Road Legal Mid drive kit

Electrically assisted bikes, trikes, etc.
lowrider
Posts: 131
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby lowrider » 30 Oct 2019, 7:59pm

Hi,

Are any of the mid drive kits available really street legal and not just claimed to be. If not does anyone know how to make them so.

Its not just a matter of acquiring a 250w motor, if does not have a stamp identifying it as a 250w motor or if the cut off speed can be varied on the lcd or control panel does this make it illegal.

Is it valid to make up a label for the motor and can you get control panels that do not change the parameters affecting the legality.

stodd
Posts: 204
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby stodd » 30 Oct 2019, 8:43pm

The Woosh ones are all legal except their hub drive BPM. http://wooshbikes.co.uk/?hubkits.

You must not be able to change the max assisted speed by any switch or LCD codes over 15.5 mph for it to be legal.

The rules about labels for complete e-bikes are clear; the rules for conversions are not so clear (at least to me).
Lots more info at https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/forums ... ussion.42/

Polisman
Posts: 644
Joined: 9 May 2019, 2:23pm

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby Polisman » 31 Oct 2019, 4:41am

Fake labels are available online I guess for people trying to get round the law (or at least fool a policeman):

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre ... 3684163724

Personally I think the issue of speed limits and the law is going to have to be addressed in very short order, I've heard rumours perhaps in the next six months.

The jury is out for me. Personally I would like to see two categories of ebike, one for leisure and one for commuters and /or sport bikes. The latter requiring an insurance cover. I've a friend in Italy and they have made these electric scooters (the sit on variety) subject to insurance and registration, though it is very cheap, around 90 euros a year.

I think ebikes are definitely the future of short distance commuting and could ease a lot of pressure on the busy commuter routes, and also significantly reduce the effects of air pollution in towns cities. The impact they have had in China is enormous.

To compete with the car, journey times are going to have to be similar. I'd like to see a limit of between 30-40kmh for this category of ebike. It's not much of an increase in the present limit, but would transform the use of ebikes as a truly viable commuter option to the car.

In Germany and Norway the pedelec limit is 45km/h, which I think is much more sensible, this advantage has seen pedelecs outstrip normal bicycle sales for the first time ever this year. In China there is a notional limit of 30km/h but in practice there is none. Ebikes have virtually replaced all moped and scooter use since 2010. It's time for legislation to get sensible and recognise the real world benefits of ebikes and the effect they would have on health, air quality and the environment.

stodd
Posts: 204
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby stodd » 31 Oct 2019, 8:48am

Polisman wrote:In Germany and Norway the pedelec limit is 45km/h
I think (but ???) that that is the Fast pedelecs (S-pedelecs) regulation, and does require some license or insurance or something. Difficult enough to sort out what UK regulations are; I certainly don't the details of German and Norwegian ones.

Polisman
Posts: 644
Joined: 9 May 2019, 2:23pm

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby Polisman » 31 Oct 2019, 7:47pm

stodd wrote:
Polisman wrote:In Germany and Norway the pedelec limit is 45km/h
I think (but ???) that that is the Fast pedelecs (S-pedelecs) regulation, and does require some license or insurance or something. Difficult enough to sort out what UK regulations are; I certainly don't the details of German and Norwegian ones.


No licence or insurance required in Germany. 45km/h is the agreed limit. I have German friends and they rave about the popularity of ebikes over there, so far they have replaced 35% of all car ourneys under 30km in Berlin. Its high time the British followed suit.

lowrider
Posts: 131
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby lowrider » 31 Oct 2019, 8:48pm

Hi,
been looking at the replies no one seems to have Identified a motor that would meet the requirements un fortunately. I had been thinking about a TSDZ2 however this as supplied by most seems to be illegal.

There are two issues, firstly the motor should be labelled as 250w. I believe it maybe but I have never seen a image of one to confirm this. The second problem, and this is where I thought there may be some info out there, is that the upper speed is adjustable on the TSDZ2 through a hidden menu in the controller. I was on the verge of ordering one when I discovered this and was a bit disappointed.

