Bicycle Legislation in Australia
Australian State Laws
Legislation and road rules are subject to frequent change. ZBox are not informed of legislative amendments, therefore, you are strongly advised to check your local jurisdiction for up to date information.
Note that, wherever you are in Australia, all bicycle riding regulations (helmets, road rules etc.) apply equally to motorised bicycle riders.
In general, long standing legislation, which allows motorised bicycles of up to 200 Watts to be ridden on Australian roads, is being amended in favour of more powerful 250 Watt electric bicycles.
In addition, some states are discriminating against the use of greener, more functional 200 Watt petrol powered engines.
Referring to VIC roads website (4 Feb 19)….
Power assisted bicycles
Power assisted bicycles are likely to have similar performance characteristics to pedal powered bicycles so the same road rules apply. These types of power assisted bicycles are not required to be registered nor the rider required to be licensed.
Definition of a power assisted bicycle
A power assisted bicycle is identical to a pedal powered bicycle, except it has an auxiliary motor. Power assisted bicycles have two definitions in Victoria:
- A pedal cycle with one or more auxiliary propulsion motors attached which has a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts.
- A bicycle certified as a Pedalec (compliant with European Committee for Standardization EN 15194:2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2011 Cycles – Electrically power assisted cycles – EPAC Bicycles). This bicycle features an auxiliary power producing no more than 250 watts and specifies this as a continuous rating. It also restricts the top power assisted speed to 25 kilometres per hour and requires the rider to pedal to access the power.
A motorised bicycle is not classed as a bicycle if:
- the motor is not an auxiliary source of power (a person must still be able to propel the bicycle via pedals without the motor operating).
- the motor’s power output exceeds 200 watts (whether or not the motor is operating), unless certified as Pedalec.
These are considered to be motorcycles. The rider will be required to hold a motorcycle licence and have the vehicle registered before it can be used on the road network. Motorcycles cannot be ridden on footpaths or bicycle paths. Motorcycle riders must wear an approved motorcycle helmet.
Refer to: https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au for latest informatioon.
Referring to page 441 of Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Current at 3 Dec 2018).
(a) means a vehicle—
(i) described in paragraph (a) of the definition bicycle, if the vehicle has 1 or more auxiliary motors; and
(ii) prescribed under a regulation to be a power-assisted bicycle; but
(b) does not include a vehicle mentioned in paragraph (a)(i) prescribed under a regulation not to be a power-assisted bicycle.
Latest copy of the transport regulations can be obtained from: https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/browse/inforce
Note: Although we can find no other legislation pertaining to motorised bicycles, we have been advised that petrol powered bicycles are not permitted on QLD roads.
Referring to WA Department of Transport Correct as of May 2016
Power-assisted pedal cycles
A power-assisted pedal cycle (PAPC) is a bicycle with a motor providing assistance when the rider is pedalling.
In Western Australia PAPC can be used by people aged 16 years and older on shared paths with the power engaged. To be compliant, a PAPC can only have a maximum power output of 250 watts.
In Western Australia, two categories of PAPCs can be used:
those with a maximum power output of 200 watts which are designed to be propelled through a mechanism operated solely by human power, to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors; and pedelecs, which are a form of electric bicycle that comply with EN 15194.
Please note that amendments to the
Road Traffic [Administration] Regulations (2014) came into effect from 27 April 2015, making it legal for a pedelec that complies with the European Standard EN 15194 to be ridden on a shared path up to a maximum continuous power output not exceeding 250 watts.
To be compliant, a pedelec must:
have a maximum continuous power output of the motor which does not exceed 250 watts;
have an electric motor; require the rider to pedal to access the power; have the power cut out when the pedelec reaches 25 km/h, or sooner if the rider stops pedalling; and be certified by the manufacturer and labelled as complying with EN 15194, i.e. the label must include the manufacturers name, the motor’s cut-off speed in km/h and the electric motor’s maximum continuous rated power output in watts.
New South Wales
Referring to article on NSW Centre for Road Safety 2019: https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au
Dangerous bikes banned
In NSW, all petrol-powered bicycles are banned on NSW roads and road-related areas such as footpaths, shared paths, cycle ways and cycle paths. The ban, introduced on 1 October 2014, includes bicycles that:
- Have had a petrol-powered engine attached after purchase
- Were bought with an attached petrol-powered engine
- Are powered by any type of internal combustion engine.
Petrol-powered bikes are unsafe and put their riders and other road users at risk.
In 2013, at least three people died riding a petrol-powered bicycle, including a 14-year-old boy in Western Sydney.
Petrol-powered bicycles are faster than regular bicycles and can often travel continually at more than 40 km/h. This is much faster than elite cyclists and comparable with the speeds of mopeds and small motorcycles.
Referring to Tamsmanian Government Department of State Growth Transport Information sheet, V1 November 2016:
Power-assisted pedal cycles
There are two types of power-assisted pedal cycles approved for use in Tasmania that do not require registration
for use on a public space and these are:
1. Power-assisted pedal cycle with an engine or motor/s that provides up to 200 watts output
2. A Pedalec.
This information bulletin aims to provide some clarification into the legal use of power-assisted pedal cycles.
At all times the regulatory requirements take precedence over the information provided here.
