Regulations for motorized bicycles?

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DataPacRat
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Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by DataPacRat »

I'm considering buying a strap-on motor for a bicycle for this summer, such as the one at http://www.motorizedbicycle.ca/bicycle- ... r-kit.html . However, I haven't been able to find any clear answers about what part of the law, if any, they fall under. The kit in question has a motor with a displacement of more than 50 cubic centimeters, which seems to mean it doesn't fall under the HTA's definition of a 'motor assisted bicycle'; and even if the displacement was small enough, I'm not sure whether the clutch would also disqualify it.

From the news article at http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2012/08 ... _zone.html is the quote:
But traffic laws are still muddy on the legality of gas-powered bikes on Ontario roads.

“It’s this really strange grey zone,” said Const. Clinton Stibbe from Traffic Services.

Gas-powered bikes still have working pedals. If the cyclist is pedaling, both criminal law and the Highway Traffic Act consider it as a regular bike.

But if the cyclist fires up the engine – usually controlled by squeezing a lever on the handlebar – the bike becomes a motorized vehicle. Now, the cyclist is restricted from using bike lanes.

...

Although bicycles with gas-powered motors aren’t ideal for Toronto streets, Stibbe says they’re not illegal.

“We can’t, at this point, arrest someone if they’re operating it according to the rules of the road,” he said.

Although some motorized bikes are considered mopeds under the Ministry of Transportation’s definition, many are not. The bike involved in Thursday’s accident was manufactured by Shandong Incalcu Electric Vehicle Co., a Chinese manufacturer that doesn’t meet Ontario’s commercial motor vehicle safety standards.

The standards require motorized bikes to have safety features such as have lights, a horn and acceleration and breaking requirements.

Bikes that don’t meet these standards don’t require insurance or license plates like mopeds. However, riders still need to be at least 16 years old.
So, does anyone on this board know what laws, if any, are applicable to such motorized bicycles?
Thank you for your time,
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ynotp
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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by ynotp »

I think you answered your own question. I didn't think there was an exception for under 50cc. You will be treated as a moped. I know someone who was charged with no license, no insurance, no valid permit.


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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by DataPacRat »

ynotp wrote:I think you answered your own question. I didn't think there was an exception for under 50cc. You will be treated as a moped. I know someone who was charged with no license, no insurance, no valid permit.
Looking at the HTA at http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statut ... 0h08_e.htm , and skimming the Definitions section, part of the definition of a "motor assisted bicycle" includes "has an attached motor driven by electricity or having a piston displacement of not more than fifty cubic centimetres", so the bicycle with the motor kit I linked to previously doesn't qualify. A “power-assisted bicycle” refers to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations which, at http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regu ... age-1.html , only refers to vehicles with "electric motors"; so that doesn't describe it either. "Bicycle" might (or might not), and "motor vehicle" includes "any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power" so that might (or might not), and "motorcycle" might (or might not)...

As the newspaper article mentioned, it seems to be a big gray area. At the very least, it seems to be gray enough to be up to an individual police officer's interpretation, which goes against the idea of having the rule of law in the first place.

From what I've been able to gather from various online sources, I /think/ that it's legal to use the above-linked engine kit with a bicycle, without requiring a license. I'm hoping that someone reading this thread will be able to offer any references that are more solid than the ones I've found so far, one way or the other.
Thank you for your time,
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iFly55
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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by iFly55 »

Relevant cases

R. v. Davies, 2013 ONCJ 639 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/g21vw
R. v. Ryan, 2012 BCPC 67 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fql0c
R. v. Kulbacki, 2012 ONCJ 532 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fshj3
R. v. Pizzacalla, 2013 ONCJ 31 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fvxv6
R. v. Pizzacalla, 2013 ONSC 771 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fvz2c
R. v. Luymes, 2010 ONCJ 282 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/2bmkg

