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Legality of home-built electric bike?

I live in northern New Jersey. My summer project is to build an electric bike/motorcycle. I plan on using a regular beach cruiser pedal bike, removing the pedals and mechanism, and powering it with an electric motor. I'm estimating it will go anywhere from 20-25 mph. I know the laws about mopeds and motorcycles, but what would this fall under, since it will be custom and home built?

I'm using Radioactive_Legos' Flat Tracker as a reference https://www.instructables.com/id/48V-Electric-Flat-Tracker/

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jkimball4 years ago
Keep the pedals and chain, and make sure the motor is less than 750 watts. Make sure that top speed with the motor is less than 20mph. Then it will be a legal electric bicycle.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws#New_Jersey

If you remove the pedals then you will be like this lady:
http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/communities/upper_capemay/electric-bicycle-or-moped-woman-caught-between-ocean-city-police/article_d632c68e-5fe7-11e0-ba2c-001cc4c03286.html

If you go faster than 25mph, then you will be considered a moped, and need to be licensed.
jongscx4 years ago
Your biggest problem comes from the phrase "removing the pedals and mechanisms". That removes any possibility of it staying in electric bicycle territory and squarely in motorcycle/scooter-land.

I'm from GA, so specific laws will be different. Our guidelines for not needing registration tag, etc. are:
-Engine displacement < 50cc
-Maximum speed goverened < 35 mph

And then, it has to have the usual:
-turn signals
-lights
-horn (that can be heard to something like 50 yards)

Lastly, from my understanding, the process is going to go: 1)Tax office for categorization (motorcycle, bicycle, custom uncategorized) 2) DMV/DOT safety inspection (note, it cannot be ridden to the inspection site, it must be towed or trailered [or pickup-ed...]) Even then, you might run into problems with not being a licensed builder, etc. My suggestion, find a small satellite office where you can chat-up a bored clerk who knows the right procedure and troll some bike-builder forums for info on your state.

I'm running into the same issues regarding building a hybrid tilting trike from an old motorcycle...
rickharris4 years ago
It will likely count as a motor vehicle and need the usual legal bits and bobs.

bwrussell4 years ago
Talk to your local DMV and/or DOL. In most cities mopeds are differentiated between motorcycles by engine displacement. Ask them about licensing for a home built vehicle. It may not be possible to get a license for traveling on public roads because it will have to meet certain safety regulations. Your best be though is to contact the people in charge of doing this or at least check out their websites to see if they have any documentation.
You'll need to contact your state's DMV and see what kind of inspections and criteria are required to give your bike street legal status. Since it will go up to 25MPH it'll likely have to be registered and tagged if your going to ride it on the streets.