Changing Texas legislation on motorized bikes

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by zoomy002, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. zoomy002

    zoomy002 New Member

    Okay, I have been building and riding in Texas for over a year now. And am disturbed at Texas' hazy interpretation as to laws regarding motorized bicycles. I have read horror stories of other people's encounters with the law. I myself have been lucky enough to keep my head down, but it still worries me.
    My interpretation of the various laws in texas for motorized bikes can appear to be very misleading. There is a definition for "Motor-driven cycle"(description below) but there are no laws that i am aware of that apply to the definition. There has also been confusing misuse of 551.351.
    "motor-assisted scooter" (below) even though the law, by my interpretation of the statutes, is referring to scooters you stand on(or sit). The ones that are like Razors with motors.

    (2) "Bicycle" means a device that a person may ride and
    that is propelled by human power and has two tandem wheels at least
    one of which is more than 14 inches in diameter.

    (8) "Moped" means a motor-driven cycle that cannot
    attain a speed in one mile of more than 30 miles per hour and the
    engine of which:
    (A) cannot produce more than two-brake
    horsepower; and
    (B) if an internal combustion engine, has a
    piston displacement of 50 cubic centimeters or less and connects to
    a power drive system that does not require the operator to shift
    (9) "Motorcycle" means a motor vehicle, other than a
    tractor, that is equipped with a rider's saddle and designed to have
    when propelled not more than three wheels on the ground.
    (10) "Motor-driven cycle" means a motorcycle equipped
    with a motor that has an engine piston displacement of 250 cubic
    centimeters or less. The term does not include an electric bicycle.

    551.351. DEFINITION. In this subchapter,
    "motor-assisted scooter" means a self-propelled device with:
    (1) at least two wheels in contact with the ground
    during operation;
    (2) a braking system capable of stopping the device
    under typical operating conditions;
    (3) a gas or electric motor not exceeding 40 cubic
    (4) a deck designed to allow a person to stand or sit
    while operating the device; and
    (5) the ability to be propelled by human power alone.

    Lately I have been getting involved with state politics and legislation. I now have a connection to the transportation committee in Texas congress, and they are expecting a draft of a bill regarding motorized bikes from me. My goal is to clarify the laws that exist, and provide well researched and reasonable justification for adding statutes such as where they can operate,
    or what is a "Motor-driven cycle"( eng diplacement, general definition).

    Any constructive advice from other concerned texans or anyone in the motoredbikes community who has interest in changing this law will be appreciated. We have the opportunity make our own bill! and if it is inoffensive it might just get passed>


  2. Chalo

    Chalo Member

    I'd be pleased if the statutes were changed to clarify that pedal bikes can fall under the motor-assisted scooter category as long as they meet all the other criteria. (Basically, I believe that pedals should qualify as a "deck" and that the statute should say so.)

    If it comes down to it, I'd consider adding some kind of deck to a motorized bike of my own just to satisfy that legal requirement.

    There is a problem with accommodating MBs under the moped category, which is where they seem to belong. Texas mopeds require a license, registration and insurance. Motor-assisted scooters do not. I'll gladly give up 10cc of displacement for that advantage.

    The way I read it, the existing moped statute allows for multiple gears as long as it does not require the operator to shift them. I think that's fine too, as long as the authorities agree with my interpretation.

    If there is any resistance to a motorized bicycle legal designation based on objections to the noise and pollution of two-stroke engines, I'd be willing to accept a category for four-stroke MBs only. It's about time we ditched the stinking smoggers anyway.

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  3. zoomy002

    zoomy002 New Member

    Thanks for the great feedback! That is a good angle that would take little effort to sell. That clarification is really the first step, and its a great defence if one were to encounter a skeptical officer.
    As for the cycle type of engine, I don't believe it is worth mentioning since many upright scooters do have a two stroke engines. The law already accompanies these so we can cross our fingers on that one.

    Any other suggestions?
    I would love some solid foundation on the need to increase engine displacement above the current 40 cc.
  4. Chalo

    Chalo Member

    Well, a simple comparison between the number of available engines in sub-40cc sizes versus up to 50cc, 80cc, or whatever you think is appropriate, would clearly show better commercial support for the larger engines, thus more benefits of competition for consumers.

    Motorized bicyclists tend to be older, thus heavier, than the kids and young adults who are more likely to ride motorized scooters. Their bikes are heavier too. A modest increase in permissible displacement could help offset these differences and allow a similar power-to-weight ratio to what the scooters have.

    The lower RPM of a larger displacement motor is a better technical match for the larger diameter wheels of a bicycle versus the smaller wheels of a scooter. I don't expect the average legislator to understand this well enough to consider it relevant. But maybe they can understand that a 35cc engine running at 7000 rpm is pumping the same volume as a 49cc engine running at 5000 rpm, or a 66cc engine running at 3700 rpm.

    Perhaps we could ask for a power/top speed limitation only? That would make room for things like one-lungers and diesels that don't lend themselves well to tiny displacements, but do adapt well to biofuels.

    Last edited: Aug 21, 2010
  5. Stan4d

    Stan4d New Member

    Please introduce yourself. Before making any further posts. Search for an appropriate thread or fourm, then use the proper forum or thread. The posts have been copied to an appropriate thread.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010