Michigan Electric Bike Laws | electric bike information (2023)

E-bikes are becoming increasingly popular. They're faster and more fun than regular bikes and more energy efficient than cars. They're a great compromise for those with shorter commutes.

They are also the perfect means of transportation for the elderly or disabled who find regular bicycles too tiring or too difficult.

However, electric bikes are a relatively new phenomenon, and as they become faster and more popular, problems with safety, traffic and more are bound to arise.

If you live in Michigan and want to get oneelectric bike, it is strongly recommended that you check the applicable laws to ensure you can travel safely and without endangering others.

Interestingly, Michigan appears to be on the verge of blossomingindustrial production of electric bicyclesMoved from China to Detroit. If the trend continues, the burgeoning e-bike industry could really benefit the state, and the city in particular.

In this post, we're going to break down everything you need to know about riding an electric bike in Michigan, but first the obvious:

What is an electric bicycle or e-bike?

Similar in design and appearance to the traditional oneCyclesusing the pedals, an electric bicycle has the addition of aElectric motor.

(Video) US Electric Bike Laws Explained

In some cases (popularly known as pedelecs) the rider pedals in the same way as a traditional bicycle, with the electric motor supplementing the extra power to allow the rider to easily reach higher speeds.

In other cases, the driver does not have to pedal, but pulls a throttle, and the electric power completely replaces the human power.

Plus oneBatteryand drivetrain, most e-bikes resemble traditional bicycles, scooters, or mopeds and can even be difficult to tell apart without looking closely.

What advantages do e-bikes offer?

  • Electric bikes provide a way to get outside and exercise easily for the disabled, injured, or elderly who may find riding a bike too strenuous.
  • E-bikes are emission-free and very quiet, making them one of the most sustainable and environmentally friendly means of transport.
  • Research suggests that electric cyclists ride longer and more frequently than conventional cyclists
  • With electric bikes you can get to work or other destinations much faster than with a conventional bike. They're great for short trips in larger cities like Grand Rapids or Detroit.
  • E-bikes are easier to ride up hills, on rough terrain, or in other places where riding a traditional bike might be difficult or impossible.

What are the risks of electric bikes?

Unfortunately, since electric bicycles have only recently become mainstream, there is not much data to answer this question.

However, the evidence available so far seems to indicate that accidents involving electric bicycles can generally result in more serious injuries than accidents involving regular pedal bikes.

The reason for this is probably the increased speed and ease of acceleration.

A judgment ofUnited States Consumer Product Safety CommissionThe National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) has found that electric cyclists are more likely to suffer internal injuries or concussions compared to conventional cyclists.

(Video) A Look at Bicycle Laws in Michigan

However, this risk can usually be avoided or reduced by wearing a helmet, paying close attention and not speeding.

the only otherDangers of electric bicyclesthat are not practiced by normal cyclists are techniques. For example the risk of a battery fire or a stuck throttle, but these can often be easily avoided with proper maintenance.

Legal definition of a Michigan electric bike

You can read the official Michigan travel guideHere.

However, the most important definition of an electric bike can be found here:

“To qualify as an electric bike in Michigan, the bike must meet the following requirements:

  • There must be a seat or saddle for the rider to sit on.
  • Fully functional pedals must be present.
  • Must have an electric motor of no more than 750 watts (or 1 hp).

E-Bike Lessons in Michigan

As of January 2018, in addition to the above definition of an electric bike, electric bikes will be divided into three different classes in the new Electric Bike Laws.

Once an electric bike has been purchased, it is illegal to tamper with or tamper with the nameplate in any way.

(Video) Everyone Should Know This About E-Bikes...

class 1

An electric bicycle equipped with an electric motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and disengages or stops when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour.

2nd grade

An electric bicycle that is equipped with a motor that propels the bicycle at a speed of no more than 20 miles per hour, whether the rider is pedaling or not, and that cuts off or stops operation when the brakes are applied applied or the brake released.

Class 3

An electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and shuts off or stops running when the bike reaches a speed of 28 miles per hour.


