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Thursday, 19 May 2011 14:05

New "Sport Bike" Law

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  Texas House of Representatives Passes “Sport Bike” Law......

On May 4th the House passed House bill 2470, which defines “sport bikes” as a separate class of motorcycles and places special restrictions on the operators of “sport bikes”. The bill would also require motorcycles designed to carry more than one person to be equipped with passenger foot pegs and handholds for use by the passenger. (continue)

While the requirement for passenger accommodations is redundant (these requirements are addressed in federal regulation) the AMA is most concerned by the state’s arbitrary definition of “sport bike” and the potential of establishing a dangerous precedent of regulating motorcycles and motorcyclists differently based on this definition.  

The bill’s definition of “sport bike” is so broad that it may even be counterproductive to motorcycle safety.  In a position statement, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) observed that, 

There are small displacement (250 cc) motorcycles that, because of the vague and subjective criteria proposed, would be included in the definition of “sport bike” that are as appropriate, or more so, for novice riders than certain other larger displacement motorcycles that create much more horsepower yet would not fall under the “sport bike” definition and therefore not have restrictions placed on them.

HB 2470 is currently in the state Senate.

The AMA encourages all Texas motorcyclists to review the legislation which is posted on the StateWatch section of AmericianMotorcyclist.com and contact their state senator with their concerns.

For more information, log on to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/.


  By: Phillips H.B. No. 2470
  relating to the regulation of sport bikes and certain other
         SECTION 1.  This Act shall be known as Malorie's Law.
         SECTION 2.  Section 521.084, Transportation Code, is amended
  to read as follows:
         Sec. 521.084.  CLASS M LICENSE. A Class M driver's license
  authorizes the holder of the license to operate a motorcycle,
  including a sport bike as defined by Section 541.201, or a moped.
         SECTION 3.  Section 541.201, Transportation Code, is amended
  by adding Subdivision (18-a) to read as follows:
               (18-a)  "Sport bike" means a motorcycle:
                     (A)  that is optimized for speed, acceleration,
  braking, and maneuverability on paved roads;
                     (B)  that has a lightweight frame;
                     (C)  on which the operator leans forward over the
  gas tank during operation; and
                     (D)  that is not a touring, cruising, standard, or
  dual-sport motorcycle.
         SECTION 4.  Subchapter I, Chapter 545, Transportation Code,
  is amended by adding Section 545.4161 to read as follows:
         Sec. 545.4161.  OPERATION OF SPORT BIKE.  (a)  In addition to
  the requirements and prohibitions under Section 545.416, an
  operator may not carry another person on a sport bike unless the
  sport bike is designed to carry more than one person and:
               (1)  the operator:
                     (A)  is at least 18 years of age; and
                     (B)  has had a Class M license for at least two
  years; or
               (2)  the other person:
                     (A)  is at least 18 years of age and holds a Class
  M license; or
                     (B)  is a motorcycle operator training and safety
  course instructor certified under Chapter 662.
         (b)  An operator of a sport bike shall ensure that a
  passenger on the sport bike complies with all department
  regulations relating to motorcycle safety.
         SECTION 5.  The heading to Subchapter M, Chapter 547,
  Transportation Code, is amended to read as follows:
         SECTION 6.  Subchapter M, Chapter 547, Transportation Code,
  is amended by adding Section 547.803 to read as follows:
         Sec. 547.803.  SAFETY EQUIPMENT. If a motorcycle, including
  a sport bike, is designed to carry more than one person, the
  motorcycle must be equipped with foot pegs and handholds for use by
  a passenger on the motorcycle.
         SECTION 7.  Section 661.001(1), Transportation Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
               (1)  "Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle designed to
  propel itself with not more than three wheels in contact with the
  ground, and having a saddle for the use of the rider.  The term
  includes a sport bike, as defined by Section 541.201. The term does
  not include a tractor or a three-wheeled vehicle equipped with a cab
  or occupant compartment, seat, and seat belt and designed to
  contain the operator in the cab or occupant compartment.
         SECTION 8.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2011.
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