Texas law for engine assisted bicycle

Discussion in 'Laws and Legislation for Motorized Bicycles' started by Norman, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. Norman

    Norman LORD VADER Moderator
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    I just found out you can not ride a gas fired bicycle legally in Texas.It has to be electric. They told me being that there is no law covering a gas powered bicycle. It is not legal to ride on the street or sidewalks or bike paths under power from the engine..
    You have to have an electric motor to qualify as a motor assisted bicycle.
    If you want to see the letter send me a PM, I'll email you the letter.
    We need to get this changed! Last summer a different person was in place at that time we could ride with no problems , now that has changed.
    Maybe the Fed laws will be in our favor, I don't know yet. If you have information, Let me know, I'd like to see it. I'll bet this forum and the others out there will want to know. It might be time for all Texas riders to band together no matter what forum you like or belong to. You can go electric, what fun is that?!! YOU ALL HAVE BEEN WARNED!!! We are now OUTLAWS!
    if you ride your gas fired assisted bicycle in the street, sidewalk, or bike paths in Texas. Well I'm not going to go break the law.
    You can watch for the police and cut the engine but I'll bet you will get a ticket. You could tell the officer the engine is the generator for the lights only. I bet he will believe that as well.rotfl Best thing to do is get the law changed or revised to include gas engines with electric motors. Gas engines can be rated at so many watts of power, maybe it will work out. Do nothing, sit still, loose our freedom.
    Vader
     
    #1 Norman, Feb 6, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  2. Norman

    Norman LORD VADER Moderator
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  3. Pete

    Pete New Member

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    Your second link is broke.
    Please post a link of the Texas State law.
     
  4. deacon

    deacon minor bike philosopher

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    take a look at the moped law. Thats the one I'm under in NC. the electric has no requirements that Im aware of at all.
     
  5. Norman

    Norman LORD VADER Moderator
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    Pete
    All I have on Texas law is the letter I wrote and the reply I received.
    There it is in a nut shell.
    we do not have a category for bicycles with gas motors (motor-assisted bicycles) only electric motors (electric bicycles). since it does not have a vehicle class it would keep you from riding it on the road, you would not be able to ride it under power on sidewalks and bike paths either since it’s not an electric bicycle.

    I’m sorry for the inconvenience this has caused and don’t know if you have the ability to convert the motor to electric, but that’s the only way you would be able to classify it as an electric bicycle since we don’t have a motorized bicycle category.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email or at either of the numbers below. You can also visit our homepage at Texas Department of Public Safety - Courtesy, Service, Protection for more information or to download forms.

    Thank you,

    Cindy Flores

    Training Specialist III

    TxDPS Motorcycle Safety Unit

    512-424-2817 or 800-292-5787

    Fax# 512-424-2506
     
    #5 Norman, Feb 6, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2008
  6. Pete

    Pete New Member

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  7. Norman

    Norman LORD VADER Moderator
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    Pete
    We might ask that question because the highway troopers all said we could ride these engine assisted bicycles and none of them gave us any problems these guys were cool. When we were stopeed the trooper just wanted to get a better look at the bikes. The highway patrol should be up on the laws better than city police I would think.

    We in Texas who might try and go the moped route are limited to in town riding and only allowed on streets with a posted 35mph speed limit or less. That knocks riding it out of town and can't go where a bicycle can go. No trips out of town or on county roads. A bicycle can go on the county roads but if you strap on an engine your screwed that the way I see it. I'm going to ride my Harley instead.
    Or ride my outlaw bicycle in the street and take my chances.
     
    #7 Norman, Feb 6, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2008
  8. 15rms

    15rms New Member

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    Norman I live in Spring. About 20 miles north of Houston. I just purchased my motor assist bike about 2 weeks ago. Since than several local cops have watched me ride past them. None yet have bothered me.
     
  9. Bikeguy Joe

    Bikeguy Joe Godfather of Motorized Bicycles

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    I want to see the pictorial of Norman's "gas to electric conversion".

    Let's see, pull the piston out and attatch an electric motor in the case, belt drive to the crankshaft, hide the batteries in the fuel tank......

