Legal LOOPHOLE? Can 800W M1 Spitzing qualify as CA Class1 BICYCLE

Mike leroy

Active Member
I want to expand on this page:
http://electricridereview.com

With regards to this bike:
http://electricridereview.com

The CA web page seems pretty clear to me. I want to verify that I am not misinterpretating it. I believe I am reading a legal loophole!

If I order the 800W Spitzing from the factory to cut-off at 20mph, the bike qualifies as Class 1(one).

I could care less how fast the bike goes. My aim is 90NM of uphill-climbing torque.

If I misinterpret the law, then how does the law reflect the reality of my situation?

FYI:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/motorcycles/motorcycles

Mopeds
(Link Removed - No Longer Exists)
A "motorized bicycle" or "moped" is:

  • A two or three-wheeled device, capable of no more than 30 mph on level ground, and equipped with:

    - Fully operative pedals for human propulsion.
    - A motor producing less than two gross brake horsepower and an automatic transmission.
    - An electric motor, with or without pedals for human propulsion. (CVC §406(a))
Driver must have a motorcycle license (M1 or M2).

  • A "motorized bicycle" is also defined as a vehicle with pedals and an electric motor (not more than 1,000 watts) which cannot be driven at speeds of more than 20 mph on level ground even if assisted by human power. (CVC §406(b)).
If you operate a motorized bicycle which meets the definition of CVC §406(b), you:

- Must be 16 years of age or older.
- Must wear a properly fitted and fastened bicycle helmet.
- Are exempt from the motor vehicle financial responsibility, driver license, and moped plate requirements (CVC §12804.9).
  • A motorized bicycle is issued special license plates and identification cards, which requires a one-time $18 fee. No renewal is required.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Pedelec spitzing is rated at 250W (software controlled & class 1)

Speed pedelec spitzing is rated at 500W ( class 2)

Race pedelec goes above 35mph is rated at 800w (class 3).

So, I don't see any loop hole here. The controller can be set to deliver lower wattage. So even stealth bomber has street mode where the output is limited.
 

Chandlee EBS

Active Member
So, I don't see any loop hole here. The controller can be set to deliver lower wattage. So even stealth bomber has street mode where the output is limited.

I've always wondered how this could upheld, realistically.

For instance, we had a Stealth Fighter hitting non-motorized trails here. Obviously, the guy was tearing it up most of the time, but would cut power when he approached other riders. Adjustable controllers seem invite a lot of the uproar we've seen in the last year from the MTB community.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I know. This is a grey area. Not everyone is conscientious like you chandlee.
As far as spitzing is concerned, pedelec will only go 20mph under assist. May be someone will hack into it.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
The abuser can be easily caught. He is subject to legal prosecution. Let him take his chances.

I am a runner. I do not own a bicycle. Some people believe my area is some of the best bicycling in the USA. You will not catch me exercising on the roads. Too much anger. I have seen serious confrontation. The cops are enforcing.

My concern is transportation. I want to minimize automobile use. I am willing to abide by the law. I need torque, not speed. I could care less if the controller cuts out at 15mph.

People will buy parts and build bikes from kits, when faced with unrealistic laws. Personally, I would challenge silly laws in court.

I have no more interest in messing with a bike than my car. I just want to buy a bike that fulfills my needs and will be serviced 5 years from now.
 

Paul E.

Active Member
For instance, we had a Stealth Fighter hitting non-motorized trails here. Obviously, the guy was tearing it up most of the time, but would cut power when he approached other riders. Adjustable controllers seem invite a lot of the uproar we've seen in the last year from the MTB community.
This is exactly why laws and rules limit where different vehicles can be used based on their maximum capabilities and not on how "nice" riders and drivers choose to use them. Most motorized vehicles of any kind have an "adjustable controller": it's called a throttle.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Pedelec spitzing is rated at 250W (software controlled & class 1)

Speed pedelec spitzing is rated at 500W ( class 2)

Race pedelec goes above 35mph is rated at 800w (class 3).

So, I don't see any loop hole here. The controller can be set to deliver lower wattage. So even stealth bomber has street mode where the output is limited.

Ravi,

if the 800W is limited to 20mph, is it still class one ? My interpretation is the speed limit, not watts is how the bike is classified.

Alternatively, will the 200W or 500W still deliver 120Nm of torque?

Limiting the wattage does not make sense to me. Limiting the top speed is legal objective, is it not?

Torque = Watts / RPM . Alternatively, Watts = Torque x RPM
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I know. This is a grey area. Not everyone is conscientious like you chandlee.
As far as spitzing is concerned, pedelec will only go 20mph under assist. May be someone will hack into it.

Ravi,

I am a software developer with firmware experience. I doubt you need to hack the controller at all. Just find a compatable controller and swap it out.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I wonder if the laws that apply to farm tractors are applicable to torque issues. Some states allow farm tractors to drive on the road. I doubt tractors go more than 15mph. I have never seen a farm tractor do more than 10mph.

I want to buy a tractor, not a sports car.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
The abuser can be easily caught. He is subject to legal prosecution. Let him take his chances.

