Does anyone know of an ebike rider being prosecuted for riding a bike of over 250 watts?

Tony1951

Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
202
97
70
When I bought my ebike with a crank drive motor, the seller told me the motors he sold most of by far, were 500 watt and 750 watts in rated power. I told him that as a car driver and motor bike rider, I didn't want any points on my licence for riding a 2/3hp or 1hp bike illegally when if I wanted to, I could ride my 60hp Triumph perfectly legally. Anyway, I bought an almost legal 250 watt conversion from him. Sad to say (not really) the conversion is not speed limited and in PAS levels above 2 (so 3,4 &5) it continues to assist, though I rarely use these levels except on heavy hill climbing, so never except in testing have had speeds above the legal speed - "Honestly 'M'lud', I swear, I 'aint gone more than 15.5 miles an hour....... wink wink...."

So - I know some riders here are riding 500 watt and more ebikes on the road, and I know that strictly speaking, my own conversion not being limited, is just as illegal. Have you seen or heard of enforcement action being taken?
 

kangooroo

Pedelecer
Aug 24, 2015
236
164
Wye Valley
Yes. I recall a case of someone being fined, having his bike confiscated and 6(?) points on his driving licence.
 

peter.c

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 24, 2018
1,414
417
thurrock essex
First is the motor marked 250watt engraved not just a removable sticker if so just set the display max speed to 15.5mph then your requirement for legal is achieved
 

Tony1951

Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
202
97
70
First is the motor marked 250watt engraved not just a removable sticker if so just set the display max speed to 15.5mph then your requirement for legal is achieved
Yes it is engraved with a 250 watt number, as I recall (I'm not with it right now) there is a subset of the motor serial number, which states 250.

Yes _ noticed that trick with the display when I was messing about. Thanks for the tip though. I suppose if I had the data cable, I could permanently restrict it to completely comply with the law. I don't think a readily changeable value on the lcd is good enough. It's all a bit of a mularchy though, isn't it. Jumping through hoops to please useless bureaucrats is not in my nature. Respect for other people and taking care not to harm them is a different matter, but 15.5 miles an hour? I'm seventy and I can easily do a good bit more than that on the flat.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: LeighPing

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
11,779
4,836

plod not got me yet :p
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,938
Basildon
Yes it is engraved with a 250 watt number, as I recall (I'm not with it right now) there is a subset of the motor serial number, which states 250.

Yes _ noticed that trick with the display when I was messing about. Thanks for the tip though. I suppose if I had the data table, I could permanently restrict it to completely comply with the law. I don't think a readily changeable value on the lcd is good enough. It's all a bit of a mularchy though, isn't it. Jumping through hoops to please useless bureaucrats is not in my nature. Respect for other people and taking care not to harm them is a different matter, but 15.5 miles an hour? I'm seventy and I can easily do a good bit more than that on the flat.
Nobody has ever been able to show a record of anybody ever having been prosecuted for riding an illegal ebike in mainland UK. There was a guy in Guernsey prosecuted. He had a big direct drive motor in his bike Everybody knows what's going on in Guensey. Maybe he upset a neighbour and the neighbour reported him or something. There was also a woman convicted of riding one of gthose electric scooters with tiny wheels. She was told not to ride it by the police because it didn't have pedals They let her off the first time, but she rode it again after welding two bolts to the tiny wheel and said that they were pedals. The appeals court said that you have to be able to propel the vehicle at a normal safe speed with just the pedals. Her one couldn't do 1 mph.

There are always scare stories on this and other forums, but nobosy has ever been able to back them up with an actual case record or newspaper article or anything like that. That doesn't necessarily mean that it hasn't happened, and anything could happen in the future, but at the moment, it appears that electric bicyclists are a protected (from prosecution) group,
 

Tony1951

Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
202
97
70
That doesn't necessarily mean that it hasn't happened, and anything could happen in the future, but at the moment, it appears that electric bicyclists are a protected (from prosecution) group,
Thanks for that. I suppose the question about what will happen in future, depends on how people ride and whether they cause a nuisance or a risk to other people.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: LeighPing

StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
Thanks for that. I suppose the question about what will happen in future, depends on how people ride and whether they cause a nuisance or a risk to other people.
That is already happening in Cardiff town centre and the powers to be will need to act some time soon. There are now quite a few 'Deliverpoo' eBikes zipping and zagging amongst the pedestrians and on the roads in the surrounding streets.

Judging by the speeds the 'Deliverpoo' eBikes go past me on the roads, there are definetly a fair number of illegal ones.