    Seriously, if there is no law, then I believe Federal law comes into play.
     
  10. Ilikeabikea

    Ilikeabikea Moderator
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    Hey now there's an idea. Make a big honking cylinder facade to hide an electric motor. Batteries in the gas tank. An electric bike that looks like a gas bike. That might work and add to the confusion.................
     
  11. Norman

    Norman LORD VADER Moderator
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    15 rms
    Where you live there is probably more crackheads to bust than in this one horse town but I've heard they are here as well and even making the stuff. But NO got to get the outlaw engine assisted bicycle riders behind bars as they are a danger to and menace to society and the crackheads are being bothered by all that traffic out side of their labs makes them nervous when mixing the chemicals that they are going to sell to our kids.( I'm just blowing off steam)
    I have not been bothered by the police except the time Bob and I got stopped by the THP so he could get a better look and the guy was really nice to us. I had a letter from the motorcycle safety div. that also said we were good to go and I misplaced it. Doesn't that figure. Now if you call or write the Motorcycle safety div there is a different person . Well you must of seen the post I put up here. Whats up with that, the new story now?! From the new person. As I see it there is NO laws concerning the gas fire assisted bikes so if that is the case then the Fed laws should apply. But how do you read them?
    Where is the code number and wording stating that we can ride in the street and on highways like a normal bicycle. Not as a moped or scooter or motorcycle or motorized cycle. There is only laws written for electric assisted bicycles that needs to be changed to include the gas fired. I hope with no restrictions on where you can ride whether in town or out in the country. As for speed ( right now I think it is 20 mph).around 35 mph would be nice for on the country roads some, will run you over if you don't watch for the crazys. But if slower I can live with it. I better get to the task of the engine rebuild.
    Norman
     
  12. thatsdax

    thatsdax Member

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    I agree with Joe.. If your state has no laws for Motor assisted bicycles then they are not regulated by the state or city. Then Federal law is the law by default. Which is under 50cc and no more than 30mph under power then it is still a bicycle. Or was it 20mph? It was less than 50cc I remember that.. But I do not remember if it was 20 or 30mph under power that you could not exceed. Some one will have to research it. But..Anyway.. I am no lawyer.. But..I agree with Joe.. Logical anyway.. Enjoy the ride...
     
  13. thatsdax

    thatsdax Member

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  14. thatsdax

    thatsdax Member

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  15. csetech

    csetech New Member

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    I am going to side with Dax on this. I don't like laws that "permit" anyway. They are unamerican. IE If it is not specifically prohibited, it is legal, maybe not wise, but legal. Anyway, Here is something I found on a Texas State Website.

    Neighborhood Electric Vehicle and Motor Assisted Scooter Information



    The 78th Legislature addressed the issue of new transportation technology. The law now recognizes motor assisted scooters and neighborhood electric vehicles for limited street usage. The law can be found in the Texas Transportation Code (TRC) as Subchapter D, Sections 551.301 and 551.302. Subchapter D became effective on September 1, 2003.



    The 79th Legislature amended the law to separate neighborhood electric vehicles from motor assisted scooters. Section 551.302 was repealed and the content became Subchapter E, Motor Assisted Scooter, TRC 551.351. The information below is still an accurate summary of the laws as amended.



    In general, any traffic law which applies to bicycles also applies to motor assisted scooters. That means the operator must obey the usual traffic laws that bicycle operators must obey such as speed limit, signal turns, etc. (TRC 551.101(a)). However, TRC 551.351 states that some laws that apply to a motor vehicle do not apply to these scooters. This means that:



    Ø the scooter operator doesn't need a driver license,

    Ø the scooter operator doesn't need liability insurance,

    Ø the scooter doesn't have to be registered or have a license plate,

    Ø the scooter doesn't have to carry a low speed vehicle emblem; and,

    Ø the scooter doesn't have to be inspected.



    Cities and counties may prohibit operation of these scooters on particular streets or highways for safety reasons, as can the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT).