Most of the people who're getting charged appear to have suspended licenses and a poor history with the law. A lot of them appear to have successfully used officially induced error & due-diligence to get away from serious charges.
“motor vehicle” includes an automobile, a motorcycle, a motor-assisted bicycle unless otherwise indicated in this Act, and any other vehicle propelled or driven otherwise than by muscular power, but does not include a street car or other motor vehicle running only upon rails, a power-assisted bicycle, a motorized snow vehicle, a traction engine, a farm tractor, a self-propelled implement of husbandry or a road-building machine;
It's crystal clear that your DIY bike will fall under the definition of a "motor vehicle". Because your bike does not qualify as a Motor-Assisted Bicycle you can't use the restrict limited-speed motorcycle license, i'm not sure what class license you need or if it exists.
The Criminal Code of Canada defines a “motor vehicle” as follows: “motor vehicle” means a vehicle that is drawn, propelled or driven by any means other than muscular power, but does not include railway equipment.
Permit requirements
7. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless,
(a) there exists a currently validated permit for the vehicle;
(b) there are displayed on the vehicle, in the prescribed manner,
(i) number plates issued in accordance with the regulations showing the number of the permit issued for the vehicle, or
(c) evidence of the current validation of the permit is affixed, in the prescribed manner, to,
(i) one of the number plates mentioned in subclause (b) (i) displayed on the vehicle, or
(ii) to a mini-plate attached to the number plate exposed on the rear of the vehicle, if number plates described in subsection (7.2) are displayed on the vehicle. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 7 (1); 2000, c. 29, s. 1 (1).
Compulsory automobile insurance
2. (1) Subject to the regulations, no owner or lessee of a motor vehicle shall,
(a) operate the motor vehicle; or
(b) cause or permit the motor vehicle to be operated,
on a highway unless the motor vehicle is insured under a contract of automobile insurance. 1994, c. 11, s. 383; 1996, c. 21, s. 50 (3).
Driver’s licence
32. (1) No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless the motor vehicle is within a class of motor vehicles in respect of which the person holds a driver’s licence issued to him or her under this Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 32 (1).
_____________________________

Have you considered looking at ebikes, 'Power-assisted Bicycles'? http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/ ... ]Operating Requirements
10. What do I need to operate an e-bike?

To operate an e-bike:
No driver's licence is required
No written test is required
No vehicle registration or plate is required
No motor vehicle liability insurance is required
All operators/riders/passengers must be 16 years of age and older.
All operators/riders/passengers on operating an e-bike are required to wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet.[/quote]


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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by DataPacRat »

iFly55 wrote:Relevant cases

R. v. Davies, 2013 ONCJ 639 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/g21vw
R. v. Ryan, 2012 BCPC 67 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fql0c
R. v. Kulbacki, 2012 ONCJ 532 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fshj3
R. v. Pizzacalla, 2013 ONCJ 31 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fvxv6
R. v. Pizzacalla, 2013 ONSC 771 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/fvz2c
R. v. Luymes, 2010 ONCJ 282 (CanLII): http://canlii.ca/t/2bmkg

Most of the people who're getting charged appear to have suspended licenses and a poor history with the law. A lot of them appear to have successfully used officially induced error & due-diligence to get away from serious charges.
Thank you /very/ much for these links - they help tremendously in clearing up a good deal of the gray area.

R. v. Ryan indicates that if a vehicle is uninsurable - which, given that such motorized bicycles lack VINs can be taken as a default - then there is no crime in not having insurance for it.

I do not currently have a driver's license, so 'driving while suspended' would also seem to not be a worry.

Since it's gasoline-powered rather than electric, the power-assisted bicycle category in the HTA doesn't apply. Since it has a saddle, it seems reasonably certain that if bike-plus-motor qualifies as a 'motor assisted bicycle' then it is one, otherwise it counts as a 'motorcycle'. The main reason the motor kit I first described doesn't qualify is that its piston displacement is too large. Upon a bit of further investigation, I've found a near-identical kit, with a displacement of only 48 cc ( http://www.motorizedbicycle.ca/bicycle- ... r-kit.html ). That would seem to solve most of the outstanding issues, for example section 61. of the HTA says that motor-assisted bicycles don't count as 'motor vehicles' for that part. And as long as the whole thing counts as a MAB instead of a motorcycle, the only section under the Licensing part of the act that mentions them is s. 38., which sets the minimum age.

