If you ride dirt, chances are you have a pit bike. These days pit bikes aren’t just limited to the pits: pit bike racing and good ol’ stunting hoonery are great ways get down and dirty. With some simple changes to gearing and fuel delivery, even an old pit bike can go over 60 miles per hour – and it’s small enough to put in your car.
While mini-motocross and mini-supermoto racing have been around for a long time, purpose-built pit bikes have not. In the old days, you had to modify some kid’s single-cylinder dirt bike to make a pit bike or mini racer. You had to change the suspension and tune the engine so the bike wouldn’t fall on its face trying to carry your full-size ass around town.
If you want the OG street legal pit bike experience, get yourself a Honda Z50 “monkey bike” from the 60s or 70s. Those things were popular for decades, so it’s hard to imagine why we went so long without Honda building us a proper successor. That all changed around 2014, when manufacturers realized that the world wanted a factory street legal pit bike that was built to the standards of a modern sport bike.
The Honda Grom was the first in a huge wave of pseudo-pit bikes designed for use on public roads. We’re all so familiar with them these days, from riding on disused go-kart tracks to racing in full-custom indoor arenas, that I honestly don’t know what we did before the Grom came out. Did we play with sticks?
But the Grom is a street bike, and true pit bikes are made for the dirt. If you have or want a modern pit bike, like the ones made by Thumpstar or SSR, you probably want to ride it on the road sometimes as well – and you’re better off doing it legally.
Here’s how easy it is to build a street legal pit bike!
Get the Right Parts
The big ones. The idea is to turn an off-the-shelf mini-moto into a fully street legal pit bike. Think about all the things a normal motorcycle has: a headlight, tail light, horn, mirrors, and blinkers are the big ones. In most states you can pass your local inspection with a squeaky bicycle horn, bright flash light, and cheap mirrors from Wal-Mart. No, really! It’s your call whether you want to take the safety risk in the long term, but if you just want to get it registered fast this is one place you can save some money.
The other parts. Some pit bikes already have a brake light, so you’ll just need to buy a kit that has a blinker switch and blinkers. Some states require you to have a license plate light too, and of course you’ll need a way to mount your license plate where it’s visible, so you will need a white automotive LED and a license plate bracket as well. All in, you can build a street legal pit bike that will pass most state inspections for less than $25.
Make it your own. Take the money you saved and buy yourself some wheels and tires, a wheelie bar, an exhaust, or a wrap to make your street legal pit bike stand out. If you plan on riding it often or at night, I suggest buying a higher-quality headlight, tail light, blinkers, horn, and mirrors from us, from eBay, or from your local speed shop. That way those legal bits will actually keep you safe, too.
Get Yo’self a Title
This is where most people skimp. See, riding on public roads with no plate is asking for trouble, but getting a license plate and registration for a street legal pit bike isn’t easy. But it’s not actually street legal without them… you see the problem here. This is why getting one titled is a PITA.
It might be a moped. Clearly it isn’t, because mopeds can’t do sick stunts. As obvious as that may be, some states require any bike under 110cc to be registered as a moped. They put speed restrictions on them, too, and since you’re actually riding a street legal pit bike those rules don’t make a lot of sense for you.
It might take you all day. If you title a pit bike yourself, be prepared to get the bike inspected, take your bill of sale to a DMV office, fill out registration paperwork and forms, prove you live in your state, give them your most recent tax receipts, show them pictures of the road-legal parts you installed, and then argue with them for 20 minutes over whether your pit bike is actually a moped.
As if that wasn’t enough, most local DMVs don’t have the ability to do that kind of thing in-house, so either drive all the way to your state capital or wait for snail mail to deliver the paperwork for you. Some states like Minnesota even require you to drop by the Department of Natural Resources before going to the DMV so you can fill out even more forms. Holy cow…
Take the easy way instead. If your bike has an off-road title, MSO, or just a bill of sale, we will make it a street legal pit bike and even register it for you! We skip all that complex nonsense, and you don’t have to go to the DMV or even get an inspection. Right now, get $35 off with promo code "DL35" and make $50 by referring a friend!
Go Ride Your Street Legal Pit Bike!
You know those guys who get together on their pit bikes and run the streets? You know how they’re always worried about getting pulled over because their bikes aren’t legal? Not only can you show off your stunting skills on your pit bike, but you won’t have to worry about Johnny Law because you’ll be riding a street legal pit bike.
Use your noggin: Dirt Legalize your pit bike today.