Unless previously modified by a former owner, the standard lighting package provided to adhere to state motorcycle laws, accompanying the purchase of a new or pre-owned motorcycle, typically consists of a headlight and taillights that also function as brake lights. It might include blinkers or directional lights positioned at both the front and rear of the frame. Upon starting the engine by turning the key, both the headlamp and taillights illuminate continuously.
Let’s face it, the standard lighting package, even with up to two headlamps, meets safety standards but does little to set your motorcycle apart from the crowd. To achieve that, it’s worth contemplating the customization of your motorcycle with features like motorcycle wheel lights or, for a more adventurous flair, motorcycle under-glow lights.
LED lighting not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your bike but also improves its visibility during nighttime rides. Additionally, LED lights draw attention to your motorcycle when riding in the daytime under adverse weather conditions, such as rain or overcast skies, where other drivers might struggle to see your bike. However, the challenge arises when using LED lighting for customization while ensuring compliance with state laws. Regulations tend to be stringent, reflecting concerns about potential distractions and safety hazards for other drivers.
LED lighting options available for enhancing your motorcycle’s appearance come in various styles and colors. Motorcycle under-glow lights, for instance, are designed to be mounted to illuminate the ground, available in a spectrum of colors. While they offer a distinctive look, their use beyond when your motorcycle is parked may breach laws in numerous states that perceive such lighting as a distraction to fellow motorists.
Motorcycle wheel lights, as implied by their name, come in various types, including rotor covers, rim accent lighting, and fork-mounted accent lights. State laws seem to display more tolerance toward motorcycle wheel lights, perhaps because they contribute to increased visibility rather than solely serving a decorative purpose. Nevertheless, caution is necessary regarding color choices, as certain states where you ride may prohibit the use of reds and blues.
Motorcycle Wheel Light Laws
Every state has its own set of regulations governing the operation of motorcycles, whether owned by residents or utilized by individuals visiting from other states. These laws mandate certain equipment, such as headlights and tail/brake lights, while prohibiting the use of other types of gear, such as flashing red or blue lights.
It’s imperative to be acquainted with the laws in your home state and any states you may traverse during your travels. Additionally, keep in mind that state laws, especially those overseeing the operation of motorcycles and other motor vehicles, undergo frequent changes. Ensure that your motorcycle adheres to the most recent legal requirements. Based on our thorough research, we have compiled the following list detailing motorcycle wheel light laws for each state:
Alabama: LED and neon under-glow lighting are not explicitly prohibited, but red lights visible from the front and flashing lights are banned. The license plate must be illuminated with white light.
Alaska: Aftermarket lighting, including neon under-glow and wheel lights, is allowed. Under-carriage lighting must be white in front, amber on the sides, and red only visible from the rear. Blue lights, flashing lights, and red lights visible from the front are prohibited. License plate lights must be white.
Arizona: Wheel lights and under-glow lighting are generally allowed. However, flashing lights are prohibited, and front-facing lights must be amber or white, while rear-facing lights must be red. License plate lights must be white.
Arkansas: Under-glow lighting can be installed but must not be used while the motorcycle is in motion. It is only permitted when the bike is parked.
California: Under-glow lighting is not prohibited, but red lights visible from the front and blue lights are not allowed.
Colorado: Under-glow lighting and aftermarket lighting in blue, red, or green colors are prohibited.
Connecticut: The installation of LED aftermarket lighting is generally restricted.
Delaware: The ban on under-glow lighting was lifted in 2017.
Florida: The state has a lenient policy on aftermarket lighting, but red or blue lights visible from the front are not permitted.
Georgia: Except for blue lights, there are no specific restrictions on other types of lighting effects on motorcycles.
Hawaii: With the exception of blue lights reserved for law enforcement vehicles, there are no restrictions on aftermarket lighting.
Idaho: Aftermarket lighting is allowed, but red lights visible from the front and blue lights are prohibited. Rear lights must be red, and license plate lights must be white.
Illinois: LED under-glow lighting is effectively prohibited. State law mandates at least one white headlight visible for 500 feet and red taillights visible only from the rear.
