New ILL Law SB0236 Only For 1 HP

Discussion in 'Laws, Legislation & Emissions' started by Mike St, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Mike St

    Mike St Member

    New Illinois law SB0236 active on January 1 does not seem to be good news for motorized bicycles due to it's requirement of one HP. Since a 49cc engine
    can develop over 2 hp, the law still makes most gas motorized bicycles illegal in Illinois. The law seems to help only electrics. Any comment?

  2. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I suppose it's not actually good news for us. but it might be bad only in the technical sense. We could always just say, "oh no..this doesn't have any guts at all. Definitely under 1 HP." It might or it might not work.

    But I think this law will give a bit of added legitimacy to those who try not to give the police any reason to be hostile.

    I think this law was written (in the House) with only electric bikes in mind. Gas bikes were added in the Senate version as almost an afterthought. So it doesn't surprise me to learn that we're still something like second class citizens. But it's still helpful.
  3. RusticoRay

    RusticoRay Member

    Is it written under 1 h.p. or 1 h.p and under.
  4. Mike St

    Mike St Member

    Right. My model airplane engines produce about 1.5-2.0 hp. Guess I'll mount one of my smaller model airplane engines to meet the regulation.
  5. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    If it doesn't have a decimal point after the 1, then, you could argue that this means the motor horsepower, when rounded to the nearest whole number, must not exceed 1. Which would cover the 35cc 4 strokes. But, it is VERY difficult to find a 50cc motor that doesn't put out at least 2 HP.
  6. johnrobholmes

    johnrobholmes Member

    Doesn't IL already require registration for 50cc bikes? Won't this loosen it a bit?
  7. Mike St

    Mike St Member

    I found a 25 cc Tanka engine that is rated at 1 or less hp. I guess this opens up the market in Illinois for fender mounted pedal assisted bikes. Not too exciting.
  8. Mike St

    Mike St Member

    The new law actually states less than 1 hp.
  9. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    I hadn't noticed the 1 HP limit and it is certainly a pity.

    But I wouldn't let it bother you; just go ahead and ride. Ride cool, of course. The police just don't seem to care about these bikes if you do that. They seem to feel that they have better things to worry about. (which is definitely true)

    "Alternative transport" is (slowly)getting a foothold here in America. A guy in my neighborhood has a brand new 3 wheeled pickup truck. 2 whls back, 1 front. It looks for all the world like someome built a body on a Goldwing. But he told me that it's a Chinese inline 4 cylinder. It has a pickup style bed with a van style body; small 2 passenger compartment with a small super-cab behind the seats. It's a cool little vehicle.

    You'll notice that as the Dow Jones average has risen, the price of crude oil has gone up right along with it. I'll bet we're entering a new era of public acceptance of vehicles other than the standard automobile.

    I hope I'm not being over-optimistic on this, but I don't think law enforcement cares very much if we put a small engine on our bicycles.
  10. arceeguy

    arceeguy Active Member

    But someday, maybe they will.

    Basically, they outlawed gasoline engines without specifically banning them. Pretty slimy if you ask me. People need to contact their representatives and try to keep motorized bicycles as unregulated as possible.

    Pretty soon they'll regulate horses to below 1 HP.
  11. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    "But someday, maybe they will."

    True enough, Arceeguy. We never really know when the other shoe will drop.

    But in this case I doubt if they were trying to deny us the right to ride in a sneaky way. l'll bet that they were afraid of people making monster machines and decided to limit size. They said, "One Horsepower?...Yeah, that sounds about right.." Yup, it was negligent of them to not look into the matter a bit more, but negligence in legislation is a very old problem.

    We can, and should, lobby them for a more realistic limit. Just be prepared for it to take forever.

    In the meantime there is another strategy that will help us. (I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I think it bears constant repetition);

    Ride like a responsible member of traffic.

    This not only gains us the respect of the police (which is useful), it also gains us a measure of respect from the motorists (which is a matter of life and death)

    There've been a few members here who detailed their fights with the law. But when I read between the lines I saw people who were just itching for a fight. I can think of one who didn't really seem to hate the police, but he proudly declared himself to be a speed demon. He didn't have the sense (hope I'm not insulting him. he wasn't a bad guy) to "fly below the radar".

