A motorcycle is a motor vehicle that uses handlebars or any other device connected to the front wheel to steer, a seat the rider sits astride, and is designed to travel on no more than three wheels; except that the term does not include farm tractors, low‑power scooters, or low-speed electric vehicles.
In Colorado, motorcycle operators must obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their driver license, marked by either the letter "M" or a "3". An "M" endorsement permits the operator to drive either a two‑wheeled or three‑wheeled vehicle. The "3" endorsement permits the operator to drive only three‑wheeled vehicles. There are two ways to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. The first method requires an operator to pass a written exam, purchase a motorcycle instruction permit, and pass a driving test. If the operator seeks the "M" endorsement, the driving test must be taken on a two‑wheeled vehicle. If the operator seeks the "3" endorsement, then the driving test is taken on a three‑wheeled vehicle. The second method requires an operator to complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation course and present their original Motorcycle Safety Foundation Card in a driver license office.
Motorcycles must meet motor vehicle registration and insurance requirements, but are exempt from emissions testing requirements. Persons under the age of 18 may not operate or ride on a motorcycle or scooter without a protective helmet. Unless wearing a helmet with eye protection, all persons must wear eye protection when operating on public highways in the state. In Colorado, motorcycles may not pass a vehicle in the same lane as the vehicle being overtaken, nor can a motorcycle operate between lanes of traffic or rows of vehicles. Motorcycle drivers may not operate more than two abreast in a single lane.
Currently, the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS) offers a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) program, which is funded by a $2 surcharge for a motorcycle endorsement on a driver license and a $4 surcharge on the registration of a motorcycle. For information about the training program, visit CDPS' MOST page.
A motorcycle may drive through a malfunctioning traffic signal. A malfunctioning traffic signal is defined as one that does not recognize a motorcycle, is out of order, or stays steady red or yellow through several cycles.
Autocycles. An autocycle is a three-wheeled motor vehicle. Drivers and passengers ride in a fully or partly enclosed seating area that is equipped with safety belts for all occupants. An autocycle is not a motorcycle. A driver does not need a motorcycle endorsement on his or her driver license to operate an autocycle, but must possess a driver license. Additionally, autocycles are no longer subject to a $2 license fee and $4 registration fee for motorcycle operator safety training, but will otherwise continue to pay the same taxes and fees for licensing, titling and registration, and will continue to use motorcycle license plates.