How to get legal approval for a pedelec throttle

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
43,369
19,360
This thread is for all manufactured pedelecs sold after 1st January 2016 which have had no legal permission for throttles, and amateur builds such as those using motor kits. They can now be MSVA tested for a certificate of compliance with a new 250 LPM low powered moped class of pedelecs but still classed as bicycles. Over 95% of the moped MSVA doesn't apply to 250 LPM, so I've been through with a fine toothcomb and extracted what does apply for kit builders:

Definition of 250 watt LPM250 Low Powered Moped class

LPM250 250 Watt Low Powered Moped. This is a sub-group of Low Powered Moped that meets the criteria laid down in the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 (SI 1983 No. 1168) as amended by SI 2015 No. 24. The requirements are that the vehicle: Be fitted with pedals by means of which it is capable of being propelled. Be fitted with no motor other than an electric motor, which has a maximum continuous rated power, which does not exceed 250 watts and cannot propel the vehicle when it is travelling at more than 15.5 mph. (Note:the official speed is 25 km/h, MSVA will accept declarations up to and including 16 mph as per low powered mopeds).These vehicles will be required to meet the standards applied to Low PoweredMopeds except where specified.

Amateur built vehicles definition

A vehicle constructed or assembled for the use of a relevant individual; and the construction or assembly or asubstantial part of the construction or assembly was carried out by the individual and/or persons acting on his behalf, and the individual/other persons acting on his behalf during the period of construction did not carry on a business in which motor vehicles are normally constructed or assembled.

MSVA (Motor Cycle Single Vehicle) test for approval certificate

1. Check that the machine has at least a prop or centre stand; a) fitted, b) which is secure, c) which has a system that retains the stand in the travelling position. It does not need to auto retract.

2) An adequately loud audible warning of approach device, which can be a mechanical bell.

3) Check the tyres are appropriate for the use of the machine. Should be no problem. Surprisingly under inflation is not an acceptable reason to deny approval.

4) Brakes: All low power mopeds can have pushbike brakes and need to meet the requirements of 2 wheeled vehicles. i.e. A brake on each wheel, front and rear. Brake performance is checked using an electronic decelerometer and its associated mounting kit, the front brake for 32% efficiency, the rear brake for 25%. It's unlikely that any bicycle brakes in reasonable condition could fail. To calculate the braking force for the check a rider weight of 75 kilos is assumed.

5) Pedelec tricycles must have brakes on all three wheels. The unpowered tricycle permission to have only two brakes both on the front wheel does not apply once motorised.

4) Lights are optional, but if fitted should comply with the following positional rules:
Single lamps must be fitted on the centre line of the vehicle. Multiple lamps must be fitted symmetrically to the centre line of the vehicle. Twin headlamps may be fitted one above the other. Obviously if you have any lights not compliant for position, take them off before the test.

Items not necessary for 250 LPM

Mirrors, Speedometer. Any fitted will be ignored for test purposes.

Although manufactured pedelecs require a plate detailing one of two forms of information, the MSVA test for 250 LPM does not require any plate, leaving the way clear for kit bikes and other home builds.

The test costs £55 and is bookable at any of the motor vehicle testing stations dealing with two wheelers that are included on this map.

Always phone to check first if they cover the vehicle type.
.
 
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anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,785
5,757
The European Union
This thread is for all manufactured pedelecs sold after 1st January 2016 which have had no legal permission for throttles, and amateur builds such as those using motor kits. They can now be MSVA tested for a certificate of compliance with a new 250 LPM low powered moped class of pedelecs but still classed as bicycles. Over 95% of the moped MSVA doesn't apply to 250 LPM, so I've been through with a fine toothcomb and extracted what does apply for kit builders:

Definition of 250 watt LPM250 Low Powered Moped class

LPM250 250 Watt Low Powered Moped. This is a sub-group of Low Powered Moped that meets the criteria laid down in the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 (SI 1983 No. 1168) as amended by SI 2015 No. 24. The requirements are that the vehicle: Be fitted with pedals by means of which it is capable of being propelled. Be fitted with no motor other than an electric motor, which has a maximum continuous rated power, which does not exceed 250 watts and cannot propel the vehicle when it is travelling at more than 15.5 mph. (Note:the official speed is 25 km/h, MSVA will accept declarations up to and including 16 mph as per low powered mopeds).These vehicles will be required to meet the standards applied to Low PoweredMopeds except where specified.

Amateur built vehicles definition

A vehicle constructed or assembled for the use of a relevant individual; and the construction or assembly or asubstantial part of the construction or assembly was carried out by the individual and/or persons acting on his behalf, and the individual/other persons acting on his behalf during the period of construction did not carry on a business in which motor vehicles are normally constructed or assembled.

MSVA (Motor Cycle Single Vehicle) test for approval certificate

1. Check that the machine has at least a prop or centre stand; a) fitted, b) which is secure, c) which has a system that retains the stand in the travelling position. It does not need to auto retract.

