Electric Bike Laws in New York. Are Electric Bikes Legal in New York?
As much as riding bikes in New York can be fun and exciting, it is also important to know the laws guiding the operations of e-bikes. This is because the only way you can be sure to stay out of trouble while riding is when you are aware of e-bike laws. Recent updates have been made to electric bike laws in NYC. Find out here all you need to know about riding your bike in New York.
What Law Says About E-Bike Definition
Each state in the country has her electric bike laws and policies. Although there might be similarities among the policies of different states, the state of New York defines an electric bike as a bicycle that is no more than 36 inches wide with an electric motor of less than 750W, and is equipped with workable pedals. The Law further classifies electric bikes into three;
- Class 1: A bicycle with electric assist that has an electric motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and stops assisting when such a bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph.
- Class 2: A bicycle with an electric assist that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle and stops assisting when such bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph
- Class 3: This class of electric bikes can only be ridden within a city that has a population of one million or more. It is a bicycle with electric assist that may be used to exclusively propel the bicycle and stops assisting when such a bicycle reaches a speed of 25 mph.
Electric e-bike laws of New York also include safety requirements which state that helmets are required for anyone riding a class 3 e-bike and also those between ages 16-18 riding Class 1 and 2 e-bikes.
Not all motorized vehicles can be registered and operated in New York City. According to the electric bike laws in New York, any motorized vehicle that is not qualified as meeting the equipment and manufacturing requirements is considered illegal and you may be arrested if you use them. The following vehicles cannot be operated on any, sidewalk, parking lot, streets, and highways as well as other areas in NYC that allow public motor vehicle traffic.
- Mini-bike: A one-passenger motorcycle with a low frame and high handlebars. It is a small recreational vehicle and is manufactured majorly for off-highway riding. A mini-bike does not qualify as a moped, motorcycle, or an ATV.
- Off-road motorcycle: An off-road motorcycle is also known as a dirt bike. It is specifically for off-road riding and is also used for off-road motorcycling competitions.
- Go-kart: A type of quadricycle that is sometimes simply referred to as a Kart. Although they come in different shapes and sizes, they are usually small. A go-kart does not qualify as an ATV, a motor vehicle, or a motorcycle, hence, it is illegal in New York City.
- Golf cart: This is a small device with four wheels. Golf carts are often used to transport golfers and their equipment around a golf course, but they are considered illegal for use on streets and highways.
How Can I Ride Electric Bike
You can ride an electric bike in New York either by renting one from an electric bike rental service or by buying one.
Electric Bike Rental Services
There are numerous electric bike rental services in New York. You can rent any size, style, and color of your choice. Most bike rental services charge per hour. You can rent an electric bike for as long as 24 hours, allowing you to have a whole day of leisure riding and sightseeing in the city.
Buying Electric Bike
Buying an electric bike for yourself is pretty easy. There are a number of local bike shops scattered all over NYC, where you can purchase the perfect e-bike. Although the price of an E-bike depends on the type, e-bikes are usually quite affordable. They also come in a variety of designs and sizes.
You do not need a driver’s license to ride an electric bicycle in New York City, but you have to be at least sixteen (16) years old to ride one. Note that according to electric bike laws of New York, you can operate your electric bicycle on bike lanes as well as on some streets and highways with a speed limit of 30mph or less.
Where Can I Ride Electric Bike
Electric bikes are now permitted to ride on any open trails open to pedal bicycles and this means there are more places to visit and explore on your e-bike. E-bike tours in NYC are quite common and the best place to begin touring is Central Park. It has lots of grounds to cover and is a great way to take in the beautiful scenery while cruising on your E-bike. Other New York highlights you also wouldn’t want to miss are the Bethesda Fountain, the Met, Strawberry fields and Belvedere Castle. An E-bike is no doubt the perfect vehicle for an adventurous tour of the city, get yourself one today.