24 miles per hour on a level road; and
  • Has a motor no bigger than 35 cubic centimeters or, if electric, has a power output of no more than 1,000 watts.
Moped
According to ORS 801.345, a moped:
  • Is designed to be operated on the ground upon wheels;
  • Has a seat or saddle for use of the rider;
  • Is designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground;
  • Is equipped with an independent power source that is capable of propelling the vehicle, unassisted, at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on a level road surface; and if the power source is a combustion engine, has a piston or rotor displacement of 35.01 to 50 cubic centimeters regardless of the number of chambers in the power source; and
  • Is equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only and does not require clutching or shifting by the operator after the system is engaged.
Note: A bicycle equipped with a power source may be classed as a moped if it meets all the moped requirements and also does not meet either the definition of an electric assisted bicycle as defined in ORS 801.258, or a motor assisted scooter as defined in ORS 801.348
 
Electric Assisted Bicycle
According to ORS 801.258, an electric assisted bicycle:
  • Is designed to be operated on the ground on wheels;
  • Has a seat or saddle for use of the rider;
  • Is designed to travel with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground;
  • Has both fully operative pedals for human propulsion and an electric motor; and
  • Is equipped with an electric motor that has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts and is incapable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of greater than 20 miles per hour on level ground.
Electric Personal Mobility Device
According to ORS 801.259, an electric personal mobility device:
  • Is self-balancing on two non-tandem wheels;
  • Is designed to transport one standing person;
  • Has an electric motor; and
  • Has a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are pocket bikes (a.k.a., mini-motorbikes, mini-motorcycles, mini-choppers, etc.) legal on Oregon public roads?
No. These vehicles are not intended for use on public streets and highways, they are manufactured for off-road use only. Pocket bikes, go-karts, ATVs and similar motorized vehicles are not legal for use on public roads in Oregon. At least two traffic violations can be applied to anyone found using such a vehicle on public roads:
  • Operation of an unsafe vehicle is a Class B traffic violation (ORS 815.020), with a fine up to $360; or
  • Operation of a vehicle that violates equipment rules is a Class C traffic violation (ORS 815.100), with a fine up to $180.
Don't some of these vehicles fit the legal definition of a motorcycle, allowing them to be driven on Oregon public roads?
Not necessarily, a motorized vehicle might fit the definition of a motorcycle and still be illegal. To be legal on Oregon public roads, motorized vehicles (including motorcycles) need to meet the U.S. Department of Transportation's vehicle design safety and equipment requirements, which are also the standards adopted by Oregon (ORS 815.010 and ORS 815.030). Manufacturers that meet these requirements provide a vehicle identification number (VIN), and a manufacturer's certificate of origin(MCO) or other proof, which certifies that the vehicle meets U.S. standards. For more information see Imported Motorcycle and Moped Requirements
 
In addition, Oregon (like all other states) requires that motor vehicles designed for use on public roads be titled and registered. This requirement includes mounting of a license plate or plates on the vehicle and payment of a registration fee. Also, the driver must have a valid driver license or instruction permit and carry insurance. For some vehicles, such as motorcycles, the driver must also have a special endorsement on their driver license.

Are scooters, mopeds, electric assisted bicycles and personal mobility devices legal on Oregon public roads?
Some of these vehicles are legal in some situations if they meet specific definitions and restrictions in Oregon law. A driver license or restricted license is required for anyone to operate a moped (ORS 807.031). Violation of this law is a Class B traffic violation with a maximum fine of $360. Although a driver license is not required for motor-assisted scooters, electric assisted bicycles and personal mobility devices, riders must be at least 16 years of age (ORS 807.020 and ORS 814.512) and be eligible for driving privileges, i.e., not have their driving privileges suspended or revoked for any reason. It is possible for a person whose driving privileges are suspended or revoked to be charged with a violation when operating any motorized vehicle (including a motor-assisted scooter) on public roads. This is a Class A violation with a maximum fine of $720. Operation by a rider under 16 years of age is a Class D traffic violation with a maximum fine of $90. Furthermore, a parent or legal guardian of a child younger than 16 years of age who authorizes or knowingly allows a child to operate a motor assisted vehicle may be subject to a traffic citation and fine (ORS 814.536), as well. 
 
Note: Riders must follow Oregon traffic laws and follow any laws that apply specifically to these types of vehicles, such as wearing a helmet. 

Which motor-assisted scooters, mopeds, electric assisted bicycles and personal mobility devices are legal on public roads in Oregon?
To be legal on Oregon public roads, they must fit one of the definitions in the state's laws (see the Applicable Definitions section above). However, use of these vehicles may be restricted in cities, counties, parks, bike lanes, crosswalks, sidewalks and other locations and situations. Mopeds must be titled and registered, but Oregon law specifically exempts motor-assisted scooters, electric assisted bicycles, and personal mobility devices from title and registration requirements. 

Note: Riders must be at least 16 years of age, follow Oregon traffic laws and follow any laws that apply specifically to these types of vehicles, such as wearing a helmet. 

Related Information
Additional information that may be relevant includes: