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ebikes on the Shore

Aug. 16, 2021, 2:10 p.m.
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

So would you say that this quote directly from RadPower's website would fall into them being legal or illegal the way the laws are written?

'What about the throttle?

Pedal assist is just the beginning. All of our bikes (U.S. and Canada) include a throttle on the right handlebar that lets you move without pedaling. Our EU spec bikes have a half-grip twist power assist that provides an additional boost while a rider pedals.

When you give it a twist, you will be able to ride your bike without pedaling. This is a great feature if you need to quickly get up to 20 mph or if you've spent the entire day pedaling and just want to give your legs a break.'

https://www.radpowerbikes.com/blogs/the-scenic-route/what-is-pedal-assist


 Last edited by: shoreboy on Aug. 16, 2021, 2:10 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Reason: added link
Aug. 16, 2021, 2:10 p.m.
Posts: 1769
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Couch_Surfer

Courts in BC I believe would disagree with KenN.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/e-bike-rider-loses-court-case-against-ticket-for-operating-without-licence-insurance-1.5551692

Well that's a shame. 

KenN call me if you feel you need to talk buddy.

Aug. 16, 2021, 2:28 p.m.
Posts: 183
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

That's true that the May'20 case may set precedent against the strict wording of the legislation itself. As the judge said, "Motorino XMr does not comply with the intent of the legislation."

Aug. 16, 2021, 2:29 p.m.
Posts: 331
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: shoreboy

Posted by: bux-bux

Just so I'm not posting a giant quote. Isn't the law that anything under 50cc doesn't require a motorcycle license? Still requires plates and insurance no? I'm pretty sure I can't take a 50cc minibike/vespa with no plates and insurance and tear around the city in traffic

You are correct, anything 50cc and over requires plates and insurance. Anything under that spec, is not insurable and is therefore deemed illegal to ride on public roads. The exceptions to this are pedal assist e-bikes that do NOT have a throttle and currently the stand up electric scooters are undergoing a 'trial' period in Vancouver and a few other municipalities.

Motorinos, Rad Power Bikes, One-Wheels, SmartWheels, electric skateboards and other variations of these are all illegal on public streets (in Vancouver at least) the way the laws are currently written.

https://www.icbc.com/vehicle-registration/specialty-vehicles/Low-powered-vehicles/Pages/Electric-bikes.aspx#different_rules

This above link applies to 49cc and under. Which is insurable. I guess they (ICBC and the province ) are trying to sort it out.

Aug. 16, 2021, 2:33 p.m.
Posts: 183
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: shoreboy

So would you say that this quote directly from RadPower's website would fall into them being legal or illegal the way the laws are written?

I'd say the quote falls into the bikes being legal under the written legislation, but it would appear that BC Supreme Court precedent now exists that could make them illegal, and should now prompt a revision of that legislation.

Aug. 16, 2021, 2:40 p.m.
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

Posted by: mammal

Posted by: shoreboy

So would you say that this quote directly from RadPower's website would fall into them being legal or illegal the way the laws are written?

I'd say the quote falls into the bikes being legal under the written legislation, but it would appear that BC Supreme Court precedent now exists that could make them illegal, and should now prompt a revision of that legislation.

Id say the quote falls into the bikes being illegal under the written legislation:

(2)The motors of a motor assisted cycle must turn off or disengage if

(a)the operator stops pedaling

If you are not pedaling, the motor should not be working. Seems fairly clear to me. The fact that so many of us are interpreting it differently means it needs revision.


 Last edited by: shoreboy on Aug. 16, 2021, 2:42 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 3:12 p.m.
Posts: 16697
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

There is grey area, for sure, but ... the court decision that others are quoting doesn't explicitly rule out a 'throttle', but rather the court (and appeal court) specifically cite the Motorino in question because "it's not designed to be operated primarily by human power". The courts have pointed out that that particular bike weighs 250 lbs and the pedals are ineffective at propelling the bike forward. Courts have pointed out that the pedals are purely cosmetic and clearly intended to circumvent the intent of the legislation. Neither the courts, nor the law as written, explicitly rule out a 'throttle' or 'accelerator controller'.

By comparison, bikes such as the rad power bikes, can be ridden just fine without ever using the provided 'throttle'. In fact, it's easy to disconnect the 'throttle' and it can still be ridden as a pedal assist only ebike.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/e-bikes-motorcycles-b-c-court-decision-1.5928169

Aug. 16, 2021, 3:25 p.m.
Posts: 1388
Joined: Sept. 30, 2006

In my daily commute, I have yet to see anyone on a RadPower bike not using the throttle. At a stop light, they twist that throttle like it was a motorbike. So yes, it is 'possible' not to use the throttle, but in practice it seems everyone does use it. The fact that you can use the throttle it without having to pedal is what, in my opinion, would make this bike illegal under the current legislation.


