Electric Motorcycles are not E-bikes!

by 0

bmc trailfox ebike carbon
BMC Trailfox E-bike concept is one of the most ‘normal’ looking E-bikes we have seen.

Eurobike 2016 proved that E-Bikes are not a passing fad, they’re here to stay and are going to be more difficult to spot in the future. The increased presence of E-bikes at Eurobike, and on your local trails, has caused a few heated debates in the forums (and down the local pub), which we have been following with interest.

A quick search of the forums will bring up plenty of E-Bike discussions, many of which boil down to the fact that we don’t want to see powerful electric bikes rooster tailing up trails and shredding up perfectly good singletrack. But is this really what an E-bike is?

An E-bike is not an Electric Motorcycle

According to the DVLA an E-Bike is one that meets the EAPC requirements. Those requirements being that;

  • the bike must have pedals that can be used to propel it
  • the electric motor shouldn’t be able to propel the bike when it’s travelling more than 15.5mph i.e the assist stops
  • the motor shouldn’t have a maximum power output of more than 250 watts

Looking at those requirements it’s clear that what many people see as an E-bike isn’t an E-bike at all. Those images of motorised mayhem on the trails simply aren’t possible on a E-bike. So is it we’re actually worried about Electric Motorcycles?

The DVLA defines an Electric Motorcycle as one not meeting the EAPC requirements stated above. So if a bike has an electric motor, but uses a throttle to accelerate then it’s not an E-bike. If it has no pedals to propel it, it’s not an E-bike, and if it has an output for more than 250 watts it’s not an E-bike.

brinco electric motorcycle
The Brinco has pedals for propulsion but that 2000 watt motor means it’s an electric motorcycle. The DVLA will want it taxed and registered.

E-bikes must meet every EAPC point otherwise they must be registered, taxed and you will be required to have a driving licence to ride one! Oh, and it’s highly likely it will also need ‘type approval’. A very lengthy and potentially expensive process, that neither we nor manufacturers want to go through.

So if you’ve been hating on E-bikes under the impression that an Electric Motorbike is an E-bike you can now stop. However If you were hating on them for other reasons, be our guest to carry on the forums are just a click away.

Andi Sykes

Singletrack Editorial Staff

Andi is a gadget guru and mountain biker who has lived and ridden bikes in China and Spain before settling down in the Peak District to become Singletrack's social media expert. He is definitely more big travel fun than XC sufferer but his bike collection does include some rare hardtails - He's a collector and curator as well as a rider. Theory and practice in perfect balance with his inner chi, or something. As well as living life based on what he last read in a fortune cookie Andi likes nothing better than riding big travel bikes.

Leave a Reply