Are Motorcycles Get Back Whips Legal Or Illegal? Detailed Laws

Aggressive motorcycles roaring on the roads leave a unique visual accent, but you can increase the impression even more with a motorcycle get-back whip. This item attaches to the brake lever or clutch, which makes it tough to remove from the vehicle. 

As a result, you cannot use quick tricks to get past the traffic police if the local law does not legalize this item. So, where are you allowed to use this add-on freely? Scroll down to find out. 

Get Back Whip Laws: The Absence Of Clear Regulations 

The sad news is that most states consider back whips an illegal weapon. On the bright side, some governments issue permission under certain circumstances.

What States Are Get Back Whips Illegal In?

In our quest for detailed instruction, we have found that most states do not allow motorcycle riders to mount back whips in their bikes. A long list includes Alaska, California, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, Tennessee, etc. 

bike whips
Most traffic laws do not approve of bike whips

Local regulations, however, rarely go straight to terms that say “whether it is prohibited or not” but rather “how something is used illegally.” For example, police officers never identified the screwdriver as a dangerous weapon but as a motorcycle repair tool until it was used to cause injury.

Similarly, you get a ticket when you swing the whips at someone. To be honest, it is vague to know if the police will arrest you for illegal whip use. 

Case in point, California law enforcement would probably classify this item as a slingshot when it comes up with metal clips or weighty objects hanging from the end of the strap. Unless you have fixed it to the clutch lever and removed unnecessary bells and whistles, you may get in trouble at any time.

It is best to consult the laws of your area thoroughly before making up your mind. Do not rush to get your way, as the consequences are more severe than you think. Some states apply penalties similar to those for illegal use of bullwhip, including imprisonment in a county jail.

In What Case Is Motorcycle Back Whip Legal?

Some states, including Florida, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Texas, Washington, etc., make some exceptions to using the back whip. Bike riders must adhere to the following regulations in setting up and decorating their items:

  • They are within the allowable length limit (specified in each local motorcycle law).
  • They are fixed to the motorcycle
  • They do not contain metal shards or any dangerous objects

This code of conduct directs users to pure purposes, as you cannot use legal loopholes to attack others.

See more: Are Dirt Bikes Street Legal?

What Is A Get Back Whip Used For On Motorcycles?

The history of back whips began in the 1970s when motorcycle gangs took advantage of them to wage bloody wars. Now that this violent trend has largely disappeared and most manufacturers focus on thin braids, riders have used these items for good purposes.

Gangster Motorbike clubs
Gangster clubs have a say in the development history of motorbike whip

Identify Bike Club Color

It is normal to come across parades or motor shows in major cities where the whips represent the symbolism and ideals of the participants. Biker clubs often vote out a signature color and set it on the strap to show off their membership and pride. Some paid members may receive customizable options as a generous welcome gift.

Some large associations may use the back whip to show their aggression in branches around the globe. Well-known names like the BMW Motorcycle Club or the Harley Owners Group have a global network that brings their favorite colors to the world.

If you buy whips under an independent individual, you should do some research first. There will be coincidences that create unnecessary misunderstanding, draw attention from official people, and even pose you and others in danger. As a personal preference, we recommend options in dark colors to avoid awkward situations.

Make Your Bike Stand Out

Do you mind being interrupted by other vehicles when entering lanes? If so, make your motorbike easily visible to avoid dangerous rushes. This idea was born when we bumped into a motorbike whip. 

It left a deep impression on both the rider and the passersby alike. Of course, we were in two minds at first due to the aggressive appearance of the motorcycle.

That said, it is acceptable to use a back whip to increase safety. Other bystanders can’t take their eyes off you, and they can by no means accidentally collide with your vehicle just because of not seeing you.

Saying that doesn’t mean you can freely equip any kind of back-off whips but you’d better stick to the local laws first to not obstruct others’ vision.

Pay Attribute To Lost Friends Or Family

If you come across a one-of-a-kind variant in terms of decoration, chances are it is a personalized piece to remind the owner of a lost acquaintance. As a token of remembrance, romantic riders use leather whips to feel the presence of their loved ones every step of the way.

Feel free to attach anything memorable about your family or friends from names, pictures, or quotes. You can also go for your favorite sports team or celebrities. Let your creativity run wild, as the providers always have things to satisfy you.

Dive Into Days Of Past

Some have wished they could go back to the ’70s or ’80s – the golden age of biker gangs. Of course, their dreams never come true, but the vintage fashion with whips drives them back to the old days.

One point to note is that you can no longer use small chains of links like the past decade. The nodules can get stuck in the tire or pop open when traveling on a busy road and cause a catastrophic accident.

It is best to adhere to the modern rules of the game with nylon leather. Put on a cool black outfit and install a back whip on your big cruiser or chopper – now act like a big boss!

cooler on a motorbike with a back whip
You look cooler on a motorbike with a back whip

Purely For Aesthetics

Motorcycle gang violence has lain dormant in the past. Motorbike owners fall for the biker whips simply because it enhances the aesthetic and reflects their style. The unique designs make it a fun addition to their vehicle. If you are an attention seeker, this item is the one you should not miss for the world. 


How Long Should A Safe Get Back Whip Be?

Ideal measurements are between 12-24 inches which is enough to make your vehicle easily visible to other riders. However, the actual length depends on the size of the motorcycle and the terms allowed by local law.

What’s The Best Material For Motorcycle Handlebar Whip?

The most popular materials for whips are nylon, polyester, and leather. The first two save you a budget, but we do not appreciate their durability. On the contract, you have to pay a considerable amount for the long life span of leather. 

What Safety Tips Should I Consider When Using The Back Off Whip?

Shortening your whip as much as possible follows the rules and keeps you from motorcycle accidents. It should not interfere with the operation of any part of your motorcycle. We also recommend wearing helmets and gloves while riding to prevent accidental collisions.


The motorcycle whip is a fun decoration but beware of its legitimacy. Never fall in love with dangerous versions because the cops will keep an eye on you. Report your item to the traffic authority for confirmation to ensure it does not violate the regulations.

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Daniel Barker


Daniel Barker was introduced to racing in 2006 when he experienced his first track day on his Suzuki sv650. With more than 15 years of experience on his track. Daniel is known as for his high-energy riding, drifting, precision stoppies and technical riding ability on virtually any motorcycle.

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