E-bike with motors greater than 250w, speeds above 15mph and the UK police

EmSeeDee

Pedelecer
Oct 13, 2015
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Coventry, UK
Getting back to propper money.. on down gradients and wirh a decent tail wind I can peddle mine up to 40mph.
This is fine on a nice smooth road with not much traffic, but the pot holes and grates appear alarmingly fast if you let your attention wander.
In the days before my knees gave out, I remember seeing about 35 mph on the speedo of my dawes galaxy (not an ebike) on downhills. Dread to think what would have happened if I'd need to stop quickly, those Weinmann centre-pull brakes weren't particularly good.

Sent from my SGP311 using Tapatalk
 
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Danidl

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Sep 29, 2016
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When a bike can be tweaked to it, luckily we can legally have 17 mph assist cutoff in the UK. That's because we have a universal speed limit tolerance of 10%, this confirmed for e-bikes by the DfT.

25 kph + 10% = 27.5 kph = 17.1 mph

Given the police equipment can't accurately measure such low speeds on bikes, we can probably stretch that a bit more without risk.
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My Motus with the Bosch system gives full assist up to 25km and then tapers downwards so that there is no assist above 27.0km . These numbers are based on the speedometer on the intuvia display.The estimate of assist is the number of bars shown on the barometer.
 
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anotherkiwi

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Jan 26, 2015
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My Motus with the Bosch system gives full assist up to 25km and then tapers downwards so that there is no assist above 27.0km . These numbers are based on the speedometer on the intuvia display.The estimate of assist is the number of bars shown on the barometer.
My controller* set to "strong assist" mode in the advanced settings does something similar. It depends on the cadence it seems.

* the one in my signature
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
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My Motus with the Bosch system gives full assist up to 25km and then tapers downwards so that there is no assist above 27.0km . These numbers are based on the speedometer on the intuvia display.The estimate of assist is the number of bars shown on the barometer.
Interesting, assist speed in a slight variant of the regulation which specifies the power should tail off as it approaches the 25 kph assist limit.
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Deleted member 4366

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Interesting, assist speed in a slight variant of the regulation which specifies the power should tail off as it approaches the 25 kph assist limit.
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It seems incredible that words like that got in to a European standard. What does that mean? Which gear should it do it in? At what speed should it start reducing? What should be the rate of decline? How should it be measured?
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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It seems incredible that words like that got in to a European standard. What does that mean? Which gear should it do it in? At what speed should it start reducing? What should be the rate of decline? How should it be measured?
You're absolutely right Dave. The EU followed only the outlines of Japanese law, which in detail did precisely define the speed of commencement and rate of decline of power.

But the EU left that completely open, only specifying that power should reduce as it approached the cutoff point. Here's the relevant extract:

- - - - where the output of the motor is cut off when the cyclist stops pedalling and is otherwise progressively reduced and finally cut off before the vehicle speed reaches 25 km/h;

As a result many makers have completely ignored this requirement.
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Gubbins

Esteemed Pedelecer
My old bosh classic in turbo went strait up to 17mph and then just stopped. My newer bosch CX starts to give up just before 15 and the yamaha also pushes up to 17. Speeds are taken using a GPS device not the relevant speedometer..
 
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Deleted member 4366

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27.5 km/hr is the absolute real maximum before you can be prosecuted, which is 17.088 mph.
 
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flecc

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27.5 km/hr is the absolute real maximum before you can be prosecuted, which is 17.088 mph.
But that's only the limit for assistance. There's no limit if you're using leg power, and they'd have to prove that you weren't. Easy-ish if you're doing 30, but much harder at 20.
Any radar measurement of a cyclist not far above the limit should be no bother to contest anyway. The radar relies upon a hard and stable surface moving at precisely the vehicle's speed for measurement accuracy, and a cyclist's clothing is rarely that. At any one point the clothing could be fluctuating forwards or backwards on the body at the point of measurement, throwing out the reading.
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anotherkiwi

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There is one of those warning radar posts, "careful you are doing xx", on my regular route. It gives a pretty accurate reading when compared to GPS speed. At that particular point I am very regular at 22 km/h, it is at the end of the steep bit of the climb.
 
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But they are not highway speed limits as I posted. They are akin to private land laws as you say. Some of those are even slower, I think the Brighton seafront limit is 10 mph and even 5 mph isn't unknown in some places.
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I saw a sign along Brighton seafront, heading out towards Saltdean that read something like
"Shared access along under cliff path (cycles and pedestrians) recommended speed 10mph"
I presumed that was for the pedestrians. ;)
 

flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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"Shared access along under cliff path (cycles and pedestrians) recommended speed 10mph"
Brighton doctors could recommend that pedestrian route as an exercise for their overweight patients!

I remember some members posting that the 10 mph limit was being rigidly enforced on bikes at one time. Whether the council kept that up I don't know.
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Brighton doctors could recommend that route as an exercise for their overweight patients!

I remember some members posting that the 10 mph limit was being rigidly enforced on bikes at one time. Whether the council kept that up I don't know.
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It's good for the soul that route, nice feeling of being in touch with nature and great to see the changing seasons.

