Electric Bikes


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Pulled over, fined, DNA tested and his electric bike impounded... All this and yet his bike complies with the rules

Response from police spokesperson:

Here is a fact sheet that details the specifications for a power assisted bicycle and have included information underneath the link for you about when a bicycle helmet is appropriate and when a motor cycle helmet is required to be worn.


It would be of interest to identify the differences between a power-assisted bicycle and an electric scooter / motorcycle. The information provided on the fact sheet provides a clear distinction.

A power- assisted bicycle is a bicycle with a motor attached to assist the rider. The attached motor may provide assistance but the pedals must be the main means of propulsion.
A good rule of thumb for deciding if the pedals are the main power source is the width between them (the distance between the inner faces of the cranks should be less than 180 mm) and whether it can easily be ridden without power assistance. If the design is such that the bicycle can still be ridden as a standard bicycle, using the pedals if the assistance motor fails and the motor output is either 200 Watts (or less) or 250 Watts (if it meets the definition of a pedalec), then it is a power-assisted bicycle.

If the main source of power is the motor then it is a motor vehicle. A person requires a drivers licence to operate a motor vehicle it requires registration and compulsory third party insurance. When riding a vehicle that is primarily powered by a motor a person must wear a motor cycle helmet, a bicycle helmet is not sufficient. It is also important to note that few, if any, of these vehicles are registrable because they are not capable of meeting registration requirements, such as compliance with the Australian Design Rules. Such vehicles cannot be legally operated on our roads.

The DPTI website has some information on power assisted bicycles and also refers to electric scooters, many of which are not considered power assisted bicycles because the seat is too low for pedalling and the pedals are so widely spaced they are of little use. The pedals are low enough to dig in when cornering and it is obvious that the pedals are not the main means of propulsion.


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