Electric bikes do not require any special license or insurance to ride an electric bike, but you can see from the table below that the following restrictions apply:

class 12nd gradeClass 3
Minimum age for operationnonenone14
Pilot forced to wear a helmetNONOYes, if you are between 14 and 18 years old.
The cyclist has to pedal for the engine to startSimNOSim
Maximum speed for motor assistance202028


Where to Ride an Electric Bike in Michigan

The three classes of electric bikes listed above can be used on all trails open to regular bikes, including designated bike lanes and regular lanes.

  • class 1E-bikes may also be used on straight trails with "asphalt, limestone or similar surfaces" unless specifically prohibited on specific trails.
  • 2nd grademiClass 3E-bikes may only be used on trails if they have been approved by the relevant agency or local authority.

However, all electric bicycles, regardless of class, are prohibited on trails marked as non-motorized or made by leveling existing ground without adding surface materials, including mountain bike trails.

(Video) The Absolute Best E Bike for Seniors | Electric Bike for Seniors You Must See

Electric bicycles of all types are prohibited on Mackinac Island without express permission from the Mackinac Island State Parks Commission.

People with disabilities who use e-bikes as mobility aids can bypass most restrictions and use them on roads and trails where they would otherwise be prohibited.

Michigan Electric Bike Laws | electric bike information (1)

Do I have to wear a helmet on an electric bike in Michigan?

Michigan state law provides this for passengersUnder 18 yearsold man or on a class 3 electric bikemust wear helmets.

Adults riding other electric bikes are not required to wear a helmet, but it is highly recommended.

Tips for safely riding an electric bike in Michigan

  • Please read the user manual before riding as there is a wide variety of different electric bikes to choose from, some of which can perform amazingly.
  • Be very careful when getting in and out of the car and make sure you are fully assembled and comfortable before driving or hitting the gas.
  • Stop ahead of time at stop signs and intersections, and allow enough time to stop completely.
  • Watch out for large curbs. Detroit, Glen Arbor and Drummond are known for their high curbs that can do thisflat tire.
  • Ride slowly until you gain confidence and experience with the e-bike.
  • Wear a helmet, lights, horn and all other available safety features
  • Be aware of traffic flow at all times (especially in Detroit during rush hour)

If you enjoyed our article on Michigan electric bike laws, you may want to check out some of our other posts on electric bike laws:

Electric bike laws in Arizona

Electric Bicycle Laws in Maryland

(Video) 10 Things We Wish We'd Known About E-Bikes

Or check out oursour blogfor more information about electric bikes or oursreview pagefor the latest e-bike reviews from a variety of manufacturers. Something is wrong? do not hesitateContact us.


Are eBikes allowed on Michigan bike trails? ›

What Type Of E-Bike Is Allowed On Michigan Trails? According to the Michigan.gov website, you can ride a Class 1 electric bike on the local trails, but you can only go up to 20 mph. Even though Class 2 meets the maximum miles per hour rate, you cannot ride an electric bike with a throttle on the trails in Michigan.

Do you need a license to ride an electric bike in Michigan? ›

Riders do not need special registration, licenses or insurance to operate an e-bike in any of the three categories. However, a rider must be 14 or older to operate a Class 3 e-bike. In addition, it is illegal for e-bike owners to alter the classification label after purchase.

Are Class 2 eBikes legal in Michigan? ›

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.

What are the rules for riding an electric bike? ›

Electric Bikes that are not EAPCs

This means it must be registered, taxed, insured, and you must have a driving licence to ride one. You're also legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet when riding one on public roads.

Can you ride an electric bike on the sidewalk in Michigan? ›

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.

Can I ride my electric bike on the road? ›

Generally, an electric bicycle can ride on roadways and anywhere a regular bicycle can ride. However, cyclists must follow the rules of the road, such as riding on the right side of the road, stopping at red lights, and signaling turns.

