Q: If I restrict my Class 3 to 20mph is it now a Class 1?

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Yep @J.R. you are correct. But this it was i was given by a local cop.
Evelo is an ebike manufacturer that posts those dated regs. Surprising a cop would rely on a website that sells ebikes. The link I noted is from the Tennessee department of transportation. You probably wouldn't have an issue riding your ebike like a bike. I just remembered those old 30 mph laws were put in place when mopeds were popular. Most laws have since changed.
 

Amish David

Active Member
Evelo is an ebike manufacturer that posts those dated regs. Surprising a cop would rely on a website that sells ebikes. The link I noted is from the Tennessee department of transportation. You probably wouldn't have an issue riding your ebike like a bike. I just remembered those old 30 mph laws were put in place when mopeds were popular. Most laws have since changed.
Thanks for the heads up. And i guess I will educate the cop, at least im in no hurry and go slow in my case. Thanks again @J.R.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I wasn't a fan of the whole class system. There were many saying it would further complicate the issue. I think they were right! Then there were the hopes the mtb trail users would be included for class 1 bikes, not to be. People For Bikes do well listing the legal limits, but they'd need a full time legal team to keep up with the ever changing laws and off road access.
 

Amish David

Active Member
I wasn't a fan of the whole class system. There were many saying it would further complicate the issue. I think they were right! Then there were the hopes the mtb trail users would be included for class 1 bikes, not to be. People For Bikes do well listing the legal limits, but they'd need a full time legal team to keep up with the ever changing laws and off road access.
My whole thing is is I built my bike the law states that you have to have a sticker that explains the class miles per hour and all of that if you purchase it. But so they don't screw with me is why I was wanting to have them put on mine even though it's home built
 

Amish David

Active Member
Well that sticker actually gets you busted with the "governed at 25mph" wording as Class II is limited to 20mph. Here is a pic of the type of sticker that is certified for use in CA..

View attachment 22081

Just add the appropriate Class # and act responsibly as this is really all they are looking for as it pertains to the letter of the law, and even then only in CA at this time.
@JRA. Is this better?
0521182141-1.jpg
 
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JRA

Well-Known Member
Yep @J.R. you are correct. But this it was i was given by a local cop.
Not of your making AD but another misconception of the e bike in that they state that the bike must have an automatic transmission in that ruling, which as J.R. pointed out has been overruled by the Class laws anyway. The only drivetrain that could be construed to be auto is the Nuvinci Harmony but doubt that will get much use going forward due to their financial issues. Otherwise all other gear exchangers are manually operated. This is a holdover from the ICE MoPed laws which do use a centrifugal clutch type drive to adhere to the rules and not ever going to be efficient or effective on a bicycle.
 

Amish David

Active Member
Not of your making AD but another misconception of the e bike in that they state that the bike must have an automatic transmission in that ruling, which as J.R. pointed out has been overruled by the Class laws anyway. The only drivetrain that could be construed to be auto is the Nuvinci Harmony but doubt that will get much use going forward due to their financial issues. Otherwise all other gear exchangers are manually operated. This is a holdover from the ICE MoPed laws which do use a centrifugal clutch type drive to adhere to the rules and not ever going to be efficient or effective on a bicycle.
Not 100% sure what you are saying, I am still new to this. But the bike is 750w but can be switched to a 1000w system, @750 it will run 18 to 20, but I'm hoping this is enough to get me the the big hills out here. If not I will have to switch back to 1000w. But like I said I mostly run about 15mph anyway. In a another month I will be getting my horse and buggy delivered, so the bike will be a back up for me....thank you for the info.
 

Asher

Well-Known Member
Is there any documented instance of anyone getting prosecuted for it?

Hell, the maker of my bike, Juiced, openly features people violating the law on its Facebook page, with people using class 3 bikes on bike paths.

Don't be an asshole on the road, and you won't get in trouble (off-road, mountain biking, I don't know about).

