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Iowa Definition of a Motorcycle

HF53 was renamed as HF290.  It passed our House 95-0 (5 not voting).  As it was identical to SF78, the Senate withdrew SF78 and voted on HF290.  It passed the Senate 48-0 (2 not voting).  We are now waiting on Governor Branstad's signature.  Since he did not sign it within 3 days while the Iowa Legislature is in session, it automatically becomes law.
It doesn't copy and paste neatly so I put the link above to take you right to it.  You may need to scroll down a bit as they leave a lot of room at the top of the page.
The important starting point in our process was our existing definition for a motorcycle in Iowa Code.  It reads:

40.  a“Motorcycle” means every motor vehicle having a saddle or seat for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground including a motor scooter but excluding a tractor and a motorized bicycle.

b“Motorized bicycle” means a motor vehicle having a saddle or a seat for the use of a rider, designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, and not capable of operating at a speed in excess of thirty miles per hour on level ground unassisted by human power.
The issue arose because when a voyager kit is used the bike has 4 wheels on the ground.  Therefore, by the definition above, it is no longer a motorcycle and the registration and plates are invalid.  We didn't want to change the definition allowing 4 wheels because that would allow all sorts of vehicles to be able to be registered as motorcycles.  That would allow all of those vehicles statistics (including injury and death) to be "motorcycle" statistics.

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Posted: 2011-03-27 18:35:40
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