Electric bikes have grown in popularity since their prices have gone down. They are a great way to be eco-friendly, save money, as well as get fit when you ride to work, to the store, or to your friends’ house. Since the United States of America does not have universal regulations on electric bikes, we have to investigate each state separately.
How does the state of Michigan declares what an electric bike is.
The state of Michigan regulates electric bikes as electrically assisted bicycles that have fully operable pedals and a motor that does not exceed the power of 750 Watts.
- class 1 electric bikes have a pedal-assist only motor that cannot reach over 20 miles per hour
- class 2 electric bikes have a motor that can propel your bicycle even when you are not pedaling, but the speed limit remains 20 miles per hour
- class 3 electric bikes provide assistance when you pedal, but unlike bikes in class 1, you can ride up to 28 miles per hour with these
How powerful can my bike be? In the state of Michigan, your electric bike must not exceed 750 Watts of power when it comes to motor specifications. You are not allowed to tamper with the bike or change specifications to exceed this limitation.
Do I need a license or insurance? There is no licensing, registration, or any other documentation you might need when you ride an electric bike in the state of Michigan.
Do I need to wear a helmet? If you are under the age of 18, you have to wear a helmet. However, the local police station might warn adults that helmets are still a really good idea for your own safety.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? If you are under the age of 14, you cannot operate a class 3 electric bike because it is too powerful. You can only ride these types of bikes as a passenger.
Can I ride on the road? Class one electric bicycles can be used on linear trails with asphalt, and crushed limestone. Class two and three bikes are usually not allowed on such trails, but local police stations and authorities might allow exceptions, depending on the district. It's a good idea to consult them. Just keep in mind that electric bikes cannot be used on trails for non-motorized vehicles.
Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? For your own safety and the safety of others, it is suggested that you always ride in the direction of the traffic, and keep riding as far right as possible for better visibility by other passengers.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? You have to obey all traffic signs just like other participants.
What about electric mountain bikes? The Michigan department of natural resources does not currently allow electric bikes on hiking trails or MTB trails. There are some great rides that you can visit, such as the Huron-Manistee National Forest trail and the Keweenaw State Trail.
If you want to be fully and completely up to date with all of the newest electric bike information in the state of Michigan, make sure that you follow their local news and that you consult with the local Police Department. Stay safe.