Electric bike laws are constantly changing to improve road safety. In Michigan, changes to bicycle laws include the registration of electric bicycles. So what are the laws and restrictions for electric bikes in Michigan? Different states have different restrictions on electric bikes. To be safe, you should be aware of these restrictions and laws.
In this post, I share the main electric bike laws in Michigan and some of the restrictions. Develop with me and be safe on the way.
- Is an e-bike considered a motorized vehicle in Michigan?
- CLASS 1
- 2ND CLASS
- CLASS 3
- Michigan State Road Rules
- Are e-bikes allowed on bike lanes in Michigan?
- Pros and cons of the Michigan law
- Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Bicycle Laws in Michigan
- Do you need a license, insurance or registration in Michigan?
- What are the horsepower or gas limits in Michigan?
- Are there any age restrictions for riding an electric bicycle in Michigan?
- What laws apply to helmets in Michigan?
- Do you need a driver's license to ride an electric bike in Michigan?
- Can you ride an electric bike on pavement in Michigan?
Is an e-bike considered a motorized vehicle in Michigan?
underMichigan betswith a few exceptions, an e-bike is considered and treated like a regular bike. There is no law that defines electric bicycles as motor vehicles. In most cases, e-bike riders enjoy the same privileges as regular cyclists.
So what is an electric bicycle under Michigan law? The state of Michigan defines an electric bicycle as a bicycle that is powered entirely by pedals and uses an electric motor. However, there is a caveat. The bicycle must have a motor of less than 750 W.
Below are some of the requirements that an electric bicycle must meet in the state of Michigan.
- The bicycle must have a fully functional pedal
- Have an electric motor up to 1 horsepower or 750 watts
- Sit in front of the driver
Like most states, Michigan has three classes of electric bikes. These classes are based on different characteristics of the bike. You need a visible label that shows the class of your electric bike. Here are three categories of electric bikes in Michigan.
Class 1 e-bikes are motorized e-bikes that run the motor while pedaling. The engine automatically shuts off when you reach 20 miles per hour.
They are the simplest class with minimal restrictions. Most Class 1 e-bikes can be ridden on standard bike lanes. The engine cannot start and run without pedaling.
On the other hand, Class 2 e-bikes can give people a bike whether they are pedaling or not. With an electric motor, you can start the bike without pedaling.
As with Class 1, the electric motor stops assisting when the bike reaches 32 km/h.
Finally, we have Class 3 e-bikes that assist riders with pedaling. However, the engine shuts off when the driver stops driving.
Class 3 e-bikes can reach a top speed of 28 miles per hour. When the maximum speed is reached, the engine is switched off.
There are maximum engine power limits for both classes of e-bikes. If the motor power exceeds 750 W, they are no longer considered electric bicycles.
Additional rules such as insurance and registration apply. Generally, an electric bicycle is not considered a motorized vehicle in Michigan. So what are the rules for riding an electric bike in Michigan?
Michigan State Road Rules
The laws allow different classes of e-bikes to be ridden on different tracks. It is important to know your bike class and the rules for riding on Michigan roads. For example, Class 1 e-bikes can ride on flats. These are footpaths that lead from one point to another. This can be the case on asphalt surfaces, railway tracks and crushed stone.
However, there are jurisdictions where the law provides a regulation for Class 1 e-bikes. Check your local regulations to be sure. Michigan law only allows cycling courses for e-bikes to be run on streets where conventional bikes can be ridden. This simply means that you can ride an electric bike on any marked bike path. All class 2 electric bikes can participate in rides in the same way as class 1. The only exception is that local municipalities are responsible for the routes.
However, the law does not favor Class 3 electric bikes on non-motorized trails. This usually happens when the paths have natural floors with no added materials. There are certain areas in Michigan where e-bikes are not allowed. For example, electric bicycles are not allowed on Mackinac Island. However, drivers can obtain permits from the Mackinac Island State Commission to drive there.
E-bike laws are usually strict for riders under the age of 18. For example, riders under the age of 18 riding a Class 3 e-bike must wear a helmet.
Are e-bikes allowed on bike lanes in Michigan?