What are the regulations for eBikes in Michigan? ›

To qualify as an e- bike in Michigan, the bike must meet the following requirements: It must have a seat or saddle for the rider to sit. There must be fully operational pedals. It must have an electric motor of no more than 750 watts (or 1 horsepower).

What licence do you need to ride an electric bike? ›

There is no speed restriction however you must be 17 or above and have passed a CBT course OR have a full motorcycle licence.

What is the max legal speed of an electric bike? ›

The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle (EAPC) regulations say that ebikes must have pedals with the bike providing assistance only when you pedal - and above 15.5mph, ebikes must stop providing that assistance. Follow these rules, and the ebike can be used like a normal bike.

What is the difference between Class 1 and Class 2 Electric bikes? ›

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.

What is the difference between Class 1/2 and 3 eBikes? ›

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.

What is the difference between Class 1 and Class 3 eBikes? ›

What are the three classes of e-bikes? Class 1: The motor kicks in only when you pedal, and stops helping at 20 mph. Class 2: Also has a pedal-assist mode up to 20 mph plus a purely throttle-powered mode. Class 3: Is solely pedal-assist (like class 1), but assistance continues until you hit 28 mph.

How far can I ride on an electric bike? ›

On average, most ebikes will take you somewhere between 20-100 miles. The exact range will always depend on a range of factors that are important to pay attention to and consider if you want to get the most out of your charge (the planet will say thank you).

Can you just pedal an electric bike? ›

Riding an e-bike without using its motor

And if you want to leave them in place, you can simply turn off the motor whenever you want. The choice is 100% yours. Riding without the motor is a great way to fit some exercise into your day, like riding home from work if you don't manage to get to the gym.

Are electric bikes with a throttle illegal? ›

Ebike throttles

You can only have a throttle on a bike bought in 2016 or later if it assists the rider without pedalling at a maximum of 6km/h (3.7 mph). These "twist and go" throttles are designed to help people who have difficulty starting due to injury or disability.

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 without insurance? ›

Absolutely. Electric bike insurance can be a lifesaver. While you don't need a licence to ride your e-bike or insurance in the traditional sense related to a motor vehicle, you should insure your e-bike against theft and damage. As e-bike sales grow, so too do the number of them that are stolen each year.

Can I ride my bike on the road in Michigan? ›

Bicycles on the roadway have the same rights, and responsibilities as motorized vehicles. Michigan law requires motorists to give bicyclists at least 3 feet of space when passing.

What happens if you get caught on an electric bike? ›

Penalties and offences

up to £100 fine and three to six penalty points for riding without the correct licence.

Do you have to wear a helmet on an eBike? ›

Helmet laws by age

Delaware, Florida, Maine, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Maryland, and Montana require any eBike Rider or their passenger under 16 years of age to wear a helmet. Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, and New Mexico require anyone under 18 to wear a helmet when on an electric bicycle.

Are 1000w e-bikes legal? ›

Electric bikes are only permitted to have a continuous maximum output of 250 watts. You may exceed this power limit for short periods such as going up a steep hill. Therefore, you should reconsider when you see electric bikes advertised at high figures such as 1000 watts as these can only be used on private property.

Why do electric bikes not require a license? ›

Many electric bikes in India are powered by 250w motors, allowing speeds of up to 25 kilometres per hour. As a result, electric bikes with 250w motors do not need a driving license in India.

What is a Class 4 ebike? ›

Electric Off-road (Class 4) Bikes

Under the U.S. electric bike classification system, Class 4 e-bikes are not permitted for road use, as their top speed is greater than 28mph and motor output is greater than 750W.

Can a 13 year old ride an electric bike? ›

Electric bikes may only be operated by persons aged 16 years and older. Electric bikes do not need to be licensed or registered.

What is a street legal electric bike? ›

Street legal refers to a vehicle that meets all of the local and state legal requirements for use on public roads. KEY TAKEAWAYS: Most e-bikes are street legal, as long as the motor's power is under 750 watts.

Can you ride ebike without battery? ›

Can an electric bike be ridden with a flat battery? Yes, you can ride your ebike home if the battery runs out during a ride.

