So, I'm required by Texas Law to buy liability?

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#1
I mean obviously I'm not gonna use this bike on the street. Just gonna use it on dirt trails and courses. But Texas requires me to buy liability simply because it's a motorcycle. So technically, if I'm out on a dirt trail, and for some strange reason, I meet up with a cop, he could technically write me up for not having liability?

I mean there's really no way to enforce this right?
 
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#2
First: an argument for liability insurance, if not Statefarm. Certainly you will want to read your policy.
RM_guy said:
I use State Farm and insured my 2001 with comp and liability for $60/year. I get a multi line discount so you might be higher but it's not that bad.
friar tuck said:
Same here, even the same bike and insurance company. We were at a track, and I had leaned my bike against a friends beater pickup. Some guys came from the other side of the truck and started wrestling, and slammed into the truck. It knocked my bike over into a new Honda Pilot parked next to us. State Farm denied the claim I made because they said the coverage was only good if it was in my driveway or garage. I should have lied to them...turns out that insurance is almost useless. Now I have a supplemental on my home owner's to cover it against theft, and nothing else. I gave the guy 500 bucks to fix his Pilot...he rolled it about 8 times a few weeks later. :bang:
Second: If it is the law in Texas (I'm not saying it is, I'm just responding to your comments)....You may want to consult a lawyer before you break the law. Be good to know one when you find yourself in jail or with an unbelievable fine for breaking the law you seem intent to break.

Why bother asking? It makes no sense. Your intent to obey any laws is far from obvious from what you've posted.

About the time you crash into someone else and harm them or cause damage to their property (both highly possible on a dirtbike), yeah, you could get fined, sued, or otherwise. Own anything of value? They could take that too. But, hey, I'm no lawyer or insurance agent.
 

Patman

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#3
No you are not required to have liability insurance for a dirt bike in Texas. You may be required to carry insurance by your lender of you financed the bike though since they want what is legall their bike covered until you pay it off.
 
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#4
Patman said:
No you are not required to have liability insurance for a dirt bike in Texas. You may be required to carry insurance by your lender of you financed the bike though since they want what is legall their bike covered until you pay it off.
And it that case it would not just be liability....
 

Patman

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#5
Actually I had a policy through Progressive when I financed a bike several years ago specifically for off road vehicles that ONLY covered the bike for theft and damage, zero liability coverage. I believe it was about $45 per year at the time.
 
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#6
Trist007:

Are you inquiring about insurance because someone at the dmv is requiring it?
Because you THINK it is required based on your definition of a dirtbike as a motorcycle. (Didn't you ask that in one the threads you've posted the last several days?)

If so, here is an attorney general's opinion from 2001....Again, I'm neither a lawyer nor play one on t.v. I'm trying to understand your questions. Maybe this will shed some light on your confusion?

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/JC/JC0416.pdf

Office of Attorney General said:
“Dirt bike” is neither defined nor recognized in Texas statutory law. In the American
Heritage Dictionary, it is described as “a lightweight motorcycle designed for use on rough surfaces, such as dirt roads or tracks.” AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 5 13 (4th ed. 2000).

The Random House Dictionary defines “dirt bike” as a “trail bike,” which in turn is described as “a small motorcycle designed and built with special tires and suspension for riding on unpaved roads and over rough terrain.” RANDOM HOUSE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE 560,2007 (2d ed. 1987).

A 1976 decision from the United States Customs Court states the following:
It is pertinent to note that the motocross or “dirt” motorcycle differs from the motorcycle suitable for lawful or safe “street” use in the following essential respects:
(a) it has a narrower frame;
(b) it has a greater ground clearance;
*Brief from Kathy R. Van Kleeck, Vice President, Government Relations, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, to Ms. Susan D. Gusky, Chair, Opinion Committee, Office of Attorney General, at 1 (Apr. 26,200l) (on file with Opinion Committee) [hereinafter MSF BriefJ. The Honorable Rene 0. Oliveira - Page 3 (JC-0416)
(c) it has “knobby” tires which cannot be used on
paved roads;
(d) it lacks the necessary electrical lighting
equipment; and
(e) it is lighter than the “street” motorcycle in that it
weighs only 220 pounds instead of 400 to 500 pounds.
Porter v. United States, 76 Cust. Ct. 97, 101 (1976).

Another case describes a “dirt bike” in this manner:
[T]he dirt bike has been designed for recreational use and not for use on public highways. It has no headlights, no taillight, no horn, no turn signals, no mirror, and no speedometer. Because it lacks these features, the dirt bike cannot be licensed under the Vehicle Code. Pistorius v. Travelers Ins. Co., 502 A.2d 670,672 (Pa. Super. 1985).

It may be the case that more recent dirt bikes possess some of the listed features, such as lights, a horn, or a speedometer. For purposes of this opinion, however, as will become clear below, the key feature of a dirt bike is that it is not designed for use on public highways.

The term “motorcycle” is not defined in chapter 662 of the Transportation Code. When a statute fails to define a term, however, a court may look to other statutes that deal with the same subject matter. See Ex parte Harrell, 542 S.W.2d 169 (Tex. Crim. App. 1976); Duval Corp. v. Sadler, 407 S.W.2d 493 (Tex. 1966). See also TEX. GOV'TCODEANN. 6 311.01 l(b) (Vernon 1998) (“Words and phrases that have acquired a technical or particular meaning, whether by legislative definition or otherwise, shall be construed accordingly.“). Accordingly, in order to determine whether a dirt bike fits within the definition of “motorcycle” for purposes of Texas law, we turn to other statutes for guidance.

Chapter 661 of the Transportation Code requires protective headgear for motorcycle operators and passengers. “Motorcycle” is defined therein as: a motor vehicle designed to propel itself with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and having a saddle for the use of the rider. The term does not include a tractor or a three-wheeled vehicle equipped with a cab, seat, and seat belt and designed to contain the operator in the cab. The Honorable Rene 0. Oliveira - Page 4 (JC-0416)
TEX. TFUNSP. CODE ANN. 8 661 .OOl( 1) (Vernon 1999). Hence, if a dirt bike is a “motor vehicle,” which term is not defined in chapter 661, this definition suggests that it is in fact a “motorcycle” for purposes of Texas law. Other statutes, however, point to a different conclusion.

Chapter 501 of the Transportation Code, the Certificate of Title Act, requires that every motor vehicle have a certificate of title in order to be operated on a public highway. See id. 9
501.022(a). “Motor vehicle” includes, inter alia, “a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped that is not required to be registered under the laws of this state, other than a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped designed for and used exclusively on a golf course.” Id. 8 501.002(14)(E) (Vernon Supp. 2001). Thus, the owner of a dirt bike is required to have a certificate of title in order to operate a dirt bike on a public highway. But dirt bikes, by their very nature, are not designed for operation on public highways.

Chapter 502 of the Transportation Code requires the owner of a motor vehicle to apply annually to register the vehicle. See id. 9 502.002 (Vernon 1999). “Motorcycle” is defined there as “a motor vehicle designed to propel itself with not more than three wheels in contact with the ground. The term does not include a tractor.” Id. 4 502.001(12). “Motor vehicle,” in turn, means “a vehicle that is self-propelled.” Id. 5 502.001(13). “Vehicle” is defined as “a device in or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway, other than a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks.” Id. 9 502.001(24). Hence, because a dirt bike is not designed for use on a public highway, it is not a “vehicle,” and thus, not a “motor vehicle,” and consequently, not a “motorcycle” for purposes of the vehicle registration law.
 
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