Just got an ebay kit. Good for London commute?

Bike_Curious

Finding my (electric) wheels
Mar 15, 2019
7
1
#21
Unless an officer is an ebike enthusiast they will never spot if the motor is overpowered or not. Event then, unless there is a label on it that says it's more than 250W, or there is no label at all (as required by the law), you could claim this is a 250W kit. Similarly with mid-drive motors, it would be difficult to know for certain if it's a 250W road legal or 1000W overpowered motor just by looking at it if there was no label on it. Riding fast does not necessarily mean the motor is overpowered, you could have just been pedalling really fast. Central London is full of cyclists hitting 30-35mph on road bikes.

The only way to prove you wrong would be to take your bike to a testing facility which is extremely unlikely unless you've been stopped for doing 100mph; routine check would most likely be limited to a conversation. Be a nice guy and you'll just be told to slow down.
Fair enough. One of my paranoias was specifically meeting a police officer who is an ebike enthusiast. Or not even an enthusiast level of interest would be necessary - after a couple of days of internet research I was aware that all of those large-diameter hub motors are overpowered with respect to the legal limit. I was worried that after some twat inevitably rides a 1000w bike too fast and hurts someone, all police will be issued with these guidelines of how to spot illegal bikes easily, as part of a crackdown. The Bafang you've got is much more discreet looking than the ebay 1000w hub motors.
 

minexplorer

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 22, 2017
441
50
50
Four Lanes,Cornwall
#22
This is one example I found on this site https://guernseypress.com/news/2017/12/18/electric-bike-rider-is-taken-off-roads/

I had considered that the mid-drive conversion kit style might be more discreet. Maybe I'll give the pancake back, and try to fit something mid-drive instead.

Presumably determining whether it's legal or not requires the bike to be confiscated and taken somewhere for analysis. It seems unlikely that would happen for a "routine" stop and search, unless you've done something dangerous or aggressive to **** them off. I don't know :/
my thoughts entirely.that motor looks hugely obviously not 250w. whereas a bbshd also 1000w is discreet and the same size virtually as legal 250w mid drives (about 1" wider).dont be put off of what you want by paranoia.this is my bbshd with 52v battery 2018-07-02 14.08.12.jpg
 
Last edited:
Nov 28, 2018
170
88
#23
One point on insurance, is that, if the insurance company find out that you are riding an illegal ebike, they won't pay out. So if you hit someone and injure them, the damages, lawyers' costs etc. might end up coming out of your own pocket.

Basically there is little risk if you don't hit anyone, but if you do and someone inspects the bike, it could get messy. Impact damage formula is 1/2 mass X velocity squared and overpowered bikes tend to be heavier and faster.
 
Jul 22, 2018
49
0
London
#24
One of my paranoias was specifically meeting a police officer who is an ebike enthusiast.
If you meet such officer he would probably stop you just to complement your bike and give you high five ;)

I was worried that after some twat inevitably rides a 1000w bike too fast and hurts someone, all police will be issued with these guidelines of how to spot illegal bikes easily, as part of a crackdown.
I would imagine if the crackdown was ever to be launched it would start with electric scooters which are all and without exception illegal, very easy to spot and way more popular on streets of London.

Regarding large diameter, it may suggest the bike is overpowered as they usually tend to be, but then again it may not be. If you pair it with a little controller and small battery the max output of that motor in that particular setup could be within limits set by law. So again, large diameter means nothing and you cannot be prosecuted without concrete proof of breaking the law.

But as others mentioned in previous posts, you can justify and argue all you want as there are a lot of grey areas, but if you cause a serious damage then it all becomes a different story.
 
Oct 25, 2006
41,604
2,601
#25
I've decided I don't want the headaches of an illegal bike. I'm going to return the item, and at some point in the future get one that complies with the law.
That's very sensible, and an internally geared 250 watt legal hub motor will perform much better in stop-start traffic conditions than a large direct drive, which are slow accelerating off the mark though good for illegal high speeds.

Although there's little risk of being prosecuted for an illegal motor, if you had an accident the risk then is very much greater. London's traffic police are well aware of the law on pedelecs since both the Met and City of London forces have trialled them for police work. Indeed a City of London traffic officer did charge a pedelec rider after an accident for having a motor 50 watts over the legal limit at the time. We did manage to get that dropped though since that particular offence had a technical legal element, but it shows that prosecution is certainly possible and would succeed if a 1000 watt motor was involved.
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