Electric/Motor assisted bike vs. Laws

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by wmpr, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. wmpr

    wmpr New Member

    Okay. Let me explain why I'm asking this before I get into detail. I got a bike for myself back in april so I could ride to and fro my girlfriends house and my school etc, but I live 15 miles away from my girlfriend and live on a state highway (cars passing back and forth 24/7) so I see myself going on a trek for the most part every time I ride. I always end up extremely tired or suffering from dehydration/heat exhaustion and I'm trying to find a more efficient way to get there. So I thought about it and asked myself why not make a bike with motor/electric assist pedaling? Well, I looked into the laws and I'm not quite sure I understand. If it's just assisted and only reaches around 20mph (with me pedaling) do I need a license or endorsement of some sort? I'm only 15 so I can't get one at the moment. I don't even have a permit yet. Is there any loopholes or exploits? Just looking for something to get me there a little bit faster without exhausting me. Plus, my parents worry every time I go out because of drunk drivers and what not swerving off the road into trees and stuff. Could anyone help me out here?

  2. SeanPatrick

    SeanPatrick Member

  3. KCvale

    KCvale Motorized Bicycle Vendor

    Per: http://www.dmv.org/la-louisiana/other-types.php


    In Louisiana, a motorized bicycle or moped is a pedal bicycle with a motor rated no more than 1.5 brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity of no more than 50 cubic centimeters, and an automatic transmission that produces no more than 25 mph on a flat surface.

    To operate a moped on Louisiana roads, you must have a valid driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Drivers with learner's permits who are between 15 and 16 years of age are restricted to operating their moped within three miles of their primary residence, unless they are traveling with a parent or guardian.

    Note: With the exception of motorized bicycles,
    a driver's license is not mandatory to operate motorcycles or scooters with less than 5 horsepower.

    To register your moped, bring the following documents to your local OMV:
    Bill of sale
    Title or notarized certificate of origin
    Evidence of security interest by a UCC-1 or equivalent form
    Odometer statement
    Proof of insurance

    The title fee for a moped is $18.50, plus an $8 handling fee. Additional fees and taxes will vary according to the purchase price of your vehicle and your parish location. If you have a question about moped registration procedures, you can contact the OMV at (225) 925-6146.

    Although the OMV is unable to accept credit card payments at walk-in office locations, available forms of payment include:
    Check (if it includes your driver's license number)
    Money order
    Cashier's check

    Regardless of whether your moped has been properly registered, it is against the law to operate it on a sidewalk, interstate highway, or location that will impede traffic flow.

    Now there is some real Southern Bribe-Taking Lawmaking right there.

    This in effect piles a huge extra monetary and legal burden on a rider for also having pedals on the machine!

    That is like putting a huge tax on having a lifeboat or vest on your boat, or a spare can of gas with you in a car!
    Or even tools and spare parts in case you broke a belt in your car.

    I am waging my own battle for MB law change in Arizona but if I was a Motorized Bike Builder in Louisiana I would look up who wrote the thing and who paid him to get it through.

    Just speculating...
    Recovery and Revitalizing money...
    Bring in new business...
    I bet the law was made after that.

    Any Post K based companies building scoters and 50cc 'motorcycles' that cost thousands?
    You know, no pedals?
    The law actually directly targets MB's!

    Assist power on most any bicycle is killing shooter companies.
    One, or maybe all of them, must be bribing crooked politicians to quash their Motorized Bicycle competition by making them 'not worth considering' via operation laws because other than maybe safety concerns this reeks of corruption to me.

    To be legal with no requirements pull just your pedals off the crank arms.
    It's not a bicycle if it can't be pedaled ;-}

    If you have 5HP or (3,700W electric) or less power you are good to go.


    Sarcasm aside, Safety really is a concern.

    There are far to many slapped together DIY totally unsafe bikes on the road.
    There is no excuse for riding anything with just a coaster brake for example.

    The rules have to keep it easy for the DIY guy to build and ride, but there has to be a minimum standard of functionality don't you think?
    Something easy and free if you just build that way.

