Arizona Motorcycle Laws: All You Need to Know In 2021

Arizona Motorcycle Laws: All You Need to Know In 2021

Posted by Arnish Rhine on Sep 9th 2021

Arizona Motorcycle Laws: All You Need to Know In 2021

1. Introduction:

When you are cruising on your motorcycle, you want to just enjoy the exhilaration of racing down the highway or getting to where you need to be by avoiding obstacles that other vehicles cannot. The last thing you want to deal with is the police ambushing you and charging you with an expensive ticket. Sometimes it is for an obvious mistake like breaking the speed limit. But other times, you are charged with breaking a law that you do not remember the specifics of that well. Or that you may not have known existed.

Motorcycle laws can be very fickle, especially when it comes to comparing the policies between different regions of the United States. What is deemed as appropriate motorcyclist behavior in one state may not be seen that way in another. They may differ in how severely they deal with motorcyclists who neglect keeping their motorcycle up to state specifications. An example of a place where this is most apparent is the state of Arizona.

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This article will cover the updated motorcycle laws of 2021 that are specific to Arizona. These will include the gear that motorcyclists need to wear, have on hand, and have implemented on their ride. You will also be informed of how to comply with regulations when it comes to being courteous to others, ensuring the wellbeing of your passengers, and how to safely move on the road.

2. Helmet Laws in Arizona:

Your helmet is arguably the most valuable piece of body protection and should be worn every time you go riding. When selecting your headgear, pick an open-face helmet or a full-face helmet. Both of them are approved by the Department of Transportation so either one of them would satisfy roadside officials. Make sure that the helmet is the right size for your head, will not slip off easily, and has no signs of damage that could compromise its integrity. An open-face helmet exposes your face, but has an extended cap to shield your eyes from the sun. You will find it easier to breathe and communicate if need be. A full-face helmet covers the entirety of your head with just a small opening for your eyes. This comes with a plastic or glass visor that can be flipped to protect your eyes.

If you are a rider under 18-years old, you are required to wear a helmet. If your helmet does not come with a visor or your motorcycle does not have a windshield, you will need to put on protective goggles, glasses, or a face shield. This will ensure that no debris will fly into, temporarily blind, or cause serious damage to your eyes. Failure to follow these regulations will result in fines that can range from $25 to $75 plus additional charges.

3. License Laws in Arizona:

To be eligible to operate a motorcycle, you need to have a state-issued motorcycle license that provides proof of your credentials. If you are an aspiring motorcyclist residing in Arizona, you will need to get a learner’s permit first. If you are at least 15 years and 6 months old, you are able to apply for a learner’s permit. If you have driven a vehicle before, you will need to pass a written and practical exam to proceed to the next step.

In Arizona, you have to at least own a Class M license to ride a motorcycle without restrictions. To apply for this license, you have to be at least 16-years old. However, there are additional parameters that need to be met if you are under 18-years old. You would need to have owned an active learner’s permit for about 6 months prior to your application. You fulfill the remaining criteria for a license by completing the learning courses for motorcycle driving provided by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department or having your parent or guardian provide confirmation that you have had hand-on vehicular training for at least 30 hours.

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If you are a traveler from out-of-state that has already earned your Class M license somewhere else in the United States, then you do not need to go through the hassle of going to the AMVD to receive validation.

4. Noise and Emission Laws in Arizona:

Because of how much output a motorcycle engine is capable of unleashing, this can result in a lot of smoke and noise being released. To lower the volume of the engine, a muffler is attached to the exhaust to bring it down to an acceptable level. In Arizona, your motorcycle must have a factory-made muffler or one of equal quality attached at all times. You cannot apply a cutoff, make adjustments, or tamper with a muffler as it may reduce its effectiveness. Depending on your motorcycle’s model, you may need to apply specific adjustments to your muffler to deal with noise pollution. To reduce the amount of smoke, your motorcycle’s engine and ignition need to have features built in that minimize excess fumes being poured into the environment. If you drive around with a muffler whose integrity is compromised, do not be surprised if you are pulled over by police. You may find yourself having to pay a fine of at least $100 plus additional charges.

