Gas Powered Bike


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?


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

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
2 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?

  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.

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