View Full Version : Registering as Moped

12-12-2009, 10:16 AM
I am curious to know what kind of luck anyone has had registering their home built creations as motorized bicycles? I live in Ma. and there dont seem to be any loopholes , to get around adding a "helper motor" without registering it as a moped.


12-12-2009, 11:34 AM
Also the top limit is 49 cc for a pedal assist how would the conversion to watts be done.??

Radical Brad
12-12-2009, 03:18 PM
There are so many "grey" areas in these laws that as long as you are not out there to terrorize traffic, you won't get a second look.

One could argue that any motor could be used as long as the power delivered to the drive wheel is within the allowable range. Is a 750watt motor illegal if it is limited to 300 watts? How is that limitation defined then? Controller amp cutoff? Power lost? Internal battery resistance?? What if I just keep under the speed limit? Most cars can go 150, but that does not make them all illegal, only going that fast.

49cc seems like a pointless rating as well. A badly made 49cc engine with a shoddy transmission is not much better than a fit person pedaling. Add a low friction drive, 2 stroke, and all the fixings, and you can compete on the highway! Drop some nitro on that baby, and who knows!

I found the same thing with those cheap EBay electric kits. 1500 watts of low quality "can motor" power felt like my 300 watt hubmotor on a dead battery! I added another battery to my "legal" 300 watt kit and I can pass cars on the street now. The sticker still claims "300 watts", so how would they "bust" me? The "man" has a lot of cool toys, but I have not seen them carrying around a dynometer yet!

I follow the rules of the road and keep my "power" under control until I need it, so I usually don't get a second look on the street. Thos kids on the smogging, noise polluting gas scooters are always taking the heat though, and those things can't even run up a slight hill on a windy day!


12-12-2009, 07:14 PM
I've done 41.1 MPH with my 35cc GEBE!!

12-13-2009, 04:19 AM
It's often hard to find laws and definitions that are obscure. For instance, in NY, a wheelchair is broadly defined, and seems to cover anything human or electric powered, including mobility assistance devices. However, motorized bicycles are not allowed on public roads. Digging further, I found motorized wheelchairs and other electric powered mobility devices cannot go more than 12.5 mph to qualify as such devices that can be used on public sidewalks and roads without certain safety equipment, and are not required to be registered. Motorized scooters, bicycles, (which includes tricycles) etc. do not have required safety equipment, and therefore cannot be registered, so they are not allowed on public roads. The problem seems to be that no one reads the bills before they are passed, and are left to interpretation by DMV attorneys. I had the opportunity to read some of the new bills that will be passed shortly, allowing electric bicycles in NY state. There are so many contradictions, it appears as if the lawmakers were drunk during the whole process.
As it stands now, home built mopeds (and othervehicles) must be inspected and approved by the DOT in order to be registered. Here's more info on NY regulations: (Scroll down for mopeds)


12-14-2009, 11:54 PM
I'd be willing to be that if I had a hub motor on my bike, I'd never even get a hard look, never mind a second one! Installing spoke shrouds would even hide the motor. I'm not advocating breaking the law, just sayin'...