2) An adequately loud audible warning of approach device, which can be a mechanical bell.

3) Check the tyres are appropriate for the use of the machine. Should be no problem. Surprisingly under inflation is not an acceptable reason to deny approval.

4) Brakes: All low power mopeds can have pushbike brakes and need to meet the requirements of 2 wheeled vehicles. i.e. A brake on each wheel, front and rear. Brake performance is checked using an electronic decelerometer and its associated mounting kit, the front brake for 32% efficiency, the rear brake for 25%. It's unlikely that any bicycle brakes in reasonable condition could fail. To calculate the braking force for the check a rider weight of 75 kilos is assumed.

5) Pedelec tricycles must have brakes on all three wheels. The unpowered tricycle permission to have only two brakes both on the front wheel does not apply once motorised.

4) Lights are optional, but if fitted should comply with the following positional rules:
Single lamps must be fitted on the centre line of the vehicle. Multiple lamps must be fitted symmetrically to the centre line of the vehicle. Twin headlamps may be fitted one above the other. Obviously if you have any lights not compliant for position, take them off before the test.

Items not necessary for 250 LPM

Mirrors, Speedometer. Any fitted will be ignored for test purposes.

Although manufactured pedelecs require a plate detailing one of two forms of information, the MSVA test for 250 LPM does not require any plate, leaving the way clear for kit bikes and other home builds.

The test costs £55 and is bookable at any of the motor vehicle testing stations dealing with two wheelers that are included on this map.

Always phone to check first if they cover the vehicle type.
.
Interesting for the trike brakes. All on my own I had decided to mount a parking brake on the rear wheel (disk brake) and change the levers on the front for combined shifter-brake levers. They have to be mounted, it doesn't mean you have to brake on all three wheels, that would be dangerous in quite a few situations!
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
43,369
19,360
Interesting for the trike brakes. All on my own I had decided to mount a parking brake on the rear wheel (disk brake) and change the levers on the front for combined shifter-brake levers. They have to be mounted, it doesn't mean you have to brake on all three wheels, that would be dangerous in quite a few situations!
Agreed, this new law is messy and they were obviously only thinking of upright trikes with a single front wheel, not recumbent tadpoles which don't seem to have any specific UK law. There is no provision for front brakes only on an assisted tadpole trike.
.
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,785
5,757
The European Union
Agreed, this new law is messy and they were obviously only thinking of upright trikes with a single front wheel, not recumbent tadpoles which don't seem to have any specific UK law. There is no provision for front brakes only on an assisted tadpole trike.
.
Some delta trikes have a brake on the front and a single disk brake on the drive shaft on the rear (those with diffs), how will the law see that, as a brake on all three wheels?
 

russ18uk

Pedelecer
Sep 18, 2018
71
23
Should count as a brake on both rear wheels. I think their issue is that they don't want the vehicle swerving under braking so a brake on both wheels required for stability under braking.
 

flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
43,369
19,360
Some delta trikes have a brake on the front and a single disk brake on the drive shaft on the rear (those with diffs), how will the law see that, as a brake on all three wheels?
Yes that's a variant that seems ok, they call it a service brake. So long as all three wheels can be braked they accept several variants, including a single lever coupled system on trikes.
.
 
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flecc

Member
Oct 25, 2006
43,369
19,360
Should count as a brake on both rear wheels. I think their issue is that they don't want the vehicle swerving under braking so a brake on both wheels required for stability under braking.
They seem quite flexible on these rules for the 16 mph machines Russ, accepting a variety of combinations to achieve the end wanted.

These 250 LPM checks are going to be very rare anyway at any individual test station so much will depend on the tester. Trike checks will be incredibly rare. I think they'll be flexible on what are slow assist speed bicycles and tricycles, compared with the faster and heavier motor vehicles they are usually testing.
.
 

anotherkiwi

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jan 26, 2015
7,785
5,757
The European Union
Should count as a brake on both rear wheels. I think their issue is that they don't want the vehicle swerving under braking so a brake on both wheels required for stability under braking.
Unfortunately (or fortunately depending) trike brakes don't quite work like that. The only way to brake both wheels of a delta trike equally is a brake disk on an axle connecting the wheels. Vélomobiles have coupled front brakes because they have suspension. On an un-suspended tadpole trike you don't want both wheels braking with the same force especially when cornering, you would tip over at every second corner if they did. You learn quickly to brake on the inside wheel just feathering the lever on the outside wheel to keep some turning balance. When you hear the inside wheel lock up and skid either:

- you are going too fast through the corner
or
- you are braking too hard on that wheel, release the brake and the trike will under steer - hopefully you have enough space - or if your weight is placed correctly the rear wheel will lose grip and you will drift a little

If course you can just go slower through corners :D
 
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