I think it would only matter if something else happened - like you were already stopped for an alleged violation, or you get into a crash, etc.
 

dean1

Member
I agree with your logic there, but if all you have to do is change the setting down, then how come the bikes are regulated by classes instead of just saying "stay under 20mph on class 1 paths" ? I'm just trying to be ultra thorough and make the right decision but this aspect seems like a grey area
It would seem logical to distinguish between getting to 20/28 mph on throttle only and 20/28 mph using pedal assist when defining bicycle types and setting them apart from motor driven cycles.The class system allows the use of lower-speed e-bikes on bicycle paths, and also provides local municipalities the flexibility to regulate different types of e-bikes based on their local needs.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Juiced, openly features people violating the law on its Facebook page, with people using class 3 bikes on bike paths. Don't be an asshole on the road, and you won't get in trouble. I think it would only matter if something else happened
Juiced are stretching the California law by applying a Class 3 decal to the Cross Current S with an unlimited off road setting, that isn’t going to end well when some poor sod does finally get hit with a liability suit, though California follows the comparative negligence standard when it comes to collisions with motor vehicles not all states do and if you’re riding a Cross Current S in one with the contributory negligence standard the rider is s*it out of luck.
 
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karmap

Member
Juiced are stretching the California law by applying a Class 3 decal to the Cross Current S with an unlimited off road setting, that isn’t going to end well when some poor sod does finally get hit with a liability suit, though California follows the comparative negligence standard when it comes to collisions with motor vehicles not all states do and if you’re riding a Cross Current S in one with the contributory negligence standard the rider is s*it out of luck.
I guess it goes back to the same question this thread started with. If you can govern a bike to a certain speed does that mean you can set the class it is in?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
I guess it goes back to the same question this thread started with. If you can govern a bike to a certain speed does that mean you can set the class it is in?
According to the California law that appears to be the case, but in the event of a liability suit you would either have to be very lucky and be caught on a traffic camera and file a foia to obtain the footage or you would have to be recording your own telemetry data and somehow convince the police to look at it - here in Arlington, VA, we’ve been told the police won’t do that as all they need is a drawing of the accident scene in their report.
 

GadgetJim

New Member
My custom eBike has a 1500W motor. I cannot find any insurance company to cover my eBike, even if I could register it. Since there is no VIN#, I'm wondering .... can it still be registered with DMV … ?
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
My custom eBike has a 1500W motor. I cannot find any insurance company to cover my eBike, even if I could register it. Since there is no VIN#, I'm wondering .... can it still be registered with DMV … ?
To the best of my knowledge, no. The bike doesn't conform to any DOT regs. Custom car builders often buy a titled junk car and will tear it down to the titled frame, only to retain the title with VIN in order to register the 99% new vehicle. You can't get a VIN without passing DOT regs, can't get a title without a VIN and without these I don't think any state will register the vehicle. To the law you have a class 4 electric off road bike. I've known custom car builders and these have always been frustrating issues.
 

