Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by crazyman, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. crazyman

    crazyman New Member


    If the laws say electric motor assisted is legal, then a 20, 30, or 150cc engine could power a generator or alternator that powered an electric motor would be legal then, right?

    Hook up a trimmer engine to a small japanese car alternator, with a motorcycle battery, and you have an electric power source to drive a legal motor.

  2. stude13

    stude13 Active Member

    the consensus is you will use more than you can make. there are some good discussions about it on here. so readread. mitch
  3. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    While this approach WILL be less efficient than just hooking the motor up to the rear wheel, in certain cases, it might make the difference between riding and not riding.

    The legal argument could be that your generator is just used to maintain the charge on the batteries.
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Let's say that we had a judge who was our friend -- he wrote us a letter stating that - this MB is LEGAL to ride - we would have it pretty much made.. Otherwise - any pooolice man or lady who happens to stop us - and does not understand or like what they see -- TICKET A COMING !!! Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  5. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I've looked at the motorized bicycle laws for about 40 states now. About 2/3 of them treat electric assisted bicycles a good bit more leniently than they do gasoline engined ones, if they recognize a difference at all.

    Not one of those states addresses the source of the electricity. NOT ONE. The only things the law addresses is maximum attainable speed under electric drive, and maximum allowable power of the drive system. Typically, that's 20mph on level pavement, and/or various wattage ratings (varying from 200 watts to 1125 watts) and/or horsepower ratings (using 750 watts = one HP).

    Since the law does NOT address the source of the electricity to power the bike motor(s), a simple small 2 stroke engine/generator set charging a battery as a power demand modulator is perfectly legal, and any cop who writes a ticket on the basis that the bike is gas powered is on a fool's errand. Sure, you might have to go to court - in which case hold out for a jury trial. Most importantly, know the law in your state, and local jurisdiction; keep a copy of it in your tool pouch, and most courteously offer to share that with the cop who stops you.

    Yes, there are losses in such a system. That is unavoidable. They can, however, be made quite small, and since you are charging a battery as a power reservoir, you can set your generator up to charge at its most efficient rpm setting. Very probably, you can offset many of the losses of efficiency from variable throttling of the engine used as a prime mover.
  6. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    SimpleSimon -- you have been doing your homework here -- bringing something to the minds eye -- I like the idea !! Here in Calif, as it seems you have also found in many other states -- Calif gives more leniency to elect MBs. This could open the door -- at least here in Calif -- for any age to ride.. I don't think that would last for long -- but - again - I like the idea !! There are many places that I think a young person should be able to ride with their parents permission... I hope that some more thoughts come in regarding this - very interesting - possible project... Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  7. iron_monkey

    iron_monkey Guest

    This sounds ingenious but did anyone think of how difficult it is to implement such a thing?

    Mounting the engine,generator, and then motor is difficult enough; the electronics stuff required is completely over the top of my head.
  8. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    Hi iron_monkey -- actually -- I am surprized that we don't already see these hybrid MBs. Here in Calif from the way the laws read (TO ME) it would be legal to ride a hybrid without a drivers license.. To many this could be an important fact -- opening a new market ?? Problems to overcome before turning these hybrids out would or could be --- getting the SIZE AND WEIGHT of all components -- small as possible -- long life battery ? I think that we will hear back from someone -- maybe SIMPLESIMON -- regarding the electronics ??? Just a guess here - electronics - bringing it all together - wiring - switches - small computer chip - SHOULD BE EASY for one who understands elect.. Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  9. SimpleSimon

    SimpleSimon Active Member

    I am working on a genericized simplified plan at this time. The electronics for control are really very straightforward. The major issue is that component choices in one part of the system must be met by compatible component choices in other parts of the system. Fortunately (or perhaps not, for some), the major choice is already made for you by your state laws, if they address electric assisted bicycles. That is - how much power can I apply? How fast can it run?

    I am also working on another project, which will remain a work in progress - specifically, a spreadsheet document that lists all 50 states, links to the specific sections of the legal code of each state as they address specific questions (speed limits, power limits, usage limits, etc). I invite anyone who wishes to do so to submit suggestions of specific items that the spreadsheet needs to touch on.

    * See "Gas/Electric Hybrid Systems" thread in the Electric Motors & Related Components forum.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008