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For Motorcyclists, Be Safe and Be Legal

Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2022 by Andrew Charles Huff

Many of my friends, family and colleagues enjoy riding motorcycles, either for pleasure, commuting or other reasons instead of using the car. I know a certain judge in Snohomish County who loves talking about his motorcycle and how it allows him to know the backroads so well, along with just having fun riding it.
Before you decide to get a motorcycle, you must do a couple of things to legally ride one in our state.

First, you must obtain a motorcycle endorsement. There are two endorsements to select from based on the features of the bike that you will be riding: A 2-wheel motorcycle and a 3-wheel sidecar or trikes.

Motorcycle Requirements

If the engine is smaller than 50 cc and has a maximum speed of 30 mph you are not required to have an endorsement. A small motorized scooter is an example.

If you have a 2-wheel motorcycle or scooter that has an engine larger than 50 cc or can exceed speeds of 30 mph you are required to have a 2-wheel motorcycle endorsement.

You are required to have a 3-wheel endorsement if your 2-wheel motorcycle has a stabilizing conversion kit installed, if your motorcycle has a sidecar, or if your motorcycle is considered a 3-wheel trike.

Motorcycle Helmets

Helmets are required to ride a motorcycle and they must be certified by the manufacturer as meeting the United States Department of Transportation standards. A helmet that meets the standards required by the Department of Transportation will have a sticker on the back of it and additional information on the inside of the helmet that includes manufacturer name, helmet model, and size.

A traffic ticket most likely will be issued to you if you ride a motorcycle without an approved helmet and/or if you do not have the proper endorsements.

Enjoy yourself, be legal and please be safe.

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