Gas Motors on Bicycles – At Last, Final Answer

GM commented: For a long time, there has been no conclusive answer to the question of the legality of bicycles equipped with gas assist motors. There are many such vehicles in use and many manufacturers of kits to so equip a bicycle.

Our position all along has been that bicycles equipped with electric assist motors are legal vehicles if they meet the definition in the statutes, and no registration or driver’s license is required.

s. 316.003Definitions

(2) 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. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

Our position has also been that bicycles equipped with gas assist motors are not legal vehicles and cannot be operated on Florida roadways.

That position is supported by the Florida Highway Patrol. See this summary of an email exchange with the FHP.

Ask Geo: “Can I then deduce that a bicycle equipped 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.”

See the full email exchange here:

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles policy was also in agreement with our position. See this extract from a letter dated June 8, 2011 to one of our readers:

“There is no situation, with or without a Class-E driver license, regardless of the size of the gas powered motor, in which a bicycle propelled by a gas powered motor can or may legally be operated on the roadways.”

We were informed by one of our readers that the DHSMV has recently revised their policy guidance about gas motors on bicycles.

In their Procedure RS – 68 of May 12, 2014, the DHSMV published new guidance about bicycles with gas assist motors. In summary, they may now be operated on the roadways if they meet the statutory definition and construction and safety requirements of “moped”, are registered and licensed with the DHSMV and the driver has a valid driver’s license. A title is not required.

You can see the full Procedure RS-68 here:

You can see more information about mopeds here:

Please note that this change does not permit the operation of a bicycle with a gas assist motor kit unless all of the above requirements are met.

The operation bicycles with electric assist motors which meet the statutory definition of “bicycle” is unchanged. No registration or driver’s license is required.

We believe the DHSMV action on this new guidance was driven by the persistent communications with the FBA and some our readers with the Department on this subject. That is an example of how our readers can be empowered to seek action from our government agencies and others and how FBA can help you improve your roadway environment.

69 Comments on “Gas Motors on Bicycles – At Last, Final Answer

  1. Geo, your post states “for a long time, there has been no conclusive answer” about the legality of gas-assist-equipped bicycles, but then proceeds to quote an email exchange with FHP (Mar 2014) and a letter from DHSMV (dated June 2011) that both seem to concur with the longstanding AskGeo position that “bicycles equipped with gas assist motors are not legal vehicles”. DHSMV’s June 2011 response especially seems quite “conclusive”. A reader unfamiliar with the history might wonder why confusion persisted.

    The question kept coming up because different DHSMV responses (to the “persistent communications” you mention in last paragraph) and their (since revised) procedures expressed inconsistent positions about legal status of gas-assist-equipped bicycles. For example, the DHSMV response quoted in the July 2013 post at flatly stated that

    “adding a gas engine to a bicycle does not make it anything other than a bicycle. A driver license is not required. A registration is not required. You should check with your local authorities to determine where you are allowed to ride a gas powered bicycle.”

    The new procedure RS-68 DHSMV adopted in May explains the conditions under which a gas-assist-equipped bicycle would qualify as a moped (in which case RS-68 says registration is required and acknowledges in its FAQ that the operator must have a driver license, although no title is required); if its motor power and max speed exceeded those of a moped, it would be subject to motorcycle requirements.

    • Just trying to find out about gas propelled bicycles on sidewalk because at top speed impact would be deadly and if your deaf waiting for the bus you would not see it coming.

      • NO bicycle should ever be ridden on a sidewalk.
        Bicycles belong in the bikelane or in the road
        (You can be fined for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, although it’s not often enforced for safety and traffic flow reasons)
        Well that’s the law in my state.. I’m sure it varies but bicycles can be pedaled 20mph+ with ease. Add in the weight of the rider and you don’t need a motor on a bicycle to cause serious injury to a pedestrian..

      • wrong Juan
        9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
        (10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

  2. Dwight,
    Although we have had a consistent position, as you stated the DMV has confused the issue by their responses. This latest Procedure clears it up once and for all. I believe we will continue to see confusion in the public since they will be delayed in receiving this information and don’t really want to accept it. As reported in comments to the older posts, some LE departments have strictly enforced the law and others have ignored the situation. Hopefully, LE will now take a consistent position throughout the state.