I was wondering if there is an alternative controller that could be used with the TSDZ2 or one of the Barfang mid motors that did not allow the top speed to be altered. I am a bit dubious about sticking on a label from the internet to indicate the power so would probably stick to a motor that is labelled by the manufacturer.

If anyone can enlighten me that rules for e bikes did not rule out use on the road with these features I would be happy but I don't think they do. It seems that there are a large number who supply these and use these motors just ignore these points.

hemo
Posts: 663
Joined: 16 Nov 2017, 5:40pm
Location: West Sussex

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby hemo » 1 Nov 2019, 12:32am

Woosh sell the tsdz and it is stamped 250w by the manufacturer.

lowrider
Posts: 131
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby lowrider » 1 Nov 2019, 12:52am

hemo
Woosh sell the tsdz and it is stamped 250w by the manufacturer.

Thanks, thats useful to know, just need to sort out a control panel that wont be able to change the cut off speed setting and that will be a legal option. As Woosh is based in the UK with a good reputation they are a preferred source. Does anyone know a compatible control panel that wont allow a speed change?

From what I can see the speed control is a clear no no in terms of legality, I think its specifically banned.

lowrider
Posts: 131
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby lowrider » 1 Nov 2019, 12:58am

Polisman
Personally I think the issue of speed limits and the law is going to have to be addressed in very short order, I've heard rumours perhaps in the next six months.

I hope this is the case, that would mean the Woosh TSDZ2 would be legal as supplied standard. I wont hold my breath though, whatever the result of the election I don't think it will be a priority of the next government.

kwackers
Posts: 14336
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby kwackers » 1 Nov 2019, 9:40am

lowrider wrote:
hemo
Woosh sell the tsdz and it is stamped 250w by the manufacturer.

Thanks, thats useful to know, just need to sort out a control panel that wont be able to change the cut off speed setting and that will be a legal option. As Woosh is based in the UK with a good reputation they are a preferred source. Does anyone know a compatible control panel that wont allow a speed change?

From what I can see the speed control is a clear no no in terms of legality, I think its specifically banned.

All ebikes legal or not have some mechanism for changing the speed.
As long as it's not an easily available "consumer" option I don't see the problem.

Different markets and wheel sizes make a dedicated controller with no way of changing the speed settings a near impossibility and even the ones where that happened would almost certainly be capable of being reprogrammed with suitable software and a USB lead (most have a jtag connection inside the controller if you really want to get jiggy with it).

User avatar
willcee
Posts: 997
Joined: 14 Aug 2008, 11:30pm
Location: castleroe,co.derryUlster

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby willcee » 1 Nov 2019, 4:42pm

Interesting contris..imo OP is delving into an area that shouldn't be any concern , as those here know i'm based in Ulster where there are draconian laws affecting sellers and users, I have 250 w metal plates as has Hemo etc etc on my self build machines which are neat and look factory builds.. my experience of general publics acceptance over here has been met with great enthusiasm , no detractors, lots of interest and no issues with plod who unless they are going to gen up on all manner of electronics, highly unlikely as they have issues with budgets as it is and perhaps more demanding calls on their time pre and post Brexit..while i appreciate that this query maybe from somone who is urban based.. 250 watts on the mainland are to be treated as normal bikes, so ime unless its a fatal accident who's going to test , and who could or would do such a test if indeed they take the time to go through every little wrinkle they discover, mainly they will be after urban tearaways who are riding roughshod on pavements and parks ....imv normal usage at reasonable speeds will never come under their radar...in 18 months of use apart from the interested parties who view our steeds while cafe aground we have never had a question or sign from anyone who drive past us any time we are on the road, sure they're just 2 old blokes on racing bikes!! WILL

lowrider
Posts: 131
Joined: 21 Mar 2009, 2:25pm

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby lowrider » 1 Nov 2019, 7:45pm

Kwackers
All ebikes legal or not have some mechanism for changing the speed.
As long as it's not an easily available "consumer" option I don't see the problem.