Electric bicycles are allowed on trails in Michigan. However, the law is very specific regarding the definition of trails. We have hiking and mountain biking trails. These are trails through nature, better known as non-motorized hiking trails. The surfaces have a natural surface profile. These are areas created by clearing and sorting natural, local soil. Drivers then drive without introducing foreign material onto the track.
If you ride an electric bicycle in Michigan, you must comply with these regulations. The Act does not apply to systems of public procedure authorized by Congress. But you've probably seen people riding electric bikes on regular roads. What rules apply to them? A driver on the road can enjoy all the rights that apply to drivers moving on the same road. However, the laws simply don't apply because cyclists have bike lanes.
With electric bicycles on the road, the driver enjoys all rights, but is also subject to traffic rules. You have to watch out for other vehicles on the road and obey traffic rules. However, an electric bicycle is still considered a road bicycle.
Pros and cons of the Michigan law
Electric bicycles are becoming increasingly popular in Michigan and offer several advantages. Are electric bike laws in Michigan OK? Here are some pros and cons of electric bike laws in Michigan.
- The breakdown of possible routes makes it easier for riders to choose routes that suit their bike class
- Increased road safety
- Protecting Michigan's Environment and Natural Resources
- The laws protect young people from injury and regulate the use of helmets for people under 18 years of age
- They are controlled by engine power
- Restriction on the use of non-motorized trails for class 3 electric bikes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Bicycle Laws in Michigan
Do you need a license, insurance or registration in Michigan?
There is no law in Michigan that requires e-bike riders to purchase insurance for their bikes. You can ride a bike without worrying about insurance. However, in case of damage or theft, it is always wise to register your e-bike with contents insurance.
What are the horsepower or gas limits in Michigan?
The motor power choke must have a maximum motor power of 750 W. This is equal to 1 horse power.
Are there any age restrictions for riding an electric bicycle in Michigan?
Yes, there are some restrictions on electric bikes in Michigan. First, you need an electric bike with fully functional pedals. The bicycle must have a motor with a maximum power of 750 W and a seat.
What laws apply to helmets in Michigan?
Helmet laws require people under the age of 18 to wear a helmet when riding an electric bicycle.
Do you need a driver's license to ride an electric bike in Michigan?
No, you do not need a driver's license to own an electric bicycle in Michigan. However, you must follow all road safety rules.
Can you ride an electric bike on pavement in Michigan?
You can ride an electric bike on the pavement in Michigan without restrictions. However, you should learn more about local jurisdictions in certain areas.
Electric bicycle laws and regulations in Michigan are in effect at the time of writing. They can change at any time. So be sure to research local authorities, counties and jurisdictions. We highly recommend keeping up to date with the latest electric bicycle laws in Michigan.
For more US state laws, see:
- New York State Electric Bicycle Laws and Restrictions
- Electric Bicycle Laws and Restrictions in Texas
Laws and regulations on electric bicycles vary from state to state. Although most laws and regulations are similar in most states, it is worth taking a closer look at each state. In Michigan, electric bicycles are divided into three classes: 1, 2 and 3.
An electric bicycle in Michigan must not exceed 750 W. You will also need a saddle and fully functional pedals.
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Hi, this is Evan Larry. Editor-in-Chief of this site, "eBikeBuster". After studying mechanical engineering, I worked as a mechanic for a well-known e-bike manufacturer. I worked there for almost six years and later quit and started my own company selling different types of e-bikes and their tools and accessories. I created this website, eBikeBuster, to guide people who are new to e-bikes and have no knowledge of tools, accessories and maintenance.