  3. Gas assist bicycle is what I call my mode of transport to & from work. Around 30 miles total everyday monday thru friday. I have been riding it since january of this year & have been harassed by only one city, which is williston. Everywhere else, the local authorities have been nice & no warnings nor tickets been given to me as of today. I ride with a dot motorcycle helmet, lights & go at speeds of 25 miles per hour or less. I ride with the traffic & use my mirror @ all times. The laws are made for safety & I use them every time I’m riding my gas assist bicycle. I don’t have a license nor do I need one to ride my mode of transport to & from work. Don’t let big brother try to control your life & tax you for everything you got. Speak out against the registration of bicycles before its too late.

    • Rayofsunshine,

      It sounds like you are aware that your vehicle, which does not meet the definition of “bicycle” in the statutes, is not legal and that you are at risk of a citation for operating an unregistered vehicle. We are all free to do as we please, but the job of law enforcement is to enforce the laws. If you don’t agree with the laws, we recommend that you attempt to get them changed instead of encouraging others to violate them.

      The FBA is continuously reviewing and pursuing a legislative agenda that has been successful in changing numerous laws about bicycling. See this post for some examples:

      We suggest that readers join FBA and offer suggestions for changes to the laws.

      • I see the horse power requirement as unnecessary. Top speed of 30 mph or less having only one gear to be sufficient. Stop in 30 feet at 20 mph. White headlamp on front and red tail light and reflector on back and reflectors on spokes of both wheels. We should be allowed to ride in bicycle lane going with traffic. Especially, when no bicyclists are present. Many serious bicyclists average 20 mph on level ground and 30 mph on hills. If we go with their flow what’s the problem. We’re paying tag fees and they are not. Sidewalks should be allowed with our motor off if there is no bike path. Otherwise, we place ourselves at unnecessary risk. The law should not be against fuel conservation. We get 100 mpg or more. Nor should the law be discriminatory toward the poor by charging absorbatent fees for registration compared to a motorized bikes overall cost.

    • I own and operate an electric bike shop. Recently I had a customer come in who had lost his license, he was mistakenly told by police that a gas powered bike was legal for him to ride, unfortunately they were wrong and he spend almost 90 days in jail. He now rides an electric bike which is 100% legal. I think that the precautions you take might make the difference in how your bike is perceived, however it is not legal and you could face legal consequences if a cop so decides. Truth be known, many cops don’t know the law as well..good luck

      • What B S. Nobody would get 90 days in jail for that. Just trying to protect your e bike business?

      • actually his name is justin, it was his second DWI and Florida laws are very strict for DWIs, in fact after your second DWI, when you get your license back, you have to install, at your expense, a blowing device that you have to utilize three times in a half hour otherwise your car will not start. If you are caught with a suspended license on an illegal vehicle, which includes a scooter or gas bike, you will go to jail. so no bs.

      • um actually you can get 90 days in jail for driving with a suspended liscence…. ive actually been sentenced to 11 months 29 days in the county jail for it before. and another time was givin 270 days. was given 180 days twics for it. and then 220 days once.. and then 60 days plus 30 months probation for another one. drivining while license suspended. nothing else no dwi no other charges on top of it i did all that time in jail just for driving on suspended… so next time u try and attack and accuse a small buisiness owner who did nothing but mind his own business and add to a conversation online that has everything to do with his line of work to inform people of his experience with the perticular law being discussed in this conversation. thanks for the help man screw tha5t guy he just an a hole he has no idea if what hes saying has any truth to it he just feels like hes right because he says so n had no righ to accuse u of lying to try and protect your buisiness like icant believe that guy is even serious . congrats on havin your own store man thats is seriously awesome my goal is to one day have my own business stiol not sure exactly what kind im wanting to start with but have a long way to go amd a lot of ideas ive been thinking about so cant wait til i get it all put together. good luck hope business is doing well n this corona virus didnt hit you to hard! god bless

    • Your not considering the reasons for a valid drivers licence, nor the purpose of being insured if you are found to be at fault in an accident. Also please consider the purpose of a license plate to identify your vehicle and you if your caught on camera committing a traffic violation. The above reasons work in favor of any victim or potential victim whether it be you or someone else.

