Ask A Trooper

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question: I like riding my motorcycle without hands on the handlebars from time to time. I know it’s probably frowned upon and not advised, just like riding without a helmet. But when I’m going down the road at cruising speed, it’s freedom: The bike and I are one. I’m just wondering, legally, can I get a ticket if I drive by an officer with only one hand, or most likely no hands, on the handlebars? Thanks in advance. 

  Answer: Minnesota law states that every driver is responsible for becoming and remaining aware of the actual and potential hazards that exist on the highway and must use due care in operating a vehicle. This would include both hands, one hand or no hands.

  However, when operating a motorcycle it is illegal to carry animals, packages, bundles or other cargo which would prevent the person from keeping both hands on the handlebars. This could prevent the person from braking, signaling or causing other safety issues. 

  A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at,