Power-assisted pedal cycle – maximum power output 200 watts
A power-assisted pedal cycle is a type of powered cycle which may be a bicycle or tricycle which is equipped with
pedals used by a person for propulsion and has one or more auxiliary motors to assist the rider.
The primary source for propulsion on these cycles must be via the use of the pedals by the rider.
The auxiliary motor/s on a power-assisted pedal cycle must not be capable of producing a combined maximum
power output exceeding 200 watts, whether or not the motor/s are operating. The power from the motor/s
may be controlled by a throttle or accelerator.
A Pedalec is a bicycle fitted with an electric motor that meets the European Standards for power-assisted pedal
cycles. The standards applicable are EN15194/ . Please note, these standards are amended from time to time.
To comply with EN5194 the Pedalec cycle must adhere to the following conditions
the a maximum continuous power output of the motor cannot exceed 250watts the motor must cut-off once the cycle reaches 25km/h or sooner if the rider stops pedalling the cycle must be certified by the manufacturer and labelled as complying with EN15194
the label must identify the manufacturer’s name, the motors cut-off speed in km/h and the continuous rated power of the motor in watts
The rider must pedal the cycle to activate the motor. Pedalecs may be equipped with an optional low-speed startup mode that allows the motor to power the cycle to 6km/h. This mode is activated by the user either when riding without pedalling or when the user is pushing the cycle.
Road Rules for the use of power-assisted pedal cycles and Pedalecs Riders of power-assisted pedal and Pedalec cycles do not require a drivers licence or motor vehicle registration.
The rider must wear an approved bicycle helmet and is required to obey the same rules for other bicycles.
The bicycle must be fitted with effective brakes and a:
Bell or other audible warning device
Rear facing red reflector
White light directed to the front at night
Red light directed to the rear at night.
Riding a power-assisted bicycle
A power assisted bicycle or pedal cycle, is a pedal cycle with an electric motor attached to assist the rider. The attached electric motor may provide assistance but the pedals must be the main means of propulsion.
In South Australia, there are two categories of power assisted bicycles that may be used legally on our roads:
- power assisted bicycles with an electric motor with a power output of up to 200 Watts and the power is controlled by either a throttle or an accelerator
- power assisted bicycles with an electric motor with a power output of not more than 250 Watts of continuous power, which meets the definition of a pedelec (the power is controlled by the rider using the pedals).
New regulations regarding power assisted bicycles
As from the 15 December 2016 internal combustion engines that are fitted to bicycles are not permitted to be used on South Australian roads or road-related areas.
Referring to Motor Vehicle Registry Information Bulletin V56 – Motorised Foot Scooters and Power-assisted Cycles
A power-assisted cycle is a type of powered cycle (including a bicycle and tricycle) which is equipped with:
a) pedals which may be used as a means of propulsion and an engine, motor or other
device which is capable of producing a power output not exceeding 200 watts; or
b) a pedalec.
A pedalec is a bicycle with an electric motor that fall within a class of power-assisted pedal cycle defined in European Standard EN 15194. The Standard sets a number of requirements to include:
I. a maximum motor power output of up to 250 watts;
II. restricting motor power output when pedalec reaches 25 km/hr; and
III. requires the rider to pedal to access the power.
Further to an exemption for pedalecs – refer Appendix 1 S115, 19 November 2014 -pedalecs are recognised similar to a bicycle and road rules relevant to bicycles apply equally to pedalecs.
The motor must be electric.
The maximum continuous power output of the motor cannot exceed 250 watts
measured at the wheel.
Note: A motor that delivers 250 watts of continuous power can produce greater power
for very short periods of time, which can be beneficial when pulling away at traffic lights or starting a hill climb.
The rider must pedal the cycle to activate the motor*.
The motor must cut-off once the vehicle reaches 25 km/h, or sooner if the rider stops pedalling.
The vehicle must be certified by the manufacturer, and labelled as complying with
EN 15194. The label must include the manufacturer’s name, the motor’s cut-off speed
in km/h and its continuous rated power in watts.
*Pedalecs may be equipped with an optional low-speed start-up mode that allows the motor to power the cycle up to 6 km/h. This mode is activated by the user either when riding without pedalling or when the user is pushing the cycle.
I. The use of motorised scooters and power-assisted cycles on private property is not
II. A power-assisted cycle with a power output of not greater than 200 watts is regarded
similar to a bicycle when used on a public street or public place – including shared paths –
where road rules relevant to bicycles will apply.
What you get in the 200 Watt Bicycle Engine Kit
Our bicycle engine kits contain all the components you need to convert your bicycle into a motorised bicycle.
You can easily convert your bicycle into a
reliable and economical powered bicycle.
A degree of mechanical knowledge is useful (but not essential) for installing the bicycle engine and you will find great satisfaction from
building your own fun machine.
Our bicycle engine kits contain everything you need to motorise your bicycle, including:
- Petrol tank and mounting brackets, filler cap, fuel stop and hose.
- Carburettor with air filter and throttle cable.
- Engine with mounting brackets to fix to your bicycle frame.
- throttle and kill switch, clutch lever and cable.
- chain and chain tensioner.
- Rear sprocket and sprocket mounting kit.
- 415 chain and chain guard.
The information contained in this publication is provided in good faith and believed to be accurate at time of publication. The State shall in no way be liable for any loss sustained or
incurred by anyone relying on the information.