How powerful is a 250w ebike? ›

There just isn't enough power or torque in a 250 W system to power heavy riders up medium-sized hills while maintaining a reasonable amount of speed. When it comes to speed, 250 W motors are also usually limited to somewhere between 25-32 km/h (15-20 mph).

How fast is an unrestricted ebike? ›

1000W Ebike can do as little as 22mph as top speed and as much as 45mph!

How fast is too fast for an ebike? ›

In the USA the regulations state that the maximum speed allowed in this kind of operation is 20mph although the e-bike may be technically capable of going faster than 20mph. When you're riding a bike, 20mph is an ideal speed.

Can a ebike go 60 mph? ›

As far as ebikes go, the world's fastest ebike is the SWIND EB-01 which has an official top speed of 60mph; but the creator says that with some tinkering it can hit 80mph!

What is a Category 1 bike? ›


Intended use: ROAD RIDING. Bicycles and frames in this category should only be used on regular paved surfaces or alternatively on very smooth unpaved surfaces at speeds not exceeding 25km/h. The tires must maintain constant ground contact.

Does a Class 2 ebike have to have pedals? ›

A class 2 e-bike is a throttle-assisted bike. But, the throttle will support only 20 mph top speed. A class 2 e-bike has a separate throttle control. So, you don't have to pedal your bike to activate the motor.

What is the difference between an e-bike and an electric bike? ›

An electric bike, or ebike, is a bicycle equipped with an electric bike motor to assist you when you're pedalling. The motor will get its power from a rechargeable battery mounted on the bike. To classify as an ebike, the motor has to help you rather than propel you on its own.

Do you need a helmet for a Class 3 ebike? ›

Knowing the class of your e-bike will tell you where and how you can ride. For instance, in California, a Class 3 electric requires that the rider wear a helmet.

How much does a Class 2 ebike cost? ›

The cheapest Class 2 e-bikes typically cost around $1,000.

What are the fastest Ebikes? ›

Fastest Electric Bikes in the World
  • TOP SPEED: 70mph / 112 kph. Hi Power Cycles Revolution XX. CHECK PRICE read more.
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  • TOP SPEED: 50mph / 80 kph. Stealth B-52. ...
  • TOP SPEED: 50mph / 80 kph. Delfast Top 3.0/3.0i. ...
  • TOP SPEED: 40mph / 64 kph. Ristretto 303FS.

What class is a 750 watt ebike? ›

Class 3 Electric Bikes

Max assist speed of 28mph. Max motor power limited to 750W.

Is a Class 1 E bike fast enough? ›

Once you start pedaling you will be able to get up to 20 mph (miles per hour) on your e-bike. Class 1 ebike riders are given the permission to ride anywhere you would ride any other type of bike due to the low speed and operation. Meaning electric bikes are allowed on bike lanes, bike paths, and on the road.

What is a hybrid electric bike? ›

A hybrid electric bike is exactly what it sounds like – a combination of a e-road bike and a e-mountain bike. Hybrid bikes feature all the best bits to create a great all-rounder that's perfectly suited to sorts of terrain. Electric hybrid bikes really shine in the urban environment.

How long do ebike batteries last? ›

You should typically expect a battery to last between 3 and 5 years if it is well maintained. (A lithium-ion battery will slowly lose its capacity over time, even if it's not used.) Below are three things you can do to ensure you get the longest usage out of your electric bike battery.

How Far Can electric bikes go without pedaling? ›

And generally, with those though, you're limited to no more than 20 miles an hour with the full throttle. So with the pedal assist, you can go up to 28 with the full throttle, you can not go more than 20 miles an hour on an e-bike without peddling at all.

Do Ebikes charge as you pedal? ›

Generally speaking, most electric bikes do not charge when you pedal. They need their batteries to be plugged into a power outlet to be powered. However, some models offer the possibility of charging while you pedal, although this is often very inefficient.

