My 1000w motor journey and fear mongering by users of the forum!

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
As I am wont to say... the sky is not falling. People have been saying The Man is about to crack down any minute thanks to those darned rogue ebikers since ... well, forever. Nothing has come of it and nothing is on the horizon. Still.

We are not in a climate where restriction is on the menu. Certainly not here in the USA, where as of late last year the number of states who have adopted the 3-class system increased to 36 (8 states adopted it in 2021). I suspect its even more as of now, late 2022, but I haven't found any newer data to back that up. Still... its been a steady march year over year. Ebikes are the darlings of urban planners here and shoving a poker up their butts is on no legislative body's radar (I am not counting the 6 o'clock news or the local city council grandstanding for air time. There you will find isolated exceptions).

Likewise, in the EU thats a whole different world. Its a mistake to compare what is going on there to what can happen here in North America. Cycling mindset is entirely different. So is the fundamental nature of the citizenry vs. authoritative governments making myriad rules for people to follow. And if thats not enough, in the EU's urban areas, low speeds are genuinely necessary. Things are just so much more crowded there on urban roads that 15 mph can frequently be waaaay too fast.

BUT... the EU is far from monolithic and of one mind on this. I'll bet there is a lot more variance there than most people even realize. In particular look at the Belgians and how they have modified their vehicle code to expressly allow latitude for speed pedelecs to encourage their use in commuting vs. autos.

You'll find a whole lot of very nuanced discussion and advocacy for change here in this article. I found the Riese & Muller spokesman to be particularly - and surprisingly - on point.

 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
You can call it BS, but how do speed limits work for cars? A cop in a car can't catch a bike that can hit the sidewalks, the alleys, between houses. The only way it could possibly work is registration, tags and license. And how would speed cameras work without tags? It's so logical.
You're making things way more complicated than they need to be.

For instance, 2 college kids/rent a cops/volunteers establish a speed zone in an area with a lot of complaints. They both have 100 hundred dollar radar guns, 2 way radios (to communicate with each other and to request help if needed), and gates able to block the trail. Now use your imagination......

That took me 30 seconds. Betting brighter minds giving it some serious thought could likely come up with something as effective as necessary - without going way overboard with some of your ideas. In other words KISS. Even if it's not 100% effective 100% of the time, it's better than saying it can't be done while sitting on your hands....

Edit: on further thought, exactly who are we policing? Are the riders in your area just out to get some fresh air and exercise or career criminals? How much "enforcement" do you think it might take to civilize a section of trail in your area? My bet is, not much.....
 
Last edited:

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
without going way overboard with some of your ideas
They aren't my ideas and not what I want.
it's better than saying it can't be done while sitting on your hands...
You always take it to a personal level. You very well know I spent years overturning ebike bans. I've worked with legislators, regulators, law enforcement, land managers and ebike advocates. There's no need to be insulting. You don't like what you are hearing, but that's what "they" are saying. Who is sitting on their hands?
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
They aren't my ideas and not what I want.

You always take it to a personal level. You very well know I spent years overturning ebike bans. I've worked with legislators, regulators, law enforcement, land managers and ebike advocates. There's no need to be insulting. You don't like what you are hearing, but that's what "they" are saying. Who is sitting on their hands?
"The only way that works is registration and tags. Riders will be assessed points on their drivers license. Oh, you'll have to have that too. How fair would car drivers think it is for them to pay the price if we don't. We are a minority within a minority. We wield no power or clout."

This is YOUR idea. YOU are presenting it in a manner that would indicate there are no other options. I think maybe there are other options, but you are so used to advocating for the way things are now, you aren't seeing them....
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
"The only way that works is registration and tags. Riders will be assessed points on their drivers license. Oh, you'll have to have that too. How fair would car drivers think it is for them to pay the price if we don't. We are a minority within a minority. We wield no power or clout."

