August 23, 2019

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Kentucky Motorcycle Laws and Regulations

Riding a motorcycle can be an exhilarating experience. However, it is important to stay safe and to know your state’s motorcycle laws before you ride off into the sunset. The following article is intended to inform you what Kentucky’s motorcycle laws are, and provide you with a few general safety tips.

Kentucky Motorcycle Laws

  1. Required Motorcycle Equipment
    1. At least one rearview mirror
    2. Front and rear brakes
    3. Horn
    4. Muffler
    5. Tailpipe
    6. Turn signals
    7. A headlamp with high and low beams
    8. A brake light
    9. A tail light
  2. Rider and Passenger Requirements
    1. Riders and passengers must wear a helmet if they are under 21 years old, or if the rider has had his/her motorcycle license for less than a year
    2. Riders and passengers must wear eye protection when riding on a motorcycle
    3. A motorcycle operator must have proof of liability insurance
  3. Insurance Requirements
    1. $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person involved in a single crash
    2. $50,000 of bodily injury coverage if multiple people are involved in a single crash
    3. $10,000 of property damage coverage
  4. Licensing Laws
    1. Riders must be 18 years old or older to apply for a motorcycle endorsement/license or a permit
    2. Riders who are younger than 18 must have their parent or legal guardians signed consent to obtain a permit
    3. Permit riders may not carry passengers
    4. A Kentucky rider education course can be used to waive the skills portion of a class M license test.

Safety Tips

  • When you ride on a motorcycle, you are exposed to all that the road has to offer, for better or worse. So, it would be wise to prepare for the elements. You should wear durable clothing that is brightly colored so that you are easier to spot by other drivers. There are some motorcycle companies that make clothing specifically for motorcyclists, but jeans and a leather jacket work just as well. Wear heavy boots that come up above your ankle. This will make it easier to shift gears, protect your feet in case of a crash, and provide better traction on your motorcycle’s foot rests. Make sure that your helmet fits on your head properly, and that the chin strap is always securely fastened. This will ensure that it doesn’t fall off if you crash.
  • Most motorcycle crashes happen within five miles of where the motorcycle was started. This is because many beginners try to ride their motorcycles before they become comfortable riding them. So, it would be a good idea to “break in” your motorcycle before you start using it regularly. A motorcycle education course would be an excellent resource to become comfortable with your motorcycle and to sharpen your skills.
  • Every rider crashes eventually, even the most experienced riders. This is why having appropriate insurance is very important. If you do not have proper insurance, you could find yourself in a bad spot. You should consider the following coverages to add to your policy:
    • Comprehensive coverage will compensate you for damages that were not caused by colliding with another vehicle. For instance, if your motorcycle is stolen, or if you crashed into a tree, you would be compensated with comprehensive coverage.
    • Uninsured motorist coverage will compensate you if you crash with someone whose insurance doesn’t exist or if their insurance won’t cover all of your damages.
    • Roadside assistance should be strongly considered by any rider planning on taking a long road trip on a motorcycle. This will allow you to be picked up by a tow truck and repair your motorcycle if you break down. This coverage is useful even if you know how to fix your own motorcycle. Besides, who wants to fix a motorcycle on the side of the road with limited tools and no garage anyways. Right?

Additional Resources

Kentucky Motorcycle Manual

Kentucky Motorcycle Law in Revised State Codes: Statute

About Zac Pingle

Zac Pingle was born in Florida, and grew up in several places across the United States. From a young age, Zac developed a taste for writing, reading under trees and getting into trouble. Currently, Zac resides in Oregon as a college student where he aspires to become an English professor.