Why are all my ebikes banned in half the USA?

I have no problem with kids getting scuffed up and learning as they go. I too grew up in a small town where we left the house at the break of dawn and headed home when the street lights came on. Broken bones mend, broken sprits not so much.
Having said that, if it were just single vehicle accidents I would agree with you.
Unfortunately all too often e-bike accidents involve a pedestrian, another bike or a motor vehicle. The risk is not to the rider alone.
The damage from a 50+ pound e-bike is significantly more than from a lightweight pedal bike.
 
I have no problem with kids getting scuffed up and learning as they go. Broken bones mend, broken sprits not so much.
Having said that, if it were just single vehicle accidents I would agree with you.
Unfortunately all too often e-bike accidents involve a pedestrian, another bike or a motor vehicle. The risk is not to the rider alone.
The damage from a 50+ pound e-bike is significantly more than from a lightweight pedal bike.
My dirt bike weighed far more than any eBike. I never rode over anyone. I never had a collision with another car or motorcycle.

But then, I never listened to music, or play with a smart phone while I rode. Such things were not available at that time.

I will say something fairly harsh right now. Sometimes slow learners do need some parental oversight. It is up to the parents to decide whether little johnny is exceptionally dim. If he is, get him a regular bike, or skateboard.
 
I am glad you were an exceptional driver. Kudos to you.
That doesn’t solve the problem. Should, oughta and do are all different words for a reason. Absentee parenting is rampant in this generation.
Liability insurance for e-bikes is also a rarity.
 
That doesn’t solve the problem. Should, oughta and do are all different words for a reason. Absentee parenting is rampant in this generation.
Liability insurance for e-bikes is also a rarity.
I only note that collision deaths occur with walking, jogging, skating, skateboarding, regular Bicycles, etc.
If you are in motion, there will always be a risk of injury and death.

I don't believe in bubble wrapping children and duct taping them to a fluffy couch. If you are a poor parent, then be prepared for poor outcomes.
Darwin wasn't wrong, he just stated an observed outcome.

Nothing worthwhile in life, is risk free. When I rode a Harley, both of my wrecks were due to the error of a car driver. I realize risks exist outside the rider of an eBike. All of my car wrecks, were due to errors of the other car driver. Most were linked to inattentiveness of the operators of those cars. I find that riding a device without a safety cage (skateboard, bicycle, eBike) tends to improve the attentiveness of the operator. This is a very useful skill throughout life. I wish everyone learned this valuable skill before they got their driver's license.
 
It’s not only deaths that are in question. It is also life limiting injuries, disfigurement and property damage by minors without adequate insurance or financial responsibility.
It’s not just about protecting the minors, it is also about protecting the public from the minors.
You can try to put the onus on the parents all you want, but when the parents are not insured or financially responsible it is the innocent victim that pays.
Sadly, it is the irresponsible few that create the restrictions for the many. It’s not fair but it is what it is.
 
I think our two views encapsulate the classical corundum. Do you want a world with no choices, but is risk free, OR, do you want a world with choices which may have risks associated with it?
 
I agree, but it is not what I want but the reality of where things are going. As injury accidents with e-bikes accumulate be prepared to see restrictions like mandatory liability insurance, registration with its incumbent taxation, safety inspections and licensure.
Again, if it was just risk to the rider this would be a moot point of personal choice, but irresponsible riders are adding risk to others without their consent.
 
I would agree that other inattentive or irresponsible operators cause risk. This is true of skateboard, bikes, ebikes motorcycles, cars trains and even airplanes (twin towers, IRS building).

Most see these things as a problem. What they might disagree on, is the solution.
 
Hence the requirements for licensure, registration, training and mandatory insurance for motorcycles, cars, trains and airplanes. (To include the incumbent taxation)
Soon to come to e-bikes, and maybe even analog bikes after that.
I hate it as much as you do but we live in a nerf world nanny state.
 
I think quite differently from most of you.

The priorities for me should be 1) the quality of life for people, especially in urban areas, and 2) fighting the climate crisis.

Said that, there is at least a country that although small has a very high population density, but through continuous investment over the past 50+ years has slowly managed to convert to bicycle, combined with public transportation, from a means of recreation to a means of transportation for everything from commuting to living, shoppinjg, etc. reducing the need to use (and often own) private transportation in the city, with a huge number of benfits to anyone: less noise, pollution, health, costs, etc....

