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Required Motorcycle Equipment: What Florida Residents Should Know


Get into any car in America today and you will see some common items; Seatbelts, airbags, headlights, and horns are just a few examples of safety features that are so important that they are required by law to be included in vehicles in order to reduce the risk of personal injury to the driver and any other occupants.  Given that motorcycles are by design a more dangerous type of vehicle than passenger cars, interested individuals are likely to want to know what specific safety features these vehicles require.

Florida law requires specific safety features on all motorcycles driven on state roads.  While some of the requirements may seem to be completely obvious, others may be overlooked by riders.  If you own a motorcycle in Florida or you are considering purchasing one, read on to discover what types of equipment riders are required to have on their motorcycles.

Brake Requirements 

Motorcycles (and every motor vehicle for that matter) are required by Florida law to have brakes on every wheel.  Some individuals may be interested in purchasing a motorcycle that has brakes only on the rear wheel, but this would violate the state law.  Ensuring brakes are in good working order is critical to reducing risks of personal injury on the road.

Exhaust System Limitations 

Motorcycles come equipped with exhaust systems and mufflers that reduce noise pollution.  Some riders may be interested in modifying these components to produce a loud, “chopper” kind of sound that is unmistakable on roadways.  Florida law, however, clearly states that exhaust systems cannot be adapted to be louder than what comes standard on the vehicle.  In addition, exhaust systems cannot be modified to produce excess amounts of smoke.

Handlebar Restrictions 

In Florida, the handlebars of a motorcycle cannot be higher than a rider’s shoulders.  When imagining that classic Harley Davidson look, it is easy to envision a rider leaning back with his arms high in the air, holding onto excessively long handlebars.  However, since the ability to quickly maneuver a motorcycle in this position is very difficult, Florida has enacted a maximum handlebar height relative to the rider.

Horn Requirements 

Every motorcycle needs to have a horn equipped, according to Florida law.  Horns help alert others and signal your presence.  Properly working horns are a critical safety feature that Florida state law requires on every vehicle, not just motorcycles.

Mandatory Mirrors 

Mirrors are also mandatory on a motorcycle in Florida.  Although riders are typically able to check behind them by simply turning their head, mirrors aid operators in being able to check behind them without turning ample attention away from the front of the vehicle.  Not having properly working mirrors on your motorcycle is grounds for a citation in Florida.

Legal Significance 

Abiding by these rules is critical in the event of a personal injury lawsuit in Florida because the state uses a comparative negligence system of determining fault.  This means that courts will look at you as well as the defendant, to make sure that you were following all equipment and safety laws regarding your motorcycle operation.  If you are found to have disobeyed one or more of these laws, your compensation could be compromised.

Trusted Personal Injury Representation 

If you need help with your case, reach out to the Orlando personal injury attorneys at Payer Law. We are able to assist you throughout each step of the process.


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