Juan Gomez

New Member
I pride myself on searching for loopholes that benefit the consumer.
After a little research I found a few more things to consider: With my interpretation of the law about motor wattage, they are referring to how much power output the motor produces. Not how much power draw it has. HB 727 says "an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.)" The term horsepower is a term of output power.
Don't get this confused with what is labeled on an electric motor. When electrical products are measured for products of circuits for engineers to use, they often rate them as how much power they consume.
"Motor nameplates generally will show starting watts, some as high as nine times the running wattage."https://www.generatorjoe.net/html/electricmotor.html"
No I'm not suggesting that the federal government is referring to the rated running wattage of the motor. However, they don't clarify it. I've also never seen a park ranger trained and carrying a multimeter rated for 1,000 consumption to properly test our bikes.
So that's why I'm interpretating the law as "produced power."
By themselves, motors don't produce any power. They need to be a part of a completed circuit to do that. So to properly measure the output of power that your bike produces you will need to include the battery being used, motor controls, and transmission. In other words, your complete bike and not just the motor.
The best realistic way IMO is to purchase a smart trainer that measures wattage output. Like the Bkool Smart Go for $400
However it can only measure up to 800 watts.
The cheapest way IMO to measure wattage output is by Strava.
Here is how to do it: Pick a level street and create a segment of 1/4 - 1/2 mile. Ride the the bike on full power and record. Ride it again with the motor off, preferably disengaged. Save the results on Strava and analyze them on a computer. Strava gives an output in power of each. Deduct your power from the ride that calculated both you and the motor and you should have your results.
The nice thing about Strava is that you can print out the third party results if you ever need to show proof in the court of law.
Make sure to always keep your label simple just like Amish David did. As of now it's the only thing the park rangers are looking for.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I pride myself on searching for loopholes that benefit the consumer.
After a little research I found a few more things to consider: With my interpretation of the law about motor wattage, they are referring to how much power output the motor produces. Not how much power draw it has. HB 727 says "an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h.p.)" The term horsepower is a term of output power.
Don't get this confused with what is labeled on an electric motor. When electrical products are measured for products of circuits for engineers to use, they often rate them as how much power they consume.
"Motor nameplates generally will show starting watts, some as high as nine times the running wattage."https://www.generatorjoe.net/html/electricmotor.html"
No I'm not suggesting that the federal government is referring to the rated running wattage of the motor. However, they don't clarify it. I've also never seen a park ranger trained and carrying a multimeter rated for 1,000 consumption to properly test our bikes.
So that's why I'm interpretating the law as "produced power."
By themselves, motors don't produce any power. They need to be a part of a completed circuit to do that. So to properly measure the output of power that your bike produces you will need to include the battery being used, motor controls, and transmission. In other words, your complete bike and not just the motor.
The best realistic way IMO is to purchase a smart trainer that measures wattage output. Like the Bkool Smart Go for $400
However it can only measure up to 800 watts.
The cheapest way IMO to measure wattage output is by Strava.
Here is how to do it: Pick a level street and create a segment of 1/4 - 1/2 mile. Ride the the bike on full power and record. Ride it again with the motor off, preferably disengaged. Save the results on Strava and analyze them on a computer. Strava gives an output in power of each. Deduct your power from the ride that calculated both you and the motor and you should have your results.
The nice thing about Strava is that you can print out the third party results if you ever need to show proof in the court of law.
Make sure to always keep your label simple just like Amish David did. As of now it's the only thing the park rangers are looking for.
H.R. 727 is only important in that ebikes <750 watts and 20 MPH are treated as bicycles, consumer products, and not motor vehicles subject to DOT regs like mopeds, motorcycles and automobiles. Ebikes can be sold like any bicycle and H.R. 727 Consumer Product Safety Act defines the product. Its states that define the use what, where and how we ride.

If our ebikes had to follow DOT regs they'd weight 150 lbs, have all the lights of a moped or scooter and would likely go 12 mph for 5 miles with the industry average 500 watt motor and 400 watt hour battery.

It's a good Act. On the other hand Federal Land Beurocrats don't want us on "their" (our) land and some states are not doing us any favors either. I suspect more state regulation is coming. When ebikes get big here, lawmakers will figure a way to cash in, in the name of safety. These are the good old days!
 

Gator

Well-Known Member
Well, you're asking a question that a lot of us have asked.

It seems like it would be easier to define and enforce ebike laws by using speed limits instead of Class 1 etc. Any cop can use a radar gun to see if you're going over the speed limit for a given trail, or if state law has set a 20 mph limit and you're doing 25, something like that. How many cops are going to know what the 3 classes are, how to distinguish one ebike from another, etc? California requires stickers, but I can't for the life of me see anything preventing someone from putting their own (very official looking) sticker on a bike.

Best advice I can give you: being thorough is good. Over-thinking stuff is not. You get to set your own comfort level between the two. Just know how easy it is to slide from one to the other.
I wonder if the cops can use a scanner to read bar codes?
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
There are so many ???s and loopholes in federal and state ebikes regulations I have no clue how anyone considers them enforceable. An assist speed really should not be what defines an ebike as compliant or not.

I think what law makers need to do it give serious thought to how important it is for us to have effective human scale transportation. How to improve profits and pensions at insurance companies and DMV should not be considered to encourage ebikes.

One aspect of the regulations that are never discussed is how a power limit of 750W has a impact on drive system designs - mid drives and geared hub motors have a distinct advantage at lower power limits but arguably may not be the ideal long term motor solution for urban mobility ebikes - direct drive hub motors are simple and just as efficient as higher speeds. Does anyone really think that a drive system power limit of 5bhp (so cargo bikes can have effective power) / ~3600W is way too much power to allow on an ebike (in reality the ideal range for most ebikes is in the 1000-2000W to sustain speeds in the 25-35mph range for effective transportation.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
case in point @Bruce Arnold I built my bike is 1000w or is it 750w.......just to be safe its a 730w hehe
Nice sticker.... You could sell that on ebay so everyone can ride a compliant ?730W? ebike.

Expect to get some flack from those on this forum that work in the insurance or DMV industries as a sticker like that has the real potential to keep their pay and pensions away from ebike growth.