I am a runner. I do not own a bicycle. Some people believe my area is some of the best bicycling in the USA. You will not catch me exercising on the roads. Too much anger. I have seen serious confrontation. The cops are enforcing.

My concern is transportation. I want to minimize automobile use. I am willing to abide by the law. I need torque, not speed. I could care less if the controller cuts out at 15mph.

People will buy parts and build bikes from kits, when faced with unrealistic laws. Personally, I would challenge silly laws in court.

I have no more interest in messing with a bike than my car. I just want to buy a bike that fulfills my needs and will be serviced 5 years from now.

Feel the same way.. Just read the state statutes for your area to ensure what the limits or bike path restrictions are for electric bikes are good for you.

I get more abuse for riding my road bike on the main roads.. Not a legal issue just a hassle sometimes.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Honestly, I avoid traffic as much as possible.

I know all sorts of back roads, trails, right of ways, you name the short cut, from running. I take the longer, slower way home, because I enjoy it.

Most drivers will not stop for me at the crosswalk. It is as if I am in their way. Especially, when it is raining. So I learned how and WHEN to avoid the roads.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/amsterdam-can-send-mopeds-to-the-carriageway/

The Dutch have found that mopeds don't work on bike paths. They are now looking at ebikes, which are getting more formidable. Trying to define categories, set limits, didn't work.

In Utah, a motor is a motor, and makes a motor vehicle, which requires at least a driver license. Here's how the bike paths are marked.

No Mo.jpe
 

Paul E.

Active Member
https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/amsterdam-can-send-mopeds-to-the-carriageway/

The Dutch have found that mopeds don't work on bike paths. They are now looking at ebikes, which are getting more formidable. Trying to define categories, set limits, didn't work.View attachment 2154

I read just about the opposite meaning in that article: they are now defining categories and setting limits, separating mopeds from bikes because having them mixed didn't work. That Utah thing is not categorizing vehicles based on their max speed but only if there's any kind of motor or not, so it's just legislative laziness or malice. Why not require driver's license if you can pedal a bike faster than 20 mph?
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
I hope the ebike industry learned from the auto industry. Irresponsible legislation will ruin the industry. Ebike Manufacturers are not GM-like too-big-to-fail. The govt will not bail them out.

Part of the reason I want an ebike is because I dislike the auto industry. How much has society benefited from the auto industry in the past 10 to 25 years?

Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall. Sometimes I think the USA is on the same Trajectory as the Roman Empire.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
I read just about the opposite meaning in that article: they are now defining categories and setting limits, separating mopeds from bikes because having them mixed didn't work. That Utah thing is not categorizing vehicles based on their max speed but only if there's any kind of motor or not, so it's just legislative laziness or malice. Why not require driver's license if you can pedal a bike faster than 20 mph?

Same endpoint. Your interpretation might be correct, but same outcome. The categores were light and heavy mopeds, with the light allowed on bike paths. But the difference between light and heavy couldn't be defined, so now they try to eliminate both, on bike paths. Utah law is consistent in that a bike going over 20 mph still doesn't have a motor. A motor makes a motor vehicle, a motor vehicle needs a license for the operator. It still may be lazy, since they don't require insurance or a tag for the ebike, but theres a logic to it from the standpoint of the operator. The operator is operating a motor vehicle. It does have a motor, so it might be a reasonable point of view.

If people complain or there is statistical safety issue, they can change the rules. How well do bikes and motor scooters mix? Not very well, apparently. How well do ebikes and bikes mix. Are there enough ebikes, yet? There's 'category creep' with ebikes, especially in the US. How do you set the speeds and power outputs without ending up where the Dutch did with high and low power Mopeds? Everything became a high power Moped, and they almost all broke the speed limit. They actually tried to fix this by spending many enforcement hours on this problem. No luck, doing that.
 

Mike leroy

Active Member
Is human nature simply prone to bending laws to the point of breaking?

Did you know that Julius Ceasar forbade wheeled traffic during daylight hours in Rome? Rome population was 1M at that time. How fast do horse carriages go? 5-10 mph, perhaps?

Cracks me up! traffic problems the Amish have. Amish ride bikes and horse-drawn carriages.

What is the best way to encourage people respect the law?
Our society has a strong me-against-you attitude.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Ravi,

if the 800W is limited to 20mph, is it still class one ? My interpretation is the speed limit, not watts is how the bike is classified.

Alternatively, will the 200W or 500W still deliver 120Nm of torque?

Limiting the wattage does not make sense to me. Limiting the top speed is legal objective, is it not?

Torque = Watts / RPM . Alternatively, Watts = Torque x RPM

Well, let me explain using an example.
Stromer uses two different kinds of motors, Mountain 33 and Power 48. Both of them are rated at 500W but you'll experience immediate torque from Mountain 33 vs Power 48.
The torque bands in each motor is different and it can be tuned for different terrain. Some have higher torque at lower rpm and some at higher rpm.

Specialized uses a motor called Xion and it's rated at 250W but that's nominal output and peak output could reach ~750W.
Cleaver programming of the controller helps in achieving that 120Nm torque by TQ systems and keep it under the legal limit of 250W or whatever.

You should test ride some Easy Motion Neo bikes and Stromer bikes side by side. You'll notice that difference.