Horsepower for Motorized Bicycles in California increased

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Barnfresh, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member


  2. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

    Doesn't change anything for Americans though because
    1) the manufacturers won't increase the power of the engines just for the USA because they have a worldwide market
    2) police don't test the horsepower. they only care about your top speed.
    So the same thing remains; if you want more hp you have to fix up your engine.
     
  3. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    You are correct, this small change to CALIFORNIA law CVC 406a will not do anything for the rest of AMERICA. What it does for California MB builders is allow the freedom to use one of the larger EPA approved 4 stroke engines (up to 4 hp) in their builds while still remaining legal. While many LEO are primarily concerned with MBs, Scoots and Peds speeding, there are more than a few here in Cali that are able to recognize larger engines that exceed the maximum power allowed by law. As far as Worldwide manufactures go, there are already models in production that were not legal under Ca law but will be when the change goes into effect January 2015. That being the primary goal for the folks pushing the assembly bill through in the first place. So, "the same thing remains; if you want more hp you have to fix up your engine" is simply not true. Californians can start their their MB builds using a higher horsepower engine, replace their existing <2hp engine with one that has more power or purchase a manufactured unit that would have previously not been legal.
     
  4. TomyJ

    TomyJ Member

    Please remember, There is a difference between horse power and brake horse power as stated in the DMV Ca. handbook ( try "ask.com for the meaning of brake horse power"). The real importance of this is we can have a bigger engine for maintaining our speed while going up hills and against head winds :>) You can still get a ticket for speeding :>(
    My creations are unusual but street legal according to the DMV code book, they pull me over for BS reasons and ask questions about my rides. Drive your MB with the same rules as a car, NOT a bike, and they will have NO excuse to pull you over.
     
  5. butre

    butre Well-Known Member

    I don't think the Chinese care if it's legal anyway, I'm pretty sure they were only legal by virtue of poor design and cheap manufacturing
     
  6. Liz

    Liz New Member

    MB in Cali

    Do you have to Register or Title your MB in California? What if you buy it assembled and not from a kit?
     
  7. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    Welcome Liz!

    Title and/or registration for a MB (Moped) are not required in Cali, only ID card and a special license plate at a one time cost of 19 bucks. That is provided you don't get caught exceeding 30mph, at which point you are required to title/register as a motor drivin cycle (or motorcycle).

    Now the confusing part. A second definition of Motorized Bicycle in Cali is an electric only powered bike, with pedals, that cannot exceed 20mph otherwise known as an e-Bike. These do not require an ID card or license plate. In fact they don't even require a valid drivers license.

    Oh yea, this covers assembled or mfg MBs.

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/reg_hdbk/ch21/ch21_27.htm

    https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d01/vc406.htm
     
  8. slickdude

    slickdude Member

    Definition of a Moped rotating the pedal to start a motor. There are the new 4 strokes that use a pull cord, this might actually be a loop hole on Motorized Bicycles. My understanding is that if the pedal does not start the motor it is considered non motorized and also the cc is 48 or less, then no plates. There seems to be confusion on this depending on how it is read and interpreted.
     
  9. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    Wow Slick, I'm sorry to hear the California Motorized Bicycle/Moped law is so confusing for you. I've always found it to be pretty cut and dried.

    I would be more then happy to review it line by line with you and discuss each of our interpretations to determine intent of the law as written.

    Here's a copy of the law for you to read. Make a note of which part is confusing to you and we can discuss it until we've made heads or tails of it. Let's just stick to one item at a time though.

    From: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB2173

    THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

    SECTION 1.*Section 406 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
    406.*(a)*A “motorized bicycle” or “moped” is a two-wheeled or three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical energy, and an automatic transmission and a motor that produces less than 4 gross brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.
    (b)*A “motorized bicycle” is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements:
    (1)*Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.
    (2)*Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level.
    (3)*Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.
    (4)*Every manufacturer of motorized bicycles, as defined in this subdivision, shall provide a disclosure to buyers that advises buyers that their existing insurance policies may not provide coverage for these bicycles and that they should contact their insurance company or insurance agent to determine if coverage is provided.
    (c)*The disclosure required under paragraph (4) of subdivision (b) shall meet both of the following requirements:
    (1)*The disclosure shall be printed in not less than 14-point boldface type on a single sheet of paper that contains no information other than the disclosure.
    (2)*The disclosure shall include the following language in capital letters:
    “YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES MAY NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR ACCIDENTS INVOLVING THE USE OF THIS BICYCLE. TO DETERMINE IF COVERAGE IS PROVIDED YOU SHOULD CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY OR AGENT.”
     
  10. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    4 horsepower = 2984 watts

    406 (b)* (1)* Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.


    1000 watts = 1.34 horsepower

    From what i can see, the police can nail your a.r.s.e. to the wall if you have a 4 horsepower engine in your bike, even if 406 (a)* lists that 2983 watts is legal.
    When the police take you to court, they will use section 406 (b)* (1)* against you.
     
  11. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    Unfortunately Fabian you are comingling 2 separate laws (vehicle codes).

    CVC 406 (b) only pertains to Low Speed Electric Bicycles, period.

    CVC 406 (b) has no bearing whatsoever on Gasoline (<4hp) or Electric (<2982 watt) powered Motorized Bicycles, Mopeds or Scooters that fall under the guidelines of CVC 406 (a).



    CVC 406(a) Regulates <4hp/2982w Motorized Bicycles, Mopeds, Scooters with pedals (pedals optional if powered by electric).

    CVC 406(a) A “motorized bicycle” or “moped” is a two-wheeled or three-wheeled device having fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power, or having no pedals if powered solely by electrical energy, and an automatic transmission and a motor that produces less than 4 gross brake horsepower and is capable of propelling the device at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    CVC 460(b) Regulates the new breed of low speed electric powered or power assisted bicycles, or "E-BIKES". It does not have anything to do with gasoline powered vehicles.

    CVC 406(b) A “motorized bicycle” is also a device that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power and has an electric motor that meets all of the following requirements:

    (1) Has a power output of not more than 1,000 watts.

    (2) Is incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on ground level.

    (3) Is incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power is used to propel the motorized bicycle faster than 20 miles per hour.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2014
    Fabian likes this.
  12. Fabian

    Fabian Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected, for i overlooked the specific definition of electric power in 406 (b)

    Being given the option of having an internal combustion engine up to 4 horsepower is a welcome relief, and a very sensible amendment to the law.
    If only the Australian federal and state governments were as sensible, it would prevent the police turning good citizens into criminals, just for using a motorised bicycle with a meaningful level of power assist, not the stupid 200 watt limit (0.27 horsepower) we are forced to live with, which effectively makes everyone a criminal; should they ride a bike that can propel them up a steep hill, with a reasonable level of speed.
     
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