After digging heavily through the Louisiana laws and seeing where my newly ordered XM-3500Li will fit in, I find it has become important to figure out exactly what the horsepower of this vehicle is. Is it listed on the paperwork anywhere? If not, how can I figure out a way to get it that will be "official" enough? I saw several folks in the mega-thread mentioning it was under 5hp, which is my break point. I should note here that I could not at all find any kind of official definition for "horsepower" or "horse power" anywhere in the Louisiana code. Anything I can bring to them, if needed, would be great.
Here are the applicable laws for Louisiana if anyone is interested (taken from http://www.legis.state.la.us/):
(25) "Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way or place of whatever nature publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for the purpose of vehicular travel, including bridges, causeways, tunnels and ferries; synonymous with the word "street."
I list that only because it's mentioned in the statutes later so folks will know it means, pretty much, every roadway, not just interstate highways, freeways or the like.
(38) "Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor and excluding a motorized bicycle.
(39) "Motor driven cycle" means every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor of not to exceed five horsepower.
If it's under 5hp then the XM-3500 could fall into this categroy. Not important for registration, or most laws for how it can be driven, but for licensing it is. I'll get to the shortly.
(40) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle which is self-propelled, and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails, but excluding a motorized bicycle. "Motor vehicle" shall also include a "low-speed vehicle" which is a four-wheeled, electric-powered vehicle with a maximum speed of not less than twenty miles per hour but not more than twenty-five miles per hour and is equipped with the minimum motor vehicle equipment appropriate for vehicle safety as required in 49 C.F.R. 571.500.
(41) "Motorized bicycle" means a pedal bicycle which may be propelled by human power or helper motor, or by both, with a motor rated no more than one and one-half brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission, and which produces a maximum design speed of no more than twenty-five miles per hour on a flat surface.
Now pretty much all laws for registration and general driving rules apply for all of those vehicle types. With some minor exceptions. The big point of interest for me comes when we skip down to section 402 of the code...
§402. All drivers must secure license; exception; emergency vehicle exceptions; military personnel exceptions; violations
A. Every person who operates a motor vehicle which is designated as being in either Class "A", "B", "C", "D", or "E" under R.S. 32:408, before driving or operating any such motor vehicle on any public street, road, or highway of this state, shall secure from the department, or a public license tag agent authorized to issue drivers' licenses as provided in Paragraph (B)(2) of this Section, an appropriately classified driver's license with all necessary endorsements.
Class "E" is for "Private" vehicles. It's what you get for just driving your car around. If someone wants to see that part let me know and I can paste that out as well. Otherwise let's skip down to the "endorsement needed for motor driven cycles...
C.(1) Motorcycles, motor driven cycles, and motorized bicycles shall not be given a separate class, as such, but their use shall be provided for by making an endorsement on one of the basic classes outlined in this Section. Such an endorsement shall be made only after the applicant has taken and successfully passed tests specifically designed for the operation of such vehicles. No operator's skill test shall be required if an applicant has successfully completed the Motorcycle Safety, Awareness, and Operator Training Program provided in R.S. 17:282.
(2) The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to motorcycles, motor driven cycles, and motorized bicycles under five horsepower. Their operation shall not require a license or endorsement.
And there is the real kicker. You need a license (Class "E" is for "Private" vehicles, in essence your regular drivers' license for you car) but if the 3500 is under 5 horsepower I don't need to get a Motorcycle endorsement for it!