Riding a motorcycle in Minnesota is fun and loved by many who do it (maybe a little less-so in the winter). However, there are specific motorcycle laws that you should be aware of. If you have a question about a motorcycle accident or laws that apply to motorcycles, you can speak with a top lawyer at our office anytime for a free consultation. Here are some of the laws that are specific to a motorcycle in MN. Many of these laws are for motorcycle safety to avoid an accident and the need for a motorcycle accident lawyer.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyers MN
Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyers MN

Minnesota Statute Section 169.223 provides:

Subdivision 1. Safety equipment; parking.

Section 169.974 relating to motorcycles is applicable to motorized bicycles, except as otherwise provided in this section and except that:

(1) protective headgear includes headgear that meets the standards under Code of Federal Regulations, title 16, part 1203, or successor requirements;

(2) a motorized bicycle equipped with a headlight and taillight meeting the requirements of lighting for motorcycles may be operated during nighttime hours;

(3) protective headgear is not required for operators 18 years of age or older; and

(4) the provisions of section 169.222, subdivision 9, governing the parking of bicycles apply to motorized bicycles.

Subd. 2. License or permit.

(a) A motorized bicycle may be operated under either a driver’s license or a motorized bicycle permit issued under section 171.02, subdivision 3.

(b) A person under the age of 16 operating a motorized bicycle under a motorized bicycle permit is subject to the restrictions imposed by section 169.974, subdivision 2, on operation of a motorcycle under a two-wheel instruction permit, except that:

(1) a parent or guardian of an operator under the age of 16 may also ride on the motorized bicycle as a passenger or operator if the motorized bicycle is equipped with a seat and footrests for a second passenger;

(2) a motorized bicycle equipped with a headlight and taillight meeting the requirements of lighting for motorcycles may be operated during nighttime hours;

(3) protective headgear includes headgear described in subdivision 1; and

(4) protective headgear is required only until the operator reaches the age of 18 years.

Subd. 3. Sidewalk and passenger prohibitions.

No person shall operate a motorized bicycle upon a sidewalk at any time, except when such operation is necessary for the most direct access to a roadway from a driveway, alley or building. No person shall operate a motorized bicycle that is carrying any person other than the operator, except as allowed under subdivision 2.

Subd. 4. Headlight requirement.

The provisions of section 169.974, subdivision 5, paragraph (i), apply to motorized bicycles that are equipped with headlights. After June 1, 1987, a new motorized bicycle sold or offered for sale in MN must be equipped with a headlight.

Subd. 5. Other operation requirements and prohibitions.

(a) A person operating a motorized bicycle on a roadway shall ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway except in one of the following situations:

(1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction;

(2) when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway; or

(3) when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, including fixed or moving objects, vehicles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or narrow width lanes, that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge.

(b) Persons operating motorized bicycles on a roadway may not ride more than two abreast and may not impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. On a laned roadway, a person operating a motorized bicycle shall ride within a single lane.

(c) This section does not permit the operation of a motorized bicycle on a bicycle path or bicycle lane that is reserved for the exclusive use of nonmotorized traffic.


Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are Minnesota personal injury attorneys with more than 25 years’ experience, successfully handling hundreds of motorcycle and car accident injury crashes throughout MN. Pam is a former partner at Meshbesher & Spence, offering small firm attention to her clients. She was also the 2015 president of Minnesota Women Lawyers, an organization with over 1300 members.

If you have been injured, you can meet with a best motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your injury case at our offices in Edina, Woodbury and Minneapolis MN. An attorney will also come to your home to discuss your motorcycle accident injury in St. Paul MN, Rogers MN, Elk River, Maple Grove, Brooklyn Park MN, Chanhassen, Chaska, and other cities throughout Minnesota.  Our primary focus is to get you all the compensation you are entitled to – wage loss reimbursement, medical bills, and more. A motorcycle accident injury lawyer will provide you with a free initial consultation and we never charge anything unless you are compensated for your injuries.