The country is - of course - the Netherlands. In that country, where I spent long periods in the past, yes, they check if the ebike is up to code, the power is limited to 250 W, the maximum speed with assistance to 25 km/h, which horrifies many of you but seems totally normal to most of people this side of the Atlantic. However, if you are forced to ride in a car in a Dutch built-up area, you have to be extra careful, because if you run over a cyclist, whatever happened, you will be largely the one to blame.

The following photos represent the past and current situation in Amsterdam pretty well:

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Or look at this one

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Believe it or not is the very same road, in Utrecht this time, 42 years apart.

Up to you to decide what you prefer. For me no doubts: the one on the right (or on the bottom).

Objections: Is this a model that cannot be applied everywhere? Sure!!! But in the meantime, why not start applying it wherever possible? Unfortunately, I see that even in Europe this is not happening.
Is it taking too long? Does it cost too much? ... Let's start in the meantime, then we'll see, ok?

I believe, contrary to many, that the problem is to focus on sustainable mobility (the real one, not just on the $40 or even $100K car model), and not the one of expecting the owner to be "responsible," which you will never be sure of until the accident happens but I understand is a very popular leitmotif in the U.S. So, instead of constantly complaining about the bad and ugly government making "absurd" laws because it sets limits, why not complain that this kind of model is not being pursued?

Culturally antipodal viewpoints. I know.

DISCLAIMER: I am Italian, not Dutch. So before anyone says it, I am not campaigning nationally for my country against others. In fact, I often argue with my compatriots for the exact same reason.
 

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You Americans are lucky, our ridiculous e-bike laws in the UK, say no motor more powerful than 250W rms, no throttles, and its limited to 15.6 mph. Live the dream lads..!
Are higher wattage motors completely banned, or are they required to follow different laws, such as mopeds or motorcycles? Can you legally install two 250-watt motors, one at each hub?
 
Are higher wattage motors completely banned, or are they required to follow different laws, such as mopeds or motorcycles? Can you legally install two 250-watt motors, one at each hub?
No, they are permitted. There are two other classes other than pedelec: L 1e-A (max 25 km/h and 1000 W) and -B (up to 4000 W, 45 km/h) and are subject to the same rules as the mopeds.
 
All this stuff about a 750w threshold, and worry about conformity to laws... guess what? The laws (both federal and individual states) don't say 750w or less is legal. They say less than 750w is legal. Which means anything over 749w is illegal, which means pretty much EVERY USA ebike is violating the law.

Which no one pays attention to anyway.

Just ride the bike intelligently. Forget about the fine print of the various laws. They were written by people who knew nothing about the subject they were writing up, and nobody cares. This is not the EU.

As an aside, the 749w limit got propagated because of a simple mistake and the various states who adopted the original pilot legislation simply propagated the same mistake when they copied the law for their state.

None of this applies in the city of Honolulu (or at least that was true a few years ago), where one single eagle eyed bureaucrat DID pay attention. Ebikes must be registered there like bicycles used to be in the 1960's everywhere else, and Honolulu residents were served with license revocations for having illegal ebikes that exceeded the 749w limit. I've seen the mailed notices. I don't know if citizens slapped some sense into the city and made them back off.
 
I don’t know about other states but here in Minnesota it is 750 watts.

E-Bikes as defined in Minnesota Laws​

Class 1Class 2Class 3
Motor provides assistance ONLY when rider pedals
Motor can propel bicycle WITHOUT pedaling (throttle on demand)
Max speed of motor202028
Requires speedometer
Minimum age of rider is 15 years old
Motor limit of no more than 750 watts

E-bikes allowed on most trails​

Nationwide, there is a growing acceptance of e-bikes on trails. In 2020, the National Park Service finalized regulations that give discretion to park superintendents but generally treat e-bikes similarly to traditional bicycles. Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Voyageurs allow all classes of e-bikes wherever traditional bicycles are allowed.

Similarly, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources allows e-bikes on state trails, although restrictions on class 3 e-bikes, which offer a pedal-assist of up to 28 mph, may be reassessed as they are considering a broad rules update.

As for regional and city trails in Minnesota, most allow all e-bike classes, but some enforce limits on the rider’s speed ranging from 10-20mph
 
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