Many electric bike lovers have only lately found out that there are no universal bike laws in the United States of America. Each state has its own rules, and sometimes even within the states, we see differences in the local guidelines that smaller police stations direct. In order to avoid penalties, you should inform yourself of the guidelines.
How does the state of North Carolina declares what an electric bike is.
In North Carolina, electric bikes are defined quite simply. If your bike has a helper motor and the motor’s power remains under 750W, while the maximum speed reached only 25 miles per hour, you have an electric motor.
How powerful can my bike be? Unfortunately, only up to 750W, and no extra modifications are allowed. Also, the maximum allowed speed is 25 miles per hour.
Do I need a license or insurance? You don’t need extra licenses, registrations, or documents to operate an electric bike in North Carolina.
Do I need to wear a helmet? Yes, all riders of all ages, no matter the type of electric bike.
Are there age restrictions to look out for? Yes, riders must be over the age of 16, and there are no specifications whether this applies for riders only or passengers as well.
Can I ride on the road? If you’re biking at a speed that’s smaller than 25 miles per hour, you can ride on public highways but also on roadways, sidewalks, and bike lanes, as well as bike paths. However, local authorities might be very strict about your driving habits.
Can I modify my bike? Only if you’re staying below the maximum power and the maximum speed. You can always change the look and add additional lights for safety!
Do I ride in the same direction as traffic? Yes, always ride on the right-hand side of the trail you’re riding on.
Do bike riders need to obey all the traffic signs? Absolutely - you’re in the same traffic space. Make sure to take care of your safety and the safety of others.
What about mountain bikes? Electric mountain bikes are pretty complicated, and they’re mostly not allowed in spaces for non-motorized vehicles. Please consult the land manager for more information and stay away from pedestrians, especially in parks or on hiking trails.
Although these general guidelines make a great starting point, we suggest that you use your common sense and contact the local authorities if anything confuses you. Make sure to stay safe and always avoid any extreme biking and stunts, especially near pedestrians.