Indiana: Flashing lights, except in emergencies, are prohibited. LED decorative lighting kits are not explicitly prohibited.
Iowa: The law does not specifically prohibit decorative LED lighting, but red lights (except for taillights) and blue lights should be avoided.
Kansas: Ground-effect lighting is allowed, but red lights are limited to rear-facing lights. LED bulbs or neon tubing must not be visible.
Kentucky: Decorative lighting is allowed but should not include non-emergency flashing or rotating lights, blue lights, or red lights visible from anywhere other than the rear.
Louisiana: Decorative lighting is not prohibited, but blue or flashing lights resembling those on police vehicles should be avoided.
Maine: Neon or LED lighting is not specifically prohibited, but strict guidelines must be followed regarding colors for different locations on the motorcycle.
Maryland: While neon and LED lighting effects are not explicitly prohibited, compliance with state regulations, including headlight intensity limits, is necessary. Red or blue lights visible from the front are prohibited.
Massachusetts: Decorative neon and LED lighting, along with blue or flashing lights, are prohibited without a special permit.
Michigan: The use of under-glow and decorative lighting while the motorcycle is on public roads is prohibited.
Minnesota: The law prohibits decorative neon and LED lighting, including under-glow effects.
Mississippi: The use of blue lights is prohibited, but there are no specific restrictions on other decorative lighting.
Missouri: Decorative lighting is generally allowed, but red lights must be limited to the rear of the vehicle, and flashing lights are prohibited.
Montana: Decorative lighting is allowed with restrictions, including no red lights visible from the front and no flashing or pulsating lights.
Nebraska: The law does not specifically prohibit decorative lighting but restricts red or green lights to the rear.
Nevada: Forward-visible lighting is limited to amber, and only red lights can be visible to the rear.
New Hampshire: Restrictions include reserving blue lights for law enforcement and red lights for the rear of the motorcycle.
New Jersey: Under-glow and decorative lights are permitted, with restrictions on colors visible from different angles.
New Mexico: Decorative lighting is allowed, but red lights must be visible only from the rear, and flashing lights are prohibited.
New York: The state restricts colors of lights on vehicles, including a ban on blue lights.
North Carolina: Blue-colored lights are prohibited, and red lights are limited to taillights and brake lights.
North Dakota: There are no specific limitations or restrictions on decorative lighting.
Ohio: Under-glow and decorative lighting are allowed if they do not flash, rotate, or impair the vision of other drivers.
Oklahoma: Neon and LED lighting are generally legal, but the use of blue lights is discouraged.
Oregon: Decorative lighting is not specifically regulated, but blue lights and certain restrictions on red lights apply.
Pennsylvania: Ornamental lighting, including under-glow effects, is not legal.
Rhode Island: Decorative lighting is permitted, but red lights must be visible only from the rear, and flashing lights are prohibited.
South Carolina: Other than restrictions on blue or red lights, decorative lighting is not regulated.
South Dakota: There are no specific regulations on aftermarket lighting, with a caution against using blue lights.
Tennessee: Decorative lighting is not regulated, but flashing lights and certain colors are prohibited.
Texas: Under-glow lighting is allowed if it does not flash, with a preference for white or amber.
Utah: Neon and LED lighting are allowed, but blue or red lights visible from the front are discouraged.
Vermont: There are no specific regulations on aftermarket lighting.
Virginia: The only restriction is a ban on flashing red, white, or blue lights.
Washington: Under-glow lighting is prohibited when the motorcycle is in motion, along with flashing or rotating lights and the use of blue lights. Red lights must be visible only from the rear.
West Virginia: Lighting using standard bulbs or LED pods or strips is allowed, provided they do not blink, flash, or oscillate.
Wisconsin: Decorative lights are not illegal, but red lights must be visible only from the rear, and blue lights are not permitted.
Wyoming: The only restriction is that red or blue lights may not be visible from the front of the vehicle.
Regardless of location, avoiding the use of red lights on the front of a motorcycle and blue lights is advised for safety and legal compliance.