5. Passenger Laws in Arizona:

If you plan to carry another person on your motorcycle, you are required to install an extra seat, footholds, and seat handrails made for your passenger. The passenger seat has to be fastened either behind you or on one of the motorcycle’s sides. It has to fit the model of your motorcycle and cannot be placed in a way that impedes your movements in any way. When with a passenger, you should still be seated in the same place as when you are riding alone. The passenger is not allowed to hold onto you nor can he or she grip anywhere else on the motorcycle’s chassis to stay secure. You also cannot take on multiple passengers at once as even with the installations, it will not increase the body capacity. If you cannot safely install the necessary implements, you cannot transport a passenger under any circumstances.

Just like the rider, if the passenger is under 18-years old, he or she is required to wear a helmet. If the passenger is wearing a helmet that is not equipped with a visor or the motorcycle does not have a windshield, he or she also has to put on protective goggles, glasses or a face shield. If you are in possession of a learner’s permit, you are not authorized to transport passengers.

6. Lane Splitting Laws in Arizona:

Depending on the state you call home, lane splitting will be considered either legal, legal with modifications, illegal, or unspecified. If you hail from a state that is more liberal in regulating lane splitting, you are probably used to squeezing in between larger vehicles during traffic jams. This practice can be useful as it allows you to take advantage of the maneuverability and size of your motorcycle. You can make use of the space between slow moving or stopped vehicles to get to your destination quicker instead of waiting like everyone else. However, this practice is also very dangerous because of the same limited space that is taken advantage of. If a car or truck suddenly switches between lanes or swerves towards you, there is not enough room for you to get out of the way. If you do not hit the brakes in time, you may end up in a crash.

Due to the risks posed to the health of motorcyclists, Arizona bans any form of lane splitting. White lining is when motorcyclists ride on top of the dividing lines that mark the boundaries of highway lanes. Motorcyclists also cannot attempt to pass a vehicle in front of them if they are sharing the same lane. Additionally, a motorcycle cannot ever be between the lanes or rows of adjacent vehicles. That being said, motorcyclists can make full use of the space in their current lane. They are also allowed to ride side by side or in a staggered formation with another motorcycle.

7. Required Safety Features in Arizona:

When it comes to your motorcycle, you have to double-check that it is equipped with all the required safety features to help lessen your chances of getting into an accident. Per Arizona’s rules, your motorcycle needs to at least be outfitted with rearview mirrors, headlights, tail lights, brake lights, a horn, functional handlebars, and either hand or feet brakes.

You are allowed to install a maximum capacity of two for the following items throughout the body of your motorcycle: headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and rearview mirrors. This will help you increase the distance you can see at night, make it easier for vehicles and pedestrians to see you, and help increase the range you can scan and be aware of your surroundings. However, you are only required to have a minimum of one of each feature while in Arizona.

It is safer for you to have both your hand and feet brakes working when on your motorcycle. In the event the brakes you rely on primarily start to become faulty, you still have a reliable way to decelerate. But like with the lights and rearview mirrors, you are only required to have one of the brake systems working while in Arizona.

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There are two types of headlights that can be outfitted to help illuminate the dark and relay your location: daylight headlights and modulating headlights. As it is required for you to have your lights on throughout the entire day, the high-intensity beam of daylight headlights are ideal to project over long distances. Modulating headlights change the brightness of the beam over time which helps to conserve battery power while the motorcycle is active. Daylight headlights are required while modulating headlights are optional.

The handlebars have to be far enough in front of you that you can extend, turn, and bend your arms fully. When you grip the handlebars, make sure they are at shoulder height. Make the necessary adjustments to the height of the handlebars if your hands are slightly above your shoulders.

Regarding the horn, it has to be able to alert people of your presence from a minimum distance of 200 feet.

8. Takeaways:

It may be a bit overwhelming having to be responsible for knowing motorcycle driving etiquette and making sure that your ride is up to code. But reviewing Arizona’s motorcycle laws may save you from having to deal with a ton of inconveniences later. Whether you are an Arizona resident or a tourist, all you have to do is adjust your lifestyle to better accommodate the needs of your fellow drivers and the demands of the local law enforcement. It sure beats ending up in an ambulance or having to be reprimanded by a police officer. Taking a bit of time out of your day familiarizing yourself with what is right and wrong in Arizona will put your mind at ease. Then you can dedicate yourself to spending quality time with your motorcycle.