    • Since 2002, I started to commute from work on my 1985 converted to electric beach cruiser, I do an average speed of 10 to 15 mph, never had any problem with the police. I
      Observe all traffic laws, Recently, I bought a gas engine still on the box and I am a little bid afraid to installed. …..due to the Florida laws…..

  4. I agree there should be some kind of regulation on motor size and speed of pedal bikes with gas engines. However, There are thousands of people who can never qualify for a drivers license and need these bikes for a way to work to make a living. The state of Florida will suspend your license for not paying child support. This makes these people unable to get to work without these gas assisted bikes. Now we the people will have to support their children and their ass because they are unable to find and keep a job. Their has to be some way to allow a certain cc engine and speed limit to regulate these bikes so people can have a way to support their families and themselves. I have a nephew who can never hold a drivers license who lost his job. After 3 years of riding one of these bikes he has been forced off the road. When he goes to jail everyone of us taxpayers will foot the bill for his support and others that he has been supporting over the last three years. Makes no sense to me

      • you keep saying electric bikes are legal yet most of them are not. the law states the seat height of bicycle cannot exceed 25 inches when it is extended to its highest position. most bike seats are much taller than that. the 25 inch requirement lets electric mobility scooters operate and eliminates most bikes

      • I have seen some e-bike hit a top speed of 35mph that are able to be put on a bicycle so argue that fact and see where you go from there and they go for about a little under $600 and can be put on a bicycle and there is a rear wheel drive one that can be hooked up to a jackshaft and get speeds of 55mph or greater.

    • Couldn’t agree with You More Capt., another instance of this government inch by inch grinding the common man into oblivion…. All for the purpose of revenue. There is No reason not to allow individuals such as Your nephew to ride a less than 50 cc motorized bike? Electric wonderful, but I’ve seen few that will travel more than 20 mi. on a charge? Than Your stuck. Life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, my Ass!! Was done away with along time Ago??

      • Yep. I was looking for alternative ways to get around, but no dice. I’m stuck with overpriced taxicabs or a limited bus system. My aging body doesn’t respond well to long trips on a manual bike. There is no affordable option for having a good bike motor. A good battery with a decent range for an e-bike will run you $700. Or if you get 2 Lithium Ion bricks to be wired in parallel and get 42AH, you are looking at $1400 just for the battery. I didn’t even mention the motor and charger/good charger that doesn’t take forever, the Satiator is almost $300. I hate the gas powered bike option, you have to buy gas, and there is no fuel guage, but it seems to be the most affordable option right now. So what is wrong with a cheaper affordable way to get to work? The e-bike at the bike shop was over $2,000, had an underpowered motor that might burn up on a hill, and a battery that got you only 10 mike range. It is time to allow for some type of gas bikes that are basic, and don’t go fast like a motorcycle. It looks like the gas bikes are just being allowed to be made so that we can get a ticket for not having insurance, or license. Canada has followed the same lead, and there is no affordable option for the citizens over there either. Getting that revenue stream has gotten addicting to big government.

  5. Good job geo an unregistered vehicle not a motor vehicle pay your ticket or don’t then preceed to drive your illegal gas powered,but not criminal,bicycle -vehicle

    • Gasoline powered motorized bicycles are now legal in Florida,they must be inspected and registered and have to meet Florida DOT standards which are, not to exceed 49cc, must not be more than 2 brake hp at the rear wheel,minimum 1 headlight,running light and a brake light that comes on when either front or rear brakes are applied,3 red refectors,one rear facing and other two on the side of bike towards the rear, 2 Amber reflectors on side near front of bike,cannot exceed 30 mph on level ground,must not have a drive system that needs too be shifted with a clutch ( your only suppose to have one gear ) once the drive system is engaged,and a few other things. It’s called procedure RS-68 , a bicycle with a gas motor ( defined a moped ) and can easily be googled. There’s a $40 inspection fee, and after passing,is assigned a vin number,and you must purchase a motorcycle license plate for it. My motorized bike is being inspected this week,and i should have my tags by the end of the week. I hope this helps clear the grey areas for fellow riders. Cheers!

