NO power restriction in Iowa?

Drew Gulliver /

Is there really no power or engine size restriction for mopeds in Iowa?

If so, does anyone know of high power mopeds being sold that have the manufacturer's declared 30 MPH top speed on the certification label?

Does anyone know if the law considers power modifications to be in conflict with the required manufacturer's certification label? (even if top speed is still 30 MPH)

I would guess that it would never be an issue unless said power caused undue attention from law enforcement.

No power restriction would seem to leave the door wide open for electric assist and some potentially brisk acceleration capabilities.

Man, that would be sweet to have more acceleration than the cars around you and still retain moped economy. Exploiting the three wheel provision could allow a serious grocery hauler.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

to be classified as a moped in iowa, it can't go over 30mph.

all of my iowa model honda expresses are limited to 25mph. cause back in the 80's, you couldnt have a ped go faster than 25.

when i got the title transferred to my name on the last 3 mopeds, they made me sign a paper saying that it cannot exceed 30mph.

however, i have a 85 gyro, that on the title says motorcycle, not moped. so no flag, but i have to have a motorcycle license to ride it legally.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

Anything electric or gas powered that cannot exceed 30 mph on flat ground. Has to have a 5 foot dayglow flag and headlight/ taillight. Registration also of course.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

but actually you dont have to register an electric bike in any state cause of federal law unless that state has a law saying you have to register bicycles

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

Hey, gogo.. you're in Ames, too? Know how to weld? I've been wanting to 'explore the three wheel provision' but I need some help. If you're interested in making a trike, email me.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

I guess Ive never even ridden anything electirc other than a golf cart lol, here is what the law says:

New Moped Definition

A "motorized bicycle," or moped, is 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 30 miles per hour on level ground unassisted by human power. The maximum speed of 30mph needs to be printed on the certificate of origin from the manufacturer.

The new definition for a moped written above replaces the reference to "an engine having a displacement of no greater than 50c.c." The change in the definition allows electric motors or electric engines to be used as a source for moped propulsion.

Additionally, for a moped to be classified as a motor vehicle, it must be able to travel at a speed of atleast 20mph while driving up a 3 percent grade. If a vehicle cannot go 20mph up a 3 percent grade, it is not permitted to be operated on Iowa's streets and roadways

Moped Licensing

Any person with an adult operator's license, chaufferur license, commercial driver's license or an intermediate license may operate a moped. No motorcycle license is required. If someone does not have an adult operator's license, they are still allowed to drive a moped if they fall into one of the categories below.

Adults (age 18 and older) who do not have a driver's license must be issued a moped permit. The standard operator's knowledge examination and a vision screening are required. Skills testing may be required at the discretion of the driver’s licensing examiner

Persons age 16 through 17 who do not have at least an intermediate license must be issued a moped permit, under the same conditions as listed in the previous paragraph.

Persons age 14 through 15 must be issued a moped permit, but must first complete a moped rider education course approved by the Iowa Department of Transportation. The standard operator's knowledge examination and a vision screening are required. Skills testing may be required at the discretion of the DOT examiner.

Moped traffic laws

Helmets are not required to operate a moped or motorcycle

Passengers are not allowed on any mopeds.

A moped must be equipped with a safety flag that extends not less than 5 feet above the ground attached to the rear of the moped. The safety flag must be triangular in shape, with an area of not less than 30 square inches, and be Day-Glo in color.

Mopeds may not be operated side by side in the same traffic lane.

Mopeds must not be operated between lanes of traffic, adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

Mopeds must have a lighted headlamp at all times when operated on a public street or roadway.

Moped operators must not carry a package, bundle or other article that prevents the operator from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

Moped Registration

To register any motor vehicle in Iowa, you must have the Manufacturer's certification label on your vehicle stating that the it meets federal moter vehicle safety standard. Without a manufacturer's certification label, vehicles cannot be titled or registered.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

hey gogo, i come up to ames occasionally.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

looks like ames may be the spot for the spring or summer ride.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

Yeah I cant wait to ride with some other Iowa pedders.

Hey Aj, I got the motor rebuilt to that bat tonight. All I need Is a new clutch spring and a HT coil and It should fire up.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

Me and a couple other guys ride here in Ames too

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

jakes a cool dude, ride with him.

havent tested that pinto headlight yet, im gonna try to come up there before i leave once and for all though.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

gogo: heres the real deal, from an experienced iowa rider who has gotten his bike impounded (but luckily returned) for not having the proper information:

ames cops are fucking rad and dont mess with you, as far as i can tell. however, if they do, they are going to want you to have:

insurance (district attorney told me, if you have up to date insurance on your car, the liability coverage covers your moped, too)

proper registration (correct, up to date plates that match the bike)

and the 5' safety flag (most cops wont even mention it.)

you can get away without any of this stuff, but be warned, when the day comes you get pulled over by an asshole cop, youre gonna wanna make sure you have all this stuff so you dont get screwed over!

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

Drew Gulliver /
gogo OP

I have always had bad luck if I let my legality slide for as little as one day, so I keep current.

My Tomos goes 45 so when I titled it and they asked me if I wanted moped or motorcyle designation, I took motorcycle. F the flag.

I'm excited about the lack of a power limit. There is a guy on another forum who is importing 10 HP electric hub motors for motorcycles. Can you imagine the sleeper value? Making crotch rocket riders flog their mounts to keep up with your trail of 2 stroke smoke?

It wouldn't be hard to harness the 2 stroke power at 30 MPH to generate a charging current to keep the batteries charged.

As for a spring ride in Ames, that sounds fun. Any of you guys disc golf?

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

Disc golf kicks ass

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

disc is fun, i fucking stink at it. i get too grilled and just start throwing discs around all willy nilly. lol.

clete, how bad was that motor on the inside? get some pics man!

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

My camera got stolen last week, I think im getting a new one today though.

I soaked the whole motor in a bucket of used motor oil for 4 or 5 days.

The crank was a little rusty but not bad.

I put some new bearings in it, the con rod needle bearings freed up really easily.

The clutch spring fell apart when I tried to take it off

All the electrical coils were about shot

I took the carb apart last night too and the float was put in upside down with the needle rusted into the float top, so thats going to set me back.

Its the 25 mph version so im going to have to mod the carb a little, I think a 1/2 inch drill bit will fit through without desrtoying the carb.

Ill send pics soon.

Re: NO power restriction in Iowa?

nice.. sounds like you're having fun with it.. lol.. im glad it got to a home where someone can love it..


Want to post in this forum? We'd love to have you join the discussion, but first:

Login or Create Account