So inviting to be stopped, by cycling in the pedestian areas, seems a dumb tactic to me.
 

Encantador

Pedelecer
Jul 18, 2008
76
5
A deliveroo guy passed me yesterday on the pavement in the town centre without peddling. If anything, these are the guys they will go after.

Whatever is or isn't stamped/stuck on the motor I am guessing that to get enough evidence to get a prosecution the bike would have to be examined (not sure by who) and that won't be cheap add to that the average plod probably has no idea what the laws are (and no real interest in finding out).

The average normal rider not riding a knob will probably never have a problem. The biggest risk of being caught I guess is if you were involved in a serious accident.
 
  • Agree
Reactions: TedG and LeighPing

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
27,052
Jumping through hoops to please useless bureaucrats is not in my nature. Respect for other people and taking care not to harm them is a different matter, but 15.5 miles an hour? I'm seventy and I can easily do a good bit more than that on the flat.
Firstly that is unfair to the bureacrats who are far from useless. Secondly, like so many in here, you are completely missing the point.

Pedelecs are not electric bicycles, they are electric assist bicycles. They are not about speed, as you remark, you like many can ride much faster than the assist limit on the flat so you don't need assistance to go faster. Pedelecs are about assistance when it is needed such as uphill or against head winds.

The legislators set the speed and power limits where they are because they have to, not because they are useless. Those limits are just before they start to collide with motor vehicle law. Attempt to make the assist speed limit 20 or 25 mph as many want and the Moped manufacturers and dealers start to kick off, demanding they are freed from any bureacracy too.

It's been tried and it's failed. Germany and Switzerland introduced so called speed pedelecs, assisted up to 28 mph (45kph) and later with up to 500 watts rating to help get to those speeds. The Netherlands followed and had to concede to some of the moped demands for equal treatment. The result was chaos and an uproar from cyclists, since their excellent cycle paths were suddenly invaded by not only faster speed pedelecs but also by all the mopeds using the same 28 mph speed limit, scaring the life out of cyclists and causing a jump in accidents.

France had announced that it was going to introduce speed pedelecs a couple of years ago, but when they saw what had happened in The Netherlands they permanently cancelled that plan. Of well over 30 countries throughout Europe, the only other country to have introduced speed pedelecs has been Denmark, but like The Netherlands now, only with additional restrictions.

And in those only four countries still having speed pedelecs, all have to be registered with number plates, third part insurance and compulsory helmet wearing at all times. That's what we can expect if we ever won a higher assist limit, real bureacracy. There's even a driving licence group now for motorised vehicles capable of 25 kph (15.5 mph), it's group Q and it could be applied to us in future

Be content with what you have, it's very unlikely to get better and could get far, far worse.
.
 
Last edited:

Tony1951

Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
202
97
70
Firstly that is unfair to the bureacrats who are far from useless. Secondly, like so many in here, you are completely missing the point.

Snipped

Be content with what you have, it's very unlikely to get better and could get far, far worse.
.
Really? You and I have a VERY different experience on the first point, probably because I didn't spend my life interfering with other people's freedom, and on the second, I am of the opinion that a more libertarian approach ought to be adopted in all matters where a clear and present danger to the public is not involved in particular activities. That's what a free society would do and is what is done in the USA on this particular matter.

The making up of nit picking laws demanding licenses and limits to ordinary, harmless activities, and the employment of blood sucking jobsworths is to be opposed by all free men, in my view. The idea that I should be grateful to government that I can ride a 250 watt electric bike is utterly laughable.
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,938
Basildon
A deliveroo guy passed me yesterday on the pavement in the town centre without peddling. If anything, these are the guys they will go after.

Whatever is or isn't stamped/stuck on the motor I am guessing that to get enough evidence to get a prosecution the bike would have to be examined (not sure by who) and that won't be cheap add to that the average plod probably has no idea what the laws are (and no real interest in finding out).

The average normal rider not riding a knob will probably never have a problem. The biggest risk of being caught I guess is if you were involved in a serious accident.
Examination and testing can't prove anything about the power rating of the motor, but there are two things that can be easily checked. That's the bike's top assisted speed and any writing on the motor that says anything more than 250w.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
27,052
Really? You and I have a VERY different experience on the first point
Not so, I just happen to know the subject far better. I'm another Tony by the way, but of earlier vintage. I joined the trade in 1950 and was fitting assist motors to bicycles back then. I hate to think what you'd have thought then. We also had to register the bicycle and fit number plates. The would be owner had to get third party insurance, apply for a provisional driving licence and fix L plates front and rear. To get rid of the L plates meant passing the driving test for a full motorcycle licence. Believe me, what we have now is a vast improvement.