      • If you got to get a motorcycle tag on a pedal bike witjh motor you might as well get a moped cheaper than conversion and anything with a tag you need a license anyway defeats the purpose

  6. I am curious about what prompted/who lobbied to enact the May ruling. If it is about keeping motorized bikes off sidewalks, etc. should rather pass a law to that effect; ban anything motorized, except the wheelchairs, etc. from sidewalks and keep them on road. If it is about making the motorized bikes/mopeds safer, am not convinced that taking receipts for the bike and major components of a home assembled bike to a State inspector makes it safer, particularly when helmets, even for motorcycles that travel at speeds far faster than 30mph are not required. Additionally, do not understand differing between electric and gas powered other than the 20mph vs 30mph…..but don’t understand differentiating that either. Running into pole, wall, tree, person, or whatever at 20mph vs 30 will probably result in similar damage/injury particularly without a helmet. And what if put same limitation on gas bikes of 20mph… would that be different from electric powered 20mph and why would just being gas powered require registration when electric powered bikes are not.
    Or is this new law not about safety but rather about collecting tax on a growing popular transportation mode and only on versions that are gas powered vs electric. Incidentally, most folks using either electric or gas powered bikes do so in lieu of driving a gas powered car/truck vehicle and hence use/burn much less gas either way;

    • Niffman,you nailed in the last few sentences. Gas powered bikes have become more popular than electric for a few reasons, they can be modified very easily and can achieve higher speeds, much cheaper to buy a gas kit vs. an electric kit, i could go on and on but i think it’s because they have become such a popular way of alternate transportation that the government wants their cut. Plain and simple. Tax it,get money.

      • Yes, Go figure. Big government seems to ruin it for everybody when we get creative in transportation alternatives. Many e-bike kits just bite, and have motors that don’t last. Google, they seem to have the best motors, but you will need money. Maybe this is why we don’t see much in the way of good e-bikes, way too much regulation. Europe limits you to a pedelec, and only 250 watts.

    • Niffman and Will Kid,

      There is already a law that prohibits motorized vehicles from sidewalks and bike paths. See this post:

      Vehicle types are determined by the statutes. Bikes with electric assist motors were always legal if they met the statutory definition of “bicycle”. Procedure RS-68 is not a new law. It is a DMV directive that only clarifies the requirements that must be met to have a bicycle with a gas assist motor be a moped. Before RS-68, it was unclear. There is no change in the law.

      I don’t believe there is a government conspiracy to enhance revenue by requiring bicycles with gas-assist motors to have the equipment to meet the statutory definition of “moped”. Your legislators determined that many years ago by passing the laws that now exist. I believe they only included electric assist bicycles, and not gas assist bicycles, in the statutory definition of “bicycle” for a good reason. See this post for further discussion on the point.

      This is an extract from that post:

      “A change (in the law) that would have expanded the definition (Of bicycle) to gas assist motors was proposed, but never was enacted.
      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.”

      We believe that proposal was purposely killed for the same reasons the initial legislation included only electric assist motors in the “bicycle” statutory definition.

      I am informed that it was strenuously opposed by many agencies, including counties and municipalities for the following reasons.
      1. Most eBikes are commercially produced and are designed and constructed to strict safety and reliability standards, and can be manufactured with strict controls on the operational limits of 20 mph.
      2. Many gas-assist bikes are homemade from add-on kits, and have no uniform design, construction and production standards, and operational limits are difficult to control.
      3. Non-uniform gas motor assist bikes present law enforcement with problems, including potential speed and safety. On this site, we have heard of many cases of law enforcement declaring them illegal for use on the roads.”

      If you don’t like the laws, you should seek to have them changed. FBA has an ongoing agenda to address problems with the laws as they affect bicyclists. I suggest you join and help them do that.

      • I agree on that it’s hard to control the quality and operational speed of a gas powered bicycle,but isn’t that why have have them inspected and registered legally operate them on the roads now? Make sure the cc rating is within the 49 cc limit,and that there is an approved lighting and braking system installed? I know there are many who will not go through the process of registration and inspection,but i myself will. Knowing that my bike has been inspected and that i am legal to ride anywhere a moped scooter can,makes it more fun for Me,not having to look around for cops. Some have many hours and lots of money wrapped up into their bikes,why they would risk getting a ticket and possible impound off their rides is beyond me. Not to mention,making sure my fellow riders have DOT approved rides that aren’t going cause accidents and hurt themselves or others. It’s not hard to get legal,or that expensive.

