Motorized bicycles, mopeds, and scooters
A motorized bicycle is also known as a “moped.” A motorized bicycle can be a pedal bicycle with a helper motor, or a non-pedal bicycle with a motor. The motor must have an automatic transmission.
The motor can’t:
- have a cylinder capacity greater than fifty cubic centimeters, and
- be capable of going faster than 30 miles per hour.
The state also has a definition for motorized scooters. These scooters can have two- or three-wheels. They have handlebars and can be stood or sat on. Motorized scooters can be powered by an electric or gas motors. They also are able to move with or without human effort.
As defined by the state, motorized scooters don’t include:
- motorized bicycles, or
- three-wheeled motorized wheelchairs.
State law on motorized Bicycles
When using a motorized bicycle, you need to follow all of the state’s traffic laws and regulations. You can’t drive faster than 25 miles per hour. You also must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver's license or learner's permit.
You need to register your motorized bicycle with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles. You also must have a valid registration sticker on the bike.Where you can ride
You have the right to use any public way. But, you aren’t allowed on limited access or express state highways where bicycles are prohibited. Also, you can use bike lanes on the street, but you can’t ride on off-street recreational bike paths.
You need to wear an approved safety helmet. If you have any passengers, they also need to wear a helmet. Aside from following electronic signals and posted signs, you also must use hand signals before stopping or turning.Violations
If you violate any of the state laws on motorized bikes, you will be fined:
- $25 for a first offense
- $25 - $50 for a second offense, and
- $50 - $100 for further offenses.
To read more details about the laws in Massachusetts, check out M.G.L. Chapter 90 §1B-E.