Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

Proper gear for riding a motorcycle

Rider on green motorcycle doing skills testing

Required equipment | Protective gear

Required equipment

Headlight

  • Must be a white light, bright enough to reveal a person or object 350 feet away
  • Must be lighted at all times, day or night
  • Modulating headlights are permitted for daylight operation only

Tail light

  • Must be a red light visible for at least 500 feet

Brake light

  • Must be constant red or amber light
  • Must be visible for at least 300 feet

Muffler

  • Must be properly functioning for constant operation
  • Must be properly maintained to prevent excessive, unusual noise or annoying smoke

Horn

  • Must be audible for at least 200 feet

Brake

  • Cycle must have at least one brake capable of stopping within 50 feet at 20 mph under normal conditions

Rear view mirror

  • Location of the mirror must show a rear view of the roadway for at least 200 feet

Handlebars

  • May rise no more than 30 inches above the lowest point on the tip of the driver's seat when seat is occupied
  • Improvised, defective or repaired handlebars are prohibited

Protective gear

Protective clothing

Motorcyclists are strongly urged to wear full protective gear, including:

  • A full face helmet
  • Leather or heavy duty long sleeve jacket
  • Leather or heavy long pants
  • Over-the-ankle boots
  • Full fingered leather gloves

Eye protection

Motorcyclists are required to wear any of the following eye protection:

  • A protective face shield attached to the helmet
  • Glasses
  • Goggles

If the windshield rises 15 or more inches above the handlebars eye protection is not required but is strongly suggested.

Helmets

  • Required for all operators and passengers under the age of 18
  • Operators are subject to fines and demerit points for carrying passengers (on a motorcycle or in a sidecar) under the age of 18 who aren't wearing a properly fitted helmet
  • Helmets are required for all operators with motorcycle instruction permits and their passengers
  • Strongly recommended for use by all motorcycle and moped riders
  • Must meet or exceed US DOT minimum standards

Top Return to top

Questions about the content of this page:
Greg Patzer, gregory.patzer@dot.wi.gov

Last modified: June 5, 2013

All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not testify to, sponsor or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages. Some pages contain links to other documents and media types (PDF, Word, Flash, Video, etc.) and require free plugins to work. Visit our software information page for assistance.