So you’re riding out there on the trails and are curious if your dirt bike requires mirrors? Aren’t you breaking the law without them?
Fortunately, you’re safe! Rules and regulations vary from states and juristrictions, but generally speaking:
You don’t need mirrors to ride a dirt bike offroad and on private property. You will legally require having dirt bike mirrors fitted if riding on government or council land, however, in offroad areas, most police take a blind eye to the issue. For the MX rider who rides on closed circuits, mirrors are never needed.
Some dirt bikes don’t actually have the mounts for mirrors so you’ll need to buy these seperately.
Legally Riding without Dirt Bike Mirrors
Most riders actually don’t ride with mirrors despite having a legal obligation. On dirt roads and forest tracks, mirrors can actually pose a danger to riders. Imagine going past a tree and getting ‘clipped’ by a branch that throws off your balance. It’s quite real, as is the risk of crashing and breaking the mirrors all together.
Luckily, you can stop breaking dirt bike mirrors by taking them off completely and stowing them in your backpack or fender bag.
As for adventure motorcycles, you’ll definitely need to be fitted with mirrors when riding on the highways. However, the lonely stretches of dirt roads will find many riders taking these off.
When Racing Dirt Bikes
In some enduro racing environments, it’s sometimes mandated that you need to have mirrors. This is to stop accidents from happening as you’ll see dirt bike riders coming up from behind you and can overtake.
That said – this is quite rare and scrutineers generally don’t expect you to have mirrors attached. This is certainly the case in motocross where it’s almost laughable to have mirrors fitted.
Generally speaking, you will hear other dirt bikes coming up behind you so it’s unnessary to have mirrors fitted. You’ll get used to the sound of your own engine and the sound of other engines approaching at speed. A quick toot of the horn generally helps riders pass each other on the track or trails.
Keep in mind that at racing speeds, mirrors do become almost worthless as the constant bouncing means that you aren’t likely to clearly see anyone behind you. You’ll probably be more focused on the track ahead of you too and getting safely to the finish line.
While it’s a legal requirement to have mirrors fitted to dirt bikes when ridden at any time off private property, most dirt bike police won’t enforce these rules as they have more things to worry about. Even if you do get fined, the tickets you get are very low.
Such leniency is given since it’s not really practical to use dirt bike mirrors. However, you’ll still need to be registered and licenced for riding. If the police do pull you over, it generally won’t be for not using mirrors but rather for a licence and registration check.
If you’re touring the world, it’s recommended that you do use mirrors at all times. The fines and beaurocracy in these foreign countries can frustrate even the most seasoned ADV rider, especially when there are often bribes involved. It’s often not worth the headaches, though we do recommend fold-in mirrors and a spare set in the panniers.
We wouldn’t fret about being caught without mirrors fitted to your dirt bike. The police often don’t care though so of the more zealous ones will. If in doubt – have them fitted but look for those that can easily bend.
There are simply more things to worry about out there on the tracks! Stay safe and keep it twisted!