Since electric bikes haven’t been around for that long, there is still no universal law in the United States of America that would cover all states and the usage of electric bikes within them. That’s why we have to pay attention to general guidelines in each area separately, and today we discuss Minnesota.
How does the state of Minnesota declares what an electric bike is.
When it comes to Minnesota, the definition of an electric bike remains “a vehicle with two or three wheels, a saddle, and fully operable pedals.” In addition to that, there are some restrictions regarding speed - the motor must be less than 1000W, and the maximum speed should be no more than 20 miles per hour, with or without a throttle.
Keep in mind that most of the below-mentioned key points remain valid for state trails, while public lands and wildlife areas might have different guidelines. There are three classes to look into:
- class 1 includes bikes that go up to 20 miles per hour and provide assistance
- class 2 talks about bikes that use a throttle, but the maximum speed remains 20 miles per hour
- class 3 includes electric bicycles that provide pedal assistance, but can reach a slightly higher speed of 28 miles per hour
How powerful can my bike be? To legally own an electric bike, you have to make sure that the motor of the bike remains below 1000W. This regulation is by far the “softest” out of all the states, as the number is the highest.
Do I need a license or insurance? There is no required licensing, nor is there any required registration. The only thing to worry about is the age of those who drive.
Do I need to wear a helmet? According to the law, all riders need to have helmets - no excuses.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? Yes! For example, if you want to operate an electric bike, you need to be over 15.
Can I ride on the road? You may ride on bike trails, road shoulders, as well as bike paths and lanes, but you are not allowed to use paths categorized as “natural resources.”
Can I modify my bike? You can add accessories to the bike, but you may not change the structure of the bike to make the bike more powerful, as the limit is pretty clear.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? Absolutely - just because you’re riding something that looks like it doesn’t have a motor doesn’t mean that you can ignore rules for motor vehicles.
Do I need to give pedestrians signals? If you’re biking on state trails, absolutely - you might want to give them an audible sign.
If you know what category your electric bike falls into, you will have a really easy time communicating with your local host or a police station that can give you additional guidelines. Make sure to be cautious.