Under Michigan law, electric bikes or e-bikes are treated like bicycles rather than motor vehicles. There are three classes of e-bikes depending on their top speed and whether pedaling is required. All three classes are allowed on roads (including bike lanes) and sidewalks.Where are eBikes allowed Michigan? ›
Michigan permits e-cycling on all roadways where traditional bicycles are permitted. This includes streets, highways, road shoulders, and bike lanes designated for bicycle use. This applies to all classes of e-bikes. All classes of e-bikes are also permitted on motorized, natural surface trails.Are eBikes allowed on bike trails in Michigan? ›
Are E-Bikes Allowed on Michigan Bike Trails? Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on many bike trails, bike paths, and multi-use paths across Michigan. However, it's best to check the rules of the specific Michigan bike trail you want to visit before you go. Class 2 e-bikes may be allowed on certain trails with permits.Do you need a license to ride an electric bike in Michigan? ›
The state of Michigan does not require license or registration for electric bikes.Can I take an electric bike to Mackinac Island? ›
Are e-bikes allowed on Mackinac Island? In a word, no. E-bikes are not allowed on Mackinac Island. But there is an exception: Visitors with a qualifying “mobility disability” may operate Class 1 electric bicycles on Mackinac Island.Can you ride an electric bike off road? ›
Off-road ebikes are designed for riding on a variety of terrains and trails such as dirt roads, gravel paths, or backcountry adventures. These ebikes typically come with fatter tires, front suspension forks, hydraulic brakes, and heavier payload capacities.What is a Class 1 ebike? ›
Class 1: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph. Class 2: eBikes that also have a maximum speed of 20 mph, but are throttle-assisted. Class 3: eBikes that are pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph.Can you travel with eBikes? ›
In short, the answer is no: you can't take an electric bike on a plane. It's all because of the battery. Any rechargeable lithium battery larger than 100Wh is prohibited from being taken onto a plane. Some airlines may allow batteries that are up to 160Wh, but you'll need to ask for permission in advance.Can I write off an electric bike? ›
For the federal electric bike tax credit, you can claim the credit on your tax return for the year you purchased the e-bike. If you bought your e-bike in 2021, you could claim the credit when you file your 2021 federal tax return.Can I ride my bike on the road in Michigan? ›
Since bicyclists have all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle according to MCL 257.657, they must generally ride in the right half of the roadway. On one-way roads, bicyclists can ride on the left side of the road.
»Helmets are required for riders of Class 3 e-bikes under 18 years of age. Persons under 14 years of age may not ride a Class 3 e-bike, unless they are riding as a passenger. To ride an e-bike within the Mackinac Island State Park, a permit is required. * The following Michigan laws are referenced: Mich.Are Ebikes allowed on the Timber Trail? ›
What sort of bike do I need? The Timber Trail is a grade 2-3 trail, so you'll need a mountain bike, ideally with front or full suspension. Some people have ridden the trail on gravel bikes, but it might be a rough ride. You can hire bikes and ebikes when you book your biking packages with us.Do you have to register a motorized bicycle in Michigan? ›
Registering Your Moped
To register your moped or motorized bicycle, make a trip to your local SOS (Secretary of State) office. You will need to provide a bill of sale (or manufacterer's certificate of origin), and pay a registration fee of $15, which needs to be renewed every 3 years.
Shop Electric Bikes
Local authority or state agency can prohibit Class 1 bikes on particular trails. Class 2 and Class 3 electric bikes can be allowed on asphalt, crushed limestone, or similar surface, or a rail trail if allowed by local authority or state agency.
A valid driver's license with a motorcycle endorse- ment (CY) is required to legally ride a motorcycle on Michigan roadways. There are two methods for obtaining an endorsement.
Mackinaw City/St. Ignace: Bicyclists are not allowed to cross the Mackinac Bridge on their own. The Mackinac Bridge Authority will transport you across the bridge in Mackinac Bridge Authority vehicles. There is a fee, check with the authority.
Keep in mind that there aren't typically places to lock your bike to. Bikes and horses. Even though motor vehicles are banned from the island, bikes are not the only mode of transportation. There are also horses, horse-drawn carriages and a lot of foot traffic.Are Ebikes allowed in the Grand Canyon? ›
Class 1, and Class 3 e-bikes are allowed in Grand Canyon National Park where traditional bicycles are allowed. All e-bikes are prohibited where traditional bicycles are prohibited.
The average cycling speed of a beginner cyclist on a normal bike is around 12mph, while competent club riders can hit averages of 20 to 24mph. Electric bikes are limited to maximum motorised speeds on roads — 15.5mph in the UK, Europe and Australia, and between 20 and 28mph in the US.How far can you commute on an electric bike? ›
Range – 50 miles
The average range of a commuting electric bicycle is 50 miles, so that will be our range before it needs charging.
Removing the front wheel and battery before placing the bike inside your vehicle will make for a better fit and make the bike lighter weight and easier to lift. When transporting an E-bike inside a vehicle, make sure cables and handlebar mounted control systems are not getting rubbed or damaged.What are the 3 types of eBikes? ›
- TYPE 1 E-Bike: Pedal Assist, is an electric bicycle on which you must pedal in order to use the motor. ...
