Gas Powered Bike

Question

Sean asked: I was told today that the laws have changed about registering a gas powered bike. I was told that they are not doing that any longer and all are illegal also that ebikes must have a 750 watt or lower rating to comply to new laws. Is there any truth to this?

Answer

I am not aware of any such change. As far as I know, the DMV Procedure RS-68 still applies to gas powered bicycles.

http://www3.flhsmv.gov/dmv/Proc/RS/RS-68.pd

Also, the definition of “bicycle ” and the 20 mile per hour limit has not changed.

s. 316.003- Definitions

(3) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. A person under the age of 16 may not operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

 

Posted in Ask Geo, Motorized Bicycles
7 comments on “Gas Powered Bike
  1. HarryB says:

    As Geo noted, the definition of bicycle (which includes motorized bicycles) has not changed in a long time—not since 1999 when the 10 mph limit was raised to 20 mph and the 200 watt rating of their motors was dropped. However, the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, which began regulating the design, manufacturing and first sale of “low-speed electric bicycles” in 2003, has restricted their motors to less than 750 watts.

    It had been assumed that motorized bicycles were not permitted to be operated at speeds in excess of 20 mph when the motor was providing power, and a cursory reading of both the Florida and CPSC regulations seems to confirm that. However, in response to changes in the European market it appears that lawyers for international companies with millions of dollars at stake have determined that these regulations do not place a limit on the speed of motorized bicycles when they are being propelled simultaneously by the operator and motor.

    Consequently, within the last few years motorized bicycles that can reach 28 mph have become available in the US, including Florida. This speed limit now appears to be the new assumption, but neither of the above noted regulations specify an upper limit, so who knows what speeds can be achieved with aerodynamically designed “bicycles” equipped with 750 watt motors and propelled simultaneously by the operator and motor?

    • Jim Kennedy says:

      A gas powered bicycle is a power assisted bicycle. It has only one gear and it cannot proceed from a dead stop without power assist. Can this be considered a moped. Or is it just making life a little easier to get around at a speed which requires normal vehicles to pass it as a bicycle requires normal vehicles to do?

      • Jim Kennedy says:

        some people with handicaps appreciate the flexibility and the ability to be more mobile if they can have some power assist when they are using their bicycles. Electricity is no different than gasoline when affecting this mobility providing the speed is normal for bicycle riding.

    • Jim Kennedy says:

      Senior citizens might like the opportunity to use a powered assisted bicycle or tricycle if they have poor vision and cannot legally drive any more or just want to get out and have some fresh air. Gasoline power often is better as it is very efficient. Electric power also works well and is cleaner but batteries do go dead in a hurry in Florida’s warm climate. . Both are available at the present time.

  2. Geo says:

    HarryB stated:

    “ …. the definition of bicycle (which includes motorized bicycles) has not changed in a long time ….”

    There was an unsuccessful attempt in 2011 to change the definition to include gas assist motors.

    House of Representatives Staff Analysis Bill # CS/CS/CS/HB 1353
    Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
    Sponsor(S): Economic Affairs Committee, Transportation & Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee, Transportation & Highway Safety Subcommittee, Albritton
    “Proposed Changes – The bill amends the definition of bicycle to remove the qualifier “electric” from the “helper motor” provision.”

    See the discussion of this here.

    http://flbikelaw.org/2013/07/bikes-with-gas-assist-motors-something-new/

  3. robert k says:

    I am disable and i do not have a drivers license and i am going to buy a gas motorize bicycle. its top speed is 18 MPH..I can not not get a straight answer to the ?….do i have to be license to drive it in the bike lane or anywhere else?

  4. Geo says:

    Robert,

    To operate a bicycle with a gas assist motor on the road, you must register it as a moped and have a driver’s license. See this post:

    http://flbikelaw.org/2014/07/gas-motors-on-bicycles-at-last-final-answer/

    Motorized vehicles are not permitted on sidewalks or bike paths.

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