I am of the opinion that a more libertarian approach ought to be adopted in all matters where a clear and present danger to the public is not involved in particular activities.
Great idea, it certainly appeals and if everyone was as cool headed and sensible as you and I, no problem. But they aren't are they, we have a large proportion of irresponsible idiots, drunks, drug takers, violently inclined etc and the legislators have to work with lowest common denominator.

That's what a free society would do and is what is done in the USA on this particular matter.
Wrong, lack of knowledge again. The USA's situation is very far from free as this link shows.

The making up of nit picking laws demanding licenses and limits to ordinary, harmless activities, and the employment of blood sucking jobsworths is to be opposed by all free men, in my view. The idea that I should be grateful to government that I can ride a 250 watt electric bike is utterly laughable.
This is just a silly rant, due once again to you having the wrong idea how our laws are made. They are not made by bureacrats. Our current pedelec laws for example result from a long series of meetings of all the interested parties over years, politicians, police, safety organisations, the Bicycle Association and representatives from the retail trade and manufacturers of bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles, the meetings chaired by the legislators.

So you see it's we the public on all those spheres who together reach agreement on the laws to have. To show how true that is, our technical representative on the meetings was often pedelec member Tiberius (Nick), a scientist with far reaching knowledge in this area. To show how much, Nick won both the race and hill climb events at our third national pedelec meeting on an e-bike he built himself, even building parts of the frame.

It's at those meetings that the restraints on what we can have are exposed. For example it's thanks to the opposition of the moped makers and sellers that we can't have fully acting throttles on pedelecs. Nothing to do with the legislators, just the moped interests protecting their business on spurious safety grounds.
.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Soliour and jokskot

Tony1951

Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
202
97
70
OK Tony. Thanks for expressing your view. I suggest we just agree to differ.

I'll just say this though - the idea that we get good regulations in this country because there is some consultation, is undermined by your assertion that we are not allowed full acting throttles on ebikes because of the vested interests of moped makers.... That and of course the almost daily spectacle of utter incompetence in more or less EVERY sphere the government touches, led by a mop headed idiot, described by is assistant, as a dysfunctional flip flopping shopping trolley. Not that I think the other lot would do better - on the contrary.

One area that REALLY drives me nuts is the new talk about so called 'blue hydrogen' as a new carbon free wonder fuel.... This has been sold to the buffoons in Westminster by gas producers and the wonderful brains in charge have swallowed the nonsense hook line and sinker. This way of producing hydrogen requires the use of vast amounts of methane gas in a grotesquely inefficient merry go round in which large volumes of methane (CH4) are burned to heat super heated steam which is then used to split the three atoms of hydrogen from the carbon one. We get hydrogen and a lot more carbon than if we had just piped the methane to people's homes and burned it there. The claim is that they can recover and store some of the carbon. What this brilliant scheme will do, is to keep the carbon release more or less the same and treble the price of gas to the consumer. It suits the vested interests who lobbied the fools in the leather benches of Westminster - just like the moped lobby...
 

vfr400

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jun 12, 2011
9,822
3,938
Basildon
Really? You and I have a VERY different experience on the first point, probably because I didn't spend my life interfering with other people's freedom, and on the second, I am of the opinion that a more libertarian approach ought to be adopted in all matters where a clear and present danger to the public is not involved in particular activities. That's what a free society would do and is what is done in the USA on this particular matter.

The making up of nit picking laws demanding licenses and limits to ordinary, harmless activities, and the employment of blood sucking jobsworths is to be opposed by all free men, in my view. The idea that I should be grateful to government that I can ride a 250 watt electric bike is utterly laughable.
There has to be some limit specified in law because you can see that at some point of size, power, weight,speed or whatever, the vehicle would need to be controlled by a certified competent operator, otherwise there would be mayhem.

I've been on this forum for more than 10 years. During that time, I've seen all sorts of daft attempts to make electric powered bicycles with the sort of power that would be dangerous. Often, that's just because the builder/rider is ignorant or incompetent. Unless properly designed and constructed a bicycle that goes much over 20 mph can be very dangerous. I've seen cheapo catalogue bikes with original crappy rim brakes that are pretty useless at normal cycling speeds of around 10 mph converted with 40 mph electric motors. Even if the brakes could grab hard enough, there's no chance that the cheapo knobbly tyres are going to grip when trying to wipe off that sort of speed when someone steps out without looking because they didn't hear it coming. There has to be a point where someone says no. You can't rely on people self-regulating.