This is YOUR idea. YOU are presenting it in a manner that would indicate there are no other options. I think maybe there are other options, but you are so used to advocating for the way things are now, you aren't seeing them....
This discussion isn't happening in a vacuum. Context is everything and we just had these discussions last week. I didn't post a thesis in this thread, you knew the context. Even so I reiterated...
They aren't my ideas and not what I want.

You don't like what you are hearing, but that's what "they" are saying.
I think it better to know all the possible ramifications rather than hiding them. Ebiking has been a big part of my life since 2014, when it was threatened I got involved. I wish more would join in. We might have more rational laws if the lawmakers knew there were people affected by the laws they pass. Most of the advocacy is coming from the corporate level and it's easier to dismiss them then it is to dismiss AHicks, J.R., et al.
 

MrCaspan

Active Member
Neither, I'm dead serious. Everyone thinks the world outside their window is the same for everyone.

I'm not being sarcastic or trying to pick an arguement. People think every community has police that can spend time on things like this. Large swaths of the US and Canada don't even have police departments. My rural township is very large, with little crime and we don't have a police force. We neither need or want one, people are expected to obey the laws we put in place. The county doesn't have a force either. There isn't the will or the money in many places to think about bike speed enforcement. If ebikes ever became problem they would be banned before any money was spent on any kind of enforcement.

I'm not making any suggestions to you and your bike. Many places can't afford to police the crime they have. Enforcement of bike speed would have to pay for itself. That could mean registration and tags. Bikes can easily avoid being stopped. Tags would assure ticketing gets to the rider, whether they get away or not. And fines will need to be steep to contribute to the costs.

The law of unintended consequences.
I know but it's like saying there's a new law that says you can't spit on the ground we don't need police walking around and forcing it they're already walking around and forcing existing laws that they see you breaking the no spitting on the ground law then they can give you a ticket same as e-bikes they're just doing their normal job but if they catch you speeding they can take it you
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
I know but it's like saying there's a new law that says you can't spit on the ground we don't need police walking around and forcing it they're already walking around and forcing existing laws that they see you breaking the no spitting on the ground law then they can give you a ticket same as e-bikes they're just doing their normal job but if they catch you speeding they can take it you
I've addressed that so many times in this thread alone, see posts above. It's a fight keeping trails and paths open and I don't want to make arguments here with fellow ebikers. Its tiresome going round and around.

I've said it before many times, I'm not the ebike police. I don't police people while out and about, I don't police my friends on this issue and I'm not policing people here. I'm just sharing my experience.

I wish you many miles and smiles with your new bike. It is a beautiful bike. Orange and black, I'm a Harley rider so I can appreciate that👍
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
If that is the case and you are on a mixed use trail then you should slow down or bear the consequences.
Why should you be subject to a ticket for going at a safe speed just because your vehicle can be ridden at higher speeds?

If public safety is the primary concern, your son on his unpowered MTB should also be operating at the same safe speed as you on your ebike that keeps all users of a trail safe.

If you want to go faster get on the road and off the trail.

Dedicated down hill mtb trails, and I'm arguably going too slow compared to the good riders . ie technically I'm the dangerous one travelling too slow.

There are massive differences in bike usage, and a dumbed down speed limit is about as useful as whatever limits
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Let's back up a bit. What problem are we trying to solve?

If it's safety, how common are reports of people being injured by ebikes, other than riders? Are pedestrians being mowed down by folks going to fast? I truly have no idea, but certainly don't see news reports of such. (Maybe my bubble isn't big enough?)

If it's perception of ebike haters, then another issue entirely.
 

ElevenAD

Well-Known Member
Imho E-Bike regulation is coming but it wont be because of anything happening on the trails and it certainly wont be spurred on by riders like the OP.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
Ride what you like as long as you're willing to assume the risk. If you're responsible and don't draw attention to yourself, you personally aren't likely to have any effect on ebike laws in general. Unfortunately, not every rider is responsible.