There is still /some/ gray area left, though, but I think it falls in the favor of being able to ride such vehicles instead of simply prohibiting them entirely. For example, in regards to licensing, the FAQ at http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/ ... -faq.shtml describes limited-speed motorcycles and mopeds in ways that seem to exclude the bicycle-plus-48cc-motor, which seems to imply that such a license is unavailable for that vehicle, which seems to imply that such a license is unnecessary.

Have you considered looking at ebikes, 'Power-assisted Bicycles'?
My plan - such as it is - is to use the strap-on engine as a boost while bicycle-camping, to help extend the range I can travel and reduce fatigue from pedaling (especially when going uphill). Gasoline is easy to acquire on most of the routes I've been looking at; electric charge, much less so. So I'm afraid that the battery and engine of an ebike would be mostly dead weight during such trips, which would defeat the purpose.
Thank you for your time,
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iFly55
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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by iFly55 »

Here is another article where the MTO & Waterloo Regional Police have responded http://www.therecord.com/sports-story/2 ... ]Officials from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Waterloo Regional Police say they’re illegal motorized cycles. They’re not the same as electric e-bikes, which run on batteries and are allowed under special provincial legislation.

“A converted moped would not meet the 12 federal safety standards for limited-speed motorcycles, and therefore would not be registered for use on Ontario’s public roads,” said Bob Nichols, a Transportation Ministry spokesperson.

Nor does having a 50 cubic centimetre or smaller gas engine exempt you from licensing and insurance laws, said Sgt. Dave Reibel, a former traffic squad officer with the regional police.

Get caught driving without insurance and you face a minimum $5,000 fine and problems getting insurance in future.

“It’s not illegal to sell (motor conversion kits), because you can use them on private property or your farm. As soon as you go off private property, you have a problem,” Reibel said.[/quote]Your website also has a disclaimer http://www.motorizedbicycle.ca/disclaimer


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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by DataPacRat »

iFly55 wrote:Here is another article where the MTO & Waterloo Regional Police have responded http://www.therecord.com/sports-story/2 ... ]Officials from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Waterloo Regional Police say they’re illegal motorized cycles. They’re not the same as electric e-bikes, which run on batteries and are allowed under special provincial legislation.

“A converted moped would not meet the 12 federal safety standards for limited-speed motorcycles, and therefore would not be registered for use on Ontario’s public roads,” said Bob Nichols, a Transportation Ministry spokesperson.

Nor does having a 50 cubic centimetre or smaller gas engine exempt you from licensing and insurance laws, said Sgt. Dave Reibel, a former traffic squad officer with the regional police.

Get caught driving without insurance and you face a minimum $5,000 fine and problems getting insurance in future.

“It’s not illegal to sell (motor conversion kits), because you can use them on private property or your farm. As soon as you go off private property, you have a problem,” Reibel said.
[/quote]

Either the reporting of that story or the 'officials' described therein seemed to be completely missing the entire category of "motor-assisted bicycles" - that's presumably why the 50-cubic-centimeter size was mentioned by the defendant.
Thank you for your time,
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viper1
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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by viper1 »

I owned one many years ago. It was a Hercules model.(it would go 100 miles on a tank) tank held 3 liters.

Rules at that time :::none::::

Except engine must be under 50 cc and pedals working and top speed of 28 kph.

The rules have changed.
Back then it was no different then a bicycle.

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use at your own risk"


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DataPacRat
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Re: Regulations for motorized bicycles?

Unread post by DataPacRat »

I sent a message to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario inquiring for the details, and just got back a reply, which includes this paragraph:

A bicycle on which a gasoline engine has been installed is a motor vehicle, but because it is not a motor vehicle which has been certified to federal standards by a vehicle manufacturer it cannot be registered for on-road use. The vehicle may be used on private property, with the property-owner’s permission; however, it may not be operated on a public road. Since the vehicle type in question is a modified bicycle, it is not a motorcycle or moped. Therefore the vehicle is most accurately described as a “non-compliant motor vehicle.”

Thus it appears that the MTO's official position is that motorized bicycles - which would seem to include the "motor-assisted bicycles" from the Highway Traffic Act - are verboten. It's a shame - I was starting to look forward to using one to improve my bicycle-camping experience.




Thank you for your time,
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