Skip to main content

Motorcycles can take riders from the road to the dirt and back again. However, some off-road riders would rather have one bike to handle the dirt and the road. So, can you ride a dirt bike on the road? Or is your trail-smashing dirt bike destined to stay off street surfaces and public roads?

You can ride a dirt bike on the road– after you make some tweaks and get it registered

In short, yes, you can ride a dirt bike on the road, public streets, and even highways. However, many dedicated off-road motorcycles won’t have some of the necessary equipment to pass an inspection and get registered. For instance, you’ll need all of the lights, mirrors, and safety equipment required by your state of residence. 

According to, you’ll need a few things to get the registration process started. 

  • DOT-approved turn signals for the front and rear
  • A headlamp with a functioning high and low beam
  • A sufficiently-loud horn
  • At least one mirror, if not two
  • A rear-mounted brake light connected to the rear and front brake controls

What’s more, dirt bikes are typically meant to do one thing and one thing only: conquer unpaved surfaces. As such, your off-road bike likely won’t have the power to run functions like horns, lights, and extra gauges. A road-ready stator, magneto, and battery could help your bike prepare to hit the streets. 

A dirt bike rider zooms down a trail off-road adjacent to a street.
A dirt biker on a trail | Photo travelling people sports via iStock

Even then, most states will require an inspection to register a previously untitled or unregistered vehicle. Inspections, like in the State of Kentucky, could involve a member of local law enforcement or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) checking your bike for safety and roadworthiness. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, where you live could play a substantial factor in whether or not you’re allowed to register and ride your dirt bike on the street. For instance, California has strict regulations surrounding which motorcycles are allowed to hit the road and use highways.