    Along with the "motor assisted scooter," the Legislature legalized the "neighborhood electric vehicle." The "neighborhood electric vehicle" is any vehicle subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500. They generally resemble a golf cart, but are larger-usually capable of carrying four passengers-with a top speed between 20 M.P.H. and 25 M.P.H. Vehicles such as the John Deere Gator and Kawasaki Mule are not neighborhood electric vehicles because they are not subject to Federal Standard 500 in that they are designed to primarily carry cargo rather than passengers. Like the motor assisted scooter, neighborhood electric vehicles can be driven on any street or highway with a posted speed limit of 35 M.P.H. or less, and may cross streets or highways with a higher posted speed limit. However, unlike the motor assisted scooter, a neighborhood electric vehicle must be registered and have a license plate. The operator must have a driver license and the vehicle or operator must be covered with the required liability insurance or acceptable substitute. In addition, these vehicles meet the TRC Section 547.001 definition of a "slow moving vehicle," and must carry a low speed vehicle emblem. Finally, as with the motor assisted scooter, a city or county may prohibit their operation on a street or highway for safety reasons, as can TXDOT.



    The content of HB 1596 is on subsequent pages of this document. It shows the division of the two types of vehicles and their codification.
     
  16. thatsdax

    thatsdax Member

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    That is great news !! Texas is a great State !! Big too. IT would take a long time to cross that state on a bike. That means the fun would last a long time... Enjoy the ride....
     
  17. Ilikeabikea

    Ilikeabikea Moderator
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    To me this is talking more about motor assisted scooters. And in Texas a motor assisted scooter can't be operated on any street where the posted speed limit is more 35 mph. Also to fit the definition of a scooter it must have a floor board that you can stand up on and a seat that you can sit down on. So a bicycle really doesn't fit in that category.......................
     
  18. paul

    paul Active Member

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    you can stand on the pedals i do all the time and i sit in my seat all the time. i dont understand what the problem is
     
  19. Ilikeabikea

    Ilikeabikea Moderator
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    I don't want mine to be considered a scooter. If it gets classified that way then I can't ride it out to the airport. 4 miles of speed limit above 35 mph. I've talking to my State Representative trying to get clarification of the law or introduce legislation to get them classified legal with a gas motor. I'll keep plugging along. When gas hits 5 bux a gallon they'll have to leave us alone............
     
  20. thatsdax

    thatsdax Member

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    Hummm....

    These are Bicycles. First . They started life as a bicycle. Then you add a motor for Assist. That makes them motor assisted bicycle. Do you see? Not a Scooter. A scooter does not have pedals and a scooters only mode of propulsion is that by a motor . A scooter never was and never will be a bicycle. From my research, here are the Cats. Bicycle, Motor Assisted Bicycle, Motorized Bicycle, Scooters, motorcycles. These are legal classes and are defined as such. Here in Colorado, A scooter under 50cc does not require registration, plates or insurance. But..The rider has to be 16 years old or older with a Valid Drivers license. M endorsement not required, only a drivers license. Here in Colorado, nothing is needed for a bicycle. Not yet anyway. And..If you put an engine on your bicycle that is less than 49cc, by federal law, it is still a bicycle. Bicycle with motor assist. Now.. If you check on the laws in your area, and they have no Laws or regulations defined for motor Assisted bicycle, then the postulate is that they are not regulated at all. Keep in mind, you better abide by the laws for bicycles. Stop at stop signs, ect ect ect. Or you could get a ticket. But....I am no lawyer , this is only from my research and experience. If you ride your bike down the golf course, or speed, or do other things that make the cops mad, then I can assure you, regulations or not, they will stop you, they will fit you in a class or they will make a place to fit you in , ticket you, and make a lot of trouble for you. You will get a ticket, and could wind up in court, and if you do end up in court, make sure to get the best lawyer you can to win, and establish case law in your favor. Remember this.. Regulated or not, even with laws in our favor, always ride safe, obey the laws for bicycles, ride cool and promote in a positive way our Hobby which seems to be becoming more of a transportation mode for many. and....Enjoy the ride..
     
    #20 thatsdax, Mar 19, 2008
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008

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