All. said, I'm very happy with the present regulations. You can get all the power a bicycle/tricycle needs. I know of some "250" commercially available ones that will literally tow a bus. 15.5mph is a little slow, but by the time you add on the 10% allowed tolerance and a few more mph for discression/prosecution margin, I think you'd be very unlucky to get done for 20 mph or less.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
49,354
27,052
OK Tony. Thanks for expressing your view. I suggest we just agree to differ.

I'll just say this though - the idea that we get good regulations in this country because there is some consultation, is undermined by your assertion that we are not allowed full acting throttles on ebikes because of the vested interests of moped makers.... That and of course the almost daily spectacle of utter incompetence in more or less EVERY sphere the government touches, led by a mop headed idiot, described by is assistant, as a dysfunctional flip flopping shopping trolley. Not that I think the other lot would do better - on the contrary.

One area that REALLY drives me nuts is the new talk about so called 'blue hydrogen' as a new carbon free wonder fuel.... This has been sold to the buffoons in Westminster by gas producers and the wonderful brains in charge have swallowed the nonsense hook line and sinker. This way of producing hydrogen requires the use of vast amounts of methane gas in a grotesquely inefficient merry go round in which large volumes of methane (CH4) are burned to heat super heated steam which is then used to split the three atoms of hydrogen from the carbon one. We get hydrogen and a lot more carbon than if we had just piped the methane to people's homes and burned it there. The claim is that they can recover and store some of the carbon. What this brilliant scheme will do, is to keep the carbon release more or less the same and treble the price of gas to the consumer. It suits the vested interests who lobbied the fools in the leather benches of Westminster - just like the moped lobby...
Totally agree with every bit of the above Tony, our present governance is disastrous.

I'm just defending the civil service lower levels from excessive criticism when all they are trying to do is make our rotten systems work while trying to satisfy idiot politicians. Our current regulation making systems are very far from perfect, but they are infinitely better and more democratic than long ago when it was the legislators who did make the regulations without consultation.

Then my non-driver father had to get a full motorcycle licence in order to have an assist motor on his bicycle to help him up a hill on the way home after a long day's work. Now thanks to today's regulations it would be no bother, just buy a pedelec and ride it.
.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tony1951

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
11,779
4,836
i have had to police in my house when i got raided last year and was more interested in my bike and how fast it can go,35mph cut off and said im going to get one of those where do you fit the dongle lmfao, and liked my cf helmet as well but a bit to much for his pockets ;)
 

Tony1951

Pedelecer
Mar 27, 2016
202
97
70
Totally agree with every bit of the above Tony, our present governance is disastrous.

I'm just defending the civil service lower levels from excessive criticism when all they are trying to do is make our rotten systems work while trying to satisfy idiot politicians. Our current regulation making systems are very far from perfect, but they are infinitely better and more democratic than long ago when it was the legislators who did make the regulations without consultation.

Then my non-driver father had to get a full motorcycle licence in order to have an assist motor on his bicycle to help him up a hill on the way home after a long day's work. Now thanks to today's regulations it would be no bother, just buy a pedelec and ride it.
.
Have a good day Tony. I'm back home now, and after some coffee, I might get out my Bafang conversion and do some more exploring. I am trying to work out a route between Haltwhistle and Newcastle for the ebike. The distance is about 45 miles by a bike friendly route, but one stretch between Bardon Mill and Haydon Bridge requires serious climbing to keep away from the busy A69 which runs in the valley bottom. I'm trying to avoid climbing to 700 odd feet which the Cycle Rout 72 involves. There are some bits of unmade road - probably not rights of way, which may make an alternative, so I will go and take a look at them to see if they are rideable and not likely to upset anyone if I ride on them. The bit involved is about half a mile long and will save about 250 feet of climbing.

43603
 
  • Informative
Reactions: flecc

StuartsProjects

Pedelecer
May 9, 2021
234
121
There are some bits of unmade road - probably not rights of way, which may make an alternative, so I will go and take a look at them to see if they are rideable and not likely to upset anyone if I ride on them. The bit involved is about half a mile long and will save about 250 feet of climbing.
Well if you have a legal eBike, then if the tracks are on private land, there is actually very little (sort term) a landowner can do, trespass on general private land is a civil matter and not one for the police to be involved with.

However, if you eBike is over the 'nit picking' rules then using those tracks would be illegal without the landoners permission and indeed the landowner can then involve the Police .