Electric bikes were “the big new thing” just a couple of years ago, but now they’re an accessible choice for those who want to live a healthier, more sustainable life. If you have an electric bike or plan to get one, you must get to know the general guidelines that differ in every state of the USA.
How does the state of Arkansas declares what an electric bike is.
Arkansas regulates electric bikes the same way they regular traditional bikes - the same rules apply on the road, but you still might want to check in with your local government as they can override state guidelines.
There are three classes of bikes:
- class 1 includes electric bicycles that have a motor that assists you only when you’re pedaling
- class 2 includes bikes that have a throttle-engaged motor, but it stops assisting once you reach 20 miles per hour
- class 3 is all about bikes with motor assistance that assist when you pedal, the way class 1 bikes do, but only until you reach 28 miles per hour
How powerful can my bike be? If you want to follow the guidelines, you must have a bike with an automatic transmission, as well as follow the upper limit of 50 cubic centimeters when it comes to motor specifications.
Do I need a license or insurance? The Arkansas state electric bike laws suggest you need a motorized bike permit that you get from the Arkansas state police. If you have such a permit, no registration is required.
Do I need to wear a helmet? Although Arkansas has no helmet laws, it’s still recommended that you use a helmet to protect yourself.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? You must be older than 16 to ride an electric bike in the state of Arkansas.
Can I ride on the road? As directed by the Arkansas state electric bike laws, electric bikes are not allowed on state highways or city sidewalks. If you ride on the street, you must ride as far right as possible.
Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? Of course - ride in the direction of the cars, but move to the far right. Avoid sidewalks and pedestrians.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? Yes! All road safety rules still apply. You must also have a white light lamp on the front, and a red light lamp on the back.
What about electric mountain bikes? If you plan on riding your e-bike locally, consult the land management agency. Otherwise, Arkansas hasn’t developed a strategy for mountain bikes yet. On federal lands, they are considered motorized vehicles.
If you have an electric bike, we assure you that obeying the general guidelines and using common sense seems to be more than enough for a great riding experience. Have fun!