Is It Illegal to Drive a Motorcycle without a Speedometer?

You’ll hardly see a bike without a speedometer. Almost all the bikes have it. But it’s possible that you’ve noticed some bikes without this. The reasons for this could be many; for example, the bike might be of a different type, or the rider removed it at some point. 

Seeing these cases, you might be thinking, is it illegal to drive a motorcycle without a speedometer or not.

Whatever the case be, this guide is about to get you rid yourself of all the confusion you have. We’ll talk about why a speedometer might be necessary as well as how you can utilize it in the best ways.

Is it Illegal to Not Have a Speedometer on a Motorcycle?

Well, yes. If you’re talking about most states and regions throughout the United States and other countries, it’s required almost everywhere. There are some regions that will allow you to ride a bike without a speedometer, but the number is a few.

Some areas will have speed limits assigned, and the only way to keep your bike’s speed under that range is by having a speedometer.

Even though you can keep the speed under check without a speed indicator, having the device can help a lot by letting you take a break from guessing and making the machines do the work.

Why Should Speedometers Be Used Even Though It Might Be Legal to Drive without One?

Suppose you’re living in a region where it’s totally legal to go ride a bike without a speed indicator. Why should you even care to use this device?

Let’s talk about one important point to clarify why this device shouldn’t be considered optional but rather a must. And this is about state crossing issues.

Some states have imposed different rulings based on different motorcycle types. You can be fine with not using a speedometer if your state allows you to do so without breaking the law.

But what if you ever need to cross a state where the law about a speed indicator is different from what’s in your own state?

That’s where the problem begins. Not only speed indicators, but also other bike parts have specific laws in some regions. In fact, you might even notice different laws based on the bike road type.

There are so many combinations that might get problematic to you at some point, thus better to be safe and use an indicator.

  • Overall View of a Bike Engine

Having a bike speed indicator has some perks on its own. First, it shows you bike speeds on an MPH (miles per hour) and KPH (kilometers per hour) basis, which is basically a no-brainer.

But there are some bonus features that you’re highly unlikely to get without an indicator. Some of these are as follows – 

  • Odometer

An odometer is usually built-in with the tachometer, a.k.a. Speed Indicator. It shows how many miles or kilometers the bike has driven.

You might need the number in some legal work, or some states might require you to show it. Whatever the reason be, having the ability to check crossed distances can get helpful at times.

  • Fuel Levels and Pressure

A fuel gauge can show you real-time data of how much fuel is inside the tank and its pressure. There might be a situation when you need to check the amount of fuel inside the tank to know whether you should refill it before going for a trip or not.

If the fuel level is at the bottom, it can quickly finish and mess up a trip.

On the other hand, knowing how much fuel is in the tank can be helpful for you if you want to measure the amount of fuel usage in a time period.

Without a fuel checking gauge, it’s not so easy to check the pressure level. Whatever the reason for checking the pressure, having a gauge is a useful feature to have.

Also, bikes have a certain fuel pressure limit. You should try to keep the pressure more than it, or the engine would have a hard time injecting it inside.

Having minimal fuel pressure is necessary to keep the fuel flow running into the engine. With a speed indicator, you can easily check the fuel pressure signs as fuel levels.

  • Speedometer Data Accuracy

A speedometer will not always show the precise measurements if there are other issues that are causing changes in the measurement inputs. Some of these are – 

  • Bad Speedometer

This is one of the most prevalent ones. If the indicator itself is faulty, having high-quality sensors won’t be of any use. It’s going to show wrong results anyhow.

If you notice changes in speedometer readings, check it by a mechanic to know if there is anything wrong.

  • Sensor Damage

If the problem seems to be in the sensor, then check it. And if it’s not there, check the wiring. The problem should be in between these two. Make sure whether the problem lies in the cables or the sensors need a thorough checking of both.

A faulty sensor can show under or over readings and is one of the causes of road risks. One simple replacement can save you from these.

Also, speed indicator calibration accuracy is a factor too. Bad or faulty sensors will inevitably show incorrect results, just as a bad speedometer unit would do.

Final Words

Using a good quality speedometer is sometimes not only essential but also quite helpful in many ways. You’re likely to have some ideas on why you should use one of these to help your bike riding be enjoyable and safe. 

Hopefully, the question “Is it illegal to drive a motorcycle without a speedometer?” shouldn’t bug you anymore. Even if it’s not necessary by the law in your area, you got a few reasons under your belt not to avoid using one.

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