      • Where are the standards for manufacturing ebikes located/referenced/outlined. Geo conveys “most” are commercially made but to what standard. Also, I have seen add-on do-it-yourself kits for emotor attachments as well. I am all for being safe, but goes back to how is 20 mph that much safer than 30…. when both can be kit made. if 20mph is significantly safer, then modify the law to limit gas bikes to 20mph and either require both to be registered or neither.
        Also, Geo says the non-uniformity of gas bikes present problems to LE. Well……we have speed limits on roads and very few of us always drive the speed limit and if caught exceeding get a ticket or picture sent with ticket. And cars vary greatly in how fast they go from your smart car to your Ferrari. Should we pass laws that limit manufacturers of cars to limit power only allowing speeds of 55mph or even 80. So don’t see it any different for riders of bikes or motorcycles…if rider of a power assisted bike gets clocked or radared and picture taken by LE doing more than 20/30 …..then issue rider a ticket same as motor vehicle or motorcycle drivers/riders.
        Furthermore, didn’t address the safety point about helmets; we are passing laws to make small bikes gas bikes (but not ebikes) that go 20 or 30mph “safer” when no riders, not even those going 100+ mph on motorcycles must wear helmets. Believe should be up to individual, but if gov going to regulate safety, and if this is about safety, then passing helmet law would do more/save heck of a lot more lives than regulating 30mph bikes.

      • If the argument is the vehicle isn’t permitted because it is capable of traveling at a speed greater than a set amount why are any vehicles made /permitted that can exceed even the highest highway speed limits

  7. Good on you Will,
    Prior to RS-68, there was not clear guidance and people thought you could just buy a gas kit and strap it on. Due to uneven enforcement, it seemed to be acceptable. RS-68 was sorely needed. Now, there is no question about what is legal with regard to gas assist motors on bicycles. I hope the result will be that others will do as you have done and that there will be consistent enforcement.
    I should add that I believe RS-68 resulted from the initial question one of our readers who was very persistent in asking the DMV about it. FBA took up the cause and formally inquired about it. That is the value of this site. Providing information about the laws and encouraging our readers to take action. There are many other such examples of empowered readers achieving results by using the information.

  8. Niffman,
    I can’t answer that except what the definition the statute states.
    There is also the unresolved question of combination/simultaneous motor and human power that is discussed in the comments section of this post:
    Apparently, the legislation considers that if we are 16 or older we are responsible enough to make our own decisions about helmets. In the past, motorcyclists were required to wear them but that law was repealed a few years ago.

    • My suggestion would be, rather than make a new law specifically for gas bikes that differs from electric bikes, would be to just modify with a couple words the existing law that covers/defines human/electric powered bikes to include gas powered bikes. That would be simplest easiest to get gas bikes included in law. Differentiating gas from electric acknowledging no standards exist nor prohibition against making either from kits will lend to continued confusion not mention forcing gas bikes to be registered but not doing anything about safety or registering ebikes.

  9. The FHP position of gas powered bikes being illegal is solely based on them not being defined/outlined in law. If that’s true, then my coffee cup is illegal.
    None the less, I get it that folks want them outlined in law somewhere. Below would answer the mail; simple change in wording to existing law with possibly some debate on speed albeit 20, 25 or 30…..but establish the ceiling along with a cc limit for gas and a wattage/power limit for ebikes (I see kits for ebikes touting 500watts that will propel a bike up 50mph). So with limits established, if a motorized bicyclist (electric, gas or otherwise) is caught going faster, or disobeying any other traffic law…..which is already specified, even for only human powered bicyclists, then you get a ticket akin to vehicle drivers exceeding speed limits or violating some other traffic law.
    And forget the registering kit bike stuff, just enforce the laws out there and include the gas bikes in 316.003.
    And if priority is safety, spend the law making effort on helmet law.

    s. 316.003 – Definitions

    (2) Bicycle -Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor OR A GAS POWERED ENGINE 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. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

  10. Niffman,

    Re: your comment “The FHP position of gas powered bikes being illegal is solely based on them not being defined/outlined in law. If that’s true, then my coffee cup is illegal.”

