There’s no better way to see Mountaineer Country than on the back of your motorcycle. The twisting roads, the gorgeous vistas. Just make sure you’re taking care while you take it in.

The freedom you get from a motorcycle is one-of-a-kind, but it doesn’t come without risks. Motorcyclists are about 28 times as likely to die in a crash as someone in a car. Make sure you stay vigilant to avoid accidents and follow safety laws to minimize damage if you are in a wreck.

Safety gear

Always wear safety gear. Protecting yourself isn’t just the smart thing to do– it’s the law. You and your passenger must wear state-mandated safety gear whenever riding a motorcycle on public streets.

  • Helmet: Your securely fastened helmet must meet qualifications set by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) or Snell Safety Standards for Protective Headgear.
  • Goggles: You need to have goggles, a face shield, or safety glasses that meet ANSI regulations.
  • Windshield: If equipped, your screen must have shatter-resistant material and meet all DOT and ANSI guidelines.


Your bike must have a design suitable for more than one person. This means an extra or extended seat and another set of foot pegs. In the case of a sidecar, you need to have a seat and seat belt for each passenger. Sidecar riders are still responsible for standard motorcycle safety gear.


Being seen continues to be one of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a motorcyclist. West Virginia law requires that your headlights are on whenever you’re on the road, day or night. There are also specific rules to keep your visibility up without impeding other drivers:

  • Your light must be strong enough show objects no less than 100 feet away when going less than 25 mph
  • Your light must show up to 200 feet when going over 25 mph
  • Your headlight can’t aim higher the center of the light, so you don’t blind anyone
  • You need one red tail light to show when you’re breaking
  • You need one white light to show on your rear plate
  • You’re allowed additional running board lights if they don’t generate a glare

Follow West Virginia’s motorcycle laws to stay safe and avoid injury. Make sure you’re able to enjoy all the beauty surrounding Morgantown for years to come.


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