Federal Law for Motor Assisted bicycles .

thatsdax

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Feb 22, 2008
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www.thatsdax.com
My Take on one of the Federal Regulations

Here is my take on the first part about Fed regs on importation on a scooter that is not a motor vehicle and not defined as a "motor Vehicle" and that is that it does not exceed 20mph under power on level ground. If you have a motor on your bicycle and you do not exceed 20mph then you are not a motor vehicle. Now.. the other fed reg defines other parameters. If you put them all together you get this, A motor assisted bicycle is not a motor vehicle and is still a bicycle. As long as it is less than 50cc and does not exceed 20mph. That is my take. Thanks... Enjoy the ride....
 

fabian3801

New Member
May 21, 2008
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texas laws on a slow moving vehicle. includes all vehicles that that operate maxium speed of 25 mph.the way it stated can be a ox cart wheel chair or machenery or a motor bicycle. things you need 2 head lamps 2 white flashers front on rear 1 tail lamp 2 red flashers 1 red reflector 1 slow moving vehicle emblem.yes i did it i use aaa battery led flashers i use rechargable batterys.keep texas dps off your back do this i use gps unit to track my speed works great fits in my shirt pocket. thanks fabian3801
 

4Fun

New Member
May 16, 2008
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Grand Rapids MI
michigan also. 30 mph is the speed. i couln't imagine trying to stay under 20mph.
I'm not certain, but perhaps your referencing moped law... Isn't there a difference between moped laws and bicycles that do not fall under moped laws? To my novice understanding, they are bicycles that only go 20mph max on engine power alone and have engine displacement limitation like 49-50cc or less.

If your ride is within those specs, seems like moped laws don't apply to power assisted bikes, because it's not a moped as defined by the law.
 

OzzyU812

Member
May 15, 2008
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"the bog" NH
Be aware that State laws trump Fed law and city ordinance trumps state law. I almost based my build on Fed law. Which would have been a HUGE life altering mistake!:eek:
 

HoughMade

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Apr 15, 2008
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Valparaiso, IN
Not true- other way around if there is a true conflict between the laws.

However, in practice what happens is that unless the federal law, or state law states that it preempts other law or is regulating in an arena that gives that level of government exclusive authority, a more strict law can be enforced by a smaller governmental unit. Then the more strict rule applies.

Here is an illustration. If a state law said this: "Bicycles with engines at 2hp or below which do not exceed 25 mph may be operated without registration", but a local law stated: "bicycles cannot be operated on the roads in the village of Squaresville." The more strict law applies because the state law only speaks to registration and does not state that towns cannot make other limitations. Clearly, however, towns could not require registration.

However, states may pass laws that state something like: "Bicycles with engines at 2hp or below which do not exceed 25 mph may be operated on the roads of this state." Then a local givernment cannot conflict with that law and any local law which purports to conflict with it is invalid. Local laws could not say the motorized bicycle cannot operate on their streets because the state already says they can. The is an implication that local laws are preempted. Beware, however, that there may be a statement, either in the same statute or in another that says: "Notwithstanding any provision....municipalities may regulate the use of motorized bicycles within their limits." That is the state giving power to the local government, not being overridden by the local law.

As for the federal laws above...I am getting a little tired of the misinformation all over the place. All those laws have to do with is the manufacturing standards the item must meet to be imported or sold. They do not make anything legal or illegal for use on any road anywhere. That is not the purpose of those regulations

Individual states may choose to reference those regulations in defining what can operate on their roads, but they are under no obligation to do so. Definition of what vehicles may operate intrastate (as opposed to interstate) is a state law issue. There is some doubt as to whether it would even be Constitutional for the federal government to make a law the instructed that motorized bicycle would be legal to operate anywhere across the country.

_________________________

1998 law school graduate
Member of the state bar of Indiana since 1998
Admitted to practice in several federal courts since 1998
Undergraduate and law school adjunct Professor of Law since 2004
Motorbiker since 2007
 
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Bikeguy Joe

Godfather of Motorized Bicycles
Jan 8, 2008
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up north now
Thanks Ozzy, I could never remember the way that goes.

Locals then CAN make idiotic laws like "No scooters or motorcycles under 150cc".
 

OzzyU812

Member
May 15, 2008
258
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"the bog" NH
HoughMade & Bikeguy Joe - I may have went a little far when I said, local laws trump state. Until they local laws, or any laws,are tested in the courts... they can run a muck.

Coincidentally, I will be attending a B-Day party where (if I have my in-laws straight) the former head of the bar association of NY and/or the NY state attorney general will be there. If the opportunity arises I will ask who has the trump card.
 

HoughMade

New Member
Apr 15, 2008
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Valparaiso, IN
Please ask! I could have stated my point more simply by saying that if there is no conflict between the laws, the most specific and strict law applies no matter whether federal, state or local. Local laws are normally the most strict. In addition, courts try not to find conflicts between different laws (sometimes closing their eyes to clear conflicts), so that there are inconsistent and sometimes illogical results.
 

OzzyU812

Member
May 15, 2008
258
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"the bog" NH
Houghmade - I was merely thinking it would be an interesting topic of conversation. Unfortunately he is not the guy that I thought. I had him mixed up with his brother. Now I have no motivation to attend:(
 

machiasmort

New Member
Aug 10, 2008
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Buffalo,NY
Houghmade

Please see my thread on NYS law in this section. What do you do when DMV in your state spreads misinformation? "Law against putting a motor on a bike frame". I can't find anything in NYS Law.

Please don't tell me try ridding it in the Suburbs and find out!!!

Thanks for your post regarding Federal Law. One quick question tho. If the Feds don't consider ht's a motor vehicle how could we be charged under State DMV law???

----Marty----
 

ebmvegan

New Member
Jul 15, 2008
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OC, Ca
Here in California, the DMV's main concern is to have your MB registered as either as a home built vehicle or as a motorized bicycle or moped. (It depends on who you talk to at the office. I had to finally show them the MB before the lady decided to give me the form for a built vehicle. But another lady told me otherwise. I think they just really wanted my $27.) Just remember that we have to follow 2 sets of laws....Bicycle Law and Motor Vehicle Laws.

By the way, I have seen some vendors state that to be able to ship motors into the US, the motors need to be EPA certified. I thought that this was a farce....these motors pollute like nobody's business. Is the EPA certifying the CH motors?
 

ebmvegan

New Member
Jul 15, 2008
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OC, Ca
Sorry guys....didn't mean to offend anyone. I just wanted to know whether or not the EPA was regulating the Chinese motors....or any motor built to be placed on a bicycle.

thatsdax: Has anyone ever tested the "EPA" certified motors that are supposed to have a catalytic converter and compared it to the stock? There's just so much talk of the environment in the area that one has to be sure that we comply. The DMV is no help and the Federal Govt. is even less with MB's.