Make sure you're wearing pants.
Laws exist to keep us safe—at least, in a perfect world. In real life, though, not all laws serve that purpose. Some of the more well-known ones are artificially low speed limits and loud pipes, two laws that motorcyclists routinely ignore. Here are five of the more obscure strange laws affecting motorcyclists.
Keep Your Pants On
In Minnesota, anyone taking a motorcycle endorsement class must wear pants. It's the law (§7411.0565). Of course, we would recommend that you wear riding gear at all times. And really, the law also requires helmets, gloves, and eyewear. It does make you wonder what particular incident caused lawmakers to specifically include pants on the list, though.
No Secret Identity
Halloween is over, but in Virginia, if you're on a motorcycle, it never began. According to §18.2-422, it is against the law to wear a costume or otherwise conceal your identity if you're on a motorcycle. This somewhat boggles the mind, partly because someone thought it was necessary to enact such a law, but mostly because when you're geared up, no one can tell who you are anyway.
Ride Within Your Limits
This is always good advice and West Virginia §20-15-5 makes it the law of the land. It is illegal to operate a motorcycle outside of your riding ability. It does make me wonder how you are supposed to find your limits if you're not allowed to test them from time to time, though.
Keep It Clean
Back to Minnesota (specifically, the City of Minnetonka), this law (§845.010) is not specific to motorcycles. It is illegal for a vehicle's wheels or tires to "deposit mud, dirt, sticky substances, litter or other material on any street or highway." This can be good for riders, eliminating the possibility of coming around a blind corner on a smooth paved road only to lose traction in a patch of mud deposited by a truck or tractor exiting a field. On the flip side, though, dual-sport riders have to be careful not to commit the same offense themselves after a muddy trail ride.
Please Stay In Your Seat
Another potential legal pitfall for dirt riders is, of all things, standing on your footpegs. Standing up while riding is a fundamental skill for riding on loose surfaces, one that I am still struggling to learn. Unfortunately, in Alabama (§32-5A-241), Arizona (§28-892), Colorado (§42-4-1502), Montana (§61-8-359), Tennessee (§55-8-164), and Washington (§46.61.610), among other places, you'll have to tell that to the judge. These places view standing up as stunting, even though it's anything but.