New York Motorized Bicycle Laws

New York Motorized Bicycle Regulations

What Does It Say?

What are the laws for Motor Assisted Bicycles? You listed the moped and motorized bicycle laws. I was curious about the motor assisted bicycles.
"motorized bicycle" vs. "motor-assisted bicycle"

When I posted the term "motorized bicycles", I was using it to describe "motor assisted bicycles," per the NY regulations.

This is what I found for the NY definition of "motor assisted bicycle" at

"A bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment."

It goes on to say:
"These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment."

I've seen one person with a whizzer with full turn signals, reflectors, horn, headlight, and mirror who was able to get it registered in NY as a class B moped. He had to have insurance and a driver's license, though.

ok... Two things..

One.. I see the definition of motor-assisted bicycle, and Two.. I see that NYS does not allow them in public period !! Bummer.. I can see that NYS has over ridden the Federal Law for motor-assisted bicycle. I guess states can do what ever they like. Bummer about NYS making them only allowed on private property bucking federal law. Wow !!!! I had no idea there was any state that disallowed them all together. I know some states regulate them and make you buy a sticker. But.. To not allow them at all. NYS is the only state I know of so far that does not allow them in public. Looks like you will have to pedal for now.. maybe with gas prices keep going up, NYS can look at this again.. and do what AZ did and make state law mirror fed law. We can only hope. I hope they can consider these bike before gas hits 5 or 6 dollars a gallon. O well. We shall see...

I remember you saying something about moving to Massachusetts, here is a 2 page article which pretty much sums up that state, under 50cc is the whole proof/arguement, and riding on the sidewalk appears to be okay.

The article starts with a guy getting a ticket in a motorized wheelchair, trying to buy food at a drive-thru window....

The law says
Four simple criteria define normal cars and trucks, said Sergeant Michael Maffei, a veteran of the Cambridge Police Department's traffic unit. If state law requires your wheeled contraption to be inspected, registered, and insured, and to be driven by an appropriately licensed driver - e.g., for a motorcycle, you need a motorcycle operator's license - then it's an ordinary "motor vehicle." Every word of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90, the law of the road, applies to you.

"If it doesn't check off those four boxes," Maffei said, "it's an exception."

Motorized wheelchairs are one such exception. The law acknowledges their existence, but prohibits them from being driven on roadways as vehicles, because most travel only about 5 miles per hour. (A person in a motorized wheelchair is considered just another pedestrian, Maffei said.)

Other "exceptions" are allowed on roadways, albeit under their own special, and often screwy, rules.

Take mopeds, for instance. Mopeds don't need license plates and don't need to be inspected, but you must have a driver's license to operate one, and you must wear a helmet.

You can drive a moped on the street, but not on a divided highway, and never faster than 25 miles per hour. You can drive a moped in an on-street bike lane, but you can't drive a moped on an off-road recreational path, such as the Minuteman Bikeway.

The difference between a moped and a motorcycle? If your moped's engine is less than 50 cubic centimeters in size, it's considered a "motorized bicycle." Even if you run a red light, the maximum fine you can get is $25. If your moped's engine is bigger than 50cc, the state considers it to be a motorcycle, and thus no different than a car

Sideshow, if you wanted to copy/quote this article for a Massachusetts thread, it would make a good place to start !
Quick question for NYS ATT: DAX

Hey guy's Having read the last links @ NYS Law. The Law states opperation of one of these devices. Does that mean it's illegal to even pedal my HT in public?

ATT: Dax, that ring was .040 undersize, I put it on the bottom piston ring and it runs! Got @ 10 miles on it before I read this thread! Wish I had a camera to take a picture of the way BPD looked at me, just pedalin away! He seen me at @ 200yds and I had the motor killed by 150yds. I just think he was to wore out before shift change to even ask! The face he made almost broke me up. I held mine straight tho! He just breezed by, hahaha! Thanks again!
Last edited:
Should always be ok (legal) if we are just pedaling. No judge should care about that !! Can you register it as a mop-head - they I think would be legal - I know - lights - horn and all that other stuff !!!. Mountainman
Hmmm. What about repricocity? If someone from Mass (or even AZ) were touring in NY State, and were legal in Mass, would they be ticketed in NY?

That's a real good question but I could tell you the answer with almost 100% certainty is no.

Is anybody aware of Federal Law granting the right to ride pedal assist??? If so than I would say I've got an argument here and will gladly take it up with this State thats been screwing me since birth!

Key word was opperating in my last post. I read an article about a guy getting a DUI for walking his bike (not sure what State). They said he was opperating it.

The reason I say no to your question Loquin is because A) your not in Kansass anymore Totto and B) the Feds addopted what is called the peaceable journey clause in the 60's or 70's. This clause allowed Federal right of gunowners to transport thier firearms in trunk or locked box accross State lines to another State where they had legal right to have them. I know of at least one case where NY jammed Law abidding owners. Not sure how it turnned out but wish things were not like this here.

If they want to run our Country like a 3rd world Country, least they could do is let us travel to work like they do and not make it illegal.