East Palo Alto acting police Capt. Jeff Liu said that at about 5:25 a.m., police learned of a suspicious vehicle that didn't have its lights on.
An officer tried to pull the car over but the driver accelerated away and drove the wrong way on University Avenue, he said.
A short time later, the car struck the motorcyclist near University Avenue and Bay Road, Liu said.
Several people were detained for questioning after the crash.
Liu said police would be releasing more details about the incident later this morning.