More Gas Motors


Mark asked:

From this post:

“Ask Geo: Can I then deduce that a bicycle with a gas-assist motor, which cannot be registered as a moped or motorcycle, cannot legally be operated on the roadway?”

“FHP: That is correct.”

I don’t think that is true. It can be ridden in the bike lane with the rest of the bikes. Bike lanes are defined as part of the roadway’s typical section.


You are correct that a bike lane is part of the roadway.

We should have clarified that the vehicle in question could not be ridden in the roadway with the gas motor in operation. If the cyclist is riding without the motor running, we suggest it is just a bicycle and can be legally operated in the roadway or on a sidewalk or bike path. It is the operating motor that makes it an unregistered motor vehicle and therefore not legal.

See this post, which adds the following statement:

“As an aside, regarding the nature of the vehicle, we have opined in the past that a bicycle with a gas assist motor is still a bicycle if under only human power. That is consistent with statements by the DMV. However, you may want to consider that some may not agree with that position.

Considering the nature of the vehicle, just as an automobile in the garage with the motor off is still a motor vehicle, some might consider a bicycle with a gas assist motor on the roadway to be a motor vehicle even when operating under only human power. Such a determination by a law enforcement official might make you have to a defend citation for operating an unregistered motor vehicle without a driver’s license. The thought process might be “ The operator can operate under gas power until possibly observed by a law enforcement official, at which time the operator would turn off the motor and use only the pedals.”

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