Gas Bikes – No BS Please!


Keith asked: Ok so I’ve done some reading on here and what I got from all of it is that if I have a gas powered motor on a bike I can’t ride on the sidewalk, not only that but I cant drive it on the bike lanes as well? That doesn’t make sense…so what am I suppose to do with it then, look at it? I don’t have a license and it’s my only transportation to work. Not only that but I am on probation and that’s what makes it a hundred times worse. I’m so confused on the different posts and which ones are the up to date ones. So in Florida, Vero Beach, do I need a license to ride my gas -powered bike to work? What lanes do I use and how do I keep from being pulled over? I’m tired of reading posts that jump all around. I want a simple answer with directions on how not to get stopped by the police. I’ve also printed out a paper from geo that says if you get pulled over to show them this paper. But I’m still skeptical due to my issues with probation and deff. Can’t afford to lose my life over being a modeled citizen going to work trying to make a honest living. So it all comes down to can I operated my gas-powered bicycle with no license? Can I drive on the roads? Can I use the bike lane or sidewalk? And what can I do to not get pulled over? Don’t send me a link, I want it all in full answer please.


I don’t know what paper you have from Geo that you think might help your cause.  We have always said gas-powered bicycles are not legal vehicles.

Unless you modify your bicycle to meet the requirements of a moped, you cannot legally use the gas-assist powered bicycle on any sidewalk, bike path or the roadway, including the bike lane, which is part of the roadway. It may only be used on private property.

If you modify your vehicle and register it as a moped, you will need a driver’s license. You can then use it in the roadway.

The only recourse you have with your present vehicle is to completely remove the gas motor or disconnect it so that it is completely inoperable. In other words, ride your bicycle under entirely human power. Then you won’t need a license and can legally use sidewalks (Unless a local ordinance prohibits sidewalk cycling), bike paths or the roadway.

Another solution may be to obtain an eBike that meets the statutory definition of bicycle, which may be used as the human powered bicycle above.

If you continue to operate your gas-powered bicycle, you are risking a citation for operating an unregistered vehicle, which may compound your problem.

The details are in numerous posts on this site. I realize there are many posts about this subject and some are confusing. We are updating the posts to remove outdated and duplicate information. However, our position has been consistent – gas-assist motors on bicycles render them illegal vehicles.

9 Comments on “Gas Bikes – No BS Please!

  1. Keith it is illegal, its not criminal.bicycles do not have frame assembly and safety requirements to make it a vehicle it will only ever be a bicycle, motorized bicycle, gas powered bicycle that is illegal to drive but it not criminal its a bicycle first then its a bicycle with a gas powered engine being under 49 cubic centimeters it is a non vehicle therefore not needing a valid drivers license

  2. David and Keith,
    A bicycle with a gas motor attached but not operational is a bicycle and as I said, can be used just about anywhere. If the gas motor is in operation, it is a motor vehicle and requires registration. It can only be registered if it meets the requirements for a moped, and then would require a driver’s license. Operating a moped or motor vehicle without a driver’s license is a violation. Operating an unregistered motor vehicle is a violation.
    If you are in doubt about any of this and any possible penalties, I recommend asking your local police or Sheriff’s Office.

    • when i registered my scooter, they asked me if it was a moped or scooter, at the time did not know the difference, the clerks office told me directy if it has pedals its a moped and does not have a registration or the need of a license. Now this was in Pinellas County FL. My reason for even reading into this, I have heard of several people being pulled over and arrested in Polk County FL.

  3. Keith (and others)..
    I know you don’t want to hear it, but unfortunately at this moment in time, the only legal “motorized bike” is an electric bicycle.
    The “electric bicycle” MUST have (WORKING) PEDALS.
    It’s ELECTRIC motor can NOT BE CAPABLE (MUST be limited) to speeds no greater than 20MPH.

    You may NOT ride it on the sidewalk UNLESS you are pedaling ONLY. (No motor usage on sidewalk).
    That is the ONLY “motorized” bicycle that can be operated anywhere without a drivers license.

    IF you have bicycle and want to add a gas motor on it (or have one already) AND want to be able to use it on the roads, you CAN and MUST follow a procedure that the DMV has setup SPECIFICALLY to register it as a MOPED.
    And as a MOPED, in terms of the DRIVERS LICENSE STATUTES, it IS considered a MOTOR vehicle and you MUST have a Drivers License to operate it.

    PRIOR to June of 2014 (this year) it WAS a “gray area” for gas powered bicycles.
    Right NOW, it is no longer gray.

    You can take any existing bicycle and add an electric motor kit AND battery on it and be legal…

    Why do you NEED it to be gas powered?

    MY electric bicycle is limited to 20mph, has a 50 (FIFTY) mile range and does NOT require Drivers License.

    • You have to charge an electric bike… With gas you poor it in and go. I would say the next best thing or grey area is a hybred electric motor with a gas engine… This means the bike is powered by an electric motor.This greatly increases your range and it would be very efficient like a hybrid car.

  4. Aaron,
    What the clerk’s office told you was incorrect. The county whould make no difference. These are state requirements. A moped must be registered and have a license plate. It does not need to be titled. The operator must have a driver’s license. See the posts about mopeds.

  5. When in Rome do as you want in a radical wheel chair there’s no engine restrictions or speed limit and you don’t have to be confined to it. You can also ride it on sidewalk although I do not, out of courtesy.

  6. Well, I too have endlessly searched all these codes, laws and comments on this site. But still have not found any remarks on a 49cc power skateboard. I was recently in Orlando, Florida and the sales guy and police let you drive your gopeds, mopeds and gas motor assist bicycle on all bike lanes.
    The only reason that I too have invested in a gas power skateboard to go to work in Spring Hills, Fl. and was told and stopped by of all people a Game Warden and told me the next time he will lock me up..Because I also do not have a drivers license and needed to go to work. So again I was stopped and given a summons for riding it w/o a license..what a joke. Hell even in Manhattan N.Y City you can ride these things.

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