    Gas powered bikes are very specifically defined in the law. For registration purposes, a bike with a gas assist motor is a motor vehicle.

    s. 320.01 – Definitions, General
    (1) “Motor vehicle” means:
    (a) An automobile, motorcycle, truck, trailer, semitrailer, truck tractor and semitrailer combination, or any other vehicle operated on the roads of this state, used to transport persons or property, and propelled by power other than muscular power, but the term does not include traction engines, road rollers, …. bicycles, swamp buggies, or mopeds.

    Note that lacking a different definition in the s. 320 registration statutes, the s. 316. 003(2) definition of bicycle (Including motorized bicycles with electric assist motors) stands and they are excluded for that definition but gas assist motors are not among the exceptions. All motor vehicles operating on the roads must be registered.

    s. 320.02 – Registration Required; Application for Registration; Forms
    (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle that is operated or driven on the roads of this state shall register the vehicle in this state.

    The types of motor vehicles that are registered (For titling) are defined in the statutes. Just because something is defined as a motor vehicle above does not mean it is legal on the roads. A motorized skateboard, for example, is included as a motor vehicle, but cannot be registered as a legal vehicle and is not road legal. The same is true for a bicycle with a gas assist motor that does not meet the statutory requirements as a bicycle or moped.

    Additionally, there are licensing (But not titling) requirements for mopeds.
    s. 320.0803 – Moped License Plates
    (1) Any other provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, registration and payment of license taxes in accordance with these requirements and for the purposes stated herein shall in no way be construed as placing any requirements upon mopeds other than the requirements of registration and payment of license taxes.
    s. 320.08 – License Taxes
    Except as otherwise provided herein, there are hereby levied and imposed annual license taxes for the operation of motor vehicles, mopeds, motorized bicycles as defined in s. 316.003(2), …. which shall be paid to and collected by the department or its agent upon the registration or renewal of registration of the following:
    (1) Motorcycles and Mopeds
    (a) Any motorcycle: $10 flat.
    (b) Any moped: $5 flat.

    It is interesting that s. 316.003 (2) motorized bicycles are mentioned in the first sentence, but there are no license taxes or other requirements specified. Hence there are no registration, titling or licensing requirements for eBikes. Was that intentional?

    Your coffee cup is not a motor vehicle and there are no registration requirements for coffee cups in the statutes.

    If you don’t agree with the types of legal vehicle specified in the laws or the helmet and other safety requirements (or that coffee cups are not to be registered), you should address your concerns to the folks that wrote the laws, your state legislators.

  11. There is a reason that the laws allow an electric bike to be legally ridden without a license, insurance or legislation. Speed. A lot of people talk about the gas powered bikes going 30 mph. That is excessive speed. Yes bicycles can at some point go that fast, but its rare. You have to be pumping continuously at a furious pace to maintain that speed. Most bicyclists average 12-15 MPH, even on electric bikes. If you are going over that speed and “sharing” the road with autos, then they need to be outfitted with the same safety equipment that is on a motorcycle. I have the same argument for electric bike companies that manufacture ebikes that exceed 20 mph. Bikes are just not safe at high speeds and are not built to go that fast safely. Most of the people I have met who have gas bikes brag about the speed they can go, not everybody, but a bike going over 20 is a menace to the rider and pedestrians alike.