You can ride as safely as possible but what if someone runs into you, through no fault of your own? If an investigation reveals you are riding an illegal bike, it will not go well if the accident winds up in court.
 

AHicks

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Snow Bird - Summer S.E. Michigan, Winter Gulf Coast North Central Fl.
Ride what you like as long as you're willing to assume the risk. If you're responsible and don't draw attention to yourself, you personally aren't likely to have any effect on ebike laws in general. Unfortunately, not every rider is responsible.

You can ride as safely as possible but what if someone runs into you, through no fault of your own? If an investigation reveals you are riding an illegal bike, it will not go well if the accident winds up in court.

This is an assumption on a couple of different counts. I'll start considering it an issue when it becomes one. Something like that happening with absolutely no publicity is pretty unlikely IMHO. When I hear/read about a few cases like that, then I'll become concerned - maybe. Until then, as @m@Robertson says, the sky is NOT falling......
 

EMGX

Well-Known Member
You can ride as safely as possible but what if someone runs into you, through no fault of your own? If an investigation reveals you are riding an illegal bike, it will not go well if the accident winds up in court.

Respectfully, that doesn't seem at all likely.
I drive a F350 diesel (18 years old with >250,000 miles but still looks and runs pretty much like new) that has around 350hp. I've been told that readily available, and commonly used (ever see a truck "rolling coal"?), power tuners can get that up over 600hp but that would make it illegal https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/documents/tamperinganddefeatdevices-enfalert.pdf
How likely do you think it is that in event of an accident that authorities would check for compliance? Ever even hear of this? Was the owner of the coal rolling truck the teenager drove who ran over cyclists in Texas cited for altering and driving an illegal vehicle? I seriously doubt it. But if anyone has evidence of this happening with a non-compliant bicycle or other vehicle I'm interested in hearing about it.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
You can ride as safely as possible but what if someone runs into you, through no fault of your own? If an investigation reveals you are riding an illegal bike, it will not go well if the accident winds up in court.
The scenario you describe is not how it works in the USA, at least. As I understand it, in the EU an ebike that does not conform to EU manufacturing directives *does* result in fault automatically being found against the rider who dared defy the civil authority (I don't know this for certain I've just heard it from enough varying sources to accept the assertion).

However, in the USA we have the concept of materiality that applies. Was the modification material to the incident? If it wasn't then its not considered in the determination of liability. For example lets say I am moving at 40 mph and I get hit by a car pulling out into the street. Were my modifications that allow that speed material to the accident? If I was in the bike lane and operating without headlights (on flat ground... going down a hill changes things) then probably thats going to be a yes because I was operating as a bicycle and going so fast my speed could have been material to the fact that the driver misjudged my speed when they pulled out in front of me. There's still room for argument between my lawyer and the insurance company, and I'd also have a shot at a comparative negligence argument to establish partial fault for the other driver, but in that scenario I could own some of the financial consequences. Additionally I'd be at risk for being cited by the police for the ebike and being found at fault in the resulting police report.

Now for the opposite: No materiality. And unlike the above, I'm not guessing here, this really happened to me: Riding a 3000w DIY bike in the bike lane between 10-15 mph, with headlights and the legally required helmet. T-boned by an inattentive motorist pulling out into the street from a parking lot, who accelerated into me from a stop. I was not cited (in fact the police very kindly took my bike home and put it in the side yard behind my fence gate... I left the scene in an ambulance). The other driver was marked off in the police report as being the cause of the accident. I was not happy that the police did not cite the other driver (the guy who interviewed me and wrote the report said that because of the twilight time of day the safe speed for a bicycle "may have been 3 mph" and thats a quote). I think this was throwing a bone to the little old lady who hit me, to keep her from legal consequences like losing her license. The insurance company received an itemized list of the parts on my bike and an appraisal of the bike itself (from for sale ads on the internet) and they paid it in full (the motor was still in what I considered to be its shakedown phase as I had just installed it a month before) - and a Stumpjumper with a brand-new mini-Cyclone on it, with a 20ah 52v battery was not cheap. BTW my attorney told me the speed limit is 40 mph on that street and so long as I was under the speed limit I was not going to be cited or found at fault under California law.
 
