Free Consultation, Talk to a Real Lawyer Now.

Laws on the Road: What’s the Smallest Street-Legal Motorcycle in Los Angeles?

Choosing a motorcycle is one of the toughest decisions for riders to make. With the vast selection currently out there on the market, it takes plenty of time and research to commit to one bike. 

Whether you’re just learning to ride or you have specific preferences, small bikes are great for 

just about anyone. However, it’s important to choose a small bike that is street-legal. 

California Motorcycle Laws

Before taking the streets on a motorbike in California, there are several steps to take and laws to consider.

In general, motorcycle riders must abide by the same laws as vehicle drivers. For example, riders must obey street signs, avoid riding while intoxicated, and respect other road users and pedestrians.

Motorcycle License

The first step to take to be a street-legal rider on a motorcycle is getting a special motorcycle license. In California, there are two types of motorcycle licenses: M1 and M2.

With an M2 license, you may operate any motorized bicycle, motorized scooter, or moped. It is a more restricted type of motorcycle license than an M1 license. 

An M1 license gives you more options regarding the type of motorbike you’re allowed to ride. With this type of license, you can operate any two-wheeled motorcycle, motorized scooter, or motor-driver vehicle. You can also operate all of the vehicles allowed with an M2 license.

M1 licenses are the most popular, as you’re afforded more freedom regarding the types of motorbikes they’re allowed to operate.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

California requires motorcycle riders have insurance. Minimum insurance includes:

  • $15,000: Coverage for bodily injury for a single injured person
  • $30,000: Coverage for bodily injury for total injuries
  • $5,000: Coverage for property damage

To register your motorcycle at a California DMV, you must provide proof of insurance. 

Scooter vs. Motorcycle: What’s the Difference?

The primary difference between a scooter and a motorcycle is the size of the engine. A scooter’s engine ranges from 50cc to 250cc, while a motorcycle’s engine is considerably larger, from 150cc to 2,000cc and greater.

Motorcycles can often reach speeds of 110 mph and above, while scooters can hit 40 to 75 mph, depending on the size of the engine.

Generally, learning how to ride a scooter is easier than learning to operate a motorcycle. There is a substantial difference in the way they ride and function. 

Small Street Bikes Allowed on Los Angeles Roads

Not all bikes are allowed on the roads. When a bike is too small or goes too slowly, riders cannot legally ride them on the street.

However, there are certain small street bikes allowed on the roads of Los Angeles. The following are some of the most popular.

Kawasaki Z125 Pro

The Kawasaki Z120 Pro has a 125cc engine with a sporty look. You can expect decent fuel economy while having good control of the bike. 

Honda Grom

The Honda Grom also has a 125cc engine. It allows riders to zip around on a light-but-powerful bike.


The BMW G310R has a 313cc engine that provides just enough power. It is comfortable enough for even inexperienced riders.

Yamaha YZF-R3

The Yamaha YZF-R3 is great for lovers of sporty bikes. Its 321cc engine is capable of over 40 horsepower, giving thrill seekers the speed they need for the open road.

Honda Rebel 300

The Honda Rebel 300 is small but packs the same punch as some of the much bigger bikes. Its light weight makes it easy to cruise the city streets with ease.

Ride Safely

No matter what bike you choose, make riding safely your top priority. Riding responsibly can keep you safe and help avoid motorcycle accidents.

Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA

If you were injured in an accident in Los Angeles, CA or you lost a loved one and you need legal assistance, please contact us to schedule a free consultation. One of our Los Angeles motorcycle accident lawyers at M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers will get in touch with you soon.

M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers – Los Angeles Office
4929 Wilshire Blvd Suite 960,
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(855) 599-2987

Tell Us Your Story