  12. upon coming across this site, the one thing i noticed is a bunch of beating around the bush and in certain cases in quoting the statutes, some of the information is being left out within each of the arguments, especially, the one on the side of not allowing motors on bicycles. he’s not quoting all of statute within each discussion. now, the latest on bicycles with motors attached, is still screwed up. the way it is written, the state and county agencies claim they can register this type of transportation and they certainly want the money they can draw from the registrations and taxes on this type of transportation. it does not say that the said REGISTERED mode of transportation will then be accepted legally by LOCAL law enforcement as a LEGALLY REGISTERED MODE OF TRANSPORTATION ALLOWED UPON THE ROADWAYS. they still hold the decision if it can be legally driven upon the roadway. i will bet a shiny new nickel that the locals will not recognize the state or county registration as an authorization to be upon the roadways and the registering authorities will not reimburse your monies if the locals declare your transportation not to be legal on the roadways. there seem to be two different authorities here that have say over the rights of the people, but, not over each other and there is no authority to decide of the two what is right or wrong, in other words, no system of checks or balances within the state, county, city or suburbs in the state of florida. from all my understanding, FHP, the local sheriff, and the city police, in other words, the officers themselves, make the decision if you can operate upon the roadway or not, not the state or county authorities. it makes no sense to ask local authorities where it is legal to operate this type of transportation if law enforcement still claims this motorized bicycle to be illegal on THEIR roads. in their eyes, a registration still does not make it legally operated on the streets. it also says something kind of strict if you ask me. no one under sixteen is allowed to operate a vehicle with a motor attached. if i put a motor on a bicycle and let my kids ride it in the yard, are they and/or i a criminal? the atv’s, motorcycles i see all over in the yards and kids, 5,6,7 or more years of age riding them, are they criminals even if they are not on the streets?

  13. Today I received a ticket in Lynn Haven ,Fl. My 49cc gas powered bicycle runs 27 mph. I was informed by the county le, city le and DMV in Tallahassee that 49cc and less does not need to be taged , insured or a drivers license. I am 66yrs. old also handicap. I do have dual head lamps and the brightest red tail light flashing I could find. Where do I stand on this matter ? Anyone out there!!!!

  14. Ron,

    The law says the seat height must be at least 25 inches for the vehicle to be a bicycle, which includes a motorized bicycle.

    s. 316.003 – Definitions
    (2) 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. No person under the age of 16 may operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

    • Yea I caught that too Ron, and that instead of Confuse the issue of Does Not include such a vehicle with a seat height of “no more” than 25″ from the ground????? Rather than Does Not include a vehicle with a seat height of “Less” than 25″ from the Ground… That is what these Legislator’s are supposedly Trained and Paid to Do? And We get this Gibberish?! They Used to say ” Ignorance of the Law, Is no Excuse. And there was a time where that may have applied? But Now, with the ignorant, incomprehensible wording of the Law’s and Continual changing and tightening of them. I believe Ignorance of the Law, is a Reasonable defense?? Of course it would never stand in court…. In Pinellas the main court house has about 4 or 5 football field’s of parking lot’s. And by 8:45 am there all filled but the back corner.

  15. my son got a DUI. He wants to get a bike and put a motor on it so he can get to and from work. He gets his licenses back in October. Work is 10 mins away from house. can he do this without being harassed by the police? should he just get a regular bike instead?

    • Laurie,

      If your son equips his bicycle to meet the definition of “bicycle” above, ie. with an electric assist motor, he would not need a driver’s license. That would not assure that he wouldn’t draw the attention of law enforcement though, since there doesn’t seem to be full understanding of the law. A fully human powered bicycle would solve the problem and provide good exercise as well.

    • state and federal state that an electric assisted bike that goes 20mph and under and is less than a 1000 watt motor is considered a bicycle and can go anywhere a bike does..that does NOT include gas powered bike

  16. Let me guess there’s a law on how to wipe your a&$ too? Look I pay my taxes I pay there light, water, gas, and food bill so who the hell are you to tell me how I can’t get to work. How about you start getting the people that don’t truly need to be on the road ways first. I ride my little gas bike every day with my little knock off GoPro and seen some things happen. I been hit twice because of people not paying any attention and won both cases. So how about the DMV start a task force to get people off the road that truly don’t need to be there then try and worry about a little 2 stroke Engine on the bike that can’t even got over 30 ( at times depending on if you modified it.) it’s all a lot of bs tbh and y’all know it. It should be commonsense to stop at a stop sign if you don’t have the right mind to ride a damn gas bike why put your self in danger it’s simple but nope humanity has a couple of screws loose now a days and we live in a policed run country. But that’s just my two sense.