Personally I've never seen any 'recommended' speed limit being enforced. I guess it was a stern warning to anyone hooning along with complete disregard for others using the path, especially at peak am/pm commute times. And rightly so really.

As said before on here, the 25kph ebike reg. is quite nonsensical considering a keen roadie will do 25 MPH consistently for tens of miles.
 
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Steve A

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Aug 28, 2016
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When I was cycling with my old Roadie club some days we would average 24mph over a fair distance. Bearing in mind your taking your turn on the front in a rotation system and your less than a wheel apart this was easy to do (with concentration), and some days faster.
Even on my mountain bike on a good day, I could do 17mph over 10 miles, flat route and 29er.
Taking full responsibility for my own actions. I see no reason why doing a reasonable speed, and even over 20mph, providing the conditions are safe is an issue. Yes, due to assist it's illegal on roads, but there are many other factors, are you being safe, did you have assist on at time, wind conditions, are you going down hill etc etc.
Look, in reality unless your in Richmond park, London (we all know about the strava / roadie circuits) doing 40mph, hand off bars and drinking beer you are unlikely to raise an eyebrow with police etc. In fact, one of my friends is a very lucky police officer on a police mountain bike and I often stop for a chat along the county lanes to take the mickey. He told me unless I was being a total idiot e-bike or not, he wouldn't bat an eyelid.

Have we seen the figures on crime, using phone when driving, less police officers and prisons full. I think they have enough on their plate already!.
 
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flecc

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Oct 25, 2006
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As said before on here, the 25kph ebike reg. is quite nonsensical considering a keen roadie will do 25 MPH consistently for tens of miles.
Indeed. we are suffering partly from British caution, the initial assist speed limit in 1983 being 12 mph. That wasn't surprising, since assist wasn't for sporting bikes and British utility cycling post WW2 was all at around 12 mph, as I well remember. No sporting aspirations back then, cycling was transport for half the nation, and all done in street clothing.

More recently the EU law adopted in two stages, first 15 mph, then recently 15.5 mph, did at least raise our limit a little. And of course the EU law was influenced greatly by their major cycling nation, The Netherlands, where leisurely utility cycling is the norm.

The influence of Japanese law didn't help, since that also had the 25 kph limit but with very strict early power phase down. That was right for them, since cycling on the pavement with pedestrians is often compulsory on some streets there.

It's spreading too, Australia and now China adopting the same assist speed and power limits.

All that doesn't give much chance for an increase, legislators usually follow prior examples and aren't inclined to stick their necks out.
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Indeed. we are suffering partly from British caution, the initial assist speed limit in 1983 being 12 mph. That wasn't surprising, since assist wasn't for sporting bikes and British utility cycling post WW2 was all at around 12 mph, as I well remember. No sporting aspirations back then, cycling was transport for half the nation, and all done in street clothing.

More recently the EU law adopted in two stages, first 15 mph, then recently 15.5 mph, did at least raise our limit a little. And of course the EU law was influenced greatly by their major cycling nation, The Netherlands, where leisurely utility cycling is the norm.

The influence of Japanese law didn't help, since that also had the 25 kph limit but with very strict early power phase down. That was right for them, since cycling on the pavement with pedestrians is often compulsory on some streets there.

It's spreading too, Australia and now China adopting the same assist speed and power limits.

All that doesn't give much chance for an increase, legislators usually follow prior examples and aren't inclined to stick their necks out.
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Absolutely. But when the majority of U S states adopted the laws, they looked at the geographic difference between Japan's cities etc. and realised the benefits of allowing higher power and speed limit. If only Europe and UK could do likewise.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
46,514
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Absolutely. But when the majority of U S states adopted the laws, they looked at the geographic difference between Japan's cities etc. and realised the benefits of allowing higher power and speed limit. If only Europe and UK could do likewise.
The legislators here and in mainland Europe don't see it the same way. Much of the USA's ebiking is for fun and informal sport, not much is utility cycling for transport. The use V8s for that.

Our legislators, as in Japan, exclude any sport bikes on the basis those riders don't need assistance, they only legislate for utility cycling, transport of people and/or goods for various purposes.

That's why it's no use quoting mountain biking or roadies as some have done above, if anything that's less than helpful since it emphasises the sport aspect, which immediately turns off the law makers.

Any serious attempt to get an increase should be based on helpful things, such as keeping commuting time within reason over the longer distances of commuting that are common now; such as the safety factor of having e-bikes more closely matching motor vehicle town speeds to minimise any possible collision risk and subsequent injury and/or damage.

Nor should such an attempt try to get too much. Asking for 25 mph gets the desire too close to the S class and mopeds, both introducing a perceived need for insurance, registration and even a group Q driving licence in the UK.

20 mph might just be possible after leaving the EU and our being bound by their law, but there will be great reluctance to make not only a further change to our newly amended EAPC regulations, but also to the Type Approval regulation exclusions which would also be necessary.

Getting the S class is possibly a bit easier to achieve, but that now means a driving licence in the UK since the introduction of group Q.
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