Last edited:

Tom@WashDC

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Loudoun County, VA.
"I'm a law abiding citizen and will always remain so!"
"Show me the man, and I will show you the crime!"
Lavrentiy Beria, 1st Chief of the NKVD, Soviet Secret Police
 
Last edited:

PDoz

Well-Known Member
At least in Australia, fatal vehicle incidents CAN trigger checks of vehicle compliance, as can a non fatal incident with a potentially serious claim such as brain or spinal injury. It's become more common since the privatisation of our road insurance system - not that I'm suggesting the insurance companies try to avoid paying .......
 

gioflowers

Active Member
Region
Canada
I think that speed is an issue indeed, I've noticed that since I enjoy a scrambler style bike - everyone thinks I take it to the max all of the time for some weird reason. I think we've created our own subculture. It seems that some type of scrambler style bikers are looking for speed, and there are many scrambler bike owners who emphasize speed when doing reviews. Lots of speed races being podcast today. This is one facet of ebiking (speed and moped design) that appears to make people think that all scrambler style ebike owners are into speed. Some of us use our moped ebike for work, to shop, attend appoints, pick up kids and then go home - all safely, like other bike riders do (wow). There is this fake moped/scrambler rider personae generated by marketing mostly, that makes people think that these beasts are dangerous ebikes. In fact, they are probably safer to get out of jams with in a hurry with than any f i l l in the b l a n k of your favorite entry level clunker (please do ride slow thank you . . . ) Don't judge people by what they ride. We try not to judge your . . . thing. . .
 
Last edited:

MrCaspan

Active Member
To impose speed limits on trails, there must be a means to monitor speeds, there will be a cost. To meet the cost of monitoring speeds, there must be a revenue stream. The easiest way to generate revenue is to license the bikes; this implies vehicle registration....are you going to be happy with this?
How do they impose wattage and class limits now?? They dont.. unless they have to because people are complaining or police see you doing dumb stuff. Same will hold true for speed governance on the bike. I could care less about speed limits on a road or trail. They dont need them the bike needs it
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
How do they impose wattage and class limits now?? They dont.. unless they have to because people are complaining or police see you doing dumb stuff. Same will hold true for speed governance on the bike. I could care less about speed limits on a road or trail. They dont need them the bike needs it

In Australia, the legal system is starting to catch up with enforcement.

STARTING - as in there are cases coming before the courts at the moment where users of hire escooters have collided with pedestrians and discover THEY "signed " a waiver when they hire that absolves the hire company! These scooters are part of pilot projects investigating the viability of " over powered" personal ev devices - in states where normal escooters are limitted to 200 w / 10 kph....and these higher powered scooters would otherwise be considered motorbikes and require registration / insurance / adr compliance etc. ie - in the eyes of the law the users are riding unregistered unroadworthy motorbikes on the footpath and colliding with a pedestrian . That"s potentially several thousand $ in criminal charges, but also opens up all types of civil law claims - normally a pedestrian hit by a registered motorbike in Australia gets lifelong private medical cover, 75 % wages, and access to a no fault insurance scheme for further compensation....but these motorbikes are not registered / insured so the rider is a target for the lawyers....
 

McApple

Member
Same will hold true for speed governance on the bike. I could care less about speed limits on a road or trail. They dont need them the bike needs it

I agree with this. Me fear is, with more and more people riding faster and faster ebikes, some municipalities will simply ban all ebikes from local trails and MUPs and restrict their use to roadways.

To a certain degree we have already seen this with our local rail-trails; ICE dirt-bikes and motorcycles are banned from the trails. ATVs are still permitted, but the speed limit is 40 kph and they must slow to 20 kph when meeting pedestrians, cyclists, or other trail users.