Colorado's Motorcycle Laws

Colorado is home to a wide variety of great paved and unpaved motorcycle roads, including one of the most scenic motorcycle roads in all of the U.S. called the “Million Dollar Highway.” If you like enjoying the freedom these roads have to offer, you need to know Colorado’s motorcycle laws. Knowing these laws will help keep you and other vehicles on the road safer while ensuring you don’t get in a wreck, ticketed, fined, or end up in legal trouble while enjoying what should be a relaxing ride on Colorado’s scenic roadways. Here we’ll be going over everything you need to know, from Colorado motorcycle helmet laws to what makes a vehicle street legal.

Basic Traffic Laws

Colorado’s motorcycle laws require all motorcyclists to obey the same traffic laws as cars and other vehicles on roadways. However, there are some slight changes. Although it is illegal to pass another vehicle in the same lane and there is no lane splitting or sharing, motorcycles can share a lane with another motorcycle. Additionally, riders cannot attach their motorcycle to another vehicle or grab onto another vehicle. These actions are commonly referred to as “towing” and “clinging,” respectively.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Colorado motorcycle helmet laws are not as strict as some other states, as adult riders are not required to wear a helmet. However, laws do require operators and passengers under the age of 18 to wear a helmet that has been approved by the department of transportation (DOT). Despite the fact that Colorado motorcycle helmet laws do not require adult motorcyclists to wear a helmet, it is recommended, and helmets have been proven to save lives and limit or reduce injuries.

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Eye Protection Laws

Colorado’s motorcycle laws require all drivers and passengers to always wear some form of eye protection. Eye protection can include visors built into a helmet along with goggles and sunglasses. Windshields are not considered a form of eye protection.

Riding with Passengers

Motorcycle laws in Colorado require all bikes to be equipped with footrests and that passengers must use them. Passengers must ride in a seat behind or next to the driver and never in front. There is no law that states a passenger must be a specific age to ride. Colorado motorcycle helmet laws apply to passengers the same way they apply to drivers.


It’s optional for riders to use headlights during the day, but at night Colorado’s motorcycle laws require that they be turned on and operational. Headlights must be a white light that projects at least 500 feet in front of the vehicle. While lights are required at night, Colorado’s motorcycle laws prohibit additional vehicle lighting not included in the manufacturer’s design.

Street Legal Requirements

Colorado street legal requirements outline a list of features a vehicle must be equipped with to operate on public roads. These include:

  • At least one but no more than two headlamps compliant with requirements for vehicle headlamps.
  • At least one red tail lamp. The lamp must be mounted between 20 to 72 inches off the ground.
  • At least one rear reflector.
  • A muffler.
  • At least one wheel to be equipped with brakes.
  • A horn that produces a sound that can be heard from at least 200 feet away.
  • A minimum of one mirror with a rear-view distance of at least 200 feet.
  • USDOT approved tires for road use.
  • Manufacturer-installed safety equipment.

Colorado’s motorcycle laws also require that all items listed above be in good working condition. By following these laws, riders reduce the risk of an accident and help to protect not only themselves but anyone else on the road or any passengers they have. But for the times when an accident cannot be avoided, Whalen Injury Lawyers is always available to assist.

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