Californians; HELP!

I'm really new to dirtbikes, so bear with me. I purchased a DRZ400E in October (my first dirtbike ever) and have had a blast riding it for the past two months. When I bought the bike, I thought (and the dealer told me) that it was a green sticker bike. Guess what I got in the mail from DMV! :)

So now I'm trying to deal with the realization that I won't be allowed to ride my great bike in the summer. My questions are; What do the rest of you red sticker bike owners do during the forbidden season? Are there any off-road riding areas that are open year-round to all bikes? What will happen to me if I'm caught riding off-season? Finally, has anyone ever been cited for a red sticker violation?

I appreciate all the help and insight afforded to me by this forum. Thanks everyone.

Can't help you with what happens if you get caught, but I've read several times on this forum and in talking to my dealer, that if you were told that you'd get a green sticker from your dealer you could take the bike back no matter what. It has been a pretty common occurance, in fact, I was told by another dealer that it was a green sticker also, fortunatly it doesn't matter where I ride in NorCal.



Aah, how frustrating. That is the reason I had to sacrifice some performance and get an "S" version... I wanted to ride any season anywhere, so I have had to spend some time and money "dirtifying" the S version.

What I might suggest is go back (or have a friend)to the dealer and ask them if the bike is categorized as a green sticker bike. If they say yes, then it proves (somewhat) they are consistently doing an obvious dis-service to their customers and you may have some legal ground to stand on.

Even if you are able to get the dealer to bend and take back the bike, your options may be limited with Green or Licensed bikes. Both off road versions of the DRZ and Yamaha's WR and more than likely Hondas new 450 are red sticker in California.

One last note, why don't you give Baja Designs a call.. they deal with this issue all the time since they sell street legal conversion kits.

Good Luck

I am going to give you some free legal advice.

Before you call the dealer, call a lawyer. I don't see how it could help your case to let them change their story now. What matters is what you were told and what made you believe what you did when you purchased the bike.

Look through all of the documentation that you have from your purchase; you may find some express written disclosure about the dealer being unsure how the bike will register.

I really don't know enough about this area to even know if you a case.


I bought an S to avoid the hassles you are learning of, but all of my riding buddies have red sticker MX bikes. Currently no one is checking the stickers, even though a red sticker is only allowed to ride certain months, etc. We all ride in public parks w/state funds and in the national forests, and no one has cared yet. (Key word being yet) They do care about spark arrestors in the woods, however. Your options appear to be to check into the Baja Designs method of registering it in Vermont, waiting three months, and then transferring it to CA; however I haven't heard of anyone doing this to avoid the red sticker to get green. They usually do it to get the license plate.

Based on my friends' experiences, I wouldn't worry about it. Go ride, have fun, and enjoy it. Some time in the future they may crack down, but not now. Your choices for green sticker are limited pretty much to the Honda XR line if it's that important to you. The DRZ, YZF, WR, CRF, are all red sticker.

Thanks everyone for your posts.

As far as going back to the dealer, I really don't want to give this bike back (even if they would take it). I'm having way too much fun! I guess I'll just ride the hell out of it for the next 6 months or so then see what happens.

[ December 28, 2001: Message edited by: DESERTDRZ ]

the E is a RED STICKER BIKE. period. it sucks in CA, i know, that's why mine says S on it. i got stopped with 4 other guys in mammoth about 2 months ago and they checked all of us for current DMV registration. he said they are CONFISCATING BIKES FOR RIDING RED STICKER OUT OF SEASON!!!!! the dealer lied to sell the bike if they told you it was green and/or plateable in CA. you might be able to register it in another state & shift it to CA after 6 mons. big PITA. makes the few less horses & suspension on the S seem like a very small issue. sorry for the bad news.

carpeDRZ, don't get too hung up about the Red sticker thing. Get a map of the areas. The dealer should have one. If not, check around. Generally, in the Summer when the red stickers are restricted it is too hot to ride in a lot of places anyway. Go up to higher elevations and the red sticker will be ok and you will have a better more comfortable time anyway. Good luck, P

[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: PMAUST ]

I have an '01 E and received a Green Sticker when it was registered. I was also able to get a plate for it by following the instructions that are included with the Baja kit.

It seems to be a "roll of the dice" as far as to what you are going to get, Red sticker or Green sticker.

carpeDRZ, for a complete explanation of the Red Sticker program, go to Then enter "Legislative Action" on the side bar.

This is what I do. First check out cailfornia ohv site. They list all the riding areas and what the red sticker restrictions are. some places you can ride all year. You can ride Baja or out of state too.

Or you can put on a licence plate off another bike and cover up the red sticker. Just add some lights and mirror and they don't even check. My bike looks like a "S" model now and I ride state parks like Death Valley 2 times a year. :)

[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: Moredesert ]

[ December 29, 2001: Message edited by: Moredesert ]

Originally posted by carpeDRZ:

[QB]Roll of the dice is right. Had a baja designs kit installed on my 01' 400E by the dealer when I got mine. Two months later got my license plate in the mail. To tell you how messed up the whole thing is check this out. Bought a 99' KX60 and recieved a red sticker from DMV. The next year bought a 2000 KX65 and recieved a green sticker for it. Go figure.

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