    • hey, i completely agree. in my opinion, if someone has the ability to put a motor of any kind on their bicycle to make a mode of transportation, especially, if they are commuting back and forth to work and maybe to shop when it is some distance away, should not be illegal at all, nor a drivers license being required. heck, all of this just takes away from some of the few brighter kids with ingenuity. without experimentation, you don’t learn. what the hell is the local government accomplishing by making such restrictions? you can’t say safety is the issue, because, safety would be the issue whether regulated and restricted or not. yes, this country is becoming a police state status. soon, you won’t be able to buy your toilet paper without an i.d. and if you take a crap without permission, you’ll be fined or arrested. i plan on experimenting with several bicycles and engines and electric motors i have lying around. i’m retired and it’s just something i want to do. at one time, this country was proud to have people that pushed the limits and went beyond expectations. it seems our government wants to control that in a closed environment so no one else can get the credit for being smarter than the government. most people in government don’t know how hard it is to get to work or find a job, without transportation. they say, “use local services” well, if you have no job, you probably don’t have money to pay for a cab or money for a bus. you may not know anyone to give you a ride and if it’s out of their way, they can’t afford to support you on your endeavors very long. walking is out of the question. most jobs for people are at least 10 miles away or longer, no matter where you live. weather is another factor, but, then again, you may not want to use your two wheeled vehicle at that time. the government needs to back off about these types of transportation, scooters, bicycles, homemade vehicles of genius. it’s one thing if the device is obviously dangerous, but, if it’s been in use for a while, leave it alone. stop regulation and restriction. as you said, a person should have common sense to stop at a stop sign, no matter the vehicle. if they don’t have common sense, then, that would apply to even a registered bicycle, scooter, motorcycle, car, truck, whatever. it’s all just plain common sense, something our government lacks, especially at the local levels.

      • I can’t tell you how many employers have probably turned me down because I DON’T HAVE A DRIVERS LICENSE. I have seen job postings concerning office work, and it didn’t matter if you lived down the street, they wanted you to have a DRIVER’S LICENSE just to work for them. I’m so glad I finally got an employer who doesn’t care how I get to work. Too bad there is not a very affordable option for me right now. Most people making the loony laws have cars and have no problem getting to work, so they have no ability to sympathize with the common man just wanting to get to and from work to make a living.

  17. 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 759 watt or lower rating to comply to new laws. is there any truth to this?

  18. Juan,

    Motorized vehicles are not permitted on sidewalks. Gas powered bikes are also not legal for roadway use unless registered as a moped and the operator has a driver’s license.

    • Keith,

      Please read the post above and you will see that a gas powered bicycle can only be legal if it is registered as a moped and the operaator has a driver’s license.

      • Keith, there is no such thing as a “gas powered bicycle”, legally speaking..
        It is either a pedal bicycle or an electric assist bicycle.
        (No license required if the electric motor meets regulations.)
        Electric motors that are above legal limits are considered mopeds

        49,48,30,10cc, any gas powered engine makes a bicycle a “moped” and every moped requires a class E drivers license. Any gas powered engine 50cc or higher requires additional testing for a motorcycle endorsement..

        Hope this helped.

  19. “You can be fined for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk”

    Bicycles are legal on sidewalks unless there is a local ordinance to the contrary.

    • 316.20165
      9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.
      (10) A person propelling a bicycle upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian and shall give an audible signal before overtaking and passing such pedestrian.

      Unless theres downtown city ordinance because of narrow sidewalks etc pedestrians

  20. It would seem to be in order to make 20-30MPH speed limit for the gas or battery assist bikes, but not limit how much watts you can make one output. It is more practical then putting a 750, 500, or 250 watt limit on a bike. A blog on lunacylce said it well. Wattage limits are why you have so many e-bikes people don’t want to buy. It is important to have a good output to get up a steep hill without being faced with a low wattage motor that may burn out. If you limited cars to be able to go 50-60mph, I wonder if people would stop buying new cars. Gas powered bike kits are noisy, but the most affordable. I say allow the bikes, but put a speed limit you can travel legally.

  21. I got pulled over and cop wanted to take me the jail but gave me a court date for driving on suspended had to pay 3000 in court fines to get my license back so I wouldn’t get in to troible

    • Yep. Sounds familiar. I could get mine back for only 700 bucks, but I refuse to pay as both the cop and judge had to wipe their butts with the 4th amendment to take my license. The law is the reason I have no respect for the law.

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