Are Motorcycle Get Back Whips Illegal?

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Adding a variety of cosmetics to your motorcycle can help you feel more connected and give your motorcycle a new layer of personality and touch that many other motorcycles will lack.

While these aesthetic modifications can be done in various ways, however, as a responsible motorcycle driver and owner, you should make sure that the modification you are using is legal in your state so that you can avoid issues.

When thinking of these modifications, it is easy to ask, “are motorcycle get back whips illegal” due to their confusing state within the rules. The simple answer is that, for the most part, they are not illegal as long as they follow a set of rules that have been established for them.

I will discuss these rules and talk about the state of get back whips in different states, so make sure to read the article, especially if you are in Texas, California, and New York.

Legality Of Get Back Whips

Learn about the biker whip laws so you can know what is the purpose of having it

As mentioned above, get back whips are legal in most states; however, they have to follow certain rules.

If they do not stay within the state’s conditions and rules, they are subject to confiscation, and the officer can issue a ticket to you.

Get back whips can easily transition to being illegal when they are modded or used in certain ways, so I will explain what cases are legal and illegal.

In What Case Are They Legal?

The main rules motorcycle get back whips must follow are:

  • They must be within a certain length.
  • They must not detach from the motorcycle.
  • They must not have a metal tip at the end.

As long as the get back whip is firmly attached to the motorcycle’s handlebars, you should not get into a lot of trouble.

The biggest concern various states have against get back whips is that they can be used to attack people as a weapon.

Having the get back whip securely attached to the handles limits this from happening. Even if they are perfectly secure on the motorcycle’s handles, if the motorcycle is long enough, they can easily be used to attack people, which is why the states have set a rule that they should not be more than a few inches.

Finally, the get back whip should not have any sort of metal tip at the end as this converts it into a deadly, which I will explain later.

Following this set of rules, you should be able to own a get back whip without having any problems with the police.

In What Case Are They Illegal?

Above I have mentioned cases where getting back whips can be legal, but I will talk about how they can be illegal.

Naturally, if they ignore the rules mentioned above, they will become illegal.

If the get back whip is longer than a few inches and extends to a foot or two. It will probably not fly with local law enforcement, which will ticket you if they see it. The next thing is if they are detachable.

You can easily get quick release systems and latches, which make it possible to remove the get back with from the motorcycle, which allows it to be used as a weapon, which is the main thing the government is trying to prevent.

Having a metal clip at the end of the get back whip just turns it into a slingshot which many states consider a deadly weapon.

Simply owning this can cause one to get arrested as the metal tip can be used to turn a not lethal but painful weapon into a fatal one which is completely illegal.

Legal And Illegal Usage Of Get Back Whips

Get back whips have a lot of different uses. The only use that the government does not allow is them being used as weapons.

Apart from that, here are a few ways you can use your motorcycle get back whips:

  • For aesthetic purposes.
  • For self-defense.
  • To associate with different organizations.


Most motorcycle owners will not consider using their get back whips as weapons and will only use them as it looks cool and adds a new aesthetic to the motorcycle.

Each motorcycle has its own design and style, which can be complemented by an array of get back whips that come in all different colors and sizes and can easily elevate the aesthetic of your motorcycle.

While even this is frowned upon in some cases, it is completely within the realms of the law and will not break any rules at all. Just keep the whips permanently secure on the handles and you should be fine.


One of the main drawbacks of the motorcycle get back whip is that it can easily dish out a lot of punishment when used as a weapon, regardless of whether you are using it to defend yourself or instigating an attack.

Using your motorcycle get back whip as a weapon implies that it is detachable; this is illegal in a lot of different states. Detachable motorcycle get back whips are considered weapons and can have you arrested.

Using them for the defense was common back in the 1970s and the 1980s, but since then, laws have been made in place to prevent them from being used in the streets as a lot of biker gangs resorted to using them as weapons which led to a lot of gang violence.

Representing Organizations

Colors are more than just aesthetic. They can represent symbols and ideals, which is what many people try to do when they attach get back whips of specific colors to their motorcycle.

These could be the colors of the American flag to show their patriotism, the colors of their political party, or the colors of their biker club.

Regardless of which colors they use, it allows them to be easily identified by their peers and people who associate with the organization. This is not illegal in the slightest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why Do Some Motorcycles Have A Rope Hanging From Handlebars?

Get back whips come in all sorts of forms, sizes, and types. Sometimes the tip of the get back whip is a collection of leather strings, while other times, it is a long braided rope that just hangs around the bike.

The latter of the two are frowned upon as they are more easily used as a weapon and are hence illegal in multiple states.

The rope is simply a longer and more flexible version of a get back whip, which makes it all the easier to attack people with.

Q2. Are Get Back Whips Illegal In New York?

You will need a pretty good reason to own a get back whip for your motorcycle if you want to attach it to your motorcycle as, for the most part, while it is not illegal in the state of New York, it can easily be customized into a deadly weapon or used as such which is against state law.

Similar to most states, get back whips become completely illegal if they are modified to have a metal clip at their end, as this essentially turns them into slungshots which are prohibited in New York.

Q3. Are Motorcycle Get Back Whips Illegal In Texas?

Get back whips are allowed in Texas so long as they are within a specific length and are not used as a deadly weapon.

Get back whips that come with a quick-release system are prohibited as this allows them to be used as weapons.

Even if you are using them for self-defense, get back whips are classified as weapons, and since you cannot get a license for one, if you are caught by police using one, you will be issued a ticket or, worse, arrested.

Q4. Are Get Back Whips Illegal In California?

Get back whips are not illegal in California in general however certain types of modded get back whips are against the state rules and are hence illegal.

The state asks for motorcycle drivers to keep these whips permanently attached to the motorbike, limiting any self-defense and attacking options.

The whips are not to be used as a weapon and hence should not come with a rapid-release latch system.

They must also not have a metal clip at the end of them, which essentially turns them into slungshots. Slungshots are completely illegal in California.

Q5. Why Do Bikers Have Get Back Whips?

Most bikers purchase get back whips in an attempt to customize and personalize their beloved motorcycles.

The get back whips can be used in a variety of ways that prevent them from being used as weapons and keep them purely customizable parts of your motorcycle.

This can be used to flaunt your club or a specific group, to help find your bike more easily, or simply because it looks cool. Some bikers use get back whips as self-defense tools, but this is not recommended.


In the end, are motorcycle get back whips illegal? Depending on the type of the whip and how you use it, no, they can be perfectly safe, colorful, and legal whips that can be used to add a new layer of customization to your motorcycle.

On the other hand, if you do not take care to follow the rules set by the government and instead opt for a dangerous version of the get back whip, you can easily convert it from a harmless motorcycle mod to a dangerous weapon that is illegal in most states which is why you must make sure to follow the rules of the state on a motorcycle get back whips and make sure it is not capable of hurting anyone.

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