Pocket bikes are miniature motorcycles with engines that range from 50 to 150 cc’s in displacement. They are classified by the California Vehicle Code as vehicles; however, due to their configuration, they cannot be legally registered. They do not have a VIN (vehicle identification number), and most do not have street legal equipment.
This means that they cannot be ridden by anyone, at anytime, on the following: public roads, streets, alleys, parking lots, sidewalks, or any other publicly owned property. Pocket bikes can only be ridden on private property. If a person is stopped while riding a pocket bike on the aforementioned public properties, an officer may issue the rider a citation for numerous vehicle code violations and impound the pocket bike.
The California Vehicle Code 473 defines a pocket bike: "(a) A "pocket bike" is a two-wheeled motorized device that has a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, and that is not designed or manufactured for highway use. "Pocket bike" does not include an
off-highway motorcycle, as defined in Section 436.
(b) For purposes of this section, a vehicle is designed for highway use if it meets the applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, as contained in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and is equipped in accordance with the requirements of this code."