Can you ride an electric bike in the rain? ›

Can You Ride an Ebike in the Rain? Yes, riding an ebike in the rain is perfectly fine. However make sure your ebike has been tested for riding in the rain (not all manufacturers/models are). You should also avoid riding in puddles or standing water, as this can damage the electronics on your ebike.

Can you use an e-bike like a normal bike? ›

Yes you can.

All of the electric bike models we stock allow you to choose how much help you want by simply pressing a button on the handlebar. If you want to use only your legs, you can choose zero assistance.

Why are police confiscating electric bikes? ›

A truckload of unsafe e-scooters and e-bikes were taken off Newham's streets this week. The operation targeting illegal e-scooters, e-bikes and similar devices was run in response to concerns from local people and the recent death of a teenage girl in a road traffic collision in Upton Park in March.

Can you be breathalysed on an electric bike? ›

I understand that there is no special provision at present under the Highway Code for electric bicycles and that they are treated the same way as ordinary cycles. That being the case a breath test would not be appropriate, since its use is connected with driving a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of alcohol.

Can eBikes be used on trails? ›

Except for public roadways, class 2 or 3 e-bikes are not allowed. Class 1 e-bikes may be designated for use only on trails and controlled-access roads that already allow traditional (non-electric) bicycles.

Are e-bikes allowed on Mackinac Island? ›

Electric bicycles are banned on Mackinac Island by local ordinance in accordance with State Law. Those with a mobility disability are exempt in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Why are e mountain bikes not allowed on trails? ›

Dangerous speed

As they can ride fast even at stiff ascents they became less compatible with the other trail users and might also endanger them. E-bikers are going at speed, which can be addictive, making the riders more reckless. More speed results in longer braking times, increasing accidents.

Are eBikes allowed on the Little Traverse Wheelway? ›

Closer to home, on the Little Traverse Wheelway, the answer is yes, while also keeping a few important factors in mind.

Why are eBikes banned from trails? ›

The prevailing concern about allowing e-bikes on trails is the question of safety—particularly related to speed. The perception is that motor-assisted riders will race down trails, making them dangerous and unpleasant for other types of users.

What is a Class 1 electric bike? ›

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.

Where are e-bikes allowed in Michigan? ›

You can ride all three classes of e-bikes on all roads where a non-electric bicycle can be ridden. Additionally, you may operate an e-bike on any part of a highway that is open to a bicycle, including, but not limited to, a lane designated for the exclusive use of bicycles on the shoulder.

Why are eBikes banned from Mackinac Island? ›

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (WLUC) - E-bikes are being banned on portions of Mackinac Island after an e-bike battery exploded and caused a fire at a residence on the Island where firefighters were injured.

Are eBikes allowed on Grand Island MI? ›

Mountain Biking

The island provides over 40 miles of rugged dirt/sand trails and easier gravel roads that will accommodate any level of biker. Please note that in keeping with agency interim direction, eBikes are not allowed.

Why are ebikes banned? ›

Some building owners, mainly in New York City, are clamping down on electric bicycles after a recent spate of damaging and deadly battery fires.

What is an illegal eBike? ›

The bike must have pedals which are capable of propelling it. It must not have a throttle. The rider must be at least 14 years old.

Can e-bikes go up steep hills? ›

Electric bikes are more than capable of climbing up a hill. How well the bike performs depends on the size of the motor, and how steep the hill is. The average electric bike can go as fast as 20mph, which provides more than enough power to assist you up a hill.

What are the different classes of e-bikes? ›

What are the three classes of e-bikes? Class 1: The motor kicks in only when you pedal, and stops helping at 20 mph. Class 2: Also has a pedal-assist mode up to 20 mph plus a purely throttle-powered mode. Class 3: Is solely pedal-assist (like class 1), but assistance continues until you hit 28 mph.

Can e-bikes be used in national parks? ›

This new policy will enable visitors to use e-bikes, low-speed electric bicycles with power assistance, in the same manner as traditional bicycles, allowing them on park roads, paved or hardened trails, areas designated for off-road motor vehicle use and administrative roads where traditional bikes are allowed.


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