The issue with the standard TZSD 2 controller the VLCD5, is that its very easy to change the speed. The manual tells you how to do it. It does not look like you need to be an expert, any one could do it in seconds, Its in a menu designed to be accessed by the user easily.

Legally you are not allowed a switch to change the parameters of the bike for off road use.ie more than 15.5 mph assisted, that's is exactly what the controller allows you to do. Its fitted to the bike, a lap top with a usb to make the changes is not, although the bike would be illegal if they were made. The fact that it could be is not an issue, its not a switch fitted on the bike as is prohibited. The control panel is exactly what is prohibited under the rules, the question is there a legal option.

None of this matters in normal use, however if your involved in an incident and the bike is examined, that control panel could result in the bike being treated as a motor vehicle. You are then in charge of an unlicensed motor vehicle, unregistered, un insured etc leaving you open to points on your driving licence even a ban, although in reality its 250w e bike. A control panel that does not allow you to switch the speed and non of that applies so are not open to driving prosecution.

stodd
Posts: 204
Joined: 6 Jun 2018, 10:24am

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby stodd » 1 Nov 2019, 11:29pm

lowrider wrote:
Kwackers
None of this matters in normal use, however if your involved in an incident and the bike is examined, that control panel could result in the bike being treated as a motor vehicle. You are then in charge of an unlicensed motor vehicle, unregistered, un insured etc leaving you open to points on your driving licence even a ban, although in reality its 250w e bike. A control panel that does not allow you to switch the speed and non of that applies so are not open to driving prosecution.
For lots more on this topic, see https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/thread ... ces.35927/

kwackers
Posts: 14336
Joined: 4 Jun 2008, 9:29pm
Location: Warrington

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby kwackers » 2 Nov 2019, 7:04am

stodd wrote:For lots more on this topic, see https://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/thread ... ces.35927/

Lots more hearsay it seems.

I think the debate here is not whether it's possible to bypass the controller on an ebike (it is) but how the ease with which you can do this affects it's legality.
That's not covered by that thread (lots of debate about the legality of the bike but given the charges I think it's a no brainer that it was illegal).

I don't know much about the "dongle" they speak of, not sure if that's a figure of speech or a physical thing.
It sounds suspiciously like something that plugs into the controller to remove the limitations. (If so I wonder why he didn't simply unplug it and throw it away...)

Given all controllers can be tweaked the ease thing is of interest to me.
It's a pretty grey area, on one side you have obvious things like a switch all the way through to having to plug it into a PC and reconfigure it.

On mine you can change the wheel size via a setup mode which requires some mucking about with buttons whilst turning it on - not something you can do whilst riding it.
There's also a hidden menu that isn't mentioned in the manual (but you can Google) which allows you to set the speed limit and loads of other stuff.
For me its something that's moot anyway because a bug(?) in the controller means if you set the assist to max and pedal whilst holding the throttle fully open the speed limit is ignored anyway (and I'm convinced the motor goes into some high power mode).
I'd like to say I never use it but tbh it's far too handy for the occasional overtake although it hammers the battery so its not something you'd do continually plus I actually want to peddle and holding the thumb throttle open for any length of time is uncomfortable.

Some commercial ebikes have off-road modes - how does that work?

It's a can of worms and personally I think the speed limit is nonsense, speed is intrinsically limited by power and limiting the speed the assist cuts out doesn't limit the speed of the bicycle, I've regularly seen speeds in excess of 40-45kph on mine long before I fitted the motor but it's never been that fast since I did.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 3398
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Road Legal Mid drive kit

Postby Oldjohnw » 2 Nov 2019, 7:34am

...nonsense, speed is intrinsically limited by power and limiting the speed the assist cuts out doesn't limit the speed of the bicycle, I've regularly seen speeds in excess of 40-45kph on mine long before I fitted the motor but it's never been that fast since I did


I don't understand that last point. I regularly - weather, weight, terrain and fitness permitting - see such speeds. Of course the motive power is my own beyond the 25kph offered by the assistance of pedelec.
John