- TYPE 2 E-Bike: Throttle Only, is an e-bike equipped with a motor controlled by a throttle. ...
- TYPE 3 E-Bike: Pedal Assist 28mph.
Class 1: Pedal-assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph. Class 2: Pedal-assist or throttle; motor provides assistance all the way up to 20 mph. Class 3: Pedal assist only; motor provides assistance all the way up to 28 mph.Do Ebikes need special bike racks? ›
Because your e-bike is heavier than a conventional bike, you'll need a rack that's capable of supporting and securely holding a burlier machine. Keep the following in mind as you select a rack to carry your e-bike: Focus on hitch racks: Roof-top racks are too hard to load; most trunk racks aren't stout enough.Do police use Ebikes? ›
Police e-bikes help officers catch criminals
Fresno, California, has a robust bike patrol program that has seen many police officers on BULLS electric bikes. It's a model that has also proven popular with the LAPD.
E-Bike Tax Credit Bill
The federal e-bike tax credit of up to $1,500 would apply to new electric bikes that cost less than $8,000. (In a previous version of the bill the e-bike purchase price would have been capped at $4,000). Income limits would also apply.
Internal Revenue Code Section 30D(g) currently provides a credit for qualified 2-wheeled plug-in electric vehicles. The amount of the credit is 10 percent of the cost of any qualified 2-wheeled plug-in electric vehicle placed in service by the taxpayer during the taxable year and cannot exceed $2,500.Can you write off bicycle on taxes? ›
The IRS makes an allowance for items that have both business and personal uses. Common examples might include your car, cell phone, and computer. Your bike or scooter may fit into that category. For such an item, you need to determine how much of that use is for business.Do bicycles have to stop at stop signs in Michigan? ›
Bicyclists are required to slow down and come to a complete stop at stop signs and traffic devices signaling red. Bicyclists must signal when turning or coming to a stop. Bicyclists must use hand/arm signals when turning and stopping.What are the bicycle laws in Michigan? ›
Bicycles may be ridden upon a sidewalk, but cyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and are required to give an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian. Further, official traffic control devices or local ordinances may restrict bicycles on sidewalks in some areas.
It is illegal to drive or park in a bicycle lane. A driver may cross into a bicycle lane only when turning. This means that drivers are to make turns from the travel lane and not the bicycle lane. It is also illegal to park in a marked bicycle lane, except where permitted by official signs.Can a 12 year old have an electric bike? ›
Class of eBikes
Many states do not allow kids under the age of 16 to ride a Class III ebike, while many states don't allow anyone (even adults!) to ride Class II ebikes on bike paths and trails. Check out Bikes for People's Electric Bike Laws to learn more about your state's regulations.
Electric pedal assist bikes allow you to go the distance on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail in the idyllic countryside of Leelanau County! Hill coming up? Just set your pedal assist button and get instant ease while climbing that hill!Do you need a license to drive an electric moped in Michigan? ›
Michigan moped laws
Furthermore, if you plan to drive a moped in Michigan, you must have a valid driver's license or a chauffeur's license. If you have neither and you're at least 15 years old, you can apply for a moped license. To get a moped license, you'll need to pass a vision, knowledge and traffic exam.
So, can eBikes go up steep hills? Much like any other bike, the answer is 'yes'; eBikes are handily equipped to handle those sharp rises when out on the road.Are eBikes good for trails? ›
Hit the Best Bike Trails in California with an E-Bike
While regulations on the use of e-bikes on trails vary in different states, California passed a law that allows e-bikes to use bike paths except where it's prohibited by local law.
The Timber Trail is open all year around. Be prepared for adverse weather conditions at all times. The first 4 km from Pureora is an easy flat gradient, but the trail then starts to climb. The trail is graded intermediate (Grade 3) the rest of the way to Piropiro.Can you ride an electric tricycle on the sidewalk? ›
States like California, New York, and Washington have clear laws in place that prohibit riding e-bikes on sidewalks. In these states, electric bike riders must stay on designated bike paths or roads and can only ride on sidewalks if it's necessary to avoid traffic.