 Last edited by: shoreboy on Aug. 16, 2021, 3:30 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 3:33 p.m.
Posts: 16697
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Full disclosure ... I have a 2018 Rad City. I used it as a commuter for a couple of years but I don't any more (gonna sell it). I have never used the throttle under any circumstances except to occasionally test that it still works.

The gearing was so low on the stock version that I never used anything lower than 3rd gear and even that was rare (7-speed), so I swapped the cassette and chainring to get higher gear ratios. At least I could get some use out of 2nd and not spin out in 7th. First gear is still pretty much hamster wheel territory.


 Last edited by: KenN on Aug. 16, 2021, 3:34 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 3:47 p.m.
Posts: 14415
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

https://super73.com/collections/all-bikes/products/super73-rx?variant=31858721783890

So if I read ICBC site correctly, the Super73 are classified as limited speed motorcycles?

But it only does 20mph according to website (probably to try and be classified as a bike?).  So might as well get a chip that lets it go 70kph on throttle and get rid of pedal mode.


 Last edited by: Couch_Surfer on Aug. 16, 2021, 3:48 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 4:36 p.m.
Posts: 16697
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Well, it has a 750 watt rated motor that goes to 1200 watts peak power, so that's an issue.

But you do bring up a key point ... ebikes are super easy to mod for more power and higher speeds, so whatever gets sold to a consumer can be upgraded and it's pretty much impossible to see the changes. Makes things like speed and power limits almost impossible to enforce beyond point of sale in any meaningful way.


 Last edited by: KenN on Aug. 16, 2021, 4:36 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
Aug. 16, 2021, 7:15 p.m.
Posts: 331
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Be interesting to see court case outcome when a rider on a radcity emoto bike gets cut off by a car in traffic, injured and tries to sue the driver. Since the bike is an illegal motor vehicle wonder how that will play out. Or illegal pretend motor bike runs down pedestrian with no insurance. Lawyers must be loving this scenario. I'm sure it's all fine haha

Aug. 16, 2021, 8:25 p.m.
Posts: 90
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Here in Quebec it's getting crazy too. There was an accident involving a car and an emotorcycle (I wouldn't call that an ebike) in Quebec city a few weeks ago : https://zone911.com/accidents/31182-limoilou-accident-impliquant-un-velo-electrique-sur-la-3e-avenue

Still, the police officers never hand out tickets or enforce the law in any way. I've often seen police cars parked at a stop sign and seeing emotorcycles passing right in front of them on the cycle path and they never did anything. 

On the cycle paths it's pretty much a 50:50 ratio of human-powered bikes and motorized things of all kinds, but most of the time it's 70% electric things. Some people even drive small two-seated cars on the cycle path (anywhere in fact) and are totally fine with that. https://www.daymak.com/boomerbuggy-x.html

When or where will this stop?

Aug. 16, 2021, 10 p.m.
Posts: 3566
Joined: May 23, 2006

Posted by: martin

When or where will this stop?

In the grave my friend, in the grave.

Aug. 17, 2021, 7:53 a.m.
Posts: 183
Joined: Feb. 16, 2013

Posted by: shoreboy

Posted by: mammal

Posted by: shoreboy

So would you say that this quote directly from RadPower's website would fall into them being legal or illegal the way the laws are written?

I'd say the quote falls into the bikes being legal under the written legislation, but it would appear that BC Supreme Court precedent now exists that could make them illegal, and should now prompt a revision of that legislation.

Id say the quote falls into the bikes being illegal under the written legislation:

(2)The motors of a motor assisted cycle must turn off or disengage if

(a)the operator stops pedaling

If you are not pedaling, the motor should not be working. Seems fairly clear to me. The fact that so many of us are interpreting it differently means it needs revision.

You quoted that previously, but this time you've intentionally left out the comma after "operator stops pedaling", and then the  conditional "(b)an accelerator controller is released, or, (c)a brake is applied."

The comma after (a) indicates a condition that (b) is also acceptable, as is (c). 

Everyone can agree that as long as the regs are written this way, and the courts are making their own assumptions on the "spirit" of the law, it's going to be super messy from all angles. They need to nail this down with firm laws and enforcement.

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