Gas Motor Bike Trailer


David asked: Is a gas powered push assist bicycle trailer legal by Florida statutes?


Something like this?

This is the provision in the statutes that would apply:

s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations

(4) …. This subsection does not prohibit attaching a bicycle trailer or bicycle semitrailer to a bicycle if that trailer or semitrailer is commercially available and has been designed for such attachment.

Is such a trailer available commercially?

My guess is that such a bicycle with this powered trailer, even if commercially available, would not be permitted due to the statutory definition of bicycle, since power for the bicycle is from a gas assist motor.

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 ….. and …. generally recognized as a bicycle ….

Would such a vehicle be road legal if commercially available with an electric assist motor?  I’ll let the readers speculate.

See the posts about motorized bicycles.

16 Comments on “Gas Motor Bike Trailer

  1. It MIGHT be legal, IF you registered the trailer with the DMV…
    It would need all the bells and whistles, every other motor assisted trailer has, including plates and registered AND you still NEED a license to use it on the bicycle.

    Now IF the original poster was wondering if he could get around the Gas Bicycle/moped laws with such a contraption, that would be a resounding NO.

    Buy an electric hub motor kit and ride legally without the need for a license.

  2. No I’m pedaling my bike I do yard work and my equipment trailer is too heavy so I’m having it power itself and batteries just will not do it.

  3. Could you please tell me what statute states that it’s not permitted the trailer is sold commerciallyI just added a gas assistance to it

    • What trailer are you using that you are saying is commercially available and is designed to attach to a bicycle?
      Also, an electric motor can be just as powerful as a gas engine, so saying batteries just won’t do it, is incorrect.

  4. David,

    As I said, my GUESS is that it would not be legal. There is no statute that specifically addresses powered bike trailers. Other statutes related to trailers do not seem to be applicable. My guess is based on the fact that power is transmitted to the bicycle by a gas motor, I assume through a hard connection. Otherwise, it would not be easier to pedal your bicycle with the load. In other words, a gas assist motor for your bicycle, which you say you can’t propel without it.

    Another consideration might be the braking ability of your vehicle with a loaded trailer.

    s. 316.2065 – Bicycle Regulations
    (13) Every bicycle shall be equipped with a brake or brakes which will enable its rider to stop the bicycle within 25 feet from a speed of 10 miles per hour on dry, level, clean pavement.

    On this site, we can only provide the laws that do or might apply. If you need a further interpretation, I suggest asking the DMV, a local police department or an attorney.

    • I will tell you the easiest way for you to do this is to buy an electric motor kit.
      I have a 48 V 1000 W motor kit (20amps) and a 48v-30 AH battery on my bicycle.
      On my bicycle trailer (the kind you normally carry children in) and I can carry 100lbs of items no problem and when fully loaded with 100lbs, I have a 40 mile range…
      So now, why do you “need” a gas powered trailer?

  5. If you need to travel 50 miles to work..
    Then use Bus, Car, Train, Moped, Motorcycle…
    Very few people (if any) will ride a standard bike 50 miles to get to work…

    I’m doubtful you really want to ride 50 miles into work on a bicycle.

    And even IF you do, you can buy batteries that will give you a 100 mile range…

    I built one a few years ago that had an average of 110 miles distance.

      • How do you power the electric AC motor? If you are using a gas powered generator to power the motor, you are still not legal…
        The way to test legality, is to stop the gas generator.. If the motor keeps going (i.e. Is running of a battery), then it’s legal..
        HOWEVER, if when you stop the gas generator, the motor stops propelling the trailer, then you’re using a gas engine to power it and it needs to be registered as a motorized trailer.

        In other words, if you want it to be “legal” the gas powered generator, would have to generate electricity to charge up a battery that you’re using to power the trailer. That way, you’re using an electric motor, powered by electricity and not gas.

        Again, you’re trying to find a loophole to use a gas engine to power a bicycle.

        A good question, is how are you regulating the power the AC motor is using to propel your setup…
        Show me a picture of what you’re using..
        Also, if there is no battery anywhere in your “system”, than what you’re trying to accomplish, is not technically legal.

        I used to have a Subaru / Robin gas generator that would output 24v 20 amps directly and I would use that to charge up my 2-12v 35AH batteries that would be the power to run my electric motor..
        If I turned off the gas generator, it wouldn’t effect anything as the generator was just used for charging up my batteries and NOT for propulsion.

      • Also, using a gas generator and an AC motor is waaaay more complicated AND expensive, compared to an electric bicycle kit.

        P.S. I thought you said, you could pedal fine and didn’t need the trailer to push your bicycle, remember? NOW you’re saying you want it to.. Let’s be honest here.. You are trying to get away with using a gas motor to propel your bike.

  6. I took another look at the OP’s topic heading and see that he DOES want a “push” trailer, so anything he does with this push trailer has to conform to electric bicycle laws…
    ANY gas motor on this trailer, makes it a motor vehicle. And license is required

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