New York Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

If you choose to ride a motorcycle as your means of transportation in New York, whether for recreational purposes, commuting or travel, you are subject to some standard motorcycle equipment requirements.

Failure to operate your motorcycle with the required safety equipment can result in fines or may affect an insurance claim in the event of an accident. Be sure you are well informed of your obligations in New York and follow all laws and regulations while riding to protect yourself and others on the road.

List of Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

The following motorcycle equipment requirements affect all individuals who ride a motorcycle in New York. Be sure you have all pieces of equipment on this list in good working order, and if you need to purchase any items, refrain from riding until you are able to do so.

  • Helmet: New York law mandates that all riders on a motorcycle must wear a helmet. This law applies to both the driver and passengers on the vehicle and includes mopeds with a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour or over. If you see the US DOT sticker on your helmet, this means that helmet complies with New York standards. If you current helmet does not display the US DOT sticker, purchase a new helmet that meets the safety requirements.
  • Eye protection: The state also requires that all riders wear protective eye gear. This standard could be satisfied by wearing safety goggles designed for motorcycle riding, or a full face shield attached to the US DOT approved helmet.
  • Turn signals: All motorcycles built after 1984 are required to be equipped with turn signals. Be sure that your turn signals are properly installed and in good working order at all times. Replace burned out bulbs and use your turn signals while riding.
  • Mirrors: While New York law only specifies the need for one mirror to be in compliance with state standards, two mirrors installed on a motorcycle is an extra safety measure that riders should consider. Being able to see all angles of the motorcycle and all traffic traveling around you on the road can better equip you for safe transit.
  • Headlights: A daytime headlight must be used in New York. A modulating headlight is also acceptable.
  • Handlebars: “Ape-hangers” are not legal in New York. The maximum allowable height of handlebars on a New York motorcycle is even with the driver’s shoulders, no higher.
  • Muffler: All bikes in New York must be fitted with a muffler. Straight pipes are banned and the removal of baffles or other noise-increasing modifications are prohibited. Noise restrictions are enforced in New York.
  • Insurance: The minimums for liability insurance on a motorcycle are $25,000 bodily injury caused to one person, $50,000 for bodily injuries in a single accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability. Liability coverage covers others’ damages if you cause an accident.

Following these motorcycle equipment requirements can help ensure that you are protected physically in the event of an accident. Failure to have the proper equipment could affect liability for an accident and might increase a rider’s comparative negligence if failure to wear a helmet, for example, contributed to head injury severity.

Proving that you were riding lawfully and with all safety equipment may reduce the possibility that your insurance company or another driver’s insurance company will find you comparatively at fault for the accident or your own injuries. In addition, you will avoid the possibility of being cited for breaking New York motorcycle equipment requirement laws while riding.

What can I do if I’ve been in a motorcycle accident? 

Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. helps people who have been injured or suffered property damage in a motorcycle accident. If injured or struggling with a motorcycle property damage claim, call (800) 550-0000 or contact us online.

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