    Just my random thoughts ;-}
  4. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    Electric/Motor assisted bike vs. Laws

    Unfortunatly your state hasn't even begin to address laws for low speed electric assisted bicycles, (see the chart of laws by state toward bottom of page here), https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws

    Because there are no laws on the books you notice they reference the moped law just as you would, however there are many in your state, inluding electric bicycle rental and sales buinesses that refer to Federal Law HR727; http://www.bestbetrentals.com/faq.htm



    Now before you get all excited thinking you found that legal loophole you were looking for, note that the federal law is only saying that electric bicycles will be treated the same as a bicycle when it comes to safety standards, hence the references to the Consumer Protection Safety Commision.

    So now the arguement can be made that because your electric bike's safety standards are not regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the lack of D.O.T. aproved lights, rims, tires etc. prohibit your bicycle from being registered and regulated as a moped.

    Just know that this is an argument you may or may not win, or it can also end in a draw with you being let off with a warning. In most all cases it depends on how you ride and how you act when you are being questioned. Make sure your bicycle has all the safety items required by the CPSC. Follow all the traffic laws, don't blow through stop signs or ride on sidewalks. You can also decrease your chance of getting pulled over by pedaling as much as possible even if the motor is doing all the work. (commonly refered to as ghost or clown peddling), and always wear a (bicycle) helmet.

    If and when you do get pulled over be polite and respectful to the officer. Let him explain why he pulled you over and cite the laws as he sees them. Then you can politely explain your understanding of the law and show him the copy of HR727 that you carry with you.

    Good luck, now all you have to do is convince your parents!
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  5. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Louisiana Revised Statute R.S. 32:1(41) defines a motorized bicycle as a pedal bicycle which may be propelled by human power or helper motor, or by both, with a motor rated no more than one and one-half brake horsepower, a cylinder capacity not exceeding fifty cubic centimeters, an automatic transmission, and which produces a maximum design speed of no more than twenty-five miles per hour on a flat surface. Motorized bicycles falling within this definition must be registered and titled under Louisiana law. Additionally, a motorized bicycle operated upon Louisiana roadways or highways by a person fifteen years of age or older and producing more than five horsepower must possesses a valid driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement and adhere to laws governing the operation of a motorcycle, including the wearing of approved eye protectors or a windshield and the wearing of a helmet. The statute also states that "Motorized bicycles such as pocket bikes and scooters that do not meet the requirements of this policy shall not be registered."

    As R.S. 32:1(41) refers to motorized bicycles using "an automatic transmission" with helper motors rated in horsepower and cylinder capacity, not by watts or volts, the statute arguably does not cover bicycles powered by an electric motor(s), whether self-propelled or pedal-assist designs.

    (4) "Bicycle" means every device upon which any person may ride, propelled exclusively by human power, and having one or more wheels.


    Your state is like mine in that it doesn't have electric bicycle laws. Here is how Tennessee currently applies the law they simply convert horse power to watts. We here have a 2 horse power limit which would be around 1500 watts. Your state Louisiana you shouldn't go over a 1000 watts.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  6. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    That's fine and all Jerry but the OP can't take the "Motorized Bicycle" registration route because he is only 15yo and would have to be supervised by a parent if he traveled further than 3 miles from his house.

    One option if he wants to stay electric would be for him to buy one of those cheap Chinese electric scooters (without pedals). As long as it's under 5hp (3700w) no drivers license is required. Another option would be to go with an ICE "No-Ped", again <5hp so that a drivers license is not required.

    Louisiana Title 32 Sec.408. Examination of applicants required; classes of licenses
    C.(2) The provisions of this Subsection shall not apply to motorcycles, motor driven cycles, and motorized bicycles under five horsepower. Their operation shall not require a license or endorsement.


    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2015
  7. 1983JZR3W

    1983JZR3W Member

    One last option......find a girlfriend either closer or with a car. :rolleyes7:
  8. Barnfresh

    Barnfresh Member

    Yup... and a good paying job! :tt1: