Getting (rather, not getting) a license in WA

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Vishnu Tensleep, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. This message is a continuation of the the discussion in the thread titled "Email from Washington State DOT."

    I just returned from a trip to the Washington State Patrol inspection station in Bellevue, with my newly-built 49cc 4-cycle Hua Sheng powered mountain bike, where the inspector told me two basic things:

    (1) "you've done a really nice job with building this machine, it's really cool, I'm impressed, etc., etc." and

    (2) (after a long discussion with the person who he said was the head of equipment standards for WSP) "we can't license what you built."

    NOW, BEFORE ALL OF YOU WHO WANT TO BASH THE SYSTEM GO OFF, he didn't say it could NEVER be licensed in WA, but he did give me some info that the kit vendors should know. First, in WA, the lighting system for a gas-powered moped must be like that of a motorcycle - run off the engine with a magneto or the equivalent. So much for my 20 hours spent on building a functional 3V LED system using motorcycle switches for the brake light and turn signals. I'd be grateful to hear from anyone out there who's knowledgeable about home-wiring anything off a HS magneto - I'm a novice about small gas engine electrical systems. Second, the tires need to be USDOT-approved motorcycle tires. Frankly, this may be more of a pain than the electrical thing, which I'm sure I can wangle together. My brief inspection of motorcycle tires is that they don't come in any size that would fit on a 26-inch mountain bike rim. And I can't change the rim size with the brakes I have, and on and on... Again, I'd welcome info from anyone who knows of a good fix for this problem.

    I should say that the inspector was very helpful, and in my opinion was doing his best to find a way to approve licensing my new bike. He spent about 45 minutes on the phone and the web with his higher-ups, he just couldn't do it as is. I should also say that he rode a Whizzer in Oregon several weeks ago, and was going on enthusiastically about it, so he's clearly not simply trying to keep those pesky bikes off the planet.

    I'm going to contact the higher-ups in the WSP and maybe my state legislators as well, since the session will start soon. They are dealing with the expansion of a mode of transportation that they just aren't familiar with, and need some help. For example, why is it that a lighting system isn;t even required for an e-bike, but if it was, it would be battery-powered, which isn't allowed on gas bikes? Hmmmm.

    In the mean time, it's riding without a license and pleading innocence if I get caught...

  2. cwucat42

    cwucat42 Guest

    I live in Washington State. I've asked the Dept of Licensing and the State Patrol and received conflicting responses. It seems that there is no definitive answer on these vehicles. So...Until it's clear, I plan to ride my bike and follow ALL safety and traffic laws. It's doubtful that an officer would feel the need (Or want to expend his/her time and energy) on me and my motored bicycle.
  3. Bronzebird

    Bronzebird Member

    Oregon E bike is like a regular bicycle regulations with a 1000 watt motor and max speed of 20 MPH. If I would have known the "gray" area of the law in Oregon I would not have bought the gas motor. My state has a pamphlet that has every freaking vehicle from gas powered razor, e bike, and moped.
    I strongly feel the e-bike laws should apply to a bicycle with a gas motor as long as the bike goes 20 MPH. My stock gearing was me cruising at 18-20mph and revs high on the power band above 20 mph. Just seems that discrimination of gas motors are only obvious.
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Sorry for the time and money lost and consternation you're feeling about this.

    Reading through a number of recent threads I'm quickly getting the uneasy feeling that this in not going to end well. MBers looking to go "legal" are opening a can o' worms with the various state agencies who are to this point unprepared as far as definitions and legislative precedents go.

    If it ends up they require DOT compliance, might as well get a motorcycle.

    A friend says this is what killed the moped craze in the 70's.

    I ain't registering no bicycle.
  5. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    On motorcycles - the engine charges the battery - maybe - if you can get a small amount if elect from your engine - so as to keep your battery charged - may work - should work. Your tire issue - man that s_cks !!! Those solid tires talked about on this site - not going to be rated as your DMV wants - but you can tell them no air - man that would be fun wouldn't it - telling the DMV something !!! Happy Riding from - Mountainman
  6. softride

    softride Member


    Why are people pursuing trying to become legal on something that has no defined legality at this time if we keep bugging the feds and local licensing offices it can only bring trouble .
    my own feelings as mentioned by other people here ride safely with courtersy and as legally as you can ie wear a helmet ,use lights and a horn,obey the normal vehicle laws on the road with regard to speed and maybe just maybe it will stay free .
    The cb radio issue in the UK was a great example of this happening people used illegal radios and made a big thing about it ,protests and messing with government radio equipment in the end the government made cb radio legal but on such a poor system it virtuall killed the hobby.
  7. Mountainman

    Mountainman Active Member

    softride - there is a good reason to - Want To Be Legal. I was down in our little town the other day - while riding by some guys in a corner house - they hollered hi - I have heard that these guys ride MBs - so I pulled over. We exhanged a few stories - then what I didn't want to hear - the guy said "that while in the next town over while riding his MB - pooolice gave him a TICKET and IMPOUNDED HIS MB." Cost to get his MB out 300 dollars - still in impound... A ticket would be way bad enough - throw in the impound - DANG !!!! Ride That Thing - Mountainman
  8. Bronzebird

    Bronzebird Member

    The reason is so we can ride without feeling like we are doing something wrong. And should we be pulled over by police we do not have to walk the bike home. Ebikes in my opinion are motorized bikes as well a gas powered. Yet the law excludes the gas bike that performs within the specifications of Ebike.
    My 80cc is hard pressed to go over 20 mph less high RPMs are sacrificed and so to the life of the motor. I believe there is a political reason between the need to "regulate motors that use petroleum" because of the rich revenues they generate for the states, and tycoons.
  9. softride

    softride Member


    I am not saying dont try to be legal
    what i was getting at was trying to pursue a licence or tabs when theres no call for it at present,
    the feds will catch on soon enough if they see a way to make money from us plus they will legislate it to the hilt to get even more money from the vendors in a nutshell i was saying ride safe and enjoy that which is free at the moment
  10. TwoWalks

    TwoWalks Member

    The Motored Bike issue has little to nothing to do with the Feds, as much as we love to blame them for our problems.

    The challenges facing motored bikes begins in the local towns then spreads to the counties. From there it becomes a state issue. Even if a State recognizes the Gas Guzzling Motor bike, the local ordnances may still and often do, eliminate them.

    The town I live in has never seen a motorized bicycle but from talking to the locals, they love the idea.

    The next town over from mine basically told me that I can feel free to ride it there any time as long as it is on a street with a 25mph speed limit or less, that means one street in their town only. Bottom line is local ordnances.
  11. softride

    softride Member

  12. Email

    Email Member

    Charger for Vishnu

    I bet as long as you have a charging system on your bike to keep the battery in check, that would work. You could prob use a DC/DC converter and a 6V X-FDD hub. Just be cautious because it is geared for an average speed of ~12MPH, at higher RPM the voltage output is greater (no clue what). You would want a wide range input on the DV/DC converter, but you might be able to get something to keep a 6V battery pack charged. Good lights are a must to keep you safe. I keep debating about building my own. I think this lexan relay housing would make a good setup, with some good LEDs behind it. My problem though is wasting all the time designing and building something just for me, though I think once I go motorized I will have to - though I must say I love my off the shelf headlight.
  13. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    The X-FDD hub is fairly well regulated, when compared to the old 'bottle' generators. It will top out at about 9 Volts or so (and, about 6 watts, max.) But, this is AC voltage - you will need to add a bridge rectifier, using schotsky diodes (low forward voltage drop) & a filter capacitor to convert to DC. It will provide about a half amp of current at low speeds (6-8 MPH) and up to about 2/3 amp at max power output.
  14. quay1962

    quay1962 Guest

    i too live in wa state

    I agree with him...just ride the thing and do it responsibly...for instance we had loyalty days here on the long beach peninsula and I rode my happy time to work that day...well when I was leaving on my lunch break I had to pedal against the parade itself or be forced to I turn onto pacific ave. and a long beach cop has the street closed he says something as I start the engine..i circle back and he says "I heard these things were coming back..." and I said they never really were gone just improoved different...they are just 2stroke engines on a bike as a peddal assist,personally mine is a 70cc a dax rebuild and I asked him point blank.."are we all good with law here?" He said "the law was writen for you.." so my perception is every person interprets the law their own way, ours happen to think it was written for us so until some foolio who acts iresponsibly and wrecks it for us changes the way they persieve us, then I think we are safe. I personally am tired of hearing about the blah blah blah...i realize the radar is catching up and someday they will have a bore and stroke measuring tool and they will know it's a non complient engine, but t'ill then why rock the perverbial boat...when it hits dateline NBC then we should worry and be ready...have a 50cc as a spare cuz thats what it is at the moment...:shock:at least almost 1700 people are educating themselves here the largest MB forum on the net...! and between the clone forum and all others that re invent MBc try to follow civil ways of doing things so we have a fighting chance! I say when the day comes that we ride to the steps of Washington DC to keep our right to ride and ride free then...what more can i say!:rolleyes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2008