If you`re an ATV or dirt-bike rider, you`ll appreciate the dense forests, steep hills and thick mud of the Pacific Northwest. There are plenty of places in Washington state for a dirt-bike rider to spin his wheels and kick up some mud, including city and countryside venues. Whether you want to hone your riding skills or put your machine to the test, Washington State has a lot to offer.
Rules and Regulations
All dirt bikes in Washington state must display a current ORV -- or off-road vehicle -- sticker, be equipped with approved spark resistors and remain on trails designated for motorized-vehicle use. Some Washington-state trails also require that the cyclists using them to be fully licensed, meaning in possession of both an operator and state driver's license. Dirt bikes are also required to have working safety features like mirrors, headlights and turn signals; riders must wear a helmet at all times.
As of Sept. 1, 2010, dirt bikes were officially declared illegal by Washington state for use on regular streets and highways. Dirt bikes are manufactured for off-road use only, as labeling on the frame and body clearly indicates. Previously, there was a way to register the bike as street-legal by using a loophole in the registration documentation. Only dirt bikes that can be certified by the manufacturer for regular road use can legally drive on Washington roads.
One of the requirements of dirt-bike operation anywhere in Washington state is the use of designated motorized-vehicle trails. Fear not, as this will not limit your choices. These are organized by five regions: Puget Sound Area, Olympic Peninsula, Southwest Area, Central Washington Region and Eastern Washington. Many of these trails are in parks managed by the Forest Service (fs.fed.us/contactus/) and others are in state parks managed by the state Department of Natural Resources (dnr.wa.gov/ContactDNR/Pages/Home.aspx).
Dirt-bike trails in Washington state are classified as easiest, difficult and most difficult. Easiest trails are relatively even and flat with gentle up and downhill grades, more difficult trails have grades that range between 15 and 30 percent and the most difficult trails have very rough, steep surfaces. The lists of trails in Washington state are constantly being upgraded and difficulty levels can change depending on the season and terrain.
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