Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
jamesd256
Posts: 1
Joined: 5 Sep 2019, 2:16pm

Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby jamesd256 » 5 Sep 2019, 2:31pm

Does anyone know what would happen if you were caught riding a bike with the speed limit disabled? Or perhaps a throttle installed?

Someone shot past me today in Shepherds Bush, must have been doing 30mph on what was clearly an ebike conversion.

I would think his chances of being pulled over are slim, but I guess if he was in an accident, they would look at the bike.

Any experience of this? Anyone able to comment on the penalty for contravening these laws? I guess you are driving an unlicensed vehicle, so could be in a bit of trouble. would it be treated differently to if you were found riding an unlicensed motor bike?

User avatar
gaz
Posts: 13670
Joined: 9 Mar 2007, 12:09pm
Location: Kent, car park of England

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby gaz » 5 Sep 2019, 4:23pm

If the assisted performance exceeds e-bike limits then in law it's a motorcycle.

Rider would need the relevant licence, insurance and helmet. Motorcycle would need MOT/type approval. There could be charges relevant to any/all of those offences.
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1660
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby Oldjohnw » 5 Sep 2019, 5:37pm

Do you know that he wasn't riding that fast under his own efforts?
John

Cycling and recycling

kwackers
Posts: 13415
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby kwackers » 5 Sep 2019, 5:44pm

Mine has a bug in it, set it to level 5, press the throttle and it ignores everything.
Max speed, max cadence are ignored - and I'm pretty sure it's no longer pushing 250w into the motor.

You still have to peddle but with a bit of effort from oneself and a calm day then it'll do 30+ on the flat.
(A bit of a tailwind and I've seen over 40).

Handy for the fast dual carriageways going into the city, lets me stay with cars and take the lane (hammers the battery though).

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1660
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby Oldjohnw » 5 Sep 2019, 5:57pm

kwackers wrote:Mine has a bug in it, set it to level 5, press the throttle and it ignores everything.
Max speed, max cadence are ignored - and I'm pretty sure it's no longer pushing 250w into the motor.

You still have to peddle but with a bit of effort from oneself and a calm day then it'll do 30+ on the flat.
(A bit of a tailwind and I've seen over 40).

Handy for the fast dual carriageways going into the city, lets me stay with cars and take the lane (hammers the battery though).


My motor definitely cuts out at 25kph but with a favourable terrain and wind I can attain 50kph with max effort. I tend not to, though.
John

Cycling and recycling

hemo
Posts: 436
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby hemo » 6 Sep 2019, 12:38am

I have thumb throttles on my bikes and they are legal as they are not stand alone throttles, you have to pedal first to activate and are pre 2016 bikes/kits.
250w rated motors are capable of taking up to 1kw of power as there is no definition for max controller current used, my controllers are 10a or 13a continuous rated with an upper 20a or 25a for short periods of use.

User avatar
mjr
Posts: 13573
Joined: 20 Jun 2011, 7:06pm
Location: Norfolk or Somerset, mostly
Contact:

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby mjr » 6 Sep 2019, 10:27am

But is there any experience of being caught in contravention of ebike laws? Any famous cases yet?
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

kwackers
Posts: 13415
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby kwackers » 6 Sep 2019, 1:33pm

hemo wrote:I have thumb throttles on my bikes and they are legal as they are not stand alone throttles, you have to pedal first to activate and are pre 2016 bikes/kits.
250w rated motors are capable of taking up to 1kw of power as there is no definition for max controller current used, my controllers are 10a or 13a continuous rated with an upper 20a or 25a for short periods of use.

Mine is a thumb throttle, on anything other than level 1 you don't need to peddle.
It's been handy on a couple of occasions - particularly for travelling through floods without getting ones feet wet.

User avatar
Tigerbiten
Posts: 1880
Joined: 29 Jun 2009, 6:49am

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby Tigerbiten » 6 Sep 2019, 1:48pm

mjr wrote:But is there any experience of being caught in contravention of ebike laws? Any famous cases yet?

I don't think there's been an infamous crash yet where the rider of an illegal e-bike has killed/badly hurt a pedestrian or themselves.
That's probably the only way something like this is going to get in the papers and then go viral.

YMMV ........ :D

hemo
Posts: 436
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby hemo » 6 Sep 2019, 2:03pm

Afaik no actual prosecution of illegal ebike use to date, stories of riders being stopped by plod are few and far between but from what I recall the authors of said stories have said advice was given or the plod were unsure of rules concerning them.

There was the case in London was it early this year or last year now when a women was very badly injured by an ebike (possibly a kit bike) and the bloke did a runner with the bike, bike was recovered and believe someone was eventually taken in to custody. Can't say we have heard any more of the case since.

NickWi
Posts: 80
Joined: 28 Apr 2011, 8:14pm

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby NickWi » 8 Sep 2019, 3:35pm


peterb
Posts: 29
Joined: 2 Dec 2017, 10:13am

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby peterb » 8 Sep 2019, 3:56pm

NickWi wrote:Not an e-bike in the sense of the word we're talking about, but it's certainly happening with e-scooters.
https://www.ipswichstar.co.uk/news/man- ... -1-5511638
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/c ... 32951.html
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wale ... s-12031624

- yes but they are not road legal - full stop! So not a question of trying to decide whether riding (powered) above the legal speed assist level. When I'm riding my Orbea Gain I exceed 15.5mph on numerous occasions, sometimes I'm travelling at well over double that - under leg power. It's a road bike - that's usual. How on earth can anyone determine whether I've tampered with the assist level or not?

kwackers
Posts: 13415
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Any experience being caught in contravention of ebike laws

Postby kwackers » 8 Sep 2019, 4:02pm

peterb wrote:When I'm riding my Orbea Gain I exceed 15.5mph on numerous occasions, sometimes I'm travelling at well over double that - under leg power. It's a road bike - that's usual. How on earth can anyone determine whether I've tampered with the assist level or not?

They can't.
Unless there's a serious injury - probably involving death they're not even going to try.