Although electric bikes have become a global sensation that keeps getting more and more affordable, we also have to become more and more aware of all guidelines that describe electric bike usage. Did you know that the United States of America does not have a single policy on electric bikes? Every state has its own guidelines, and today we discuss those that are published by the state of Missouri.
How does the state of Missouri declares what an electric bike is.
In the state of Missouri, an electric bike is essentially a motorized bicycle that should not exceed the maximum speed limit of 30 mph. Because of the fact that they are motorized bicycles, they do not follow the same guidelines that regular bicycles do.
The 30 mph speed limit should be reached on level ground, and you should not modify your bike in order to surpass the speed limit. There are no classes and categorizations of electric bikes in Missouri, but there are still many questions that are left to be answered.
How powerful can my bike be? The state of Missouri defines electric bikes as motorized vehicles, as we have discussed before, but the motor of the vehicle should not surpass 750 Watts when it comes to power. You are not allowed to modify the bike or install a motor with greater power.
Do I need a license or insurance? If you ride an electric bike in the state of Missouri, you must carry an operator’s license. You do not need to have any type of registration, and insurance is more of a personal choice. If you do decide to get insurance, your electric bike will be classified as a motor vehicle.
Do I need to wear a helmet? Due to the safety of traffic passengers, the state of Missouri requires helmets for all electric bike operators.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? If you want to ride an electric bike, you need to be at least 16 years old. There are no clear guidelines on whether you can be a passenger if you are under the age of 16, so make sure to consult with your local police station.
Can I ride on the road? The state of Missouri says that you can ride electric bicycles on roadways if your speed follows the maximum speed guidelines of the road you’re on. Keep in mind that you are not allowed to ride on sidewalks.
Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? Yes, and you have to ride on the far right to make sure you are visible.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? Yes, especially when it comes to speed limits. The state of Missouri is very strict about that.
What about electric mountain bikes? Electric bikes are allowed where regular bicycles are permitted in Missouri State Parks, but we suggest you consult the local Land Management agency for more information on mountain bikes. There are two great rides for mountain bikes - the Finger Lakes SP ORV Trail, and the Devil’s Elbow Gravel Route.
Are there any other guidelines? All electric bikes should be equipped with a brake that allows the rider to stop within 25 feet in normal weather conditions. You should also use reflective material and equip your bike with lights on the front and the back.
The state of Missouri has some very quick, clear guidelines on electric bikes, so make sure to follow them in order to have a good time and stay safe. Always consult local authorities for more information.