    Really, that's all we have to do. It won't guarantee that we'll never be hassled by a cop with an attitude. But it plays the odds in our favor.
  12. moondog

    moondog Member

    1 hp. That is about what I run. 23cc Mitsubishi friction drive. Goes 20 something mph. It seems to be about as fast as a 48cc HT motor setup.
  13. johnrobholmes

    johnrobholmes Member

    It is my understanding that in ILL you have to title, register, license, and insure any moped. Until this law, this means that all motored bikes would need all of the above. Does this law allow <1hp mBikes to fly without title, etc?
  14. bluegoatwoods

    bluegoatwoods Well-Known Member

    When I looked into it, in anticipation of my first build, in the spring of 2008 the literature that I found at the Sec/State office seemed to indicate that these were mopeds, with all of those legal (and, realistically, unobtainable) requirements. It was disheartening.

    But I found a loophole. I'm sorry, I don't actually remember just what it was. But it was a clear distinction between these and mopeds. From that point on I have held the opinion that the laws simply did not take these bikes into account at all. That they were neither explicitly legal or illegal. This is only my opinion, but my experience seems to bear it out. I've been riding a lot since. The police for many miles around recognize me and they have never once given me a second look.

    But to get to johnrobholmes actual question; this new law will apparently recognize motor assisted bicycles, under 1 HP, as the exact legal equivalent of un-motored bicycles. This will not apply to happy times and other such engines, I guess.

    But I still regard it as a step forward.
  15. Mike St

    Mike St Member

    Yes, the new law refers to motorized bicycles as "low-speed gas bicycle," "a 2 or 3-wheeled device with fully operable pedals and a gasoline motor of less than one horsepower ... ." They are not mopeds, and no license is needed to drive them.
  16. Mike St

    Mike St Member

    I have written to the Illinois senator who sponsored the bill in the Illinois Senate to advise her that one horsepower is too low. You may write her at:
  17. safe

    safe Active Member

    Resistance Is Futile I've been observing for some time, the Federal Ebike Law is the first of it's kind and it sets a universal standard for what something that "isn't" a motorcycle (or moped) is supposed to look like.

    From now on the division is going to split the "1 hp / Pedals / 20 mph" Federal Ebike Legal machines from the rest of the pack.

    You will be assimilated... (or else separated into another category)


    Moped laws are all over the place and I suspect that in the end the gasoline "motorized bike" will eventually be shifted into the moped category over time and out of the bike area. It's actually kind of weird that they aren't all considered mopeds right now. This might mean that a "motorized bike" could be subject to registration while the Federally legal bike is not in this future scenario.

    I'm not making a statment of emotion here either... this is just the flow of events... you can fight the flow, but not always change it. (there are many forces that are pushing the consolidation of the laws so that a single standard comes to be accepted)


    I realized the inevitability of consolidation back in 2007 and have focused all my efforts to design around it. If you can't beat the law, then find ways to work around it.

    Think about the poor Australians... their laws restrict all bikes to 200 watts. :ack2:
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  18. moondog

    moondog Member

    I tried a 48cc roundhead, 500watt golden motor and a 23cc friction drive kit on a Moondog bicycle and they were all about the same top speed.

    23cc friction drive is the fastest but not by much. 500w Goldenmotor the slowest. All less than 25mph top speed with me on it (175lbs).

    The 23cc is rated at about 1 hp. I am not sure because different weedwacker makers that use this engine rate it at different numbers and it is not marked on the motor.

    500 watts = .67 hp. Matt (150lbs) did 23mph, checked with gps.

    I am not so sure the 48cc roundhead is sending over 1 hp to the rear wheel.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  19. DougC

    DougC Guest

    You heard right, but weren't informed right:

    A moped does need to be titled, registered and insured, but "a bicycle with an engine on it" doesn't qualify as a moped.

    In IL a motorized bicycle cannot be titled as a moped, because the IL Dept of Motor Vehicles requires that any "motor vehicle" titled to have a federal-standard 17-digit VIN (they need the VIN to put on the title itself). Bicycles have manufacturer serial numbers, but those do not qualify as VINs. The sec. of state can assign VINs to vintage motorcycles, but there's no provision in the motor vehicle code to allow the IL sec. of state to assign VINs to bicycles.

    So,,, (in IL)--nothing built on a bicycle frame can qualify as a moped.
  20. johnrobholmes

    johnrobholmes Member

    Interesting, so basically they fall through the cracks until this bill came along.

    Muddy law.